Dec 10

David Wright Likes Curtis Granderson Signing On Many Levels

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Where Curtis Granderson will fit in with the New York Mets outfield is still to be determined, David Wright has no doubt he does fit with his team.

Granderson is penciled in to hit fourth behind Wright, giving him the protection he hasn’t had since Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado were here. Manager Terry Collins doesn’t know which of the three outfield positions Granderson will play, but Wright said wherever he plays, he provides an immediate upgrade.

WRIGHT: Likes Granderson signing on many levels.

WRIGHT: Likes Granderson signing on many levels.

“Curtis instantly makes us a better team both offensively and defensively,’’ Wright said in an email.

Offensively, Granderson hit 40 homers with the Yankees, but even with Citi Field’s spacious dimensions, he should be good for at least 25.

Defensively, he’s a natural centerfielder. Collins hasn’t decided his outfield rotation, but speculation is it will be – from left to right – Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young.

Collins said Granderson should also take pressure off Wright in the batting order.

“I think, number one, they’ve got Curtis hitting behind him now, they’ve got to make a decision,’’ Collins said of opposing pitcher’s plans against the Mets.

“David’s patient enough to take the base on balls, especially if he knows the guy can bat behind him,” Collins said. “He’ll get better pitches to hit each at-bat.  And if David gets pitches to hit, he does damage.’’

Granderson is GM Sandy Alderson’s highest-profile free agent signing, but if things work out as hoped, Wright said it would not be his last. If the Mets get better, other players will notice.

“I think it paves the way for other elite players to want to play for us,’’ wrote Wright, whom Granderson said was influential in him signing with the Mets.

From his perspective, Granderson said one of the reasons he wanted four years was to be around when the Mets’ building plan reached fruition, and that includes signing future free agents.

While Granderson provides Wright protection in the order, he’ll also give him a respite in the clubhouse. Even prior to his appointment to team captain last season, Wright was the clubhouse voice, commenting on an array of issues, ranging from Willie Randolph’s firing in 2008 to the Wilpon’s financial situation to Ike Davis’ plate troubles to Jordany Valdespin’s emotional meltdowns.

Quite simply, he has been the go-to guy for all issues on the Mets.

By all accounts, Granderson will be a positive presence, and Wright echoed what Alderson said earlier today.

“He’s a true professional and great guy to have in the clubhouse,’’ wrote Wright. “He has a confidence about him that I think will rub off on other players.’’

ON DECK: Wrapping up day two of the Winter Meetings.

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Dec 09

Mets Conclude First Day Of Winter Meetings With No Moves

While the New York Mets would like to deal Ike Davis or Lucas Duda by the end of the week, general manager Sandy Alderson gave no indication today a move was imminent.

Teams are waiting out the Mets in the hope either might be released, but that won’t happen. Alderson said prospective buyers are exploring other options, whether it is in the trade or free-agent markets. And, teams could be offering the Mets little in return.

ALDERSON: Nothing doing.

ALDERSON: Nothing doing.

There are a lot of reasons why a trade doesn’t get done.

“That’s always the case,’’ Alderson said. “There’s always going to be an alternative. That’s what provides the tension of negotiating a deal. [Teams] are always looking at what their alternatives are. That’s what provides the tension of getting something done and not getting something done; simply there are other options.’’

Of course, it could take one phone call to change everything. A team could offer the Mets a sweet deal, or Alderson can cave just to make a trade.

The latter is highly unlikely.

“Could we do something?’’ Alderson rhetorically asked. “Yeah, we have that ability. Whether we do it or not is a function of what we can get and what our other options are.’’

Working against the Mets in trying to trade Davis is that other teams are aware of his shortcomings and of the Mets’ overt desire to swing a deal. The Mets have not been subtle in this, and given the high probability Davis won’t be with the team next spring have teams being reluctant.

They aren’t waiting in line to talk trade about Duda, either.

“Everybody is aware of what we have. We don’t have to advertise that,’’ Alderson said. “As far as marketing, [other teams] do their own evaluations. If somebody is not inclined to make a deal for a particular player, it is difficult to talk them into it and get something in return.’’

