Today, Andy Martino mentioned Cuban defector Erisbel Arruebarruena is working out at the Yankees complex this weekend and the Mets intend to send scouts. The Mets are looking to upgrade from the in-house options of Ruben Tejada and Wilfredo Tovar this offseason and with the recent successes of Cuban defectors Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig it is easy to get excited about a bat coming out of the island.
However, after looking at the scouting report, it sounds to me like Arruebarruena could just be another Tejada. Ben Badler offers these tidbits on Arruebarruena:
- clean hand with good position control
- below-average runner, with quick first step
- plus-plus arm
- bat is major concern
Although I agree with the sentiment that an upgrade at shortstop is needed, I’m not sure Arruebarruena is the right fit for the Mets as he doesn’t offer a significant upgrade in any tool over Tejada.
It’s no secret the Mets are hurting financially and that can largely be attributed to low gate receipts the last few seasons. The quickest way for the Mets to bring the fans back would be to sign the top tier free agents and create a buzz around the team in the great media market on the planet. But the Mets are broke, you say. No one wants to play here, you might add. The hitters hate Citi Field, one could argue. All valid points, but as we have already seen this offseason, no contract is immoveable…and it only takes one.
The Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year, $214 million contract. A contract some said would hurt the Tigers more than A-Rod’s hurt the Yankees. But is that the case now? No. The Tigers took a two-year shot at winning a title then traded that contract for one of the best second baseman in baseball by eating some of the money. This is the approach the Mets should take.
First, find the greediest son of a bitch on the market now. Let’s call him Robinson Cano. Cano wants $310 million and the Yankees are offering $175 million - the Mets should split the difference and give him $240 million. Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi are supposed to be the best brains in baseball. Surely they can figure a way to move his contract after a few seasons in Queens while his value is still high.
After the first domino falls, the rest will too. “Oh Robbie signed with the Mets?!,” free agents will think aloud, “Let’s go there too!” Then Granderson decides to come on a 4 year, $60 million dollar deal. Then Stephen Drew hopes on board for four years and $55 million. The pieces start to fall into place.
Suddenly a lineup goes from “Young Jr., Murphy, Wright, Duda, Young, Lagares, d’Arnaud, Tejada” goes to “Young, Drew, Wright, Cano, Granderson, Duda, Lagares, d’Arnaud.” Tell me that lineup wouldn’t inspire hundreds if not thousands to buy tickets that would have otherwise given a big “FU” to the Wilpons and their penny pinching ways.
Even with signing those guys, next year’s payroll only shoots up to $110-113 million, which is certainly an area the Mets have lived in in the past. But all of that money won’t be on the books forever because we’ve seen this winter any contract, even the most ludicrous, can be moved in the right deal. So why not take a chance at a World Series for a few years? Give Mets fans something to get excited about - we deserve it!
The TWEET OF THE YEAR just went down! @whutyearisit dropped a sick beat and penned this phenomenal version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Be fair warned, you will be singing this version when the song pops on the radio this month!
Mets reporter Kevin Burkhardt has been off working NFL games for FOX this winter (and quite well I might add), but he is still up to date with all the movements of the Mets - or lack there of.
This morning, KB tweeted this…
I agree that the status quo is not acceptable. There were many deals and trades struck over the last 24 hours and the Mets haven’t been involved in any of them. So I pose the question…at which point does the “Sell The Team” montage go from cute and the running joke on #MetsTwitter to an actual problem where MLB will need to intervene for the health of the franchise.
I know it is technically still early in the offseason, but with teams filling the same holes the Mets have with players that were on his radar, they are running out of viable major league options. Chirs Young was a good start, but that’s all it should be, not a marquee pickup. If the Mets don’t start to make moves at next week’s Winter Meetings then I don’t know where this franchise is headed.
Last night at midnight, the deadline to tender players a contract came and went, there were many surprise names cut by the Mets and a few surprising players I’d like to see the Mets acquire on the cheap.
Jordany Valdespin - JV1 was non-tendered by the Mets esentially ridding the oraganization of a “bad seed.” He was already on the Mets brass’ bad side, but I believe the PED suspension was the final straw. