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2019 Trade Deadline - Surprise, Mets Were Buyers Instead of Sellers

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  • 2019 Trade Deadline - Surprise, Mets Were Buyers Instead of Sellers

    Wilson Ramos Discusses Mets’ Future


    By ANTHONY FRANCO
    7 Jul 2019 at 12:00 PM CDT

    Wilson Ramos is in his first year as a Met, having signed a two-year, $19MM contract with the club last offseason. Amidst a disappointing few months in Queens, Ramos acknowledged the possibility this might be his only season in orange and blue. “If they make a decision to trade me, you know, it’s happened before in my career, so it’s not going to surprise me,” Ramos told Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn.

    As DeJohn notes, Ramos has seen his playing time dwindle in recent weeks. Ostensibly brought in to be New York’s top backstop, Ramos has started just five of their last nine games, ceding playing time to 25-year-old teammate Tomas Nido. This doesn’t seem to be indicative of any health concerns, as Ramos tells DeJohn he’s surprised at his downtick in playing time.

    Indeed, Ramos’ comments are especially noteworthy coming on the heels of reports Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard have developed a better rapport with Nido than with the veteran slugger. A glance at the respective catchers’ defensive metrics might offer an explanation. Baseball Prospectus tabs Nido as a slightly above-average pitch framer and ball blocker, in accord with his strong defensive reputation as a prospect. Ramos, meanwhile, rates near the bottom of the league in both categories. (In fairness to Ramos, he rated as an average defender between 2017-2018, so it’s possible there’s room for improvement).

    Regardless of one’s opinion on pitch-framing metrics, that the Mets’ top hitting catcher hasn’t gelled with the club’s top two arms is obviously suboptimal. Ramos did catch deGrom Friday night for the first time in nearly a month, but Syndergaard has been paired with Nido in each of his two starts since the fireballer returned from the IL last week. The Mets, amidst organizational chaos, seem likely to sell off short-term assets anyway, and Ramos’ reported disconnect with the team’s top arms could make a change of scenery best for everyone involved.

    Despite his defensive shortcomings, it’s not hard to see Ramos piquing some interest on the trade market, although any prospect return will be marginal and will require the Mets pay down some of the deal. His .275/.350/.413 line, while down from his career-best hitting in 2018, is still plenty formidable for a catcher. Ramos’ 105 wRC+ ranks ninth among catchers with at least 200 plate appearances. Even with mid season catcher trades being difficult to pull off, Ramos’ 121 wRC+ since the start of 2017 will interest some contenders.

    Speculatively speaking, an AL club who can rotate Ramos through catcher, first base and DH to keep him healthy and creatively work his bat into the lineup might make the most sense, but it’s not hard to see an NL team viewing Ramos as a sufficient offensive boon to live with mediocre glovework behind the plate. The A’s, Rangers, Rockies and Pirates all remain on the fringes of contention despite lackluster production from their backstops. Texas, in particular, has set itself up to be a modest buyer with its surprising 47-42 record, and GM Jon Daniels noted last month that any acquisition would likely be under team control for 2020, as Ramos is. Pairing Ramos with Jeff Mathis, a gifted defender whose bat has cratered to unplayable levels, could give Texas a much-needed jolt behind the dish.

    Regardless of Ramos’ ultimate destination, the Mets’ decision to pursue him last offseason, while understandable at the time, hasn’t gone as planned. While far from the team’s biggest blunder in their series of aggressive moves, the Mets may be left footing some of the bill for their veteran backstop to move elsewhere over the next few weeks.

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  • #2
    After last Winter signings and trades, who think the Mets will get raped before the end of July with in charge
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    • #3
      don't expect much in the way of prospects, but I think they can find a buyer who'd be willing to eat most, if not all, of that reasonable deal (10M for a starter on a 1-2 year deal?)+

      The bigger factor will be whether Brody is willing to eat the crow required to trade him.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NY FANG View Post
        don't expect much in the way of prospects, but I think they can find a buyer who'd be willing to eat most, if not all, of that reasonable deal (10M for a starter on a 1-2 year deal?)+

        The bigger factor will be whether Brody is willing to eat the crow required to trade him.
        I don't think he has to eat crow. He had no way of knowing the fall off Ramos would have. Many of the industry experts thought this was a good move after Grandall turned him down to take a one year deal and the Marlins trying to try and extract too much in a deal for JT.

        He does need to move on before the clubhouse is impacted by starters not wanting to pitch to him if it hasn't already.

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        • NY FANG
          NY FANG commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree with you in principle, but not with how many will perceive it. Many people will judge the move based on the results viewed through their crystal ball rather than what we all perceived as a good move at the time. If he's then eating money on it, people will use it as an opportunity to jump all over it. Agreed as well that if we can get anything of value, it's a move worth making.

      • #5
        Red Sox Among Teams With Interest In Zack Wheeler


        by JEFF TODD
        8 Jul 2019 at 7:33 PM CDT

        The Red Sox and Mets are engaged in preliminary talks regarding New York righty Zack Wheeler, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Boston is said to be targeting a rotation addition after deciding to utilize Nathan Eovaldi in the bullpen.

