Mets fans receive coal for Christmas

It sometimes feels, as a Met fan, that the team isn’t interested in fan loyalty. The 2017 Mets were a steep and crushing disappointment. Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes all were banged up and underperforming. Noah Syndergaard was injured early in the year and Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz seemed to all regress. The Mets seemed poised for a big year that didn’t come.

Now the Mets seemed poised to challenge the Marlins for worst team in the NL East. The team is another year older and, while Syndergaard and others will return, the Mets offense remains a stagnant mediocre mess.

Now, I am just one dissenting voice in the blog-o-sphere but I challenge any Met fan to claim that the 2018 season looks rosey and bright. The Yankees, Phillies and Braves have all gotten better, the Nationals are firmly the best team in the National League East and the Marlins are in a full-blown rebuild mode.

What makes matters worse, for me, is that the Mets management seems to forget that the office moves they make matter. I’ve been slow to criticize Sandy Alderson but I fail to see anything that he’s done to earn an extension to his contract and I’m certainly not pleased to be seeing Omar Minaya back with the team.

It feels like the Wilpons have an offseason playbook of all the ways to piss their fans off.

Step 1: Have your GM makes statements about lowering payroll from last season

Step 2: Sit idly while free agents who could help the team go elsewhere

Step 3: Extend underperforming bureaucrats

Step 4: Bring back a hated former General Manager

Step 5: Seek to trade players for “Salary Relief”

Now, the Mets still have time to crush that coal into diamonds, but that window is closing fast. Mike Moustakas is still an option, the Mets could even work out a deal with their rival marlins to bring in players like Christian Yelich and/or J.T. Realmuto. They could even offer to take Starlin Castro off their hands.

It’s still possible to give the fans the presents that they crave. I only hope that some ghosts visited the Wilpons late last night and made them see the error of their ways.

For me? Well… it’s time I started working on my Top Prospects for 2018.

20 comments for “Mets fans receive coal for Christmas

  1. Herb G
    December 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Met fans who would desert the team because of what has been done prior to Christmas are not loyal Met fans to begin with. It’s like walking out on a horse race because your horse is only in 4th place at the quarter pole. There is still plenty of time to fill our holes with quality players.

    I would prefer Todd Frazier to Moose, or Eduardo Nunez. And there are still trade candidates to consider. Same in the OF, with Jay Bruce & Carlos Gomez still available and possible trades. I don’t think Alderson is through in the bul pen, and I still believe he will add a starter. Lets see where our team is when spring training starts before we talk about desertion.

  2. Pal88
    December 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Couldn’t agree more…Merry Christmas

  3. Chris F
    December 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Its never about desertion with the group here, its more about the disconnect between a base that is passionate and and ownership/FO that does practically all it can to remain distant, disinterested, and overall removed.

    And I agree with you David. All these patch-em-up plans disguised as really “doing something” are a complete sham. While I get we regularly focus on our team in appraising quality, the mistake is thinking that this occurs in a vacuum. The Nats are an order of magnitude or more better than the Mets. Thats reality, and it relegates day one to being a WC. However, here on Christmas day, I urge everyone to forget the post season, and let that come when its appropriate. In the mean time, Im hoping we can focus on one series at a time.

  4. Mike Walczak
    December 25, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Ho Ho Ho
    Merry Christmas to all.

    I have been a baseball fan for 50 years. So, I consider myself knowledgeable on the sport.

    The Mets have a lot of question marks. With the salary budget, they won’t be adding significant players. To be fair, I would not pay a Hosmer, Moustakas or Arrieta big money either. Nor would I pay Harper a half billion either.

    But adding marginal players only will add more question marks and more what ifs. That is not a formula to compete with the Nats.

    The way that teams win is by adding value players who outperform projections. Look at Travis Shaw last year. Sadly, look at Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner. In 86, the Mets added Bob Ojeda, who had a big year.

    The magic is, finding those players. Let’s see if Batman Alderson and his sidekick Robin Minaya can make some of those moves.

