The latest from the Amazins….
- Teams have shown trade interest in utilityman Jeff McNeil, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required), though Rosenthal is doubtful the Mets would move the 26-year-old. McNeil’s first MLB season saw him hit an eye-popping .329/.381/.471 over 248 plate appearances for New York, numbers that seemingly had him penciled in as the Mets’ second baseman in 2019. After the acquisitions of Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie, however, McNeil may spend more time in the outfield than the infield next season as the team intends to deploy him as a depth piece all over the diamond. Given his six years of team control and the lengthy injury history of several Mets veterans, it makes sense that New York isn’t looking to deal McNeil, though he would certainly be one of the club’s better trade chips if GM Brodie Van Wagenen wanted to make another bold move.
- The larger focus of Rosenthal’s piece is on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, as Rosenthal opines that the Mets should be pursuing either player as a way to make a final push as a true contender. The Mets haven’t been considered as prime candidates for either superstar free agent since both players seem out of New York’s price range, though Rosenthal notes that the Mets will recoup a lot of money from insurance on David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes. Earlier today on MLBTR, Steve Adams listed the Mets as a reasonable candidate as one of the “mystery teams” who are reportedly in the hunt for Machado.
- Travis d’Arnaud is another player who could be taking on a multi-position role for the Mets next season, which the catcher is eager to assume. “Wherever the team needs me or wants me to play, I’ll play,” d’Arnaud tells Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. More than anything, d’Arnaud just wants to get back on the field in general, after missing almost all of 2018 due to a partial UCL tear in his throwing elbow. This was the latest in a long list of injuries for d’Arnaud, which is why the Mets signed Wilson Ramos and relegated d’Arnaud to backup catcher, or perhaps hybrid bench duty as a catcher or corner infielder. There’s also still a chance d’Arnaud could be traded, though he seems to have a clear path to the backup job after Kevin Plawecki was dealt to Cleveland.
- Speaking of roster versatility, J.D. Davis is open to helping the Mets as a pitcher, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes. “It’s a set skill that I have — a good arm and a good fastball — I can go out there and compete and throw some strikes and get some outs, that’s for sure,” Davis said. The Mets don’t yet have any plans to work Davis out as a pitcher during Spring Training, DiComo reports, though he notes that Van Wagenen has twice referenced Davis’ ability on the mound since acquiring Davis from the Astros earlier this month. Davis pitched in college and owns a 92-mph fastball, which he showed off in three mop-up duty relief outings for Houston over the last two seasons. For now, however, his primary role with the Mets will be as depth at both corner infield and corner outfield spots.
Preach Ken! Considering there’s no way the Mets are gonna sign either guy I’d go with an OF of McNeil-Nimmo-Conforto vs righties and have Broxton or Lagares start vs a tough lefty.
Van Wags has done a good job so far, but he has GOT to convince ownership to spend more.
Talk about mission impossible.
“McNeil’s first MLB season saw him hit an eye-popping .329/.381/.471 over 248 plate appearances for New York…”
It’s just a term, but my eyes wouldn’t “pop” at that stat line. Impressive, for sure, but eye-popping? I’d think of something closer to Shane Spencer’s 1998 Yankees debut (373/.411/.910) or Rudy Pemberton’s 1996 Red Sox line (.512/.556/.780).
Anyway, carry on.
Plus is only on 248 plate appearances. That avg probably would’ve drop a little bit if he had more.
Shane Spencer had 76 PAs and Pemberton had 45 PAs in what was his second go-around in MLB. McNeil sustained his success over almost half a season.
What a horrible comparison. Do some research first before you foolishly post stats of 2 players who had less than 130 combined AB’s in those two seasons
First off Spencer’s stat line is from 67 ab, which is such a small sample size you shouldn’t be even talking about it and Pemberton’s is a microscopic 41 ab. Plus Pemberton debuted the season before with the Tigers. We’re talking about McNeil not only because he did it with 248 ab, but consistently throughout half a season.
McNeil’s AA/AAA stats prior to being promoted last year are nothing to sneeze at either:
342/.411/.617 good for 1.028 OPS
That was in nearly 400 plate appearances. 384 to be exact. He still has 6 years of control at the league minimum.
Six years at league minimum? I don’t think Jacob deGrom is getting league minimum this season and he’s still arbitration eligible.
