Nov 26

Wishing You All A Happy Thanksgiving

We certainly had a wonderful summer for which we can be thankful for, plus the optimism it will give us this winter. That’s certainly something for which we can be thankful.

On a personal note, writing about the Mets has helped me in my rehab as it occupies my mind. I am also thankful to you guys for your continued support and well wishes.

I wish for you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

Best, JD


Nov 23

Not Buying Murphy Return

There were several articles last week claiming the Mets still would attempt to bring back Daniel Murphy, who rejected a $15.8-million qualifying offer. The reports said the Mets would make a sincere run at Murphy, who might bite on an offer that isn’t necessarily the highest.

Nearly everything I’ve read said the Mets might still make an offer because of Murphy’s affection for the team and New York. But, are those really good enough reasons? If that was the case, their decision would be based more on sentimentality than talent.

MURPHY: Still in play for Mets?  (Getty)

MURPHY: Still in play for Mets? (Getty)

The reported market for Murphy is $50 million over four years. The qualifying offer entitles the Mets to a compensatory draft pick plus the right to keep negotiating. It does not signal the Mets’ desire to keep him because they think he’s part of their future.

We don’t know what Murphy is seeking and what the Mets are willing to offer. The only numbers we know of are of the speculative nature.

We also know Murphy is 30 years old, so this will likely be his final shot at the brass ring. I can’t see him leaving money on the table to go back to a team that never had him on the top of their pecking order.

Murphy also hit 14 homers last season and went deep in six consecutive games in the playoffs. What we don’t know, and this includes the Mets, is whether that power surge was a fluke or a sign he’s added that element to his game.

The Mets are also reportedly interested in Kansas City free-agent Ben Zobrist, who is five years older than Murphy, and is a better player who is more versatile. However, the speculated numbers for Zobrist is $60 million over four years.

Zobrist brings more to the table than Murphy, and I think the Mets will shy away because of the price. This might make Murphy more palatable. But, I keep going back to well how Wilmer Flores adjusted to second base and potential of Dilson Herrera.

If those two can adequately fill the void left by Murphy, and I believe Flores can do so, then the Mets should be all right at second base. In that case, the money spent on Murphy or Zobrist, would be better spent adding a center fielder because I’m not sold on Juan Lagares and rebuilding the bullpen.

Nov 22

Mets Likely To Pass On Cespedes

There is no way of knowing for sure, but the Mets likely don’t get to the World Series without Yoenis Cespedes.

He definitely has a “Wow!’’ factor about him evidenced by his 17 homers and 44 RBI in his two months with the Mets. He also has a laser for an arm and an ability to track a ball in center.

CESPEDES:  Don't count on his return. (Getty)

CESPEDES: Don’t count on his return. (Getty)

His agencies – Creative Artists Associates and ROC Nation, run by rapper Jay-Z – put together a 100-page coffee table style book titled “52 Reviews’’ for his uniform number featuring his stats, testimonials and a built-in disc player to highlight his greatest plays.

“It’s not the only piece to the puzzle,’’ said Brodie Van Wagenen, the lead agent in Cespedes’ negotiations, told ESPN that packaging is part of the process. “Most everyone has access to the information, but the way in which you sort the information and tell the story and define the player is an art form that’s unique from agent to agent. It’s not just the packaging.

“I think this book highlights and reminds teams of what Yoenis Cespedes’ rare skill set is. Instead of his agents telling people how good he is, teams can see it for themselves and hear it from unbiased, third-party insiders.’’

Potential suitors won’t see Cespedes’ “Oh No,” moments, such as his botched play in the outfield that lead to an inside-the-park homer, or those teams when he wasn’t always compelled to run out ground balls, or all those swings-and-misses (39 percent of the time) and .319 on-base percentage.

The Mets will make an offer – believed to be of a public relations variety – and there are a handful of other teams needing an outfielder. But, how many of them are willing to offer the six years and $150 million Cespedes’ camp is reportedly seeking?

