When fans had visions of Trevor Bauer and/or Jackie Bradley Jr. dancing in their head, it was a letdown to come away with Albert Almora Jr. and Jonathan Villar. While the addition of Bauer would have been greeted very favorably by me, there’s no huge regret that he ended up on another team with that salary and that baggage. And Bradley is looking to be paid as if 2020 was his expected level of performance, rather than an outlier. Good luck with that – glad he’ll be elsewhere.

So, as disappointments go, it wasn’t nearly as bad as that time when my dad told me he was going to buy me a new baseball glove and got the smallest, cheapest glove known to man – a Franklin model that was barely bigger than my fingers. Since dad wasn’t a sports fan and threw around nickels like they were manhole covers, it shouldn’t have surprised me. But I was crushed. You hear stories about kids from the Dominican – and there might have even been an Ozzie Smith story, too – made gloves from milk cartons or orange juice containers. The Franklin might have been a step up from that. And I stress might.

The Mets will get more use from Almora and Villar than I got from that glove.

*****

It’s likely a few of you have collected cards at some point in your life. Still have many of mine and now I’m trying to get them better organized to know the “haves” and the “needs.” The link below was started late Monday night and is very much a work in progress. Reach out to me here if you can hit any of my want list.

https://briancards.blogspot.com/

33 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (2/10/21)

  • Mike W

    In a way, I like the signings of Almora and Villar. They add versatility, speed and defense. It is part of the master plan of building depth and a good bench. I love Bradley’s defense, but not his bat.

    I still see room for upgrades. Would love to see a good third baseman. Probably will have to be by trade. Seems like Turner is asking for too much money and too many years.

    I get nervous when I look at the bullpen roster and see the names of Familia and Betances. I would be happy of they are even average pitchers this season. But is a lot of money to be paying two relief pitchers, who could really tank the bullpen. Wish we could dump them and replace them with two better options. Who knows, relief pitchers are flaky. look what Diaz did last year after the debacle of 2019.

    I still believe some more moves will be made.

    As for baseball cards, I am on a mission to complete my 1969 set. I need about 150 cards, including the expensive Mantle.

    • BoomBoom

      I’m expecting Betances to bounce back in the same way Rosenthal did last year after his horrendous 2019. Big year from him looking for a big payday.

    • MattyMets

      Mike W – thanks for saving my thumbs. Agree with every word.

  • Metsense

    Villar’s best defensive position is second base(+1 Rdrs) McNeil’s best defensive position is third base.(+5 Rdrs) Davis is a poor defender at third base(-19 Rdrs). Villar had a bWAR of 2.7 in 2018 and a 3.9 in 2019. Villar is athletic, 29-30 yoa, switch hitter with some power (14-19 HR) that has speed and utilizes it (35-40 SB). Villar should be their starting second baseman and McNeil should be at third. It would strengthen the team defensively and not compromise the offense. In fact, it would add another dimension to the offense, namely base stealing. McNeil could spell Conforto in RF and Smith in LF or when Smith plays 1B where Alonso is resting. At these times Davis would play 3B and the double play combination of Lindor and Villar would remain intact. It was a good pickup.

    Another good pickup was Almora because he is a plus defender in CF (+6 Rdrs) and should be used as a late defensive replacement when Nimmo moves to LF to replace Smith.

    I have a December birthday near Christmas and that was when I got gifts. With five kids in the family the money was tight. One June day, when I was a young boy, I came into the kitchen, much to my surprise, there was a new baseball mitt on the table for me. Thanks Brian for stirring up these fond memories of my parents.

  • TJ

    Ah, the old glove, the thousands of cards that went somewhere never to be determined…good times, great memories.

    Villar and Almora are good depth moves. I still think Sandy is looking for another impact move or two…I think he would deal JD for a more known quantity at 3B, but I’m not sure he can get that done with the money he’s comfortable spending and/or the chips his willing to deal.

    Another quality arm in the pen would be nice but it requires a trade, and dealing Familia or Betances will require eating virtually the entire cost. With Lugo back in the pen, both Familia and Betances should be kept out of high leverage innings until they re-establish themselves. If even one of the two of them returns to 90% of they were in their prime, the pen will be very solid.

    They are sniffing around Paxton and Turner but don’t like the price. If Paxton can be had on a one year they can afford one overpay after missing on the top guys.

  • TexasGusCC

    So, the A’s signed Jed Lowrie to a minor league contract… I thought this guy couldn’t even walk without a limp… bet you he’s completely healthy. He will be the reason guaranteed contracts will not be for long. I continue to feel Wilson said something to him and pissed off his entitled gene.

  • BobP

    $20 million for a grand total of no hits and 1 walk from Lowrie in 2 years. Has there ever been a worse contract in terms of production?

    • MattyMets

      Don’t mean to brag, but I hit the same number of homeruns as Jed Lowrie over the last two seasons.

      • ChrisF

        He did get that walk though Matt. I mean…ya know, that’s an important on base number!

        Another of the BVW disasters. What a catastrophe he was.

        • Brian Joura

          In 2019, Amed Rosario had a .755 OPS which worked out to a 101 OPS+. Lowrie came up 8 times. If he managed to walk six times, he would have been close to being a league-average player.

  • Remember1969

    Lowrie = bad idea and bad execution = Bad contract. BobP is right. The worst contract ever.

    And interesting on the cards. I only wish I could find my coins from 71. If you have any luck with this and find other people, I’d be interested in joining the network. I still have holes in my ’72 set.

    I just dug out a 78 set and found a ton of holes in it .. I am not sure if I am looking at my doubles or whether I just don’t have a complete first set .. I’ll take another look and see – if they are in fact doubs, I’ll let you know.

