Logo Orange & BlueAre the Dodgers Punting the NLCS?

We weren’t going to be lucky enough to get the Dodgers to not start both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke starting twice in the five game series.  What you have to realize is that if the Dodgers do beat the Mets tonight they are severely handicapped against the Cubs in, what could be, their next series.  To start Kershaw on Saturday would be starting their Ace on short rest (four days) after previously starting him on short rest (three days) and eventually, even Kershaw will show fatigue.  Add that Greinke, pitching tonight will likely not be available until Game 3 of the would be series.  That means you can only pitch Mr. Kershaw twice and Mr. Greinke once.  This also matches Brett Anderson against Jake Arietta.  The Mets having four elite pitchers are not in the same situation and would look to start Syndergaard, Harvey and deGrom twice each in a seven game series.

Who’s Pitching in 2016?

People have asked me, because clearly I’m Sandy Alderson’s right-hand man, what the Mets will do with their pitching staff.  This is odd as the only true question among 2016 pitchers being Matt HarveyJacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler (back in June/July) are all assumed formalities in 2016 but Harvey no longer is.  Thanks to his agent’s press release and the missed practice, some Met fans have had enough.  Add to this that his price tag will start to rise quickly and these fans are calling on Alderson to make a deal.  I think he won’t… yet.  I think Alderson and the Wilpons would love to see at least one year of the Olympian pitching rotation they’ve amassed.  This doesn’t mean that the Mets will not, eventually, trade Mr. Harvey but they will hope he reestablishes his value more in 2016.  Who knows, the Mets might even want to sign him long term… if they only had the money.  That brings us to:

Who is Returning in 2016?

The Mets have two big names that are up for Free Agency and none are bigger than Yoenis Cespedes.  He’s been one of the greatest mid-season acquisitions in Mets history and the team has flourished with him in the lineup.  The problem is that Mr. Cespedes is looking at demanding a contract of six years (or more) at a rate of twenty five million (or more).  Tacking on $150 Million to the meagre Met payroll is not impossible, but be wary.  Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz will all start to become more expensive and holding onto everyone (or even anyone) will be difficult if the Mets are saddled with another large contract.  Another option is Daniel Murphy who could expect three years and $30 Million.  The Mets might be better off retaining his services as his versatility and less expensive contract might fit better with the future fiscal realities for the team.  That being said, this is a major market team that has made the playoffs.  They could finally start acting like it.

Who Will Win Tonight?

The better starting pitcher.  I think the Mets and Dodgers have similar hitting and with “Aces” on the mound you could say their pitching is pretty even as well.  The monkey wrench is which pitcher has better stuff in tonight’s game.  That will be clear by the third inning and I think the game will be decided around that time as well.  I like our chances.

5 comments on “Pregame musings from the Grove

  • Joe Gomes

    Keep Harvey for 2016 and then trade him for a boatload of prospects either during the winter or before the trade deadline in 2017. If I remember correctly, Harvey is not a FA until the end of 2018 so that gives the other team at least 1.5 years of service + a 1st round draft pick when he becomes a FA.

    Lets face it, Scott Boras will make sure that Harvey tests free agency and the Mets are not going to outbit a team like the Yankees which is where Harvey wants to be anyway.

  • Rob Rogan

    Honestly, and unless there is some huge issue with him, might as well keep Harvey until after the 2017 season. In fact, who knows how the staff will actually shake out and his FA is so far off there’s no way to know what the rotation will look like at that point. Unless some team bowls you over, no need to rush a trade any time soon.

  • Metsense

    They should keep Harvey two more years, offer him an extension at fair value, then trade him if doesn’t take it.
    Cespedes at 6/150 would give the Mets an all star CF and a middle of the order star. If the Mets want to stay ahead of the Nats then they should do it. Remember though, Scherzer didn’t guarantee anything.
    Murphy has my respect but I would allocate the money elsewhere. Uribe, Clippard and Reed (who is a non tender) should not be signed but Kelly Johnson would be a cheap option and serve as insurance for second base and Wright.
    LA will have a very hard time getting past the Cubs with their two pitchers only pitching in four games. The Met-Cub matchup will pit young pitching against young hitting.
    The Mets will win tonight because of Dodger relief pitching.

  • Paul Mount

    Does anyone not realize that the ace is now DeGrom, not Harvey?

    • David Groveman

      Nobody said otherwise. Harvey is simply the first pitcher from our core that will hit Free Agency and the one who has burned most bridges.

      He tosses 6 brilliant innings on Saturday and we’ll all be ardent Harvey supporters again but right now he’s the guy the Met fans are willing to part with.

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