        Importantly, there’s no indication that a deal is close. And the Sox are far from alone in pursuit of Wheeler. The Braves, Brewers, and Yankees were all connected to him recently. Andy Martino of SNY.tv suggests that the Cubs are another possibility, though it’s unclear whether the clubs are in contact.

        It’s unsurprising to hear tell of a robust slate of possible suitors for a pitcher who figures to be among the top rental arms available. That’s especially true given that Wheeler is earning just under $6MM this season, making him amply affordable for just about any team.

        The salary factor is of particular note with regard to the Boston organization. While the club is one of the game’s most consistent spenders and is coming off of the bonanza of a World Series win, it is also walking a financial tightrope this year and doesn’t plan to extend its payroll much further.

        It’s also notable to see the Fenway denizens connected at this stage to a top rental piece. The club isn’t exactly in prime position after a ho-hum start to the season. There’s a nine-game gap in the division, which is paced by a Yankees club that seems poised to make more impactful additions, and serious competition even for a Wild Card birth.

        What’s most interesting of all here, perhaps, is the potential for a quick and active bidding situation. The Red Sox and Yankees are obviously aware of the implications of one or the other landing a particular player. With the Sox said to be looking to strike a relatively quick deal to bring in rotation help, they could conceivably force the market to move. If the Yanks see Wheeler as their preferred target, they might need to act decisively, setting up an intriguing dynamic involving the club’s chief on-field rival in Boston and its sole market competitor across the way in Queens.

        Martino says the Mets “have shifted into a more aggressive sell mode,” which makes sense given their all-but-hopeless spot in the standings (ten games under .500, 13.5 out of the division lead, second-to-worst record in the National League). It may well behoove the team to get the jump on marketing its rental pieces, Wheeler in particular, while other teams try to wait until the last moment. But committing even to a limited sell-off — particularly this early, and especially if it involves the Yankees — would certainly represent a bitter pill for ownership and rookie GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

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        • #6
          Noah Syndergaard Rumors: Brewers, Astros


          by CONNOR BYRNE
          9 Jul 2019 at 11:14 PM CDT

          A trade involving Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard doesn’t look imminent – it may not even be likely – but he is garnering interest from teams in need of starting pitching, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports. Although the Mets are not soliciting offers for Syndergaard, the Brewers are “monitoring” him and teammate Zack Wheeler (previously reported), according to Morosi. Meanwhile, Syndergaard has “intrigued” some members of the Astros organization.

          The Mets are 40-50 and seemingly on track to deal veterans by the July 31 trade deadline, yet this may not be the ideal time to sell Syndergaard. While he produced dominant results when healthy from 2015-18, Syndergaard hasn’t been nearly as great this season. So far in 2019, the 26-year-old has registered a career-worst ERA (4.68), FIP (3.98), xFIP (4.22), strikeout rate (8.6 K/9) and swinging-strike percentage (11.9) over 105 2/3 innings.

          Syndergaard, to his credit, certainly hasn’t posted bad numbers this season; he also continues to fire heat in the 98 mph range. Beyond that, Syndergaard has his pre-2019 track record working in his favor – not to mention a team-friendly contract that would likely help lead to major interest from playoff hopefuls and non-contenders alike. Syndergaard is on a $6MM salary this year and comes with another two seasons of arbitration control.

          The Mets entertained trading Syndergaard last winter, but rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen – the hurler’s ex-agent – kept him in hopes of contending this year. The offseason moves Van Wagenen did make haven’t panned out to this point, though, which has put some extra pressure on him to “win” a potential Syndergaard trade, Morosi hears. Regardless, it would take a sizable return – likely a package including a major league-ready starter, per Morosi – for the struggling club to say goodbye to Thor this month.

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          • #7
            Obviously it'll be the talk of the deadline for this team, so what's the opinion here? Do you want to move both? Would you be OK with sending either across town? What about in the division? Both are unlikely but not impossible given this front office.

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            • #8
              Wheeler - without a doubt. He is on an expiring contract in a lost season. There is no reason why we can't be a suitor to sign him as a free agent if desired. Get as much as you can now. He is also our most desirable trade piece.

              Syndy - While I think he has regressed, both pitching and the art of pitching, we would be selling low on him. Mickey is clearly gone at year's end, and Eiland is already history. I would like to see what a different pitching coach can do with him.

              MLBTR has an article from last night regarding trading Syndy and/or Matz (appears below). My thoughts on reading it - Vargas is also a free agent, and the front office has made it clear that he will not be resigned. So if we trade away either of our two contracted pitchers (Syndy, Matz), then who else is in the rotation other than deGrom? Both Matz & Syndy are very affordable. Why trade pitching away when we need a minimum of two spots filled this off season (Wheeler, Vargas).

              While it is becoming increasingly likely that the Mets will be sellers at the deadline, the team won't be going …

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              • #9
                Mets Likely Won’t Trade Syndergaard, Matz Unless “Overwhelmed” By Offer


                by MARK POLISHUK
                11 Jul 2019 at 7:34 PM CDT

                While it is becoming increasingly likely that the Mets will be sellers at the deadline, the team won’t be going into a full fire sale. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are two of the names that aren’t likely to be going anywhere before the July 31st deadline, as Mike Puma of the New York Post hears from an industry source that the Mets “would likely have to be overwhelmed by a trade proposal” to deal Syndergaard or Matz.

