Mets Minors: Mike Moustakas makes a lot of sense

This coming offseason has one big prize that multiple clubs would love to sign and his name is Mike Moustakas. The left-handed hitting third baseman is the #1 wish list item for all the many teams who are wondering who they can nab as the third baseman.

The Mets are currently paying David Wright $20 Million to play the position but it seems entirely likely that my favorite player of the Post Piazza Era will never play another game in the major leagues. This means that with no free agent acquisitions the team has approximately $75 Million tied into players who are on the roster and formerly on the roster (see Bobby Bonilla and Carlos Beltran). This is still a payroll with plenty of room for the Mets to make some costly acquisitions.

There is a pretty good case for why the Mets should invest that money in some of the players that defeated them in their last World Series bid (Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis). They don’t really have many internal options.

Wilmer Flores – While Flores has proven to be an absolutely elite Lefty Smasher, his defensive game remains fairly questionable. Specifically you have to wonder if the Mets trust his arm at third. It would be better, if you intend to keep his bat in the lineup, to have Flores play second base.

Gavin Cecchini – Still in the midst of a late season surge, one might ask the question if Cecchini could be an internal solution to third base. His defensive issues seem to stem primarily from the environments in Las Vegas and he’s shown a good ability to get on base. The issue remains that his hitting profiles as a backup player in the majors and not as a corner infielders.

David Thompson – Has some considerable power and goes through stints where he looks every drop a major league prospect, but he also goes through extended droughts where his tendency to strike out is fully on display. Thompson is a longshot to be a major leaguer and is clearly not ready to be handed the job in 2018.

Jhoan Urena – At the age of 22 Urena has a shot of developing into a major league talent. After poor showings in 2015 and 2016 his prospect stock had plummeted but a resurgent 2017 has him back on people’s radars. The issue here is that he’s only in Advanced A and is a long long way from contributing to a major league club.

Hansel Moreno – A player who earned a mid-season promotion from the GCL to the APP Moreno is a twinkle in Alderson’s eye. Moreno is, at minimum, three years from being a viable option in Queens.

All of this adds up to the Mets needing to reach outside the organization to get things done. With Matt Harvey in his last year and looking to sign Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and others to long term contracts, this could be a difficult proposition but the case has been made.

AAA: Las Vegas 51’s

The Cupboard is Bare – Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki are all in the majors.

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Patrick Mazeika has a strong debut – Having now played 5 games since his promotion, Mazeika has 5 doubles.

Kevin Kaczmarski missed his buddy – With Mazeicka back on the team, Kaczmarski is suddenly hitting again.

P.J. Conlon continues in relief – All signs point to Conlon getting a look when rosters expand.

Marcos Molina has a nice outing – Only 1 earned run and 1 walk in 7 innings.

A+: Port St. Lucie Mets

Peter Alonso has a ho-hum “good” week – He only hit .282 in has last 10 games. Would love to see another blazing hot week to end his season.

Nabil Crismatt may be showing us his limitations – After blowing through the lower levels of the minors Crismatt’s numbers are finally beginning to match his average “stuff”.

A: Columbia Fireflies

Andres Gimenez is a lonely bright spot – He’s supposed to look good in the field, he runs well and shows some power… and he is starting to show better plate recognition.

A-: Brooklyn Cyclones

Guillermo Garandillo skips Kingsport – The Mets promote this 20 year old prospect to Brooklyn after a strong short season.

Jeremy Vasquez continues to look strong – He’s taking Brooklyn in stride and has likely earned a spot on a full season squad for 2018.

R1: Kingsport Mets

Rigoberto Terrazas readies for 2018 – He’s going to start to have a spotlight shined his way next season.

Juan Uriarte has a strong week – Hitting .389 for the last 10 games is worth noting.

R2: GCL Mets

Ranfy Adon looks promising – He’s a tall and skinny outfielder with good speed who could develop power.

Mark Vientos waking up – He’s trying to end his season strong so he can headline the Brooklyn team in 2018.

