East Notes: Mets, Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox

Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently told the club's executives and baseball personnel that he believes the team can win 90 games in 2014, reports John Harper of the New York Daily News. Alderson neither denied nor confirmed the report, but his comments implied he had set an ambitious target for the organization. "All I'll say is we have higher expectations than we've had in the past," said the GM. "Because I think it has to be a mind-set. Part of creating a winning environment is setting ambitious goals and working toward them. But it has to be systematic and it can’t be totally unrealistic. I don’t think it is in this case.”

Here are a few more notes from the game's eastern divisions to start the day:

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman says that the last thing he's concerned about is the health of the team's star shortstop and first baseman, reports the New York Post's George A. King III"I am more focused on the bullpen, the rotation and how that will shake out and the infield that is not Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter," he said. We heard yesterday that the Yankees are still keeping an eye on possible additions to the club's infield mix.
  • Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich says that the silver lining of the club losing its top draft choices is that his scouts will be able to drill down harder on the players who are likely to be available to them further down in the order, reports Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com"I think we will try to identify all the players we think will be gone," Rajsich said. "We will focus on second and third-round guys and try to sign an undervalued player there. 

    Every area scout will still scout the top guys in their area, but they will not spend a lot of time on the ones they think are definitely first-round guys. I would say we may be able to eliminate as many as 45 or 50 players." At present, the O's will first select a player with the 90th overall choice.

  • The Red Sox have quickly amassed a nice array of young arms in the upper minors, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. And while most of those arms do not figure to break camp with the big club, GM Ben Cherington said that they will nevertheless be a valuable resource in 2014. “That young group, no matter what, is going to be relied upon in some way at some point during the year,” Cherington said. “You can never have enough.”


43 Responses to East Notes: Mets, Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox Leave a Reply

  1. pastlives 1 year ago

    The infield that is not Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter could include SS and 1B if the 2 of them aren’t healthy…

  2. Karkat 1 year ago

    I’ll have some of whatever Sandy Alderson’s having.

  3. James 1 year ago

    Sandy thinks the Mets will win 90 games? On what planet?

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

      According to the report, he said “can and maybe even should,” not “will.” Quite a difference, esp. since any team can reasonably land within something like +/- 10-15 wins of its true talent level.

      • Curt Green 1 year ago

        Bam!

      • yclept 1 year ago

        If that is the case, why bother saying anything? He pretty much declared nothing while knowing the media will focus on he “90 win” thing.

        • Croagnut 1 year ago

          Because, ultimately its about ticket sales. He is the GM. So having the media focus on “90 win” is a good thing.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

          If the Mets really think they have a true-talent .500 club, then perhaps it makes sense to set an aspirational target of that level of wins.

          Putting out an actual win target is debatable (though he did it internally), but you often hear things like “meaningful games in September,” which really means much the same thing.

      • basemonkey 1 year ago

        +/- 10-15 is quite a spread. And, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “true talent level.” Teams never win based on talent level measured in a vaccuum. It’s always a mixture of many factors, talent is only one. It’s actually historically rare when you find teams who actually perform up to their expected talent levels.

        +/- 15 wins is 90-75 win teams. +/-10 wins is 90-80 win teams. That’s 23-33% of the league.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

          The spread isn’t my idea, it’s what others have suggested based on research. Cameron, Fangraphs, 11/13/13: “even when all the rosters are set, we still have something like +/- 10 to 15 wins as our error bars on preseason forecasts”

          To your statement that “Teams never win based on talent level measured in a vacuum.”

          That is exactly the point. To say a team is capable of 90 wins — which is essentially to say it can compete for a wild card — doesn’t mean that you think the team is a 90-win club in terms of talent, in a vacuum. It means that you think the talent level is sufficient that, if lots of other things break right (i.e., getting outside the ‘vacuum’), it could reach that level of wins in a given season.

          • basemonkey 1 year ago

            Ok. I think we are agreeing. Haha. It’s one of those debates. We’re sort of making the same point, but coming at it from different angles. Hehe.

            If there’s anytime you can get away with the forgiving spread of possibilities, it’s right now during Spring.

    • paqza 1 year ago

      It’s about setting goals. The Mets have been expecting mediocrity for several years. The team on paper looks like a 3rd place in the NL East kinda team but there a lot of players who could take steps forward, including D’Arnaud, Davis, Duda, Tejada, Lagares, Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, Jenrry Mejía, Jeurys Familia, Wheeler, Black, Montero, Syndergaard, etc. Definitely not saying that all (or even any) of them will get better, but there’s plenty of upside there.

      • rct 1 year ago

        According to twitter, Syndergaard and Familia were both hitting 97 mph today. Gonna be fun watching this team this year.

    • Michael 1 year ago

      Maybe he’s including pre-season games…..nah, still not enough to equal 90.

  4. rct 1 year ago

    I know everyone’s going to focus on the ’90 games’ proclamation, but if you read the rest of what he said, it makes sense. Not that they’re going to do it, but the Mets haven’t expected anything more than mediocrity in 5-6 years. He’s trying to instill a winning attitude now to prepare for 2015+.

  5. HitDog 1 year ago

    Kelly Johnson can play 3B, 2B, and 1B in a pinch. I wonder if we’ll see him play SS too.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Brendan Ryan looks to be the backup SS at this point.

      • Scott Christopher MacGregor 1 year ago

        Or Nunez as well, don’t forget Dean Anna Either

  6. Jeter, Roberts, and Tex could comprise of 3/4’s of the best infield to ever occupy the DL at the same time… if this was 2009!!!

