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2019/20 Hot Stove Speculation

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  • 2019/20 Hot Stove Speculation

    David Lennon of Newsday suggested that Carlos Beltran will need the support of the FO to achieve success in his role as a first time manager. Lennon focused on one strength...pitching and replacing Zack Wheeler as well as the obvious hole in CF and an upgrade at C which among free agents is as welcoming as an illusion of an oasis in the desert.

    The youngest and most appealing, by far, is Yasmoni Grandal who has a mutual option for 2020 at 16 M with the Brewers. The task of Brodie Van Wagenen would be to have Grandal reject the option without illegally interfering and also finding a trade for Wilson Ramos.

    Both catchers have similar career CS percentages and both have above average range, but Grandal is considerably higher than Ramos. Defensively the major difference is DRS; over the past three seasons Grandal has saved 71 runs while Ramos only 4 and Grandal has played 3,100+ inn. and Ramos, 1 yr. older, has logged 2,300.
    Offensively Grandal holds the high ground with a 3 yr. slash line of .244/.349/.464/.813 with 74 Hr, 203 RBI and 194 Runs. Ramos with more than 400 fewer PA posted .289/.342/.448/.790 along with 40 Hr, 178 RBI and 110 Runs scored.

    Should Grandal become a free agent he would go straight to the top of the list and likely be seeking a multi year contract; 3-4 years is plausible based upon his durability. With a 16 M option and a 2019 salary of 16 M, the number to get his name in ink would be in the 65-70M neighborhood for 4 years.

    This seems to be a long shot with all the factors; Yasmoni opting out and finding a new home for Wilson. It would also require a large commitment by ownership to spend more on the C position than they have since a guy named Piazza.

    Is this where the Mets should spend or....

  • #2
    Never too early to get the discussion going!

    I want to start with the pitching. With Zack Wheeler most likely receiving a qualifying offer and then signing elsewhere (which I can come to terms with - he'll be 30 in May), what could the rotation be in 2020?

    Current: deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, Stroman
    Free Agent Options I Like: Madison Bumgarner, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark

    All those guys have great pitching splits at CitiField and veteran pitchers. Obviously, MadBum would be the top choice but would also be the most expensive payday. Gonzalez and Roark would be nice additions to round out the back end of a rotation.

    Playing GM:

    -Extend qualifying offer to Wheeler and let him walk for multiyear deal - get draft pick compensation.
    -Trade Noah Syndergaard to Padres for Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot and Mackenzie Gore
    -Trade Wilson Ramos for a consistently good veteran reliever

    Projected Rotation: Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, Steven Matz

    Thoughts? Obviously, penciling in MadBum in the #2 spot would make the rotation better, but I just don't see it. Syndergaard has great stuff but with 2 more years of control, I'd rather cash in on him now than lose value on him later.


    • #3
      hot stove? Isn't getting a manager going to fix everything? What else could we possibly need?


      • #4
        I am trying to read up on this free agent class...and came across a glaring mistake almost they even proof read articles?

        6. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP

        Age: 32

        Ryu struggled in the second half of the 2019 season but was the frontrunner in the NL Cy Young race for quite a while. Plenty of teams will be vying for the right-hander's services.

        The article shows LHP; they have a picture of him throwing lefty...and then "...will be vying for the right-hander's services"


        • #5
          Writing and proofreading articles has unfortunately become a lost art.


          • #6
            In an ideal Mets world, I would trade for a bonafide center fielder (who could also steal bases and bat leadoff)...and sign Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg


            • #7
              and maybe sign Aroldis Chapman as an extra lefty in the bullpen


              • #8
                Trade Noah Syndergaard to Padres for Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot and Mackenzie Gore
                -Trade Wilson Ramos for a consistently good veteran reliever

                Been off the board more than usual dealing with a health issue, but I can still read and comment, for what it's worth. Both Hedges and Margot are plus defensive players at C & CF, averaging 1 WAR over the past three seasons. My concern is- does that forgive the missing offensive?