6 years of control and currently at league minimum because he is pre-arb. I shouldn’t have combined the two.
I choose not to “carry on” and feel a need to respond because your “drop the mic cuz I dun schooled you” comments about Spencer and Pemberton may have fooled the uninitiated but they struck me as being “false equivalencies” on face value alone!!!
So I looked up their stats for the years you cited which confirmed my initial reaction that you were being disingenuous with your “analysis” (I use that term loosely for what you presented)!!!
In 1998 Spencer had 79 PA’s while in 1996 Pemberton had only 45 PA’s!!! Both are not even remotely close to McNeil’s 248 PA’s in 2018!!! Coincidentally, Spencer got 226 PA’s the next year and his .234/.301/.390 was quite pedestrian and it more accurately reflected the true nature of the totality of his career. I think it’s safe to say had Spenser gotten those additional 200+ PA’s in 1998 rather than 1999 that his stat line would have shown his first 79 PA’s were a mirage and not a harbinger of future greatness!!!
Consequently, if your point is that McNeil may not be as good a player as his 2018 stats seem to indicate; please do a better job of justifying your position and use examples from players who are at least in the same ballpark with McNeil’s numbers!!!!
I would love to know what it cost the Mets to insure David Wright on that contract?
I read a number of different articles about premiums on pro contracts and it seems that the cost is 5%-13%, with the lower end being for position players and the higher-end being for pitchers. The term length on them seem to be 3-4 years, so the premium likely adjusted at least once. I believe Wright’s contract required a 60 consecutive day stay on the DL before it kicks in, and the insurance pays out 75% of the value of the days left after the 60 consecutive days on the DL.
It ends up being a pretty big chunk of change. The same #’s applied to Cespedes’ contract would yield ~$15m saved if he doesn’t play this season. Wright’s contract was settled with the insurance company, so that $ gets pocketed by the Wilpons too. Along with the prior years of the insurance money….
Hell, yeah, Rosenthal! Give Bryce (1.3 WAR last season) $350M and sit McNeil (2.4 WAR in just a half season’s worth of at bats) on the bench. Stats from Baseball Reference.
Why does anybody want to make a washed-up Harper richer than he is already?
… I mean this is just silly Harper is on a hof trajectory and he was Ted Williams in 2015 and is just 26.
In the three years prior to 2015 and the three years since, he hasn’t put up even ONE HALF the WAR from 2015. He’s pedestrian now … and rated as the worst OF in the game last season.
Ted Williams was great every year. Harper was great for one year out of seven.
For one year you need three years of sample size to properly evaluate his defense.
Why? You want to measure what he has become, not what he used to be.
Sandman, you’re also conveniently leaving out that he had to play out of position quite a bit last year.
Oh come on, he’s played RF or CF, hardly out of position enough to be detrimental.
He’s just NOT as good as he was projected. That’s ok, it happens. If he was better on average it would be one thing, but he’s mediocre at best with 1 really good season sprinkled in.
That’s comical Mack. The guy with the career ops of .900 and ops plus of 139 is “mediocre at best”. How do you possibly come to that take. That’s embarrassing.
How many other players have had spike years… see Brady Anderson, Ellsbury… I can keep going
“WAS” key word and that was 3 seasons ago
Wally Joyner says HI and wants to know where you were with the check book after his rookie season.
Where do you kids come up with these things?
To begin, if the HOF is about stats, we all lose. Ted Williams dominated. He was very probably the greatest hitter ever. Surely the best I ever saw.
We’re comparing him to Bryce Harper? Seriously? OK, lets play stats……
In his 6th season Bryce Harper hit – .249 / .393 /.496 /.889.
In his 6th season Ted hit – .343 /.499 / .634 / 1.133….. his 2nd season back after spending 3 seasons as a fighter pilot in WWII (he flew with John Glenn – later an Astronaut and US Senator…..Harper is a not too bright attention grabbing punk).
Williams hit – .316 / .451 /.645 / 1.096 in his last season at age 41.
In 19 MLB seasons, Williams hit – .344 / .482 / .634 / 1.116.
Sure, Harper is a SUPERSTAR….Machado too.
“Harper is a not too bright attention grabbing punk”
You seem like you’re in the know Samuel.
I mean, seriously, Harper would have to play in the field for the NL Mets. Nobody ever wants to see Harper try to field again.
