Friday open thread: 8/31/18

The Mets announced that first baseman Peter Alonso will not be joining the team in September, despite mashing 33 home runs and driving in 112 runs between double and triple A and winning defensive player of the month honors. What do you think the reasoning is behind this?

A) Roster crunch. The Mets don’t want to add him to the 40-man roster and have to sacrifice another player.
B) Arbitration clock delay. The Mets plan for him to be their first baseman of the future, but want to hold off until June 1 next year to make him a super 2 candidate.
C) He’s trade bait. They don’t want to expose him and plan to maximize his trade value in the off-season as they plan to go with a Jay BruceWilmer Flores platoon at first base next year and see Alonso as a future DH, a la Lucas Duda.
D) Bruce is the man. They don’t want to take playing time away from Bruce, who they are auditioning for next season as a full-time first baseman.

22 comments for “Friday open thread: 8/31/18

  1. Pete from NJ
    August 31, 2018 at 6:55 am

    A very strong A.
    A sightly less B.
    Minimal C.
    Things are too confused to even think about D.

    Nice topic to write about with a very accurate multiple choice test.

  2. TJ
    August 31, 2018 at 7:05 am

    The defensive player of the month award was a pat on the back for his work ethic and shouldn’t be viewed as a mark as MLB ready. In Alonso’s case, I understand his disappointment, but objectively there just seems to be more downside than upside with a Sept call up. And while each player is unique, it’s not like their 2017 call upsSmith and Rosario tore it up. The AFL is the better play, for both him and Gimenez, with a 2019 start at Syracuse, where they can force the issue.

  3. Mike Walczak
    August 31, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I believe it is B.

  4. August 31, 2018 at 7:22 am

    B Matt. Frugal and bottom line. But I can’t blame them. This season is dead and finished. My real concern is next years payroll. Was just looking at the arbs and I don’t see how this team can sign a top tier FA. Between Thor, Wheeler and deGrom that’s going to be close to 30 million if not more. Adding the other arb eligible players it’s going to be time for our beloved triad of GM’s to make some difficult choices. With the assumption that Bruce is healthy and Cespedes comes back you have a logjam at first base adding Flores there as well. Not to mention one third of your payroll on one position. I think a super sub like a Marwin Gonzalez might be a better fit than Flores.

    • Mike Walczak
      August 31, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      They can save some money by firing the three headed GM.

      We are the NY Mets. Take out the checkbook Wilpon and make your team a winner. George was a winner. He always wanted to win and spent the money.

      Please do not make Minaya the GM. We need fresh blood and a new path.

  5. Metsense
    August 31, 2018 at 8:18 am

    B — He sounds like the future first baseman. In 2019 he will start in Syracuse (boy that sounds nice comparing it to Las Vegas). Then an inevitable injury will have him onto major league roster. Just be patient.
    They should not trade not because he appears to be an elite slugger who the Mets can control for next six years.
    During the winter the Mets must trade Flores because he will be too expense from arbitration and he will block the avenue of Alsonso if it should arise.
    Bruce is a professional hitter when he is healthy. I expect Bruce’s numbers to rebound into their usual numbers in 2019.
    What a nice problem in have. The Go Mets in 2019 !!!

  6. TexasGusCC
    August 31, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Jon Heyman is writing today about how the agents for Eloy Jimenez, the #1 prospect in MLB are crying the same song. It’s hard to understand why:
    A. Anyone really needs to ask these agents any questions and then actually make it a news story.
    B. Anyone doesn’t understand the business of baseball.
    C. Anyone can’t find anything better to write about
    D. All of the above factors.

  7. August 31, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Gus what do you see the Mets hoping for this off season? Besides no injuries.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 31, 2018 at 10:43 am

      The team itself? Hire a GM and give him this off-season of little to no activity to “evaluate everything”. Maybe they’ll sign a second their reliever as an “underrated find”, but otherwise we will be fed articles of how well Wright is doing and that Bruce is in the best shape of his life.

      And there will be articles explaining in detail how Cespedes’ injury and Alderson’s contracts have the Mets in a numbers crunch this off season.

  8. Steve S.
    August 31, 2018 at 10:27 am

    A) Roster crunch—a minor concern.
    B) Arbitration clock delay—the main reason, especially for the Couponzis.
    C) He’s trade bait—no, because the fans would be ticked off.
    D) Bruce is the man—maybe a bit, but Bruce could platoon with Alonso and play some OF too. Flores could be traded, although I’ll miss him.

  9. Eraff
    August 31, 2018 at 11:11 am

    David Wright- I’ve been impressed by the Clarity and Certainty provided by John Ricco, stressing the fact that Wright has not demonstrated that he is close to an MLB Return. I’m hoping that David will see wisdom in not staging a Personal Old Timers Day—please, no 2018 Jose and David Reunion.