San Francisco is intriguing, while the Angels, Cardinals, Cubs and Rangers have shown a willingness to spend. The Tigers need an outfielder, but will they go that way again?

Baltimore, Kansas City, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Diego, Cincinnati and Seattle need outfield help, but don’t have a reputation to write checks.

In the case of the Mariners, they won’t do anything unless they can get rid of Robinson Cano’s huge mistake of a contract.

None of these teams are likely to be seduced by the glitter of “52 Reviews.’’ They know all of Cespedes’ pertinent numbers, including his .150 batting average in the World Series and playing with four different teams in his four-year career.

Oh yes, $150 million will also be a telling number.

Nov 14

Ricco: Mets To Outline Offseason

We’re two weeks removed from the World Series and the Mets already took care of two orders of business: 1) they signed manager Terry Collins to a two-year extension, and 2) made a $15.8-million qualifying offer to Daniel Murphy, which he rejected Friday afternoon.

With Sandy Alderson unable to attend the GM Meetings because of a medical procedure, assistant GM John Ricco said the Mets achieved what they set out to do this week.

“Obviously with Sandy not being here, the goal was to make sure we touched base with various clubs and agents that we thought might fit what we’re looking for,” Ricco said at the conclusion of the meetings. “I think we clearly were able to do that, between J.P. [Ricciardi], Paul [DePodesta] and I. We had a lot of different meetings. We were able to get a pretty clear idea on some clubs – on some other clubs, not so clear – what they’re looking to do.

“And also we met with agents for the key [free-agent] players we think might be fits. So we head back. We’ll regroup with Sandy back in New York and further define the plan for the offseason.”

Ricco said the Mets are exploring free-agent Ben Zobrist; inquired into the availability of Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons before the Braves traded him to the Angels; and reiterated the team will not trade any of their core pitchers. Ricco also indicated the Mets do not want to trade catchers Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki and said they are satisfied with another year with Curtis Granderson as the leadoff hitter.

Ricco and the other assistant general managers are expected to meet with Alderson at the beginning of next week to outline their offseason priorities.

Nov 06

Mets Make Qualifying Offer To Murphy

The Mets’ first order of postseason business was extending manager Terry Collins for two years, and their second step was to make Daniel Murphy to a one-year, $15.8-million qualifying offer. He has a week to respond.

As with Collins, the Murphy deal was a no-brainer for the following reasons:

MURPHY:  Mets expected to make offer. (Getty)

MURPHY: Mets expected to make offer. (Getty)

1) If Murphy rejects the offer the Mets would receive a compensatory draft pick from the team that signs him.

2) The Mets are currently reluctant to give Murphy the reported figure of $50 million over four years. Before going long-term with Murphy, the Mets must first figure out if his post-season power run was an aberration or a sign of things to come.

3) That question could possibly be answered this year. Keeping Murphy around for another year could also enable them to figure out David Wright’s physical status and bide time for Ruben Tejada to heal.

If those two health issues are realized, Murphy would be a capable insurance policy.

If Murphy’s power surge is not a fluke the Mets will probably have to cough up more than if they signed him to a multi-year deal now, but that’s a gamble they would have to take.

Should the Mets be willing to go long-term on Murphy, he could give them a home-team discount.

“I like it here, and I’d like to come back,’’ Murphy said after the World Series. “I feel blessed to have been a Met this long.’’

Murphy was a 13th-round round pick of the Mets in 2006.

Among the teams that might have interest in Murphy are both Los Angeles teams, San Francisco and the Yankees.

NOTEBOOK:  The team said center fielder Juan Lagares will not require surgery on his right elbow. Lagares had a breakout season in 2014 and was rewarded with a multi-year contract, but regressed this season and had difficulty throwing. … Outfielder Michael Cuddyer underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury. He will make $12.5 million in 2016. … LH reliever Josh Smoker was added to the 40-man roster. … A published report from Washington said the Mets could be interested in outfielder Denard Span, who was not given a qualifying offer by the Nationals.