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2019 New York Mets Season Thread

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On 2/5/2019 at 3:58 PM, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Mets supposedly showing some interest in Gio Gonzalez.  I'd consider taking a flyer on him on a one-year deal, if he wants to bet on himself.  He should represent an upgrade over Vargas, but he's had some scary stretches in 2016 and 2018:

2016, from 5/23 through 9/28:  24 starts, 129 IP, 139 H, 80 ER, 46 BB, 181 K, 16 HR, 5.58 ERA

2018, from 6/9 through 8/29:  15 starts, 74.1 IP, 93 H, 56 ER, 42 BB, 56 K, 11 HR, 6.78 ERA  (This is VERY frighteningly Vargas-like, and very recent to boot)

His pattern in both seasons was to start strong (he was very good through late May of both seasons)...he did seem to do a little better after he was traded to the Brewers as September rolled around last year, but it looks like they were careful with him...he never pitched beyond the sixth inning in any of those starts, and didn't even go five in two of them.  Threw 25.1 IP in five starts as a Brewer, so not sure what to make of that limited sample. 

Basically, this is a case of the Mets being rightly cautious in signing him up, especially if his camp is insisting on multiple years.  He did turn a relatively more consistent 2017, and has been a solid starter for much of his career...but there's just enough red flags lately (not to mention that he doesn't seem like the guttiest guy out there) that I can understand if the Mets decide to pass...doesn't mean that I'm on board with Vargas being the 5th guy in 2019, but I don't think the Mets should be killed too too much if they do pass on Gio.

 

You're totally right about the not gutsy part. I've seen a lot of neutral Gio outings where it's Nats vs a team other than the Mets. Far too often see Niese like qualities in him. At the end of the season his numbers usually round out to being ok though. But one thing I'd keep an eye on is walks and k's with him. The walks are there...they'll always be there but the K's dropped under 150 for him for the first time ever. I'm curious if there's been some sort of drop in velocity that starting to take place that will eventually lead him to Vargas territory. Not the time to give Gio more than 1 year. Hold firm Mets

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That fifteen start stretch I detailed from last season is absolutely terrifying.  That’s about as Vargas as it gets.  Mets definitely have to be careful here.  Last thing they need is Vargas Part Deux.

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Hey Justin, it's called "market correction".  These big long-term contracts almost always turn out to be disasters, and it's not like you guys ever offer to give any of the money back when you underperform or decline.  And Harper turned down what, $300 million and 10 years?  Just because teams are trying to spend a lot less foolishly than they once did (and thereby trying to stay below the luxury tax threshold) does NOT indicate a broken system:

https://nypost.com/2019/02/11/justin-verlander-trashes-mlbs-broken-free-agent-system/

I usually side with the players in these matters, but maybe it's time your brethren started adjusting their contract expectations.  They're all still going to be paid plenty handsomely. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Yeah players think it's their frigging birthright to keep getting overpaid by the owners every year.  I'm not even sure how much of it is owners getting smarter as much as it is GM's and the analytics valuing players more in accordance with what they should be getting paid and for how many years.  Plus yes there is way too much of the 'tanking' mentality in baseball.  Blame the Cubs and Astros for that one, now everyone wants to dive to the bottom like the Padres, White Sox, etc.  Maybe it's just time to go to a lottery there a la the NBA and NHL although in baseball the tanking isn't as much about getting the highest draft pick in the first round as it is accumulating younger players and saving money.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Typical Mets:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/mets-gm-tells-mike-francesa-that-team-doesnt-have-room-for-bryce-harper-manny-machado/ar-BBTtqNj?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp

It is kind of amazing that BOTH of them are still unsigned.  Would be nice to just see the Mets at least kick the damned tires on Harper, but the Wilpons will always Wilpon.

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14 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Yeah players think it's their frigging birthright to keep getting overpaid by the owners every year.  I'm not even sure how much of it is owners getting smarter as much as it is GM's and the analytics valuing players more in accordance with what they should be getting paid and for how many years.  Plus yes there is way too much of the 'tanking' mentality in baseball.  Blame the Cubs and Astros for that one, now everyone wants to dive to the bottom like the Padres, White Sox, etc.  Maybe it's just time to go to a lottery there a la the NBA and NHL although in baseball the tanking isn't as much about getting the highest draft pick in the first round as it is accumulating younger players and saving money.

Yeah, baseball is so much more of a crapshoot than other sports, when it comes to getting high draft picks...hell, Paul Wilson was a #1 overall pick (as was Kris Benson).  Not sure a lottery would discourage tanking in any way. 

And yeah, Cubs and Astros definitely laid the groundwork for "We're going to purposely suck royally for a while, but once we get past that, we have a shot to have a good, young, inexpensive team for 4-5 years, maybe more, especially we can flip some of the higher-priced-but-still-good players for more prospects." 