    Alonzo- they are managing 40 man and rule 5, and I believe that’s the major business reason to keep Alonzo down. Meanwhile, Wilmer doesn’t hit well enough to field like Peter Alonzo at 1b…and he cannot play another position. Trade him now…at the very least, stop playing him–then you could discuss bringing up Alonzo.

  10. August 31, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Click here to download the latest podcast – this one with Mr. Matt Netter

  11. Madman
    August 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    1. Get a real CFer, a guy who will help,the pitchers and turn doubles to outs and reduce pitch counts.

    2. If Giminez really is an elite defender at short play him there and move Rosario to second or third (when he reaches the majors).

    3.Get rid of Flores. The guy is their best hitter this year but he doesn’t hit enough to make up for his shortcomings. Alonso or Bruce should both hit better and can’t be much worse defensively.

    4. At the very least consider resigning Mesoroco, he’s better than both Plawecki and dArnaud.

    5. Resign Familia, keep collecting young relievers hopefully 2-3 stick when you throw them all against the wall.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 31, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      1. There’s this guy, Lagares, he may be back for a bit early next season but can’t promise much offense, although that new swing…

      3. They can be much worse than Flores and in the last six years, Bruce hasn’t been even to 1.0 WAR unless it’s his walk year, and he’s had over 600 PAs in each year.

      4. Mesoraco is a smart catcher and the Mets don’t know how to handle those.

  12. Eraff
    August 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Interesting Podcast.

    The most critical things to happen next year would be Conforto and Rosario advancing and solidifying their games. Add Health for Todd and Jay.

    I see Jay having value as a 1b/OF rotation guy….I don’t want to see Flo back, but…..

    The big needs would be to identify MLB quality positional players who can Bench and play in heavy rotation.

    13 pitchers

    of- Jay, Nimmo, Conforto
    IF- Rosario, Todd, McNeil
    C- Plawecki plus 1

    that’s 8 guys. 4 more to add. 2 OF…. 2 IF Obviously, need a RH bat who can play positions. Preferably another Middle IF who can spell SS/2b

    The rest is SP Health and BP quality.

  13. Eraff
    August 31, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    agree w brian—they are stockpiling 40 man slots—- a chance to keep guys like Chechinni, etc

    I think Dom can have another life…… my impression is that he’s seemed more “strange” than untalented.

    Cheech will probably make the squad next year.

  14. Eraff
    August 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Great Podcast—I want to remind Matt that “Building Trade Value” means proving you’re a good player! If 25-27 year old guys do that, you keep them!!!! I would focus “trade value” more on guys who are not long term anchors…Todd, Jay, Vargas……..

  15. Chris F
    August 31, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    He’s not on the 40 man and is not in need of being put on the 40 man for Rule 5 protection. It allows the team to protect someone else. Its completely a non-necessary roster move to add him to the 40. Also remember that there is no 60 day DL for the off season, so there is a crunch to get to 40, even with departing FAs. Sure, I could find a half dozen lost causes that Id say good bye to in a hurry, but getting to 40 is not just super simple.

    Furthermore, if the team sees him as an important part of the future, it would be malfeasance to start his clock and lose a year of control. For a year where the team is lost in space, it makes zero business sense to promote him “just for fun”.

    In the end, although not equally contributed, the answer is “E” –> all of the above

    • September 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      I agree Chris, there is no reason to promote Alonzo until he forces the issue or an injury opens an opportunity for him. I think Alonso is going to be a special power hitter that the Mets hadn’t seen for years..

  16. Eraff
    August 31, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Will Toffey

    This is a kid to keep a quiet eye on. He’s now at AA, and he’s boosted his Slugging %…. walking almost 20% of the time. Virtually 1:1 K to BB…. all obviously unsustainable at those levels, but a good indicator of general approach and skill.

    I don’t know how he profiles defensively at 3b and or beyond, but I like A+ and AA players who control AB’s…especially when they’re adding power.

  17. TexasGusCC
    August 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Concerning the podcast and Matt’s view that Conforto has struggled against lefties, he’s partially correct. Conforto has in fact had a bad year in pitch recognition against lefties. His 8.8%/34.5% BB/K rates against lefties are terrible compared to his 16%/23.1% against righties. But his batting average, slugging and RC+ are all higher against lefties than righties.

    In fact, all his percentages against lefties are better than last year when he hit .212 against them, when his success against righties – led by a .303 avg and a 164 RC+ – made all the deficiencies against the lefties vanish.

    In 2016, Conforto hit .106 against lefties. So, he has been improving every year and is just 25 years old. He and Nimmo are solid supportive players that may not be stars, but can be winning players on a good team.

    And as for Rosario, how many shortstops are better? And yesterday I used Javier Baez as an example of a player that was crucified early on (ironically the same age) for not being a star out of the gate. But look at him now, and Rosario is ahead of where Baez was. Let’s give the kid a few years.

    • September 1, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Compare the careers in their two First Years of Rosario and Reyes. It is scary. If Rosario keeps improving you might be seeing a Reyes clone.

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