    If you want a player, go out and get him. Be bold, build the team. Some moves will work, some will not. Look what Cashman has done with the Yankees. Within a short period if time, if you blinked, you missed the creation of a powerhouse team, all while the Mets have sat on the sidelines and have watched.

    It smells and feels like passive aggressive behavior from Alderson. He sits on his hands and watches. He is too comfortable and he gets his extension, so he will be more comfortable.

    I am telling you right now. If he adds some pieces, they will be junk. The Mets need table setters like Mookie, Dykstra and Backman. Ill take 2B or 3B and an OF. Ill live with the rotation, but would like another Addison Reed type.

    So, as I ramble, I sit and wait.

  5. Rae
    December 26, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I think the Mets are ok with Cabrera playing 3B in 2018. They need to install either Wilmer Flores or TJ Rivera as the everyday 2B man. TJ is still recovering from Tommie John so lets hope he recovers quickly. I see TJ and Jeff McNeil who also plays infield and outfield as a combination duo with one batting lefty and the other righty that could make a great IF/OF utility tandem. I believe by June or July the Mets will need to bring up someone like Luis Guillorme as the dude has a great OBP, fields like a shark scooping up bait, and possesses a great many good intangibles. The other players I am really impressed with is Kevin Kaczmarski as he possesses Jose Reyes in his prime type of speed, plays a great OF, and his defensive stats are actually better than Juan Lagares. Kacz does not have a great deal of power but is a good singles and doubles guy much like fellow minor leaguer, Guillorme. If I was in the Mets front office I would have them work with players like Phillip Evans and Matt Oberste while in AAA to make sure that they can become proficient at other positions. Oberste plays a decent 1B but if he can also learn to field 2B, and get more reps at 3B he becomes much more valuable to the Mets organization. I am thrilled that they kept Evans cuz the guy can hit plus he is willing to try any position that they put him at. Evans also has a cannon for an arm so putting him at 3B until Thomspon is ready to come up, and take over that position makes a lot of sense. If I am Sandy Alderson I am keeping Alonso at 1B to ensure he gets better with the glove. I am wondering since Alonso started playing 3B in little league, and in the minors that this is his natural position? Perhaps the Mets need to see if he is more comfortable at this position rather than 1B? 1B man are involved in almost every play so perhaps 3B would also be a less demanding position for Alonso? Just a thought? Besides Kacz playing CF there is also Kevin Taylor who was in AA last year but hits, fields and runs real well so he might be a guy the Mets need to call up in case of OF injury. I liked Jayce Boyd but I am unclear if he is a minor league free agent or not but if he is still with the Mets he has been an OK player in AA and AAA. The Mets also have Jhoan Urena who they are trying to coach in to becoming and OFer. 1B was his natural position but he did not field well at 1B or 3B for that matter. Urena switch hits, has power and a decent arm. If he gets better in the OF at AAA in 2018 we might see him make a guest appearance in NY.

    • Steve S.
      December 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      I agree with some of what you’re saying. I do think that the small-market, Wilponzian Mets would be OK with Cabrera and Wright at 3B, Phillip Evans, Rivera, and Flores at 2B, and Smith and Alonso at 1B. I would give Lagares another chance to hit decently, and play Nimmo in RF (until Conforto comes back). And at least there are two adequate catchers around.

      They do need to beef up the pitching though. Spend money on another starter (better than just Big Sexy!) and bring in more bullpen arms!

      And, yes, I’d love it if the Couponzis would sell the team, but that isn’t going to happen, apparently.

    • Jimmy P
      December 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      I believe this is a recipe for 73 wins, a truly boring season, and huge revenue losses.

    • TexasGusCC
      December 27, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Rae, thanks for the information as I hadn’t realized that about Kaz or Evans. I really think the Mets didn’t play Evans last year as they gambled he’d sneak through waivers to come back if other teams didn’t see enough of him at the big league level. I think he’d be a fine utility guy.