Sandman you are spot on. Too many people are in love w his name though and not his actual production. I pity the team that signs him.
i agree entirely, cringing as i knowing that my team is the most likely to do so…
Why don’t you guys actually look at the stats. He just had a down year and it was still all star worthy…
At least ,Met fans like me can see a change in philosophy.I hope things stay positive for years to come.
I think given the morale status of the NYM fan base and the team itself, signing MM to become the face of Queens and give him the “C” on his jersey would be not only a great PR move, but his bat and presence would be just what they need.
NY can handle his attitude and Manny would get some kind of “revenge” on the Yankees for not signing him.
Making Machado captain of anything but a hotdog cart is beyond hilarious.
I obviously disagree. Give him 3/110 and the keys.
MetNation needs this
I highly doubt he would accept any 3 year contract
Machado has not and will not ever wear any kind of ‘captsin’ moniker. That is to be earned. The only person even close to consideration is Conforto, sndhe has to show he can take the field 150 games first. The only way I would accept aMachado signing would be 5 years with two player options and load it with incentives. Let someone else pay him after he turns 32.
Wish there was an edit button. “Captain”.
If JD Davis is pitching at any point during the year, that would mean something went horribly wrong with the season
I rather see him pitch than Jacob Rhame.
Would either Harper or Machado consider 3 years for 105 mil with an opt-out after year 2? That would let them save face now and again look for a big payday at either age 28 or 29. Assuming the Mets could make the money work, it makes very good sense on their end. Those two or three season are their realistic window to win, after that it’s time to start anew. For either Harper or Machado it would make them the highest paid position player so their ego won’t be too bruised.
Why be concerned with Harper’s ego? According to fangraphs, he ranked as the 77th best player last year.
Maybe so, but he’s a SUPERSTAR!
Amen brother. Take the $100mm + and put it in your pocket. Now bit FA @ 29 like a normal person
I think the Mets could be a sleeper for Machado, but certainly not Harper. Machado checks all the boxes for what they need. A move out two could certainly make it happen, time and money permitting.
The one move I don’t understand is the Lowrie signing. Nothing against his performance, but that’s one I think wasn’t necessary.
It’s likely that both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper would require an opt-out or swell-out in their FA contract but probably not in two years when Mike Trout is eligible for free agency.
Does the insurance $$$ count against the luxury tax?
What sort of insurance policies do teams take out on their players, and who generally underwrites them?
Thanks Steven Chinwood!
I think JD Davis will make the 25-man roster because he allows them to carry an additional position player if he can be an emergency pitcher.
The Mets also have pitchers they have to lock up in multi year deals (deGROM, Wheeler) they also will have Diaz, Lugo, and Gsellman arbitration eligible next year so if there going to give out a long term deal I’d rather give to Rendon, or Harper next season.
Sorry …. ARENADO
Can McNeil play 3B, Mets fans? He had 1 start there last year apparently. If so, the Padres could use him!
McNeil is very athletic, so I think he could do okay at 3B. The Mets have Todd Frazier penciled in there….unfortunately, so it is a moot point. He has six years of control, so I highly doubt they would move him for anything but a complete overpay. Teams are trying to steal him cheap.
He played a ton of 3B in 2014-15 (high A ball) but spent most of 2017-18 at 2B. Wouldn’t you be creating an eventual logjam over there though? Urias and Tatis can’t both play SS at the same time.
He could have been moved to 2b full time back then knowing 2b in NY was going to be wide open. Plus, back then, he wasn’t showing any signs of power necessary for an every day corner position. Lowrie and McNeil offer around-the-horn depth and match ups. If Alonso comes north, we are set on the infield: Frazier 1b/3b, Rosario ss, Cano 2b/1b, Lowrie and McNeil can both play all four positions. Add to that the d’Arnaud talk of c/1b/3b and our focus turns back to one more solid starter for when Matz or Vargas blows up and one more true left handed shut down arm in the bullpen and I think we are set for spring training.
You know, it really baffles me that Harper and Machado are asking for these huge contracts, $300mil+. Essentially they want AAV over $30mil/per year for good hitters (not amazing), average-above average fielding, poor characters (both have attitudes and have a history of confrontations). Idk…I’m sorry, but if I am a GM and I’m looking at some of that plus their WAR or other analytics, not sure how $30 mil/per year is justified? They should be looking for something closer to. $25mil-AAV. Just going off WAR on Harper and Machado, comparable contracts for 2019 are Jason Heyward ($20mil), Stanton ($26mil), Votto ($25mil). Just don’t see the huge draw, at the $30mil/AAV. Both should be happy with 7 years/$175-$200mil contracts.