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Dec 03

Why Mets Did Not Non-Tender Ike Davis

If the New York Mets don’t want Ike Davis, why didn’t they just non-tender him? That way the unproductive first baseman with the looping swing and high propensity for striking out would be gone. Davis would just them be another failure in Mets lore.

DAVIS: Mets playing waiting game, (Getty)

DAVIS: Mets playing waiting game, (Getty)

That’s the conventional wisdom, but there’s more to it under the surface. There always is.

As long as Davis remains on the Mets’ 40-man roster, he’s an asset capable of either producing on the field when the season starts, or as a trade piece.

Obviously, the Mets would like to find a trading partner, but might find they won’t be getting much in return. With a flood of free agents on the market, most teams would rather attempt that route first because all they would spend is money.

The smarter teams are waiting for the Mets to dump him during spring training, that way they could get Davis without having to surrender talent in return. Subsequently, the Mets are holding on to Davis to see if there’s a team that loses a first baseman to injury during spring training and finds itself in a bind.

If there’s no such opportunity, there’s always waiting for the July 31 trade deadline. That’s the Mets’ best hope of getting quality in return.

In addition, if the Mets take Davis to spring training, he might win the job if Lucas Duda doesn’t perform. There’s no given with Duda, so that has to be in the back of Sandy Alderson’s mind.

 

Dec 02

Mets Non-Tender Valdespin; A Good Move

What should have been done months ago finally occurred today when the New York Mets non-tendered the moody and limited-talented outfielder Jordany Valdespin, making him a free agent.

If some team is stupid enough to sign Valdespin and he becomes a star, then so be it because he never was going to do anything with the Mets.

VALDESPIN: Gone.

VALDESPIN: Gone.

Valdespin supposedly had a flair for the dramatic, but in reality he was simply a showboat with a volatile temperament.

Valdespin was suspended for a lack of hustle, but things boiled over for him when he posed after a meaningless homer in a blowout loss to the Pirates and then became aggravated when he was hit by a pitch the following day and complained saying his teammates didn’t have his back.

Manager Terry Collins didn’t seem too upset when Valdespin was plunked citing an old school mentality. Collins later lamely tried to justify Valdespin’s actions by his upbringing and background, and praised his emotional spark, which everybody could plainly see was a “look-at-me’’ scream.

Not soon after, Collins gave Valdespin a week tryout at second base, which he failed miserably and it was clear he had no future with the Mets.

On May 13, I wrote the Mets would be better off without Valdespin, and during spring training – noting his me-first attitude – I wrote how he was throwing away his career.

David Wright, as team captain, was the only Met to support Valdespin on the record after the beaning incident, but it was lukewarm at best. Several teammates off the record said Valdespin was generally hated in the clubhouse.

One of the last things a young, building team such as the Mets need is a divisive presence in their clubhouse, either on the major league or minor league level.

The topper came when he was suspended for 50 games in the Biogenesis scandal. Evidently, his performance wasn’t enhanced enough.

If I seem harsh on Valdespin, it is because I am. Valdespin was given a chance to play major league baseball because of his raw physical ability and he threw it away.

Nobody should feel sorry for him.

The Mets also non-tendered reliever Scott Atchison and shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

Nov 23

Nate McLouth Would Have Been Better Choice Than Chris Young For Mets

The New York Mets might get lucky with Chris Young the same way they did with Marlon Byrd last season. It could happen.

However, are you betting on it?

McLOUTH: A better choice.

McLOUTH: A better choice.

I am not buying for a second they’ll make a play for Nelson Cruz, but there are others I would have liked to see them get over Young.

We know Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury were out of their price range. Supposedly, they liked Corey Hart. How about Nate McLouth?

McLouth, 32, hit .258 with a .329 on-base percentage – both superior to Young – and drew 53 walks in 593 plate appearances. He also homered 12 times, equal to Young’s production. And, he did it for $2 million. Plus, he stole 30 bases, plays good defense and always hustles.

You can’t convince me for a second Young was a better choice. They got Young, who is two years younger, for $7.25 million. Don’t you think they could have gotten McLouth for two years at $8 million?

There aren’t a lot of great choices out there, but Young was a bad one in that they gave a lot of money for somebody with little production.

Sandy Alderson values on-base percentage, and clearly had a better option in McLouth. Too bad he didn’t make a harder run at him.