Wednesday catch-all thread (2/5/20)

Scratch Mookie Betts from your wish list, as the star Red Sox outfielder was dealt to the Dodgers in a collection of at least two deals involving four teams.

Earlier this offseason, the Red Sox hired Chaim Bloom from the Rays to run their front office. If Bloom’s name sounds familiar, he was one of the three finalists for the Mets’ GM job following the 2018 season.

The theory is that Bloom was bypassed because he wanted to do some sort of rebuild, like he’s now doing in Boston. The Wilpons wanted someone to come in and make the moves to compete right away.

It was pretty amazing that Bloom was able to get rid of both Betts and David Price (well, half of Price, as Boston is still on the hook for 1/2 of his remaining salary) yet still get one of the game’s top young prospects in Alex Verdugo and an upside pitching prospect in Brusdal Graterol.

Last year, Graterol spent time with four different teams, ending his year in the majors with the Twins. He spent the most time in Double-A, where he went 6-0 with a 1.71 ERA. There are questions if Graterol can hack it as a starting pitcher. But few doubt he’s an MLB player.

So, Bloom cuts $74.5 million dollars from his payroll. Betts had already rejected a long-term deal from Boston. The chances he was re-signing with the club after this year were very low. Maybe Bloom could have gotten more if he just dealt Betts. But let’s not pretend that getting out from $47.5 million of Price’s contract was insignificant.

Price turned 34 late in the 2019 season and his last five starts of the year were terrible. Maybe he’s got something left – he was pretty good the first 17 starts of 2019 – but it’s unlikely he was going to turn back into the guy from 2015, much less the one from 2012.

So, did the Mets screw up big time by not hiring Bloom? Probably, yeah. They certainly would still have Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic and probably Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson, too. Maybe they wouldn’t have won 86 games last year. Maybe they’ll be better in 2020 under Brodie Van Wagenen then they would have been under Bloom. But 2021 and beyond could have been a different beast.

It will be fascinating to watch the results of the Mets and Red Sox the next five years. In a way, Mets fans will get to see two different theories work out in real time. There’s Van Wagenen and the “go for it” route they took in real life. And there’s the path not taken with Bloom, which instead we’ll see play out with the Red Sox.

18 comments for “Wednesday catch-all thread (2/5/20)

  1. Chris F
    February 5, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Chaim Bloom was the right move. Hes gonna build a smart, sustainable, and quality ball club. BVW the car salesman, or carnival barker, or flea circus ring leader, knew exactly what to say to get the job, and protect his old clients – but nothing about building a real winning baseball club. In his brief time we’ve seen mismanagement and serious discontent in with the manager and clubhouse, a trade as bad as the Hindenburg, and a new manager hire that was exhausting and a total flop. Its a typical fake go for it with broken and spare parts, not Betts or Cole or Harper or or or or

    The flip side is Andrew Friedman, and how he structured this move for Betts and Price. It was genius, and a move winning teams and front offices make. Its exactly a move like I think we should make for Bryant.

    86 wins and third place is so forgettable that I personally (its my shortfall) dont see any difference between it and 76 wins. A month of exciting, make-believe-we-are-in-it baseball is more pretender than contender.

    And now with the impending loss of Cohen as the new owner, we have nothing more to look at than an endless trail of tears with Montgomery C. Burns and Smithers staying on for ever.

  2. Mike Walczak
    February 5, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Cohen backing out will a lot of wind out of the fans sails. Almost like the party you hate getting reelected in an election.

    • Chris F
      February 5, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      Ha!

  3. MattyMets
    February 5, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I actually think this was a good trade for all 3 teams involved. Price at half cost is a good pick up. Lefties often age well and I believe he’s got plenty left. Betts and Bellinger in the middle of that lineup is gonna be a problem for opposing clubs. Meanwhile the Sawx shed payroll and got younger while the Twins improved their rotation. If the other shoe drops, the Angels get Joc Pederson for a good bit not their best prospect.

  4. February 5, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Ughh… Cohen can’t walk away from us. That puts us back into Wilpon purgatory hell.