                Margot is young 25 despite having 3 full seasons under his belt. Last season hit .234/.304/.387 with 12 Hr. 37 RBI and 59 Runs from the 7th-1st-9th position. Clearly his most productive was lead off .309/.356/.519/.865 compared with the other 6 positions he started in .204/284/.332/.616. His 20 SB were distributed across the batting order but did lead the team which ranked 9th with 70 SB. Margot's offensive value would be minimized with Nimmo, JD and McNeil all having OBP of .355-.379.

                Defensively Fangraph ranks Margot UZR 5th of 20 with 700 inn. UZR is a metric of Arm, Range and Fld. %. The only notable weakness was he was ranked 15th in Arm.

                Hedges has excellent range with all 3 seasons ranking in the top 5 and 2 seasons ranked in the top 5 in CS. Defensively his credentials are adorned with gold leaf...not so his bat. Last season his line was .176/.252/.311/.563 with an OPS+ of 49. The OPS was 263rd of all players with at least 325 PA. His career slash line is .201/.252/.360/.617 with 46 HRs, 140 RBI & 108 Runs in 1268 PA with an OPS+ of 65. If his defensive credentials were adorned in gold, the offensive are most likely penned in invisible ink.

                I like Mackenzie Gore, but with only a handful of IP at AA he would appear to be a full, if not more than 2 yrs. away. The window is open now!

                Can the Mets offense afford two weak bats, one of which would replace Ramos who hit .347/.392/.485/.877 Aug 1- Sept 29 in 47 in which the Mets played .596 ball. The second would create a traffic jam of OF with McNeil, Smith, Nimmo, Conforto, JD and Cespedes.

                I believe if a player has performed at a level beyond that of a fluke for an extended period and is not aged or injured, then that player should be able to replicate his previous level of success. That describes Syndergaard. With 32 starts and his highest IP workload (198) injury isn't a cause neither is his age of 26.

                My thought is that Syndy was sold an action plan to extend his IP by Dave Eiland and or Mickey. Fangraphs show the change in usage of his varied pitches and the velocity. What I noted comparing 2016 and 19 was a slight dip in FB usage, SI and CB, a significant drop in the use of his slider and a significant use of the CH. The velocity of the FB, SI, SL was down slightly, the CU was down significantly down which can create a bigger break if not 'hung'. One alarming pitch was the CH whose velocity was up creating a smaller difference from that of his FB. What used to be an 8.5 MPH diff. was now 6.5 mph. A swing that once was late on his FB could now turn and yank it out. HRs went from 0.5/9 to 1.1/9.

                Jeff I respect, always have, your ground work and proposals. Here I don't think the package solves problems without creating others. Syndergaard was only 5-4 in 17 starts after Eiland was replaced by Regan, but the team was 11-6. I would be reluctant to move Syndergaard...the ability and talent are there.


                • #9
                  @yogi Sorry to read that you've been dealing with health issues. Hope all is better now!

                  On your rebuttal, I do believe that Syndergaard is a solution to the team for 2020 but the reason you move him now is his expiring contract. He becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. His comments over the last season indicate he has no desire to remain a Met (as he has indirectly slammed the organization on many occasions). To me, especially when dealing with a hard throwing pitcher, you capitalize on a return with 2 or less seasons remaining of the contract. And by dealing him earlier rather than later you mitigate the risk of injury. For example, if Thor needs Tommy John early next season you can basically forget about his production of the life of the remaining deal.

                  That being said, are there better packages to be had for his services? Perhaps. But the Padres have known to be a suitor of Thor and those 3 players fill needs for the Mets. Gore could be a rotation fixture by 2021 (maybe even a cup of coffee in late-2020 so not too far off). Besides, no team is moving a ML ready highly touted pitcher with years of control for 2 years of Thor. It just doesn't happen. Hedges will solve our problems defensively at catcher and we know that catchers are late bloomers when it comes to offense. I think it's worth the wait (and Ramos is only under contract for 2020). And Margot is a true CF, one that the Mets have been searching for since Beltran left years ago (other than Lagares in a part time role). If Mookie Betts is a pipe dream..Margot might be the best CF option out there. Again, the bat needs to develop but you make sure the rest of the lineup is balanced.
                  The logjam in the outfield is really at the corner outfield spot. If Yoenis Cespedes is healthy, he's in LF. Conforto and Nimmo are RFs and one of them in my opinion should be moved to improve elsewhere. JD Davis and Jeff McNeil are infielders by trade but most likely will be those flexible options for when players go down with injury.

