Mets’ Ricciardi On Ruben Tejada, Draft Picks

The Mets are happy with Ruben Tejada as their starting shortstop, special assistant J.P. Ricciardi tells WEEI's Rob Bradford and John McDonald (yes, that John McDonald). "I think in Ruben’€™s case, he got a lot early in his career and I think he’€™s starting to realize that he has to work a lot harder than he has in the past, and he has," Ricciardi says. "I think next year he’€™s going to be a better player than he was this previous year."

Stephen Drew remains a free agent and would provide an immediate upgrade at shortstop. While Ricciardi doesn't go into details about Drew in particular, he makes clear that the shortstop market is not what the Mets would like it to be. "I think in this case there’€™s a lot of shortstops that are already in place," says Ricciardi.

Last week, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the Mets were also exploring trade possibilities at the position, but that there was a greater chance than there was at the beginning of the offseason that Tejada would open 2014 as the team's starting shortstop.

While it doesn't necessarily sound like the Mets will be big players for Drew, who rejected a qualifying offer from the Red Sox, Ricciardi notes that, in general, he thinks the issue of draft pick forfeiture is only a minor consideration. The Mets' first-round pick in 2014, No. 10 overall, is protected, but the team already gave up its second-round pick to sign Curtis Granderson. "One of the things that is happening in baseball right now, that I scratch my head with [is that] young players are so overvalued right now, and I think falls in with the draft picks, too," Ricciardi says. "No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft." Ricciardi says that, to him, proven big-league players are more valuable.

46 Responses to Mets’ Ricciardi On Ruben Tejada, Draft Picks Leave a Reply

  1. ceraunograph 2 years ago

    Ruben Tejada is terrible at baseball and will lose his job by June once again. I thought Ricciardi was smarter than this.

    • BringBackDaveTelgheder 2 years ago

      If they were interested in Drew…why would he admit it and not talk up Tejada?

      • Guest 2 years ago

        You pretty much summed it up. If the Mets were to sign Drew, they would probably try to trade Tejada. Why not try to talk up Tejada and increase interest in a possible trade. That being said, it looks like the Mets are going to stick to Tejada at short.

        • calamityfrancis 2 years ago

          no, tejada would be a great backup 2b/ss.

        • Gland1 2 years ago

          Meh, they could easily keep Tejada to back up Drew. They wouldn’t have to trade him.

        • yclept 2 years ago

          Why do people think that “talking up a player” makes them look so much better in the eyes of other teams?

          • Guest 2 years ago

            I honestly do not know. It’s kind of a thing GM’s try to do. Does it work, I don’t honestly know. My opinion on Tejada would not change, regardless of what the Mets do. At his best, he is an okay hitter with a pretty good glove. He’ll never be a star, but he could be an adequate starting shortstop (assuming the rest of the team has great hitters).

    • hediouspb 2 years ago

      He’ll be fine. He’ll turn into a decent #2hitter and be fine defensively. He’s still young.

  2. pft2 2 years ago

    “”No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft.” Ricciardi says that, to him, proven big-league players are more valuable.”

    Interesting concept. I have to disagree though. Homegrown talent is the basis to being able to afford free agents and make trades.

    However, a 3rd round pick is not worth very much so should not be much of an obstacle to adding Drew. Maybe they are waiting for Boras to come down on price but the Yankees may be all over Drew if they go over 189 by signing Tanaka, or once they get a good look at Jeter in ST

    • Defiancy 2 years ago

      It’s a bizarre statement, especially given the Braves and Nationals teams have a huge amount of roster space taken up by home grown and drafted talent.

      You definite’y build through the draft, you just don’t ONLY build through the draft.

      • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

        I kind of agree with what he said. I’m not going to look through both rosters but I’m sure that most, if not all, of those players wouldn’t have been effected if their respective team gave up picks.

        It’s not like the NFL, where a majority of the talent comes from the first round. You can give up your first pick for a free agent and still draft well enough to obtain eventual major leaguers.