      Alonso probably does not have the athleticism to play 3B since he has made so many fielding errors at 1B and even in college they never put him at 3B. Too, Urena in the outfield may be a reach, but as he is about to lose his fleeting status as “a prospect”, what is there to lose?

      But, it is your second sentence that I think will be the ultimate difference maker for the Mets. If there is one area where the Mets have a chance for a serious upgrade its using Flores at second base since a better option is probably not happening. Flores’ defensive and offensive numbers are better than Stsrlin Castro and Castro is looked at as a good option. So, why can’t Flores be? You let the guy play second, add an outfield bat and hope your pitchers stay healthy. That’s a recipe to 90+ wins.

  6. Jay
    December 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

    This is all about one thing and one thing only. The Wilpons have to sell the team. New ownership is the only answer.

  7. Jimmy P
    December 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I like Omar and I’m glad they brought him back in a scouting/development role; he complements Anderson well and finally replaces the abominable Paul DePodesta.

    Omar had flaws as a GM, but he always genuinely wanted to win. When I think of a guy wandering the ball fields of the DR, I’d rather have Omar than DePo, that’s for sure.

    I think Sandy is waiting out the market, will fill in here and there, and will likely make one surprising, bold move. When the Wilpons are publicly embarrassed, they tend to react.

    Sidenote: Interesting how the market seems to have dried up for Hosmar. Which team signs him? It’s not clear. At the right length and price, he actually fits the Mets extremely well; he’s just not nearly a 7/$200 player. But at 5/$125, is he an option?

    The frustrating thing with 2017 is slashing payroll. Just an ordinary $160-165 number would have given the Mets every opportunity to reload and take a shot at the NL East. Now it just doesn’t seem like they are trying. But it’s not too late to change the story. We shall see.

    I am not hopeful, but I do think it’s early for epitaphs.

    • December 26, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Last year was a career-year for Hosmer, who the year before put up a .266/.328/.433 line in 667 PA with a .301 BABIP. There’s no way this Mets team is giving him a $100 million contract and I agree with that plan.

      I’m surprised with the backlash I see online about the Mets bringing Minaya back. I think he’s much, much more likely to contribute something positive to the team than the other new special assistant.

      • Mike Walczak
        December 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        I agree with you on Hosmer. Way too much money for him. Plus we have not really given Dominic Smith a chance. Lets see if he comes into spring training in shape.

      • Jimmy P
        December 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

        I think Hosmer is a good player and a solid competitor, the type of guy you’d like on your team, a building block. The market is constricted right now and I think it’s possible he now may be had at a fair rate, as opposed to the wildly inflated dream of 7/$200. I don’t think the Mets grab him, because: Mets. But I think he’d be a good addition, bringing several qualities this team lacks. Leadership, grit, stability. I don’t know where the numbers goes for him. Could 5/$110 get it done? Will he end up back with the Royals? Obviously, I would not expect him to repeat his 2017 season.

        I was going to type that the Mets would whiff on him, but in order to make that sound you actually have to take a swing.

      • Chris F
        December 26, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        Thats an interesting thought Brian. I mean its the clash of the past and present in a way that seems hard to get a full feeling of. I think the other thing is that it represents the dysfunctional relationship between ownership and how the team is run. I heard the interview with Minaya, who said that he completely remained in contact with the Wilpons since he left. What does that say? To me the angst is bringing back a person who was fired to save a GM that really has failed to do what he set out, except of course save the ownership. I think we all agree he did that perfectly.

        • December 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          JP always talks about how it was Minaya who sold the Wilpons on a vision of spending money and going after stars. From that POV, I guess I see what you’re aiming at with the clash of past and present. But I guess I don’t see that as a bad thing. Or even a thing, really. I don’t see him having enough influence to really cause a problem.

          I guess I see the best-case scenario is that Minaya falls in love with a high upside talent, the kind who’s going to want a signing bonus above slot. The kind that Alderson has never given out while signing the Cecchinis and Smiths of the world on the first round. And he convinces the Mets to take him.