All true…but they want to top the prior contracts and all it takes is one owner to overpay for each. I think Machado is the safer of the two to be worth his contract, but it will likely be quite a bit more than Harper’s. I am not a huge Harper fan, but he has nearly a .900 career OPS. Too bad the Mets are too cheap to try for either guy because that would vault them to serious WS contender, instead of hopefully WC and maybe NL East champ if everything goes right.
Which is why the rumor of Machado at 7yr/$175 from the White Sox makes sense. Everyone is saying its a low-ball offer or Machado deserves more. First off, he doesn’t deserve anything, it is a privilege to play baseball because without the fans, there is no baseball. Secondly, again I point back to my original post that his numbers are comparable to a Stanton or Votto. The mets can only be competitive if they can actually keep their pitchers healthy, which they have not been able to do. I personally don’t think Machado or Harper puts them comparable to the Cubs, Braves, Brewers, Dodgers.
Mets pitchers in 2018:
deGrom: 32 GS, 1.70ERA
Wheeler: 29 GS, 3.31
Syndergaard: 25 GS, 3.03
Matz: 30 GS, 3.97
The Mets stayed healthy….at least their pitching. Their biggest issue is their 5th starter…
Vargas 20 GS, 5.77ERA…he was literally the worst pitcher in baseball for most of the year.
Oswalt 17GS, 5.85ERA…AAA guy who got thrown to the wolves, it was ugly.
The Mets need to sign a 5th starter like Buchholz and bump Vargas to the BP as a longman/mop-up and Oswalt back to AAA so he can hopefully improve. They should have signed Charlie Morton…2/$30m is going to be a steal for him AND it is short-term, the only thing the Mets will do. Keuchel could be a target on a short-term deal, but I suspect a team will swoop in and steal him for below market value at 3yr with higher AAV, maybe a club option.
I’m still of the mind set that Matz should be traded while he still has value. A Matz/Frazier, McNeil, d’Arnaud based package is pretty solid.
It’s really simple. The Mets owners are not necessarily cheap. They are not baseball owner rich. They use the income generated to pay on the debt they’ve accumulated through SNY Citi Girld and the team itself. They would be fine in Arizona or KC. In New York their limited budget looks foolish when you see a Harper or Manchado out there and they just reject any chance of buying them.
The Mets owners used to use money generated by Bernie Madoff. All they have now is the Mets. They should have been run out of baseball considering the stench they’ve brought with them. They’re a disgrace.
Machado isn’t going to the Mets unless they’re tearing up the roster. Cano and Lowrie are untradeable, so that would mean playing MM @ SS and moving Rosario…which makes no sense.
While Machado is a pipe dream, it’ll be bc of the money not that the position is taken. Rosario is a cost controlled solid glove with some improvements at the plate, but you move him for Machado. He could try CF or more likely get traded for starting pitching. Lowrie wouldn’t hold up adding Machado, as he can play multiple positions. Cano…well…the Mets are stuck with him because that was a bad trade, their best hope is they get 3 solid years and he gets busted twice for PEDs and doesn’t play his last 2 seasons.
Or ya know.. putting Machado at 3B where he won 2 Gold Gloves
Not for nothing, but the 2020 free agent class is extremely hitter-light. Assuming Bogarts and Goldschmidt get hefty extrnsions, there really isn’t anyone earth shattering that will recreate a lineup dynamic and most are well over 30. Puig? Castellanos? Gennett? Spend now or hold your checkbook until Trout hits the market in 2021.
Personally do not think Trout will end up hitting the market. LA will have the money to pay him, especially by 2021 and why would he want to leave? Trout took a team friendly contract to stay with them and while I think he’ll get paid, I do not see him leaving LA.
I agree, which really emphasizes just how thin 2021 is going to be. If the Mets go in on Machado, I would look for a significant trade to follow: Matz, Rosario, d’Arnaud, McNeil, Frazier all become trade bait for a bonifide all star. Bumgarner? Kluber? It’s not crazy to consider a Matz, Lugo and Rosario deal bringing something significant if we sign Machado.
Is Lagares healthy?