        While I agree with you, that the Braves and Nationals (as well as the Cardinals) built through the draft, I agree with his sentiment that it really doesn’t make sense to horde draft picks, opposed to signing proven free agents

        • Defiancy 2 years ago

          I disagree somewhat. Historically the 1st round of the MLB draft produces more talent than subsequent rounds. It’s not as if talent isn’t found all through an MLB draft, but generally, picking in the first round means that player has the best shot at making it to the big leagues. And the cost savings associated with that young player are really where the value of the pick lies.

          But I do agree that it doesn’t make sense to hold onto a first round pick instead of signing a guy who could improve your MLB roster, especially if your goal is to win immediately. But there is the most value to be found in the first round and it’s important to maximize that value for a rebuilding club which is part of rebuilding a club, contrary to what he said. Especially because if you have a few strong draft classes together, it can form the core of your club in the future.

          • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

            Well yea. I mean is that even a point that needs to be made? Of course more talent comes from the first round. That doesn’t mean it’s like the NFL, where that talent is almost guaranteed and that giving up your first rounder could mean a lost draft.

            Your second point is kind of moot. I’m not sure any rebuilding club is worried about signing QO players, given they are a few years from contention

    • PaperLions 2 years ago

      Yeah, the best model is to develop your own players and supplement with FAs, not the other way around. Building your team in the FA market is basing your model on the highest priced players and, in general, acquiring players that are either past their prime or at the tail end of it.

      Any smart team is going to focus on player development and having most of their players being under 30 for reasons of cost, skill, and health.

      Many of the best run organizations have predominantly homegrown rosters that are either players they drafted or players they traded for in exchange of players they drafted. Teams that ignore or undervalue prospects or player development are doomed to be old and expensive.

  3. $61554357 2 years ago

    All three are important ,draft,free agents and trades.Also international free agents.

  4. Gary Kimbrel 2 years ago

    No one builds through the draft? Don’t rebuilding teams build through the draft, and by trading their established players? Maybe he means he wouldn’t build through the draft, because he’s not good at it, which is why Toronto’s farm was so terrible. Took AA 4 years to get it up to snuff.

    Seems to me that, in order to be competitive, you have to get those 6 cheap years out of solid players, then use your money to fill in pieces you don’t have. Things go in cycles, trends, and this is where we’re at, considering how FA prices are trending.

    • Gary Kimbrel 2 years ago

      Another thought, it’s funny how, on one hand, he says the Mets are happy with Tejada, which strikes me as a move to drive down the price for Drew. Then, he says established players are more valuable. Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but there could be something between the lines. As a Jays fan, I’ve seen a trend of behaviour that has led me to believe that Ricciardi fancies himself as a sly dog, someone who pulls off smart moves no one else considers. He’s not of course, but Anthopoulos is.

      • Tim 2 years ago

        Is that why Anthopoulos traded d’Arnaud AND Syndergaard for Dickey and Thole?

        • Gary Kimbrel 2 years ago

          ..yes! It was the right time to bolster the major league roster because of the situations of the other AL East teams, all the team friendly contracts we have that end after 2015, and because our higher rated wave of prospects is 2-3 years away. Tampa trading Price would help though lol. What we need is a year without injuries and a SP.

          Also, d’Arnaud has injury history and Syndergaard isn’t gonna be a FOR SP. Not that they need him to be an ace, the Mets rebuild looks like it’s going well. Good on Sandy.

          • calamityfrancis 2 years ago

            Syndergaard is a top 10 prospect in baseball and is definitely looking like a front of rotation ace-type pitcher.

          • Marky Mark 2 years ago

            Syndergaard is most likely projecting to be a FOR SP.. I get you’re trying to make the trade not look terrible for the blue jays, but come on, we all know the blue jays are kicking themselves for making that trade

        • calamityfrancis 2 years ago

          hey, dont forget Nikeas.

    • calamityfrancis 2 years ago

      As a Mets fan, I am a little disturbed by that statement. Doesn’t matter now, but would be very concerning if Ricciardi takes over the team after Sandy leaves.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      I said this in another comment but I think (or at least I’m hoping) he meant that one individual pick is overrated. If this is what he means, I would agree. This is not the NFL. The first round isn’t the only round where talent is found. Losing a first round pick really shouldn’t have a major impact on a franchise. Losing an entire draft class definitely would though

  5. theUpdate23 2 years ago

    Johnny Mac Yay!
    Ricciardi Boo!

  6. stl_cards16 2 years ago

    Teams that are successful over long periods build through the draft. If you’re wanting a couple year window to win, sure that can be done without good drafting. If you’re wanting sustainable success, drafting is absolutely the #1 key.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Most winning teams have less than 1/2 of their WAR from the draft. The rest comes from free agents, MLB or international

      • guest_54 2 years ago

        I’d be interested to know where you got that information. Did you look up all the teams’ players, WAR, etc. and compare them or is there a site that gives that information without me having to do the legwork?

        • TheRealRyan 2 years ago

          Here is the percentage of rWAR that was drafted by each of the 10 playoff teams from last year.

          Cards – 69.6%

          Braves – 67.9
          Reds – 60.7
          Pirates – 53.7
          Rays – 44
          Red Sox – 34.3
          Dodgers – 24.5
          Tigers – 21.1
          Indians – 19.6
          A’s – 13.4

          On average, last years playoff teams received 40.9% of their rWAR from players they drafted and 6 of 10 teams received less than 50%. I do find it a little interesting that NL teams received much more value from the draft than AL teams. I don’t know if there is a cause for this or just chance, but fun nonetheless.

  7. $61554357 2 years ago

    I agree on giving Tejada a chance and if it doesn’t workout go strong for Jed Lowrie in 2015 free agent class.

    • Guest 2 years ago

      I agree. The Mets should pass on adding a shortstop. I would be after Lowrie or Hardy, as both players are better than any options now. I think the Mets did make a mistake not being in on Corey Hart and Nate McLouth. Having him with Wright and Granderson would have really helped the lineup in the middle of the order, and McLouth would have made a far better leadoff option over Chris Young. Also, if the lineup was better, the Mets would have a better chance to win, even with Tejada at Short.

      • LongTimeFan1 2 years ago

        Sean, Chris Young is not batting leadoff. Mets got him for his power and defense and told him he’ll bat #5-7.

        Eric Young can bat lead off with similar BA and OBP as McLouth, and makes up for the power differential by being prolific basestealer. If he runs as much as he did the last few months of the season, and does so for full season, he could easily steal 60, even 70. He stole at that high level in the minors and showed in 2013 that kind of ability is very much there.

        Defensively, Hart cannot provide what Chris Young does – run , play center, and has good knees.

        • Guest 2 years ago

          My idea would be McLouth in Left instead of Young and Hart on First. Unless the idea is EY playing second, he has no spot in the lineup everyday (unless your going to send Lagares down). Young is the best leadoff option, but only at the expense of Lagares, something I am not sure the Mets will do. If not CY leading off, the Mets other options are Murphy, Tejada, Lagares, and EY (again, where does EY play if the outfield is full with CY, Grandy, and Lagares, and if Murph plays second). One of the biggest problem the Mets have is the lack of leadoff options.

  8. LooksEasyOnTV 2 years ago

    “No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft,” says FORMER GM J.P. Ricciardi.

  9. JRLANDRY 2 years ago

    His comments prove this is his chance to help Sandy out and try some spin city.

    His comments about Tejada are easily to push Boras into a friendlier deal or back to Boston where the Sox have the upper hand.

    His draft pick quote in my opinion is about Ike Davis. They consider Ike an established big leaguer and are trying to get a young talented minor leaguer. This has all the markings of their dissatisfaction with Baltimore in not trading them Rodriguez.