What's annoying about the Mets is that of course they're going to go about their business both half-assed and half-in...suddenly they want to "win now", but they bring in a bunch of pretty-goods and guys who may start to decline very soon, because even in a market that is seeing asking prices drop, they STILL won't even DREAM of going after a Harper-type who should be a top player for at least 5 more years, if not longer.  I do think he's kind of douchey, but the Mets would sell a hell of a lot of jerseys, not to mention give fans a very compelling to come to Citi.  This franchise just forever thinks so damned small and it's always about saving pennies...I know we've been over that a million times, but it just gets so damned OLD.  And we've got our salesman GM patting himself on the back...because apparently he seems to think he's already a winner. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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You guys are obviously very aware of what's going on with deGrom at the moment:  the deadline to get a long-term deal done (by Opening Day), and of course, the threat of him limiting his innings if it doesn't happen.

Though this is clearly going to detract from his likability (and deGrom obviously has tons of that, in spades), I can understand why his camp is doing this, much like BVW tried similar tactics last season...it's trying to create urgency, where it really doesn't exist.  Mets absolutely do NOT have to get this done right now...and the Rickey Henderson-like "Well maybe I won't go as all out" threat rings hollow...for one, I don't think Jacob has that in him, and besides, since when do pitchers get to take themselves out of games?  And I can't see that kind of attitude making him look great to potential suitors, many of whom won't be looking to spend massive dollars on a starting pitcher in his early 30s (more on that in a bit). Sure, in a perfect world where the Mets weren't run by buffoons and the franchise actually dared to spend like a big market team, I'd say stop fvcking around with this, get the guy a 5-7 year-long extension at huge dollars, enjoy the cushy press conference and backpage glory, and call it a day. 

But in THIS world, even if the Mets did act now, and swiftly and boldly, we know where this would go.  deGrom's contract would represent the latest excuse not to continue to spend (just like Cespedes' deal right now).  As we know with the Wilpons, there's never a final step or sometimes even a second one...deGrom would get signed, and that will be the equivalent of the kitchen being fully upgraded and modernized.  The rest of the house would be left to slowly rot as is, or would be decorated with lawn furniture, courtesy of IKEA. 

And unfortunately for deGrom, he has factors working against him...for one, he'll turn 31 in June.  He'll be 32 in his walk year, and in case he and his camp haven't noticed, teams aren't exactly running out to sign players to uber-high-priced long-term deals these days (especially older ones)...maybe if Jake was under 30 when his free agency was due to arrive, he might be a worthy exception, but even a four-year deal will see him turn 36 by the end of his deal.  And it's not like we haven't seen seemingly top-flight talent lose it quickly in their early 30s.  Testing the market in 2020 might not be all deGrom's camp thought it was cracked up to be, especially if he shows some decline over the next two years. 

So even though I won't mind one bit if Jake and the Mets somehow come to an agreement that keeps him in Met pinstripes for the next 5+ seasons, I think the Mets can wait here.  I think depending on how this season shakes out, you can make the argument that they should sign both Syndergaard and Wheeler to long-term deals after the 2019 season, at likely much less per season for each that what deGrom would get...and either deal deGrom, or if the Mets are somehow legit WS contenders, keep him for 2020 and let him walk.  It's not that I wouldn't want to keep deGrom (like I said, I wouldn't mind)...it's more that I know how the Mets operate, and I can see our initial jubilation turning into "Yep, now of course the Mets are cheaping out yet again!" in a few years. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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I HOPE that whole personal innings and pitch limit crap is just the agent sabre-rattling cause that really is Harvey-type stuff right there.

The Mets are in a tricky spot...this whole agent as the GM thing might wind up backfiring cause does Jake really trust Brodie at this point?  Last year it was pay me or trade me, now he's trying to get him at management's price.  Maybe the FA market of the last couple of offseasons has the Mets thinking it's not really in their best interest to go long-term now.  As great and likeable as Jake has been to this point I'm not really gonna blame the Mets for riding it out and risking the FA doomsday scenario considering he'll still be 32-33 in his first year of a new deal, but by the same token if you're just gonna go hardline and not negotiate, don't tell the guy you plan to negotiate and then go radio silent.  At least be a little more transparent than that with your best player and a guy who's been a class act to this point.  

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22 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

I HOPE that whole personal innings and pitch limit crap is just the agent sabre-rattling cause that really is Harvey-type stuff right there.

The Mets are in a tricky spot...this whole agent as the GM thing might wind up backfiring cause does Jake really trust Brodie at this point?  Last year it was pay me or trade me, now he's trying to get him at management's price.  Maybe the FA market of the last couple of offseasons has the Mets thinking it's not really in their best interest to go long-term now.  As great and likeable as Jake has been to this point I'm not really gonna blame the Mets for riding it out and risking the FA doomsday scenario considering he'll still be 32-33 in his first year of a new deal, but by the same token if you're just gonna go hardline and not negotiate, don't tell the guy you plan to negotiate and then go radio silent.  At least be a little more transparent than that with your best player and a guy who's been a class act to this point.  