  5. Eraff
    February 5, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    If Betts would sign with Boston, they’d keep him and they’d probably keep Price as well. The fact that Betts won;t sign with the Sox drives this deal–it has little to do with Bloom’s philosophy, and it doesn’t predict the Sox being low spenders ahead.

    The Cano Deal????? …. I’d guess that neither Bloom nor the Sox Ownership would have pursued that—- That deal evened out dollars over the short term, and provided an Invinceable Closer—oops!!!! That was fueled by the tight box that Broadie is/was in as GM— I disliked that move. We could all like it more if they win a championship in the next two years, with Diaz as a main player.

    • February 5, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      I disagree completely. From the Boston Globe when Bloom was hired:

      “Principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner have said they want to slash payroll approximately 15 percent to get under MLB’s luxury-tax threshold of $208 million. Reaching that goal could require trading one or more high-salaried players, perhaps even star right fielder Mookie Betts.

      snip

      The Red Sox believe Bloom can do for them what another Tampa Bay executive, Andrew Friedman, has accomplished with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      The Dodgers hired Friedman before the 2015 season. They have since led the majors in victories, won the National League West every season, and have two pennants. Friedman also has cut the team’s payroll by roughly 20 percent.”

      https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2019/10/25/red-sox-hire-chaim-bloom-run-baseball-ops/nVNrSMg7J3oltWTxfFhUxL/story.html

      • Eraff
        February 5, 2020 at 2:40 pm

        I’d hope and trust that they’d have signed Betts if they could, all other logic and philosophy aside.

        It’s a shame that a Young Star with a HOF type career start/arc is being shipped off in a money move by the Red Sox—that happened once before!!!! 🙂

        • Chris F
          February 5, 2020 at 3:15 pm

          I think this is the best move to sign Betts long term. BoSox *need* to get under the lux tax limit to have it reset. Once they do that, then they can go large again without the excruciating tax that would be coming for re-signing him. Its a smart move. They are not contenders this year, and now will be poised to bring him back.

  6. TJ
    February 5, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    There is little doubt that Chaim Bloom had the better resume and track record with regards to the Met GM position. By all public accounts, he is an excellent young baseball mind. But let’s not forget that these guys are employees, making big bucks, with extremely powerful sole proprietors running the teams. They do what the owners want. And, in spite of all other facts and evidence, owners hire who they want.

    The Mets hired Brodie because Jeff liked him, plain and simple. Jeff actually planted the idea of GM in Brodie’s mind shortly after Alderson stepped down, so how objective and fact-based was the search. Now, Jeff’s agenda was pretty simple to deduct – first, after year’s of Alderson’s imposing figure, that at times left Jeff uncomfortable even as his “boss”, Jeff wanted comfort, a playmate to some degree. Combined with that, and perhaps unknown to the public, is the ticking clock on Wilpon ownership. We all know Fred is up there and very likely less patient for a “Bloom rebuild”, but what we know now is that Jeff is short of ownership time, as his siblings and cousins are forcing a sale since they want to inherit money and not a team that they have no ownership interest in.

    Getting back to Bloom, and Friedman, while these guys came out of Tampa as “moneyballers”, they are both in big markets now. Yes, Bloom was certainly ordered by ownership to bring down payroll. He did this because he was told to do it…whether he wanted to or not we don’t know. But, with ownership telling you to deal a guy that has made public his desire for $400 million (which he isn’t worth), you trade the guy plain and simple. Friedman has and continues to spend. Yes, he positioned the Dodgers well, mostly because they have a great system and produced stars and prospect depth, and also because they have a ton of money and have been a top payroll team. I expect Bloom will shortly operate like Friedman, in a manner that Alderson once called “moneyball with money”. I continue to hope that someday I will see the Mets in that position as well.

    • Eraff
      February 5, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      Perfect Recap, Tj!