  10. Prozack 2 years ago

    They should trade Meija and Rafael montero for DIDI Gregorious and Alfredo marte.

    • Prozack 2 years ago

      Or Noah Syndergaard for Chris Owings, Anthony Meo, Jimmie Sherfy

  11. ronald shapson 2 years ago

    The key to winning is. Cheap controlled young pitching and signing veteran position players. Mets seem to get on that track. Harvey wheeler and Noah are great to have. Add in gee nurse and colon? I like the pitching a lot.

  12. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    I don’t understand why everyone is looking at this article as if it was a bad thing. Ruben Tejada hit .287/.345/.345 at the major league level over his age 21 and 22 seasons. Most guys are in A+ or AA at this time.

    Personally, I think that that in itself is enough to have a little faith. I have been around minor league players and I’m currently in college. Maturity issues from a 23 year old athlete should be somewhat expected. If there is any truth to this article and Tejada is actually taking things seriously I think Mets fans should be excited to see him at short. If he can go back to 2011 or 2012 I would be more than happy. If not, next seasons FA short stop class is pretty deep

  13. Big league players are infinitely more valuable. Nothing new here. No one builds through the draft?? Well that’s not true at all. Perhaps he meant to say, no one solely builds through the draft. If that’s the case he’s right. You need the draft, you need international signings, you need MLB scouts, you need a GM capable of dominating the marketplace, you need philosophies and coaches, you need to develop your young talent, and you need free agents.

  14. Robb Birdman 2 years ago

    gentleman please stop acting like every word a baseball official is gospel. theres a good percentage of quotes to the media used to spin current plans. im pretty sure he drafted and used aaron hill and ricky romero in toronto. im pretty sure the mets have been stockpiling farm arms since he sandy and jonah hill since they have taken office. i think hes trying to add value to ike davis. isnt this coming from the man who all of toronto called a liar over and over again, someone page bj ryan or adam dunn.

    • Marky Mark 2 years ago

      I don’t think what he said was necessarily wrong.. of course he could of put it another way, but his point I think was you have your major league team, and you add in draft to try to stockpile players for whatever your weakness is on the major league level..Most teams are lucky to have one player who becomes a big contributor on their major league roster in each draft, the great teams find a couple of guys each draft

  15. Kappy32 2 years ago

    I’m glad to hear him say that teams are overvaluing prospects & draft picks. This overvaluing has become contagious & has infected fan bases, specifically Mets fans. Well, I say specifically Mets fans because I’m a Mets fan & read blog comments made by Mets fans. There are numerous fans that wouldn’t want to see the Mets upgrade their lineup because they will lose their third round pick. Really? Baseball drafts are notorious for their lack of talent. There’s a 10% chance you draft an All-Star in the first round & that percentage drops significantly to the point that you’re extremely lucky to draft a bench player in the third round. This has gotten ridiculous & it needs to stop. I would take a proven player any day of the week over an unknown draft pick or a prospect. A prospect is called a prospect because his output is “prospective,” not definite. Why refuse a proven player for an unknown? It boggles my mind & armchair GM’s love to say it.

  16. OriginalHitman 2 years ago

    Not buying this one bit. This is the same franchise that trashed Tejada on Francesa’s show and said that he wasn’t a core player along with Lucas Duda, but now they want to keep these two? For what? The only reason they’re “happy” with Tejada is because they have been unable to find anything in the SS FA market or via trade (although they should pursue Andrus). They’re too busy trying to sell Ike Davis (which I’m very much against…build around him!) when they should also see if there’s a market for Murphy & Duda as well. Trim the deadwood.

  17. greggofboken 2 years ago

    And in the past, their free agent signings were really bad and they through their money away.

  18. Guest 2 years ago

    I think he means that you can’t rely entirely on the draft to build teams. To say the draft isn’t a way to build a team is ridiculous. Most of the best teams in recent history were built on a core of home grown players. Free agency and trades are a good way to add to a team, but not the best way to build an entire core.

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