    I just bought a bunch (probably a couple thousand or more) cards at a local auction – most are late 80’s and early 90’s of different sets .. there are a ton of (ok, maybe about 750) 1990 Topps doubles that I’d be interesting in discussing trading or selling if anyone wants them.

  • Woodrow

    G’bye,Corey,we hardly new ya!

    • Remember1969

      Without any MiLB options left, it was only a matter of time.

      So if I am correctly interpreting what I am reading about the DFA process, it seems that if they don’t work out a trade and if he then clears waivers, and because he doesn’t have three years of MLB service time, the team has the power and can either outright him to Syracuse or release him.

      True? if so, we may see him back at Citi in the future.

  • Mike W

    So, the Mets were just part of a 3 team trade with the Royals and Red Sox. Khalil Lee sent to the Mets, who they shipped to Boston as a player to be named later as well as Josh Winckowksi leaving. So, who did the Mets get? Or did they get to dump Betances or Familia?

  • Mike W

    Maybe I’m confused.

    • Brian Joura

      One of the beat writers on Twitter had Lee going to Boston but no one else did. Seems like the Mets want Lee in order to have a minor league OF depth piece.

      • David Groveman

        Khalil Lee is a stolen base OBP center fielder. He doesn’t project as a starter but I love this move. Winckowski projected as starter fodder in a crowded field, Lee is probably the best pure OF the Mets have above Low-A

        Next time the Mets are looking for a 4th outfielder who can provide defensive support and won’t be terrible off the bench, maybe they won’t need a free agent.

  • MattyMets

    Lee looks like a nice get to me. He’s only maybe a year away. Had a very good AA season and had his AAA season cut short. He’s 22, lefty, can play CF and steals a ton of bases. The pitcher we gave up is further away amd doesnt have a high ceiling.

  • Wobbit

    I like Villar but make no mistake, poor defensively. At least the games I watched against the Mets last season he was very weak. And yet, he’s a good fit for this team. I just love a guy who can steal a base, and he definitely can. Now if they get Marwin Gonzalez, they will easily have the most versatile roster in the game. Multiple guys playing multiple position, several switch hitters. Still, not terrific defense, but stronger than last year, especially with McCann and Almora up the middle. They will score runs!

  • TJ

    A lot has been said about the Mets whiffing on the big three – Realmuto, Springer, and Bauer – even with the Lindor acquisition. However, Alderson and crew have been methodical about addressing the depth on the 40 man and in the organization as well. This is quite important, not only on increasing their competitiveness in 2021 but in subsequent years as well. Nabbing this kid from KC was a nice get on several levels.

    • Woodrow

      It’s hard to believe they didn’t sign one of the big three guys! Who would have thought that in December. Springer was the Perfect fit. Realmuto is the best catcher in the game, and Bauer was obviously a guy they really wanted. You don’t always get what you want, let’s hope they got what they needed.

  • Brian Joura

    Mets DFAd Ali Sanchez to open a roster spot for new-acquisition Khalil Lee. I’m pretty surprised that he was cut before Mazeika but he didn’t look near as good defensively in his brief time in the majors last year as we were led to believe, so can’t say it’s a shock he was cut at all.

    According to The Post, Villar deal not yet official so there’s still a 40-man move to come.

    • David Groveman

      If they traded Mazeika, what would we joke about on the podcasts?

    • Brian Joura

      Mets cut Brad Brach to make room for Villar. Brach didn’t show a lot last year and there are still about 20 relief pitchers vying for a spot in the pen.

  • Woodrow

    Khalil Lee reminds me of a young OF prospect the Mets traded for, Alex Ochoa. Anyone else remember him? Let’s hope Lee works out better.

  • Wobbit

    One comment about Jake Arieta: Nooooooooooooooooo!

    The only good that might come from it is the insurance that Todd Frazier will not want to rejoin the team, not wanting a dented head. Otherwise, I see nothing that he would ultimately contribute. Too old, too diminished, too fragile, any money would be too expensive.

  • Brian Joura

    ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel rates all of the farm systems:

    25. New York Mets ($119 million)

    Last year: 18th, $186 million (fifth-biggest rankings and value decline)

    Top 100 prospects: 2

    The Mets moved up a spot as this list was locking Wednesday night, adding Khalil Lee for free, as far as this list was concerned, because the Mets traded a fringe prospect and player to be named later for a new entrant into their top 10.

    The Mets traded some solid young players for Francisco Lindor, graduated a few more (one of whom was also traded for Lindor), and did well in the draft. The depth has eroded here beyond the top handful of prospects (who are basically all recent first-rounders and big international bonuses), but the Mets have built solid 40-man depth for big league inventory, so this is less essential.

  • Woodrow

    Uh oh,no Hill,no Arrietta,anyone else see a Porcello return?

  • Mr_Math

    Brian, I’ve been on the road the last week or two, and I hate trying to read on my tiny eye-strain inducing phone screen. So I mostly stay offline while on the road, and hadn’t been here since you made this a membership site. And I can honestly say that the articles and comments are better than ever. Did you know this was going to happen?

    José

    • Brian Joura

      Thanks Jose!

      I thought it would make the comments section better, for sure. Glad to hear that you think the articles are better, too!

  • Brian Joura

    Keith Law rates the farm systems

    19. New York Mets

    The Mets would have had a top-10 system had they not traded away so many prospects in the last three years, although trading a couple of lottery-ticket teenagers for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco is a lot easier to swallow than trading Jarred Kelenic for Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz was. It’s still a decent system despite all of those departures thanks to some shrewd draft strategy and big-ticket international signings that all look good in the early going. Their pool of talent aged 20 and under is impressive, just from a scouting standpoint, although those players have little to no track records on the field so far.

  • Brian Joura

    Mets sign Kevin Pillar to a one-year deal. He’s a solid hitter but he has a (-14) DRS in CF the past three years.

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