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Thursday, September 30, 2021

If these Mets ever had a ‘core,’ it’s about to be blown up

What we’re saying is, prepare for massive changes to the team’s roster and culture, with little regard for what seemed promising during an ill-fated playoff run late in the 2019 season. No one around here is attached to that distant time.

Over the past several weeks, as we’ve talked to sources up and down the organization, three main themes emerge:

1) Quiet optimism that the baseball operations department is heading in the right direction, despite the public perception otherwise.

2) Uncertainty about who will lead the department in a few months.

3) A strong sense that the roster will look extremely different next season. Everyone is expecting significant turnover.

The third point is admittedly general. Without a president of baseball operations, it’s impossible to say exactly who will be gone.

But as a general rule, the Mets do not expect to operate with the idea that whatever happened for a few months in a lost ‘19 season was compelling enough to preserve, or even really think about.

Team president Sandy Alderson seemed to say as much at his end-of-season news conference Wednesday, when he said that if the team had a core, it was already “eroding.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 06:02 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2021 at 06:18 PM (#6042624)
This is dumb. McNeil and Conforto and Davis and Syndergaard and even Smith might go away. Maybe even Nimmo. But the core is deGrom and Alonso and Lindor.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6042629)
2 essentially contradicts 1.

Some QO and arb tender decisions here. (All of this assuming CBA negotiations go smoothly which I doubt.) Stroman of course gets a QO. Conforto is FA but coming off a terrible year. He might well accept a QO to re-establish value. Noah is an easy non-QO decision. Diaz should probably be non-tendered, Nimmo obviously tendered. Guys like Davis, Smith and McNeil are still so cheap you tender them; Alonso won't be cheap but you tender him. (For some reason b-r doesn't show McNeil and Alonso as arb-eligible for 2022 in their spreadsheet but both started the year with 2+ years service time.)

McCann and Cano are essentially untradable -- i.e. the Mets would have to eat so much money there's not much point in trading them. They've got control of deGrom through 2024 and given his age and recent injuries, no need to rush an extension.

So the obvious big decision is whether to sign Stroman. I don't think he'll get super-starter money but he won't be cheap.
   3. Buck Coats Posted: September 30, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#6042734)
I don't think Stroman can get a QO (unless the rules change) - isn't the current rule that if a player accepts the QO they can't be QO'd again? And the Mets gave him one last year, which he accepted.
   4. Buck Coats Posted: September 30, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6042738)
I'd also be very surprised if they non-tender Diaz - for one thing as long as they keep him they can kinda save some face on the Cano-Kelenic trade...
   5. Adam Starblind Posted: October 01, 2021 at 01:47 AM (#6042744)
Noah is an easy non-QO decision?
   6. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2021 at 02:16 AM (#6042746)
#3 ... correct, I didn't realize he'd already been QO'd

Diaz will get about $9 M in arb. If Brad Hand can be QO'd ...

Noah hasn't pitched since 2019 and he had a 4.28 ERA then. QO only helps if the guy signs for at least $50 M, is somebody gonna offer him 3/$50? If you want him back for a year, offer him $8 plus incentives or something.
   7. Adam Starblind Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:36 AM (#6042748)
QO only helps if the guy signs for at least $50 M, is somebody gonna offer him 3/$50?


This is made up. If somebody offers him 2/30 he may well take it. No way that $8MM+ incentives gets it done.

McCann and Cano are essentially untradable -- i.e. the Mets would have to eat so much money there's not much point in trading them.


This also makes no sense. The point of the article is that the team wants different players. If they're willing to eat enough money, they can trade these guys and, you know, get different players. Cano may very well get released. McCann they're not trading, but he's been a backup in the relatively recent past.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:46 AM (#6042752)
Noah hasn't pitched since 2019 and he had a 4.28 ERA then.

I know it was only one inning, but he did pitch two days ago.
   9. Adam Starblind Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:50 AM (#6042754)
His 2019 FIP was also substantially lower than his ERA. And frankly he's a fan favorite. On a team that plans to bust the salary cap, extending the QO rather than bidding against other teams seems like the easy decision.
   10. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 01, 2021 at 08:03 AM (#6042756)
I wish the Mets would just fire/force retirement on Alderson. The guy has been with the Mets for 10 years and the Mets have not been able to build a consistently good team. Other than 2015, a weak year for the NL East, the Mets haven't really been in the mix for the division, and the Mets only won 90 games that year. They got hot in the playoffs but if not for that two weeks, he has been very mediocre as GM. He also has not been able to hire good people either.

I remember the projections saying the Mets were going to finish ahead of the Braves this year and I never understood why.

I think extending Noah is a relatively easy decision for team with money.
   11. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 01, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6042762)
Congratulations on having Lindor as part of your core. Massive contract for just a little better than average production, not nearly the player he was 3 years ago. It looks like a mistake in year one. How's it going to look in year 5?
   12. DCA Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:06 AM (#6042765)
I think the Mets best bet is to run everybody back, and supplement as needed. McNeil, Conforto, Carrasco, Lindor, Smith were all much worse than any reality-based projection could have predicted. Good chance that most of them will bounce back significantly. DeGrom and Thor will be good if healthy. Nobody really overperformed over a full season (except Loup). That's a decent base to build around for 2022, despite the 2021 struggles. If they suck again in 2022, then you blow it up.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6042766)
Thor also will "start" Sunday's finale fwiw

in March, the Mets expected deGrom, Thor, and Carrasco to be their 3 postseason starters. that didn't play out so well.

to be fair to Lindor, he had a much better second half - .836 OPS - vs .698 in first half.
   14. bunyon Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6042771)
All they can really do is hope for health from deGrom and Thor. Even as a fan of a rival, I hope that, too.