                The Mets’ reluctance to move Syndergaard is well-known, despite the fact that at least three teams (the Brewers, Astros and Padres) have shown interest already, and several more would surely join the bidding if the man they call Thor was actually shopped. We haven’t heard much about Matz as a trade candidate this summer, and it’s interesting that he is seemingly in the same boat as the more heralded Syndergaard, though New York would have largely the same reasons to want to keep either pitcher.

                Matz has a 4.89 ERA, 2.69 K/BB rate, 46.9% grounder rate, and 8.7 K/9 over 81 innings this season. Despite some pretty decent overall advanced metrics, Matz has been once again undone by problems with the home run ball. After posting a 1.5 HR/9 in 2017-18, that number jumped even higher to a full 2.0 HR/9 in 2019, as 20.9% of all fly balls allowed by Matz have left the yard. Matz’s struggles peaked in June, as a string of poor outings led the Mets to remove him from the rotation, though he is slated to start on July 17 against the Twins.

                Now in his fourth season as a regular, Matz has shown some flashes of brilliance for the Mets but injuries and his propensity for the home run ball have limited his value. After generating 2.4 fWAR in his 2016 rookie season, he has been little more than a replacement-level pitcher since, with 1.3 total fWAR over his next 301 2/3 innings. Matz hasn’t approached the type of ace-level ability Syndergaard has shown at his peak, though like Syndergaard, the Mets would arguably be selling low on Matz if they dealt him now.

                Matz is in his first year of arbitration eligibility, earning $2.625MM for the season and thus in line for cost-effective salaries in both 2020 and 2021 even if Matz has a breakout next year. Syndergaard also has two-plus years of team control remaining, though at a higher price (he is earning $6MM in 2019). Between the control and the lack of payroll strain caused by either hurler, the Mets don’t have any particular reason to make a trade, especially since neither is pitching particularly well.

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                • #10
                  Todd Frazier on Trade Rumors: 'It makes for fun times'

                  With expiring deal, Frazier could be a trade chip


                  by NICK WOJTON
                  11 Jul 2019; 5:31 PM ET

                  The Mets stumbled into the All-Star Game with a 40-50 overall record, and unless the team comes out of the break in a sprint, trade rumors will continue to swirl. Mets third baseman Todd Frazier knows that drill all too well.

                  At the 2017 trade deadline, Frazier landed in the Bronx with the Yankees from the Chicago White Sox. Frazier didn't go far as a free agent, landing with the Mets on a two-year deal. Now, that deal is expiring, the 33-year-old infielder will continue to see his named linked to trades out of Queens.

                  But he doesn't seem to mind.

                  "I like hearing the rumor mill to be honest with you," Frazier told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. "Because all my buddies hit me up all the time, 'I heard this on ESPN, I heard this on Sports Illustrated,' and I'm like, 'yeah, I heard it.' And he'll be like, 'so are you going?,'

                  'I'm like bro, I tell you guys this all the time, listen... until your agent comes and tells you something is in the works, or the GM, or the president, or coach, people are just writing stuff to get your riled up and guess what? They did their jobs.' So it makes for fun times."


                  Earlier this month, Frazier told the New York Post that he would be 'OK' with the Mets' trading him, if the team made the decision to do so.


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                  • #11
                    For a semi-decent return, I would move Matz in a heart beat....for all the hype, he's one of the most inconsistent pitchers that the Mets have ever had...and I don't think that any LHP has given up HRs to RH'd hitters in Flushing as a more alarmin rate than Matz has

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                    • #12
                      As far as starting pitchers, I would trade Wheeler, Vargas and Matz...only way that I would deal Thor (or deGrom) would be if the deal was one of those crazy deals that hugely favored the Mets (kind of like when the Astros got Jeff Bagwell for a 37 year old Larry Anderson)…

                      Obviously, if you could unload Ramos, Frazier, or Cano; I would do it even if we ate a good amount of salary in the deals...

                      One of the surprising names that I heard this afternoon, is Conforto...talk about a guy that should be able to bring back a great haul...and now that Dom Smith is showing that he can handle MLB pitching, and is adapting well to LF; it's not the craziest idea...particularly when you know that Scott Borass is his agent, which means that the Mets likely will not be able to re-sign him anyhow

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                      • #13
                        I thought that it was crazy that the NY media is making Thor their prime trade bait...however, it appears that the Red Sox are dangling Mookie Betts as trade bait...the Red Sox are still in contention for a wild card, and Betts is not a FA

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                        • #14
                          good ol' bait and switch? Used car sales-men of the AL East?

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by saxon View Post
                            I thought that it was crazy that the NY media is making Thor their prime trade bait...however, it appears that the Red Sox are dangling Mookie Betts as trade bait...the Red Sox are still in contention for a wild card, and Betts is not a FA
                            Where did you see that?

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