Feb 09

Mets Should Move Conforto Around

I read something the other day about the Mets giving Michael Conforto some time in right field and immediately thought, well, why not? I would also consider giving him some reps in center field. And, while they’re at it, why not try him at the top of the order?

CONFORTO: Could see some time in right. (AP)

CONFORTO: Could see some time in right. (AP)

I don’t like typecasting a young player to one position and one slot in the batting order. My thinking is the more versatile a player is the more his value is enhanced.

Conforto in right makes a lot of sense because Curtis Granderson will be gone after the 2017 season. Who knows, maybe Yoenis Cespedes might be gone, too. Assuming Granderson is gone – and days Terry Collins might want to rest him this year – then Conforto could play right, Cespedes could move to left and that way they can give Juan Lagares some time in center.

As for hitting him at the top of the order, although Granderson did well last year, there are times when his power potential could be better suited in the middle of the order. And, Conforto showed signs of being a good hitter. I envision him as a line drive spray hitter with the potential of having a high on-base percentage.

And, assuming Granderson is gone in two years, they’ll need a leadoff hitter again. So, what’s the harm in giving him a look-see there now?

 

 

 

Feb 06

De Aza On Block … Or Is He?

Well, that was quick. With Yoenis Cespedes now in the fold, Alejandro De Aza is suddenly now available. Or, at least that is what is being reported because of the crowded situation in the Mets’ outfield with Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and De Aza.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said a trade is possible, but not imminent.

Since De Aza, who’ll make $5.75 million this season, isn’t expected to get much playing time, why not deal him? Because trading De Aza is the logical assumption, other teams would think the same thing so his value would appear to be limited.

So, unless De Aza is part of a larger package, I wouldn’t think teams are lining up for him. So, the thought here is De Aza isn’t going anywhere soon.

Jan 23

Examining Nuances Of Cespedes Deal

I would be lying if I said I saw this coming. The Mets’ bringing back Yoenis Cespedes was not as predictable as say, the whiny LeBron James acting to get coach David Blatt fired.

CESPEDES: Coming back. (Getty)

CESPEDES: Coming back. (Getty)

I wrote the Mets could get Cespedes back if they let the market come back to them. That didn’t happen, but Cespedes playing in Citi Field in 2016 was made possible because the Mets made two huge financial concessions. The Mets agreed to terms with Cespedes on a three-year, $75-million, with $27.5 coming in the first season, after which he can opt out.

The Mets refused to go more than three years with Cespedes, but in essence gave him the money he’d get with a four-year deal.

The Mets made this deal simply because they couldn’t afford not to. The Mets have seen the Cubs, Nationals, Giants and Diamondbacks all improve, and the St. Louis Cardinals are always good. The Mets are banking on their young pitching to carry them, but those arms need runs.

New York surprised a lot of people when it reached the World Series last year, but there won’t be any shocking this summer. Everybody knows the attendance ramifications aren’t felt until the next year. The Wilpons couldn’t afford in letting the Mets regress to the point where they wouldn’t taste the benefits of last year’s success.

Without Cespedes, and David Wright a physical question, the Mets would be taking a gamble they could repeat with a stagnant offense similar to the one they had in June and mid-July before the trade was made. It is a gamble they would likely lose. All it would take to re-affirm that was to look at Wright’s career, After 2006 there was the prevailing feeling the Mets would live in the playoffs.

That wasn’t to be.

As far as the economics of the deal, the Mets have to look at this as a one-year, $27.5 million contract because if Cespedes produces you can surely expect him to opt out. And, it not, then they Mets would have him for three years and not have to pay a monster contract.

Actually, it is a win-win for both sides.

Too bad this couldn’t have been done sooner, at least before I wrote yesterday’s headline.

 

 

Dec 20

No Real News, But Plenty Of Issues For Mets

There’s no concrete breaking news on the Mets these days, but more than a few things are racing through my mind:

* Proving they have a sense of humor, the Mets included a $50,000 bonus in Bartolo Colon‘s contract if he wins the Silver Slugger Award for the best hitter at his position. It would be great to see Colon hit a homer or even draw a walk this year, something he’s never done during his 18-year career.

DUDA: Can he be the real deal? (AP)

DUDA: Can he be the real deal? (AP)

* One bat I’m concerned about is Lucas Duda. He’s extremely streaky and that’s something I don’t see changing.

* As well as he performed in the leadoff spot this summer, I still prefer Curtis Granderson hitting in run-producing spots in the middle of the order, especially if they don’t land an outfield bat. Then again, they really don’t have many other options in the leadoff spot. I’ll have to do some more thinking about this.

* David Wright’s back will continue to be an issue for the duration of his contract. He might eventually have to consider a position change. But to where?

* Some people think I don’t like Matt Harvey. Not true. What I don’t care for is his attitude and still think a trade might be something to seriously consider. They have numerous holes to fill and he could do it for them.

* This will be the season the Mets will likely choose between Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. I don’t think they’ll keep both.

* I’m very curious as to see how Michael Conforto will produce in his first full year.

* The Mets’ starter I think will be the first to win 20 games is Jacob deGrom.

Of course, I’ll go into greater depth on all of these topics, but for now just think of this as an appetizer, or in the spirit of the season, just a stocking stuffer.

Cheers.

Dec 08

Mets Today: More Zobrist

With Ben Zobrist expected in town Tuesday, the Mets will put the full-court press on their top free-agent target. Reportedly, Zobrist wants $60 million over four years. The Mets originally said they didn’t want to go more than three years, but it is looking as if they’ll bend on the years.

If it happens it won’t be the first time as they acquiesced on Curtis Granderson and gave four years and gave two years to Bartolo Colon when they only wanted to give one.

Zobrist has proven to be a solid player who stays in shape, but he’ll be 39 at the end of the contract which makes it a risk. Of course, most teams know players will break down at the end of their contracts so the Mets can expect him to fall off in the third and fourth years.

I like Zobrist, but he’s a complementary player and won’t be the player to put them over the top. The Mets’ primary objectives should the bullpen and finding an outfield bat to platoon with Juan Lagares.

For the past two years we’ve been told by the Mets that Dilson Herrera was the long-term solution for second base, but their pursuit of Zobrist makes one wonder where he really fits into their plans.

The Mets did tender Ruben Tejada, but haven’t said how he’s recovering from his broken leg sustained in the playoffs. Tejada at shortstop and moving Wilmer Flores was thought to be a possible solution, but that seems to be on the back burner.