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Tex is likewise a combination of good and young enough to be a strong candidate for comeback player of the year and put up a monster season. I doubt those other 2 will. Roberts, even though have admired his determination to attempt comebacks for years, seems doomed every time and something always goes wrong. Jeter is just getting too old, but Tex.. Age 34 season isn’t anything for someone playing 1b, just 2 seasons removed from his normal kind of play.

      I am expecting another normal Tex season myself.

      • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

        Tex has declined every year since joining the Yanks and his last healthy year he posted a 251/332./475 slash of BA, OBP, and OPS with 24 HR in 125 games. Thus I would expect a decline from that level which really isn’t considered a normal Tex season.

        • John Lazzaro 1 year ago

          Especially considering he upper cuts like a complete moron every time and continues to do so even on outside pitches and that’s when he either strikes out or hits weak flyballs.

      • What is a normal Tex season? He’s young enough to put up good numbers, but I wouldn’t have high expectations for him with regards to monster numbers.

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          I would consider his 2010 and 11 seasons “monster” enough, not even 2009 like, which I don’t think he can duplicate again.

          For tex to put up 2010-11 seasons in 2014-15 for NY is not anything unspectacular and would once again vault him back into the top 5 of the best all around 1b in the game. Let’s not forget this guy is one (or was pre wrist injury) of the best with the glove around the bag, barring AGone and Casey Kotchman seen in several years.

          That is all NY needs from Tex to qualify for a “monster” year… mid .800’s OPS, drive in 100 runs, hit 30+ HR and anchor down the middle of the batting order qualifies for me.

  7. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

    The Team on the field for the Mets should be ok.
    If the Mets overall team health is good, they should surprise.
    It’s their pitching and if Niese is hurt (hopefully he isn’t) 90 is asking a bit much.

  8. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    The Mets could win 90 games they could also lose 90 games. With Harvey out I wouldn’t bet on the Mets winning 90.

  9. Vmmercan 1 year ago

    What are you guys, all working? It’s 10:30AM and this post has Yankees, Red Sox and Mets in the title. I expected at least 60 comments by now.

  10. rich 1 year ago

    It might not be this year, but never be shocked when a team with really good young pitching comes out of nowhere. And even without Harvey, the Mets are stacked with young pitching.

    • rct 1 year ago

      imo, it wouldn’t surprise me if they won 85 games. I’m expecting 80-82. If Harvey were playing this year, I’d say they were a wild card contender.

  11. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Even if Cashman is not concerned about Tex and Jeter, who played a combined total of 32 games in 2013, Drew would be wise investment. SS generally can move to 3B easier than to 2B and the Yankees have at best questionable options at 2B and 3B.

    • I think the ship is sailing away on that being a good idea. Drew is very injury prone and not giving him enough time to prepare for a positional switch is a disaster waiting to happen.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson are an even bigger disaster waiting to hit the DL.

        • Wek 1 year ago

          Neither Roberts nor Johnson cost >$8mil and a draft pick, not even when you combine their salaries.

          • Mr. Met 1 year ago

            I think the bigger point is the Yankees will be depending on them a great deal this season and neither of them are very dependable.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        That’s taking it too far on Drew. His injury is *1* that catastrophic fracture of the ankle that took nearly 2 full seasons to heal. This isn’t his brother JD. Drew had no previous history of injuries and early last spring, after suffering from a concussion, came right back and played after a very short sit down.

        The one thing to worry about with Stephen is his inability to hit any LH pitching. I wouldn’t worry about injuries, like with Ellsbury, whether real or imagined.

  12. slider32 1 year ago

    Anna and Solatre could be sleepers in the infield for the Yanks!

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      Don’t trust PCL stats, they’re the baseball version of arena football.

      Example:
      Jerry Sands
      ’11 Albu (PCL) .931 OPS
      ’12 Albu (PCL) .900 OPS (Considered the next Matt Holliday)
      ’13 Indy (IL) .640 OPS (Released by Pitt)
      ’14 In TB camp (4th team in 3 years)

      So when you see .892 OPS for Anna in PCL, or Solarte’s .745, take it with a grain of salt. If they can put those numbers up in the east, then you’ve got something.

  13. Scott 1 year ago

    I might actually buy the Mets as a POSSIBLE 90 win team IF Harvey was playing this year. But he’s not, and I think it’s more likely that they finish a couple games under .500 (79-83ish). Competitive by 2015, though.

  14. Pei Kang 1 year ago

    Even if everything broke right, the Mets can’t win without Matt Harvey, sorry to say :(. I’d say 81-84 wins tops…

    • OriginalHitman 1 year ago

      They can’t win without Harvey? What are you talking about?

      How about the fact that they still have a couple of guys that can make up for the loss like a full season of Wheeler & Mejia? Dillon Gee quietly gets better & better every year, and I see him continuing to emerge going into this season. Jon Niese can produce if he stays healthy. Do I need to mention the imminent arrivals of Syndergaard & Montero?

      The problem is, can they put up runs offensively? That was a huge problem, even WITH Harvey starting.

      • Pei Kang 1 year ago

        yes, they have exciting pitching prospects coming up- but you have to have your ACE in order to be a 90 win team. Colon is not an Ace, he’s a good holdover, that’s all.

        • OriginalHitman 1 year ago

          I’m willing to bet that Wheeler or Mejia steps up this season to be the ace in Harvey’s absence. If I had to choose between the two? Mejia. He pitched like an ace last season, even with chips in his elbow. Many forgot about him beforehand because of the injuries & assumptions of being “ruined” by management by coming up a few times prematurely, but we got lucky. Now that his elbow is cleaned up, I see him picking up where he left off last season.

  15. MadmanTX 1 year ago

    I think the Mets can win 90 games too–all I need is the right video game system and some cheat codes.

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