Friday open thread – 1/18/2019

No matter how many times I refresh my Twitter feed, the big hot stove moves still don’t seem to want to happen. This was a pretty slow January week. A few items of note. 1) Happy to see our old friend Wilmer Flores found a home and I wish him well in Arizona 2) Yasmani Grandal’s comments about why he turned down the reported four year contract offer from the Mets is one of the most full of $#%& things I’ve ever heard. 3) To me, a team willing to spend anywhere near what Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are asking for would be wise to wait until next off-season when there will be a much deeper crop of A-level free agents.

45 comments for “Friday open thread – 1/18/2019

  1. Artie
    January 18, 2019 at 7:48 am

    The one second tier FA you hope the Mets sign to end the offseason, Maldonado?Jones?, Hellickson?,Wilson…

    • January 18, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Jones is nearly done and Maldonado is a horrendously bad hitter. I would sign Gio or a couple relievers and start Lugo.

    • MattyMets
      January 18, 2019 at 8:54 am

      Maldonado can’t hit much but he’s considered one of the best defensive catchers around. Since Boras is his agent he will not sign to be a backup. Gio Gonzalez will not sign on to begin the season in the bullpen or Syracuse as the Mets don’t currently have a rotation opening. Another reliever and a #3 catcher are what we need. The OF is the tricky bit. On paper, we have Nimmo and Conforto in the corners with Lagares and Broxton in CF and McNeil and Davis filling in and some AAA depth in Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco. Sounds good, but once the inevitable injuries come it could be a mess. None of our 3 projected starters are known for durability. One of the great things about Curtis Granderson is that he never gets hurt. Speaking of which, he is available for a one year deal.

      • January 18, 2019 at 8:35 am

        Maldonado is a great thrower of the baseball, but not a great pitch framer. Not signing Gio cause of a terrible pitcher like Vargas is silly.

    • January 18, 2019 at 10:24 am

      The guy I wanted is now off the board – I thought Avisail Garcia was worth a flyer, and my ‘bold prediction’ is that the $3.5M the Rays are paying him will turn out to be one of the best under-the-radar signings of the winter. Yea, I get the really high BABIP in 2017, and the K rate and the BB rate, but last year was an injury year, and the guy has shown he can hit (and hit hard).

  2. January 18, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Machado and Harper are future hall of famers and only 26, the Mets should have been on them and aren’t gonna be on next years top guys either cause Wilpons.

    • MattyMets
      January 18, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Dave – a bit early for HOF talk. Neither guy has won a WS or broken a record and they collectively have one MVP award.

      • January 18, 2019 at 8:36 am

        I mean world championships are a team thing unless you think Jeter had a better career than Ted Williams.

        • MattyMets
          January 18, 2019 at 9:08 am

          Point taken Dave, at least with regard to Machado. Harper has been playing on a stacked team that has come up short of expectations year after year however.

      • Chris F
        January 18, 2019 at 9:03 am

        Agree Matt. The existing HoF creds are absent. Not even close.

        • January 18, 2019 at 9:48 am

          Both are over 30 war going into their age 26 seasons.

          • Chris F
            January 18, 2019 at 10:02 am

            Who cares? That has no bearing on HoF credentials. Machado has not led the MLB in any category, never won a major award. The history of the game is filled with guys like Machado. Harper is closer with the RoY and MVP. Both legit hardware. But its not sustained. 30% of his WAR came from 1 season; 50% of his WAR is from 2 seasons. Without leading the leagues in more than news coverage, theres zero chance for the Hall for either of them.

            • January 18, 2019 at 10:13 am

              Zero chance? That seems silly to me espically how the younger writer use analytics in deciding, who to vote for.

            • January 18, 2019 at 10:47 am

              There are 35 hitters in MLB history to amass 30 or more fWAR through their age 25 season. Five of them are still active (Trout, Pujols & Betts) and one isn’t eligible for the HOF (Joe Jackson). Of the remaining 29, 23 are in the HOF, two are currently on the ballot (Andruw Jones & Barry Bonds) and one’s not eligible yet (A-Rod). The only three at this level not to reach the Hall are Sherry Magee, Cesar Cedeno and Vada Pinson.