                  Again it's tough to play GM but these are the types of decisions I know Brodie is looking into and with all this depth at the major league level infield and outfield, moves will be made to improve the pitching and defense.


                  • #10
                    I've seen nothing that suggests Syndergaard wants to be anything other than a Met...he usually seems perturbed by the media's insistence that he is going to get traded


                    • #11
                      Syndergaard profiles as headstrong and entitled which is understandable with the Thor characterization which the Mets encouraged. The only out of line incident was the refusal of the MRI* in 2017 when he was 24 and on top of his game and fame. If I'm a pitcher depending on my slider and my C doesn't call it because he has difficulty handling it I want a change of C...which was leaked by the FO.

                      Syndergaard should be with his abilities a #2. An established, if available, replacement would be at least 60 M over 4 yrs. Syndergaard coming off 6 M will likely be < 8M next season and still have another year of control.

                      * I've had 2 MRIs recently and that belongs in the Abu Ghraib playbook


                      • #12

                        The Mets’ Payroll Predicament

                        By Jeff Todd | October 18, 2019 at 11:01am CDT

                        The first anniversary of the Mets’ hiring of Brodie Van Wagenen is fast approaching. There have been some ups and downs, as might be expected. He’s currently looking for a new skipper and plotting a course for the coming offseason. One thing that is clear: the Mets are trying to win now. Van Wagenen’s task is to end a three-year postseason drought. But he’s going to have a tough time adding to his existing slate of talent unless he’s handed a larger purse to work with this winter. It’s not exactly a new situation in Queens, but it’s one worth examining anew with the market soon set to open.

                        The win-now mission was already evident, but its immediacy was highlighted and enhanced by the organization’s mid-summer transactions and non-transactions. On July 12th, the Mets sat 11 games under .500. By the time they had agreed to acquire Marcus Stroman on July 28th, they had closed that to five games under. And on the day after the deadline, the Queens denizens were three shy of even and in the middle of a wondrous hot streak that totally flipped the script on the season.

                        Trouble was, the Mets’ fate was always been tied inextricably to stumbles from the teams ahead of them. And they needed more than they could get. The Mets matched or bested a laundry list of mid-level National League teams. That was something of an accomplishment. But the outcome — no realistic hope entering the final week of the season — was exceedingly likely at the time of the deadline. With so many teams clustered ahead of the Mets late this summer, it was all but inevitable that a few would emerge. As it turned out, two of those ballclubs played about as well as the Mets have over the final two months of the campaign. With their preexisting advantages, the Nats and Brewers cruised ahead of their rivals in New York. This is why those playoff odds charts seemed so gloomy in late July.

                        So what was the point of that win-now-oriented deadline approach? Well, it certainly put more butts in the seats down the stretch. It helped breathe life into what had been a moribund season. It enabled the Mets to return to the ranks of the winning (86-76) and perhaps launched some forward momentum.

                        More importantly, though, this past summer’s decisionmaking was the start of the construction of the 2020 roster. Adding Stroman, while dumping Jason Vargas, was mostly salary-neutral for 2019. But it put a big number on the books for 2020 and cost the Mets one near-majors hurler (along with a further-off prospect). Hanging onto Zack Wheeler, who seems exceedingly likely to receive and decline a qualifying offer, meant foregoing a chance to recoup upper-level prospect depth in preference for a half season of Wheeler’s pitching and likely draft compensation.

                        Taking on Robinson Cano’s contract and sacrificing some intriguing prospects to get Edwin Diaz had already set the Mets down this trail. The 2019 trade deadline was Van Wagenen and co. pressing bravely on for glory rather than seeking a path back to relative safety.