          The worst-case scenario? Alderson has to listen to Minaya go on and on about someone whom he has no interest in and a guy he ultimately ignores.

          I just don’t see Minaya plotting a coup to oust Alderson. It’s just not the Wilpons’ M.O. to sack a guy they just gave an extension to.

          • Jimmy P
            December 26, 2017 at 8:14 pm

            My friend’s first thought that Sandy has a year or two left and Omar is transitioning into the job.

            The next was a realization why gross Steve Phillips publicly fallacioed the Wilpons in the press the other day — he was hoping to get the job. Guy is shameless.

            Sandy can’t scout and lacks Omar’s Latin connections. Together they make a good fit.

          • Chris F
            December 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm

            From a workplace environment, this has to be really bad. I imagine what would happen at my work had my superiors later brought back the person who was fired because I was not doing my job completely. Completely undermined. Total lack of confidence. I’d resign personally. I dont think its possible to envision the workplace as a bunch of bots, or gears, or whatever as if there is no personal situation between pieces. It would be extremely difficult for me thats for sure. Furthermore, the relationship is totally undermined by knowing that the boss had been seeking guidance the entire time about the team, almost certainly behind the back of baseball operations.

            Whether this is a coup or not doesnt matter. And it certainly is wildly unusual to extend the GM and then undermine by making an ownership decision on a baseball matter.

            Comparing the Minaya and Alderson years is quite difficult. In Omar’s years it was easy to sell big and not worry, as surely Madoff was handsomely paying out to his friends, and so throwing money like candy was easy. Flip to Alderson and the reality of all that. So now we have a surreal juxtaposition of past and present in every imaginable way.

            I think you have to image this as far past “whats best for the team”.

  8. Ken Timque
    December 26, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Sounds like you will have nothing to do….there are no 2018 Pospects !!!

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  9. TJ
    December 26, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I have been quite outspoken is my disdain for the ownership, interpreted in some cases as outright negativity. So, while my disdain for these scoundrels hasn’t dissipated, I will heed the sagely advice given earlier this month, and follow up on some positive points made by others above

    Herb is 100% correct in that the offseason is far from over. Regardless of the level of financial commitment by the owners, the GM is certainly entitled to deal with the marketplace as he sees fit. There are still many players out there that can improve he 2018 Mets.

    I also agree with Mike – while I expect a bigger financial commitment from the owners, I would not spend on any of the high priced FAs – Hosmer, Moustakas, Arietta. Cain would help but nothing beyond 3 years. Bruce is a nice player but a bad fit.

    What I want to see is a plan the represents the best way to unseat the Nats in 2018 within reason financially and personnel-wise. Given the unfortunate/awkward circumstance with David Wright, I still think the best formula is protect the starters by adding another elite arm to the pen, find a way to get a 2B that can bring plus defense and some OBP capabilities, and find an affordable veteran starter to add some depth/insurance. Lastly, there will be a low cost veteran OF to add late to provide Conforto insurance, one with a solid glove. The offense will be iffy, but there will be room for guys to step up and carry some load – Dom Smith, TDA, Rosario, enven Larages/Nimmo. However, unlike last year, run prevention could be near the top of the league, and almost all teams good at run prevention are in the hunt. This is doable without breaking the bank, but it does require additional spending.

  10. MattyMets
    December 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

    The part that bothers me most is the timing. Why did this team suddenly decide it needed to cut payroll after the winter meetings? If they’d already established this a few months ago they’d have been open to trades at the winter meetings and maybe they wouldn’t have wasted precious coins on the options for Cabrera and Blevins and the new contract for Swarzak. With $10 million left to spend now, all we can hope for is hole fillers at second and outfield like Jon Jay or Jarrod Dyson and Brandon Phillips or Jose Reyes. A big market team with two aces and an MVP candidate, in a division with three rebuilding teams, has inexplicably decided to punt this season.

    The Wilpons are similar to the Dolans in this regard. Why on earth did they fire Phil Jackson after the NBA draft?

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