14 comments for “Mets Minors: Mike Moustakas makes a lot of sense

  1. Metsense
    August 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

    There is no immediate internal help at third base for the Mets. Moustakas will be 29 years old and young enough for the Mets to cash in on some very productive years. He would replace the left handed power bat of Duda and Bruce that is missing. There really is no other free agent third baseman after him on the list. Supply and demand is a large factor in setting price. Moustakas is going to be expensive but well worth the expenditure if the Mets are going to get back to be a contending team.

    • David Groveman
      August 22, 2017 at 8:47 am

      For the first time in years, Metsense and I have agreed on a point entirely.

      Put it in the books!

  2. Hobie
    August 22, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Always love your MiL recaps Dave. Some thoughts.

    Wilmer’s career slash line is almost identical to Mous’ with half the HR, RBI etc. in half the AB’s. Defense is a question, but until very recently he never played 3B 3 days in a row. And I read somewhere about Mous that while he does make some spectacular plays he’s ranked 28th among 3B on the those that are routine. True? idk.

    I love JP Conlon and want to see him succeed, but I don’t think he has to be protected this year (maybe I’m wrong on that too) so I would wait until ST to give him a real shot. Uceta & Bashlor, however, need to be protected I think, and should be IMO.

  3. August 22, 2017 at 10:07 am

    You also have to figure in arbitration raises and the likelihood of picking up options when looking at the payroll. If they re-up with both Blevins and Cabrera, you’re looking in the neighborhood of $125 million after arbitration and the committed salaries.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/new-york-mets-salaries-and-contracts.shtml

    That doesn’t preclude them from signing Moose Tacos but if they get him then there’s likely little payroll for much else, certainly not any headline-grabbing guy. That is unless they raise payroll again. I have no interest in the whining about how relatively low the payroll is or how cheap the owners are. What interests me is if the owners will raise payroll after a season where they did not make the playoff. It’s certainly possible but I wouldn’t make it the default assumption.

    • Jimmy P
      August 22, 2017 at 11:42 am

      I believe by the fact that you characterize any criticism of ownership as “whining” you completely ignore the biggest obstacle in the way of this team’s success. Let’s discuss next season but nobody mention the elephant in the room.

      I’m not saying that fans should complain 24/7, but there’s no question in my mind that the owners don’t have the resources or the will to run the team competently.

      Yet you just keep defending them.

      My personal default position is they won’t do enough to truly address the team’s many, many holes. A few face-saving moves here and there, but no commitment to excellence. It’s not in their area of interest.

      And Sandy is complicit.

      • August 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        When the Wilpons had liquidity and lacked crushing debt – they spent money on payroll. Now they don’t have either.

        If it makes anyone reading this feel any better – my opinion is the payroll should be significantly higher than it is. But we live in the real world. I wish Travis d’Arnaud could stay healthy and play 140 games in a season but I don’t go on and on and on and on about how he’s never played more than 108 games in a season. At this point, it should be something that everyone knows and no one disagrees. I don’t see the point in having a hissy fit about it like a spoiled 3 year old. That’s my point about the Wilpon payroll post-Madoff. People who constantly bring that up are being babies.

        Do you really feel the need to start every conversation about ownership repeating the obvious? They’re not selling and MLB isn’t forcing them to do it, either. People either need to accept it or quit rooting for the team.

        Ownership is different than a hired employee – like a GM or manager or coach or trainer or player. Those individuals can and are removed on a regular basis. The Wilpons have been owners since 1980. Thinking they’re just going to stop because people in an online forum complain isn’t bloody likely.

        You can go back and check the archives and see my comments about Pickard and the clawback suits in the Madoff lawsuits. That was the only chance to get new ownership without the consent of the Wilpons. Once the threat of having to deliver immediate cash in the clawback suits was removed, the Wilpons were going to be the owners as long as they wanted.

        I’m not defending them. I’m acknowledging the reality of the situation.

        • IDRAFT
          August 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

          If the idea is why even talk about it because we can’t do anything about it, why talk about any of it? No writer or blogger is the GM, why all the articles about Rosario before he came up. Why all that whining? We can’t do anything about it. Why the incessant whining about Collins? We can’t do anything about that either.

          The owners are a very strange place to draw the line.

          • August 22, 2017 at 6:01 pm

            Everyone up to the owner has someone to answer to, someone who can remove him from his/her job. If 500 bloggers write articles saying that Collins should go – his boss will know it. It may be a flunky reading them and passing on the info but he’s aware of it and public perception matters when someone can be axed.