              One could argue that they’re closer to Grady Sizemore (28.2 fWAR) and David Wright (28.1) than they are to Cobb (56.3) and Mantle (52.5). But Sizemore and Wright had HOF-type careers derailed by injuries. I think it’s safe to say that barring injuries and with normal production and aging patterns, that Harper and Machado are on HOF trajectories.

              • Chris F
                January 18, 2019 at 10:54 am

                If Machado does not with a single major award of any type, he will never make the Hall of Fame. And he shouldnt. WAR is a sad excuse for HoF creds.

                Mike Trout: AS every season. RoY, 2 MVP, MVP-2 3x, 6 silver slugger awards.

                Pujols: RoY, 3 MVP, 4 MVP-2, 6 SS, 2 GG.

                Mantle: 16x AS, 3 MVP, 2 MVP-2, GG

                Soo……….Machado is not even on the radar to get you to radar.

                • January 18, 2019 at 12:46 pm

                  You’re applying inner circle HOF standards and not every HOFer is Mickey Mantle.

                  If you look at the leaderboards, the eligible player with the highest fWAR not in the Hall is Rafael Palmeiro, with 70. So, 60 gets you in the discussion and 70 gets you in the Hall, absent a failed drug test.

                  Machado has been a 6-WAR performer in three of the last four years and he’s at the beginning of his prime. He should have 55 fWAR by the time he’s 30. So, can he add 15 more before he calls it quits? I wouldn’t call it a lock – he could be the next Hanley Ramirez – but I’d side with those who say he’s in good shape.

                  The over 60, under 70 is where your case lies. Guys like Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker and Graig Nettles and a bunch of guys caught up currently in the backload, like Walker, Jones and Martinez find themselves. But Machado seems likely to clear 70, the BBWAA seems to be improving the electorate and the Veterans Committee keeps lowering the bar.

                  • Chris F
                    January 18, 2019 at 12:35 pm

                    Machado is a nice player. Id rather have Arendado.

                    Playing locks:
                    Pujols, Trout, Verlander, Kershaw, Scherzer, Molina, Posey, Beltran

                    Admittedly, neither Harper nor Machado have played long enough, but Machado does not have anywhere even near a HoF arc (his best achievements are behind him already), and Harper might of he figures things out (his best acheivements are behind him). At this point, these guys would need to be compilers given their already declining performance. Im all goof foe using WAR to establish contracts, but as a HoF metric, its a consequence not a driver and never should be. without legit sustained leader board numbers and associated hardware, these guys are in the Hall of Very Good.

                    • Artie
                      January 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm

                      Stanton will be Hall of Farmer.

                    • January 18, 2019 at 1:24 pm

                      Right now Beltran is in that dreaded over 60, under 70 zone.

                      In order to amass 70 fWAR, a player needs to have “sustained leader board numbers.” No player is going to get there without putting up very strong numbers over a long period of time. Given his age and recent production, Machado has a decent shot of matching Ron Santo’s mark of amassing a 5.0 fWAR or better eight times in 10 years. And if he does that, he’ll join Santo in the Hall.

                    • Chris F
                      January 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm

                      I misspoke there for a second…I meant Beltre not Carlos Beltran (although a fringer, should not be in the Hall).

                      Apologies for the brain fart.

                    • TexasGusCC
                      January 19, 2019 at 2:04 am

                      Chris, these guys aren’t in their prime years yet, how do you say their best achievements are behind them?

                    • Chris F
                      January 19, 2019 at 5:41 pm

                      50% of Harper’s near 30 bWAR happened in 2 year, his rookie year and 2015 when he won MVP. That was 3 and 7 years ago. I dont see him getting better through his 20s, but more having anomalously good years inbetween mostly 1-2 WAR seasons. Lotta money for that. Maybe you ride a 10 WAR season to the WS, but the Nats sure didnt.

                      Likewise, Machado’s best WAR seasons were ’13, ’15, ’16. However, he is more consistent than Harper.

                      And for Brian: I just looked up Cano – he is on the cusp of 70 bWAR, and I sure dont hear people talking about hall of fame for him (and its clearly not all linked to PED as that was recent).

                    • January 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm

                      Still pretty far away at 56.3 fWAR, which is what I’ve been using throughout.