  7. Metsense
    February 5, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Bloom had his back against the wall. Ownership wanted to get under salary cap. His best player did want want to sign an extension so he was looking at a compensatory draft pick. Bloom was also saddled with an aging Price that was taking a big chunk of the payroll. Bloom escaped his predicament expertly. He now has a very good replacement in Verdugo, saved a ton of money and Red Sox still can compete for a playoff spot this year and positioned themselves for a 2020 free agent market.

  8. TexasGusCC
    February 6, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Getting Bloom and not BVW means:
    – Pete Alonso platoons with Smith at first and certainly stays in Syracuse for a couple of months to “work on his defense”.
    – Matt Allen isn’t a Met.
    – Edwin Diaz isn’t a Met.
    – JD Davis isn’t a Met.
    – Probably Wilson Ramos isn’t a Met.
    – If Kimbrel is a Met, it’s for about what Cano costs them.
    – we trade Davis, Diaz and Allen for Kelenic, Dunn, SWR, and Kay, and call Kimbrell and Cano a wash. I think we got the better end. Kay is no big deal and Dunn is a mid-rotation guy. Kelenic hurts and SWR May have to be a reliever if he doesn’t get a plus third pitch.

    • February 6, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Interesting list. I’d like to address each point.

      1. Alonso probably opens the year in the minors but I doubt it’s for months. If somehow it is for months, it’s because Smith is hitting a ton. Maybe Alonso doesn’t win ROY – although if Smith doesn’t start off well, it’s certainly still in play. Keeping Kris Bryant down for service time manipulation didn’t keep him from winning ROY back in 2015.

      2. BVW made the ultimate call to go for Allan. But the amateur scouting staff, including holdovers from the Alderson regime, certainly played a factor. I’m not convinced the 2019 Draft doesn’t play out the same way with Bloom at the helm.

      3. This is certainly true. It wouldn’t have hurt last year’s team.

      4. Davis is exactly the type of guy that Bloom and the Rays have been targeting for years. Not sure how you can be so sure that this wouldn’t have happened. Or if they didn’t get Davis that they wouldn’t have gotten a reasonable facsimile. Cheap, controllable talent is what the Rays have specialized in and cheap, controllable talent is what Bloom got in the Betts/Price deal.

      5. I don’t see why this is true. Bloom wouldn’t have paid the prospect price for Realmuto and it’s doubtful he would have offered Grandal more than BVW did. Ramos was a good value signing.

      6. This one’s the big unknown. Would Bloom have viewed Kimbrel as the answer? I know I did but it’s certainly possible that Bloom would have balked at signing a reliever for a big contract. And how would Kimbrel’s year played out if he had a full Spring Training instead of the crazy offseason he did?

      I think your list is making a lot of unprovable assumptions and all of them are breaking in BVW’s way. Hey, maybe it would have worked out exactly like you suggest. But my guess is that the likelihood of all of it happening the way you suggest is very low. Like single-digits low.

      • TexasGusCC
        February 6, 2020 at 4:24 pm

        Brian, I know we are simply debating opinions, but I remind you that Bloom wanted to do “a small rebuild”. He wouldn’t have signed Ramos, Kimbrel may have been ok with a normal spring training, but I highly doubt Bloom would have went for Allen in the third round when every other team passed on him and this was Bloom’s first draft and he would have looked bad if it didn’t work out. But, you never know.

      • Chris F
        February 6, 2020 at 6:19 pm

        Yeah, I agree Brian.

  9. NYM6986
    February 6, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Seems the Sox had no choice but to trade Betts when they could not agree on a contract and dumping half of Price’s salary is no small accomplishment. It’s what we should do with Cano – send him to an AL team to DH, eat half his salary and spend the other half – oh yeah the Wilson’s will put that into their pockets along with the money from those $12 beers. Clearly we are good at the trade deadline so let’s hope we are in contention enough that bringing in some half year rentals can bring us home a title.

  10. José
    February 11, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Found this interesting interview with Rick Porcello (whom I think is awesome since we share Christian names) in the NY Post

    https://nypost.com/2020/02/08/rick-porcellos-first-impression-of-mets-stars-avoiding-his-red-sox-mistake/

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