Yeah, Jake has definitely earned the right not to be d!cked around...he's very much been a class act to date.  The longer BVW is here, the more I can see him rubbing some people the wrong way...I think he's got that classic "too smart for the room" salesman vibe that can turn people off very quickly.  Especially since he's already acting like he's already a winner...he's got a lot of millennial in him. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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They really fail to see what a Harper or Machado signing would do in terms of galvanizing the franchise and bringing us up to another level of legitimacy. The excitement that it would bring would sell tickets, fill the stadium and bring us up to the tier of true contenders. It wouldn't be cheap, but in the long run the payoff of this move would be greater than the cost of the signing. It would be as impactful and out of the blue as the Piazza signing and the effects would last years.

We're well positioned right now but we haven't taken that one needed giant leap to true conttenderhood. This would be it. Fred and Jeffy are too worried about the short term pain of it. Bite the bullet. This is the best thing for the franchise. And I hate Harper personally and Machado has his issue. But these are big difference makers and long term ones at that

Their prices are coming down anyway with the current correction we're in. Yes you'll pay up. But not as much as you thought 18 months ago

 

Edited by '7'

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It's funny...metrics nerds are apparently down on Harper because his WAR has been 1.5 or less in three out of his last five seasons.  (He's also hit under .250 in two of the past three seasons).  It's not ALL roses with Harper (and he seems like he's a bit of a punk), but I'd definitely at least go after the guy. 

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On 2/14/2019 at 9:54 AM, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

It's funny...metrics nerds are apparently down on Harper because his WAR has been 1.5 or less in three out of his last five seasons.  (He's also hit under .250 in two of the past three seasons).  It's not ALL roses with Harper (and he seems like he's a bit of a punk), but I'd definitely at least go after the guy. 

With him I can see a sort of rising tide that lifts all ships argument working. He still walked a league high 130 times last year. Extremely feared lineup presence that gets on base consistently. Hit .319 two seasons ago so maybe those 243/249 seasons were more anomalies if anything. Can't remember if perhaps he played through some injuries those years...will have to check. He may have those 250 type seasons every so often but will always counter them with bigger 270-320 type years. I hate him personally but man would he make this lineup dangerous. He's right smack dab in his prime...maybe he'll grow up a bit as he gets into his late 20's

It's aggravating to hear the Padres are in on Machado. Other teams are trying and we are too destitute to even try apparently.

Edited by '7'

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38 minutes ago, '7' said:

With him I can see a sort of rising tide that lifts all ships argument working. He still walked a league high 130 times last year. Extremely feared lineup presence that gets on base consistently. Hit .319 two seasons ago so maybe those 243/249 seasons were more anomalies if anything. Can't remember if perhaps he played through some injuries those years...will have to check. He may have those 250 type seasons every so often but will always counter them with bigger 270-320 type years. I hate him personally but man would he make this lineup dangerous. He's right smack dab in his prime...maybe he'll grow up a bit as he gets into his late 20's

It's aggravating to hear the Padres are in on Machado. Other teams are trying and we are too destitute to even try apparently.

Harper is probably a little overrated, based on his overall body of work to date, and he's too new-age in that he's another guy who strikes out a ton and clearly isn't bother by it...but I'd still think about going after him...especially in this market.  At the very least, the guy absolutely lives on the basepaths (.410 OB% over the past four seasons)...he's not one of those guys who disappears completely when he's not hitting.  He's also averaged 142 GP per season over the past four years, so it's not like he's THAT brittle.  And great rate numbers overall over those 142 GP on average.  Yeah, he's not exactly embraceable, but the guy's best years are probably ahead of him, and he's obviously not chump change now.

But nope, not even going to entertain it or try.  Because as Jeffy said, can't have two "$30 million" players, though it's looking like Harper may not be able to command that.  And of course, the Mets will get some insurance coverage for Cespedes, so they may only be on the hook for his full hit in 2020 only.  Cheap fvcking POS franchise. 

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That plus Brodie made sure to overload on the second-tier options so there won’t actually be ‘open’ spots for the first-tier guys otherwise people would complain even more.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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2 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

That plus Brodie made sure to overload on the second-tier options so there won’t actually be ‘open’ spots for the first-tier guys otherwise people would complain even more.

True dat...means he can say "Well we have this and this already!" 

I have this team winning about 84 games if they can stay relatively healthy...maybe a little better if some guys overachieve...but 90+ seems like a longshot.  What do you guys think? 