                      Two more years at what he did in his last full season of 2017 puts him in the discussion but at his advanced baseball age who knows what the Mets will get.

                  • MattyMets
                    January 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm

                    Based on the veteran committee induction of Harold Baines, it would appear that Jed Lowrie is making a case.

                    • Chris F
                      January 18, 2019 at 1:56 pm

                      Ha!!! Good one Matt!

                      Time for Buddy Harrelson!!!!

                    • January 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm

                      ha!!!!!! well done matt!

              • Chris F
                January 18, 2019 at 11:23 am

                correction Machado has 2 GG. Nice to be sure, but nowhere near HoF.

  3. January 18, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I don’t know what’s on your Twitter feed but the Post article I read said Grandal turned down offers that didn’t have the AAV he was expecting and that he owed it to other catchers to get the best deal there he could.

    He valued AAV over a long-term deal. He turned down the Qualifying Offer, so obviously he thought he deserved an AAV higher than that. He got it. The Mets’ offer didn’t beat the QO in terms of AAV.

    Some guys want security. Nothing wrong with that. Those who have security want the AAV. Nothing wrong with that, either. He’s betting on himself with the one-year deal. At his age and position, I’m not sure it’s a good bet. But good for him for believing in himself and sticking to his principles.

    • Chris F
      January 18, 2019 at 10:07 am

      I read/heard the same: He vies himself as the best catcher in the game, and the best catchers, like Molina, Posey set the mark for the future…and so the 15M AAV for the Mets was a non starter…something like that. He was viewing this as a think for the position and future, not himself.

      https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/ny-sports-yasmani-grandal-brewers-20190115-story.html

      • January 18, 2019 at 10:36 am

        Wow. .after reading that Daily News clip, I agree with Matt Netter in the initial post. If I am reading it correctly, he signed for 1 year @ $16M – or $1.9M less than the 1 year qualifying offer and only 1M more than the AAV of the Mets offer. Yea. . not buying that line. What he does and signs for will have no effect on the market for other ‘elite’ catchers. His career high in RBI is 72 and his career batting average is .240. Unless I am missing something, this guy is not the standard bearer for his position.

    • Name
      January 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      I don’t quite see it your way Brian. The way i see it is a guy who is in denial. This is 2019. The market is a lot different than it was 5 years ago when the guys he cited – McCann, Martin, Molina signed their deals. Fans know better. GMs know better. It’s not economically prudent to sign a player into their mid 30s, especially not a catcher.

      A $15 mil AAV for catcher is fantastic in this market and in 2 years he might have been the highest paid catcher when the old guys finish their current deals and Posey potentially moves off of catcher.

      I get that he wants to make a stand, but unlike what we’ve been told, one person alone doesn’t really make a difference. Unless he’s preaching this to his fellow players, what he’s doing will be for naught and he will have to suffer the consequences. If he even falls off in the slightest bit next year, he’s not going to get a 3 year/42 mil deal that would have matched the 4/60 offer the Mets gave him.

      • Bob P
        January 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm

        I actually think that he and his agent just misread the market. They had an offer from the Mets that they turned down thinking they could get something better. The Mets moved on (glad they did) and he didn’t have the leverage with other teams any longer. It seems likely that he took what he could get (I don’t remember seeing any reports of other significant multi year offers) and then had to try to save face when it appears that he made a bad decision to turn down the Mets. I think his explanation is BS and an excuse.

        • Name
          January 18, 2019 at 1:07 pm

          It could very well be this.

          Between the Mets and other teams trying to pursue Realmuto (Reds, Rays, Braves, Dodgers, Padres), Grandal’s camp might have thought they had a lot of options to work with. But then the Braves signed McCann and the Mets Ramos, and the Reds/Rays/Padres were probably only interested in Realmuto because he was cheap so his market dried up.

      • January 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm

        He may very well be in denial.

        I wouldn’t have offered him the deal the Mets did and my guess is that there are a fair number of GMs who feel the way that I do. My take is that he did pretty good exceeding the QO with his $18.25 million salary. If he’s as good as he thinks he is, maybe he gets a long-term deal next year. Or maybe he keeps getting one-year deals above the QO.