            You can’t axe the owner. It’s like complaining about the Pope or a Supreme Court justice.

            • Jimmy P
              August 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm

              Delusional, sadly.

              Mets have like 4-5 decent bloggers and some college kids building their resumes.

              How many real, everyday, casual Mets fans are reading Mets360 on a daily basis? Or Mack’s Mets? It’s a very low number.

              We don’t change what they do. We are guys on a barstool talking about the Mets. We might be insightful or stupid, funny or cruel; the only measure is the quality of the conversation.

              Can you talk about the Knicks without mentioning Dolan? Sure, you can’t talk about Dolan every day — that would get old — but if we are discussing what the Mets need to do this winter, you have to at least recognize the budget must move up. Or else they are going to be aspiring to Game 163 — and might just get there if it all breaks right. That’s the goal.

              • August 22, 2017 at 7:05 pm

                Casual fans? Not many. But that’s never been the goal.

                I want to write articles for the people who purchased tickets to games in 1968, when the newness had worn off and they were terrible. I want an audience of people who went to games in 1977 after they traded Seaver and Kingman. I want people who were still fans after all of the bad exploits of the worst team money could buy. I want to write for people who know who Rod Kanehl and/or Tom Hausman and/or Jeff McKnight are.

                And if other people who aren’t fans to that degree like it – great. And if they don’t, that’s okay – they’re not the target audience. They can go to MMO or Elite Sports or any of the other more mainstream online sites that exist.

                I’m going to assume that people who come here are both passionate and intelligent. They’re ones who don’t need to have fundamental concepts explained to them. And they’re more interested in what can be done with the available payroll instead of ones who just want to bitch and moan that the payroll isn’t higher. Or need that explicitly stated before any serious discussion can take place.

  4. Eraff
    August 22, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Moustakas is a perfect fit…bujt he’s a perfect fit for several teams, and I don;t think the Mets will play or win at that game.

    I expect them to re-up Cabrera, and then try to figure out a Rotation at 2nd and Third…and Pray that Rosario can survive at the plate.

    They will need another bat, and Jay Bruce with a Grandy Kind of contract gives them production @ probably 10 million or so per year cheaper than Moose will cost.

    Of Course, I want them to sign both—and they might have been able to convince themselves to sign Moose and Bruce…if they knew the Arms would be healthy and dominant.

    That brings us to the stunning fact that they know relatively little about anything other than Synder and deG. How can you load the bat rack and empty your war chest when you have no idea about pitching?

    I’m thinking they’ll measure Droobs for his Health and Re-Up….Bruce back……Pray for the Pitchers…”Finish” the team at the 2018 deadline…That’s what I’d do.

  5. Jim O'Brien
    August 23, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Brian, could Alonso be an answer for 3B? What’s your assessment of his abilities/limitations? Thanks.

    As for Moose, I read elsewhere that some scouts don’t think he has the temperament for NYC. Any thoughts?

    (By the way, I started rooting for the Mets in 1968 and have stayed the course, so I’m one of those people for whom you write.)

    Jim

    • August 23, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Great Jim! Hope you’ll become a regular commenter here.

      I don’t have any knowledge of Alonso’s abilities at 3B. The only thing I can tell you is that he’s played 112 games in the minors and not one of them has been at the hot corner. I don’t expect he’ll play there any this year but I could see them giving him some time there next season.

      As for Moose, I think that temperament thing is overrated. People were saying that about Jay Bruce after 2016 and look how that turned out. Not that such a thing doesn’t exist but that it gets trotted out an awful lot and many times incorrectly. I have nothing against Moose but I think the odds he winds up on the Mets next year are not all that high. If/when he chooses to go elsewhere, I expect money and length of the contract to be the overwhelming reason why.

  6. Phil
    September 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    This is a nice fantasy dream. Unfortunately Mets will not do the right thing and sign Moustakas because he is a “Boras” guy.

    They’ll sell us on how a platoon of Flores/Asdrubal is the right approach.

    Payroll will be around $90-100M which is a joke in this day and age, and in the largest market in the sport!

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