I wouldn't want to bet on it, though. Which is bad for baseball.
   15. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6042779)
Same thing could be said of the A's. Maybe Sandy could trade the Met's core to the A's in return for the A's core. Pretty sure if he threw some cash in the A's would take it.
   16. Adam Starblind Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:56 AM (#6042781)
Congratulations on having Lindor as part of your core. Massive contract for just a little better than average production, not nearly the player he was 3 years ago. It looks like a mistake in year one. How's it going to look in year 5?


Probably like a drop in the ocean for the richest owner in sports.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 01, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6042795)
I basically agree with #12. I don’t see why you sell low on most of these guys, except in select cases where there’s an obviously better alternative available.

I am really not that worried about the Lindor contract. It was an overpay but he should be a valuable player for them going forward.

I expected the Mets to be a mid-high 80s win team, in the mix in a weak division. Almost everyone underperformed and the standings reflect that. Sometimes it happens.

I would almost certainly replace Rojas and bring in a real GM / replacement for Sandy. They need to supplement the starting pitching (who doesn’t?) and have a manager who will let a starter go more than 85 pitches.
   18. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 01, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6042800)
Lindor is not a really big problem. He has been worth about 3 WAR. He could still hit better but his defense held up. I am not really concerned about him honestly.
   19. Adam Starblind Posted: October 01, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6042802)
On Alderson, I have always inferred that the only reason he was brought on is because Cohen felt he needed somebody with credibility to put the owners at ease before they voted on whether he could buy the Mets. Remember that he announced it before the sale even went through. I can't think of another reason to do that. If he can go back to doing whatever a team president does and lets the baseball people handle the baseball (assuming they can hire some baseball people), I don't much care whether he's with the team or not.
   20. bfan Posted: October 01, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6042803)
I expected the Mets to be a mid-high 80s win team, in the mix in a weak division.


I think there are 3 teams that are going to spend and maybe ignore any salary cap penalties: the Yankees; Dodgers; and Red Sox. So, I generally believe there are 2 divisions where the price of poker is pretty darn high (NL west and AL east) and 4 other divisions where teams might just have a chance every once in a while (although the Mets, with this owner, could become the Yankees pretty easily).
   21. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 01, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6042805)
Probably like a drop in the ocean for the richest owner in sports.
What does Steve Ballmer have to do with the Mets?
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 01, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6042810)
#20 yep and the NL East this year seemed like a division that could be won with <90 wins, which appears to be what is going to happen. Any decent team could get lucky and win it.
   23. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: October 01, 2021 at 01:42 PM (#6042824)
I think the Braves are the class of the division and will be for the next three years at least. They have Acuna, Albies, Swanson, and Riley who are all 25 and younger, and Freeman should still really be productive. That's a great way to start a team and the Braves have always developed talent well.

The Mets have some great players but everything has to fall in place for them to compete with the Braves.
   24. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 02, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6042998)
#16. The contract of every player is something akin to a drop in the bucket for every owner of every team. Cohen's not the only rich guy who owns a team. The point is that even the Mets are only going to spend so much. If Lindor gives them a bit above average play at a cost of 10-15% of the payroll then he's not a millstone but he's not what you really want out of a core player, either.
   25. Adam Starblind Posted: October 02, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6043007)
“not what you really want out of a core player”

OHNOES!!
   26. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6043075)
This is made up. If somebody offers him 2/30 he may well take it. No way that $8MM+ incentives gets it done.

You seem to have misunderstood my point. You offer a player the QO so you get a compensation pick. But unless that FA signs for 3/$50, you only get something at the end of the 2nd round, around pick #75-80. It's better than nothing but runs the very real risk of paying him $18 M in 2022.

The man hasn't pitched in two years. He wasn't that good when he last pitched. He's being given a courtesy start to show the arm is still attached. Find me FA pitchers who are coming directly off TJS without a chance to prove they've recovered and show me what they signed for.

On a team that plans to bust the salary cap, extending the QO rather than bidding against other teams seems like the easy decision.

What are you talking about? The QO is a "bid against other teams" -- i.e. Thor rejects it if he thinks he can do better elsewhere -- then if he rejects the QO, the Mets can still re-sign him so are either bidding against other teams or have decided not to. But the whole f'ing point about free agency is that if the Mets want Thor back, they have to bid against other teams. The QO is simply a mechanism for increasing the cost to any other teams by costing them a draft pick in addition to the money and delivering some compensation to the Mets if they get out-bid.

This also makes no sense. The point of the article is that the team wants different players. If they're willing to eat enough money, they can trade these guys and, you know, get different players. Cano may very well get released. McCann they're not trading, but he's been a backup in the relatively recent past.

Seeing as how what you said is exactly what I said, I'll let you debate with yourself as to whether it makes snese.

My statement: to trade them they would have to eat so much money that they might as well hold onto them. Your point -- they could eat all of Cano's salary and just release him (duh) and McCann will be an overpaid back-up catcher. Surely you can understand those are the same thing.

   27. Adam Starblind Posted: October 02, 2021 at 10:03 PM (#6043142)
Man, you will just say anything.
   28. Adam Starblind Posted: November 19, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6053590)
At the presser today introducing Billy Eppler, Cohen basically said he has a blank check to get the roster into shape while the minor league system recovers and begins to bear fruit.

That's helpful, but it would be better if this were a different offseason. Bryant makes a lot of sense obviously. Resigning Stroman and picking up one of Ray or Gausman would be good. Offering Scherzer a Trevor Bauer contract might work, but he will probably get that elsewhere. Marte would slot in nicely.

But man I would've liked to have signed Machado three years ago when we already didn't have a reliable third baseman. Or Harper. Or Wheeler. What a mess this franchise has been.

Whatever you think of Cohen, if he is committed to seriously showing the money, he's alright by me.

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