        We’ll have to see if he makes more money the next four years doing it his way, rather than accepting the Mets’ offer. Seems like that would be a good poll question, one I’m not sure which way I’d go. I’d probably say that he won’t. And if that’s the case, one could certainly say that he cut off his nose to spite his face.

        • Chris F
          January 18, 2019 at 12:46 pm

          A lot like Ian Desmond.

          • January 18, 2019 at 1:39 pm

            “The Nationals offered Desmond a contract extension last offseason that would have paid him $107 million over seven years, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. The contract would have included the two-year, $17.5 million deal Desmond signed last January, meaning Desmond would have made $89.5 million over five would-be free agent seasons.”

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2014/11/13/nationals-offered-ian-desmond-107-milllion-over-seven-years-last-offseason/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a88fd06455c2

            Here’s what Desmond got instead:

            14 – $6.5
            15 – $11
            16 – $8
            17 – $8
            18 – $22
            19 – $15
            20 – $15
            Total – $85.5 million – meaning he left $21.5 million on the table.

            But, the WashPost article says the money in the offer he turned down was deferred, so that has to be factored in. Plus, Desmond is guaranteed $10 million more – $8 million in 2021 + $2 million buyout of $15 million club option in 2022 that will definitely be declined.

            Desmond should have taken the big deal the Nats offered. But that wasn’t the worst mistake made in his transaction history. That 5/$70 contract the Rockies gave him was terrible. FanGraphs Dollar Values has him being worth (-$12.3 million) the past two seasons. And they still have him for three more. Ouch!

  4. MattyMets
    January 18, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Just made the mistake of reading comments on a Metsblog post and was quickly reminded of what brought me to Mets360. There’s a heated argument right now about why the Mets should have signed Machado instead of Lowrie and Frazier. As if Machado could be had for 1 year and 19mm. Others are trying to make a case for collusion. I get the frustration with the slow developing market, but how do you explain $27 million to Adam Ottavino, a middle reliever who had one good year?? or the Cy Young type contract that Patrick Corbin got after one good year as a mid rotation starter??

  5. January 18, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Tom Hausman was a pretty solid pitcher for the Mets in the dark days of 78-82. His son just posted on FB that he passed away.

    “After a long battle my father, Tom Hausman, threw his last pitch this morning. If you had the pleasure of meeting him, you know how his presence consumed the room! He was a proud, strong, loving man who helped so many people on his journey. He lived his life the way he wanted and nobody could tell him differently! I love you Pop! 3/31/1953-1/16/2019”

  6. January 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Gus, One of my Son’s friends is a wall street “kid”, and a Sports and Sports Gambling Junkie. He does some analytics on the side. He’s been trying to get with a professional team. Prior to the GM Transition, He told Me that the Mets were trying to hire an Analytics Guy, paying about 60-75% of the going rate for the Level. That wasn’t what they offered Hm…He wasn’t a Candidate….that was Their Position as they sought talent.

    Hopefully, that Has changed to attract good talent.

    • TexasGusCC
      January 20, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Eric, I too, have heard about the Coupons’ foolishness before. I can’t remember where right now, but earlier this winter I had heard that the Mets and Red Sox had the same job available. The Mets were starting at $60K and the Red Sox at $110K. It’s a shame that they choose to look for scraps rather than the best portions of something, but it’s been their modus operandi forever; it’s how they’re wired. The truth is that as businessmen, they have achieved greatly. But, they bring their landlord “pay only what you have to” mindset to a business that has unlimited upside, unlike collecting rents that are monthly constant no matter what.

      Think about it: For every extra home game (playoffs), the Mets get 60% of the gate and most of the concessions, including parking. True there are expenses such as utilities, players’ shares, and payroll, but if each home game clears you conservatively $5-10MM, and you can have five extra games, you stand to get back much of what your payroll cost was. [More is obviously better, but nothing is guaranteed.] That’s where having a competitive advantage makes a difference.

  7. January 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Gus…. that was my post…Not sure how my “Name” got messed up here

    Eraff

    • TexasGusCC
      January 20, 2019 at 6:45 pm

      Eraff, I wasn’t sure where it was but obviously you can vouch if my memory is accurate. I didn’t refer to Name anywhere… did I?

  8. January 20, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    who’s on first…. i posted under a diff name..

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