                        So … let’s take stock of where the Mets stand with the offseason upon us. Juan Lagares and Todd Frazier are off the books, but that doesn’t mean there’s money to spend on replacements or other upgrades. Here are some of the major expenses that are either locked in or all but assured to be picked up:

                        Guaranteed Salary
                        • Yoenis Cespedes: $29MM
                        • Robinson Cano: $20.25MM (net of Mariners’ portion of obligation)
                        • Jacob deGrom: $23MM salary ($12MM deferred); $10MM signing bonus payment 1/2/20
                        • Jed Lowrie: $9MM salary; $1MM bonus payment in 11/15/19 & $500K bonus payment 1/15/20 (contract also includes $2.5MM bonus payment 1/15/21)
                        • Wilson Ramos: $9.25MM
                        • Jeurys Familia: $11MM ($1MM deferred)
                        • Justin Wilson: $5MM
                        • Total: $105MM payable during 2019-20 offseason/2020 season

                        Projected Arbitration Salaries
                        Other Obligations
                        There are many ways to tally all of this, and we don’t know exactly how the Mets are thinking about it internally, but that’s a big slate of preexisting commitments. In the past, the club has reportedly treated Wright’s ongoing payouts as part of its payroll, even though he’s finished playing. Whether that’s the case — and what exactly the insurance work-out looks like — isn’t known. It’s also not totally clear how the club views the deGrom and Familia deferrals or Lowrie’s final bonus payout.

                        If we tabulate only cash owed this winter and in the 2020 season, and presume the team will be paying $3MM of the Wright contract, that still puts the cash payroll at a minimum of $161.5MM (presuming league-minimum salaries for ten roster spots not otherwise accounted for by the players listed above). Perhaps the team has it a bit lower or a bit higher for its internal purposes, but that seems like a good number to start with based upon what we do know.

                        Trouble is, the Mets have never yet started a season with a payroll that reached $160MM. They were close to $150MM in 2009 and over that amount in each of the past three seasons. But it seems the Mets are right about at capacity, barring a northward movement in spending allocation for the MLB roster.

                        So, unless the Wilpon ownership group is preparing to commit more cash to the cause, the front office is going to have to get very creative. The Mets roster does have quite a bit of talent, but it’s also the same essential unit that fell short this year and could certainly stand to be supplemented in several areas. There’s no true center fielder. We all know how the bullpen looked in 2019. The rotation is missing one piece and still also needs depth. Mis-fitting first baseman Dominic Smith might bring back a useful and affordable player, though it isn’t as if he alone will nab a quality pre-arb starter. And the farm system has already been mined for the aforementioned trades, making it tough to commit further prospect capital.

                        Big-contract swaps? Trading away quality, younger players? A deeper dig into the farm? There are conceivable possibilities, though none jump off the page as being obviously beneficial. There’ll be high stakes and tough choices to make for the Mets front office this winter — unless, perhaps, ownership has a winter payroll bonus planned for Van Wagenen and company to play with.


                        • #13
                          That is worrisome.

                          The Mets are thisclose to being serious contenders, like THISFREAKINGCLOSE.

                          One bat (preferably CF), and bullpen bolstering. The offense is solid. The rotation is solid (assuming either a return for Wheeler or a replacement). I don't think the defense is costing us much, maybe not gaining us much, but not costing us.

                          The pen is the big problem, and that is not uncommon. Part of that would be fixed with a manager who is better at handling bullpens, part of that would be improvement from the roster, and part of that would be simple regression (or to better put it progression) to the mean. Gsellman is not as bad as he was last year. I cannot believe that Diaz is as bad as he looked last year, I just can't.

                          What moves are available out there remains to be seen.


                          • #14
                            Joel Sherman writes that the Yankees should pursue Francisco Lindor to get them over the hump. How good would he look in the middle of the Mets lineup? A switch-hitting, gold glove, silver slugging SS. BVW is bold, this is one he should look at. We probably do not have the goods to get it done but that should not stop him from making the phone call.


                            • #15
                              There was one weakness, besides Callaway, that stood out in 2019 -- the bullpen. They need to get some relievers with history of good years, and not risk it all on relievers with just one outstanding year.

                              I do admit the juiced ball did not help Diaz, but he also didn't seem to learn.
                              Drew's Sig