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Looking like Harper will wind up with the Phillies...with all of the false starts we've had with "Harper is about to sign..." news, I'll believe it when I see it, but it does look like that's where he'll end up...and supposedly, it's for MORE than what the Nats offered.  If that's the case, then the players need to STFU and stop whining about not getting more money.  Especially when exactly none of them have ever offered to give money back when they completely suck, or become complacent.  Like I've said previously, I tend to side with the players on these matters, but the quotes I've read really make them sound like entitled spoiled brats.  They're STILL going to get a hell of a lot of money...just stop asking for what isn't being made available to you.  For once, it looks like some owners and GMs are actually daring to learn from past mistakes, after having been burned enough times...and we've seen many of them.  After the easy part's over (the signing of the deal after the negotation's done, the post conference lovefest, the backpage splashes and all of the adulation and fan enthusiasm), we've seen what can happen.  Subpar performance, and in that case, sometimes it's not really subpar performance, as much as it is a guy was signed to a dollar figure he couldn't possibly live up to.  Or inability to make more moves, due to that player taking up to much of the budget.  Injuries.  Or a few years into the deal, due to either the player or the team struggling, the pressure and the contract suddenly becoming too much for the player. 

A couple of small market-type dollar signings:  SS Adeiny Hechavaria to a minor league deal, with an invite to spring training (he's played in a fair number of games, but he's an awful bat...a career slash of .254/.290/.345, OPS of .635, and an OPS+ of 75...he's basically a low average singles hitter who doesn't walk), and Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy, who's basically had an undistinguished minor league career...decent control and Ks, but gives up a lot of hits...had a 1.484 WHIP in AA and AAA combined.  Apparently he's seen an uptick in velocity as of late, but not like Rule 5 guys usually do much...they're Rule 5 guys for a reason. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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And on another note, though I've never been a fan of the whole Tim Tebow thing, I gotta give him some credit for going further than I ever thought he could.  He actually slashed .348/.368/.478 over his last 95 PA at Bingo last season, before getting hurt.  He did have a BABIP of .476, and an awful K-to-BB ratio (27 to 3), so it's hard to think he wouldn't be horribly overmatched if he ever got a chance to face big-league arms as a major-leaguer.  But the guy is actually somehow going to start next year in AAA...I had him flaming out in AA, if he was even lucky to get THAT far.  So even if he struggles at AAA and that's where his journey ends, I'll give him some kudos.  In a situation that screamed "What a fvcking joke!", Tebow did his very best not to become one. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Yeah his motives are pure and could never really be questioned, especially now that he could make some coin playing in the AAF but is riding out the dream as long as he can.

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And Machado to the the big market Padres for 10-300 while the Mets continue to have a loser mindset 

Yeah it won’t matter if they go to NL teams that could at some point throughout their contracts be competing for a WC spot or in the playoffs. But according to Brodie we’re winning the division anyway so who cares?

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8 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

And Machado to the the big market Padres for 10-300 while the Mets continue to have a loser mindset 

Yeah it won’t matter if they go to NL teams that could at some point throughout their contracts be competing for a WC spot or in the playoffs. But according to Brodie we’re winning the division anyway so who cares?

Gotta give the Padres some credit here...they really made one hell of a splash.  They just gotta hope a lot of kids in their farm pan out...they're clearly hoping for some cost-controlled young talent to help balance out that contract. 

Guessing Harper will be signing pretty quickly now. 

 

On one hand, it's not like the Mets were ever dipping their toes into this kind of FA waters, so it's not like they even pretended to dabble (like the whole Vlad Guerrero mess many years ago).  Doesn't make the fvcking Wilpons (especially Baseball Man Jeffy) any easier to take.  Probably looking at a two-year window of potential relevance, because after that, at least two of the Mets' current starting pitchers will be elsewhere. 

 

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This is what can happen when you keep cheaping out and going for older "bargains"...he did play in 310 games the past two seasons, but guys in their mid-30s are simply going to be more prone to breaking down that younger guys:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/new-met-jed-lowrie-dealing-with-soreness-in-back-of-his-left-knee/ar-BBTRv60

Going for an MRI today.  At least the Mets aren't fvcking around with this for a month or so, then getting the MRI. 

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Sadly I was more interested in the first spring game today than Devils-Rangers lol.  Especially since it was a GKR TV game.  Listened long enough to hear Alonso's HR...you just know he's gonna have a big spring and force the Mets' hand.  It's probably preordained for the obvious reason that Alonso stays down early unless Lowrie's injury lingers or someone else gets banged up.

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Now Frazier has a strained oblique and is questionable for Opening Day lol, so much for eliminating the ifs :P

Guess McNeil won’t be bumped to the OF after all at this rate

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Remind us again why teams are staying away from older players.  Players can bitch all they want about some guys not getting signed (especially aging ones) but here’s one reason why.  

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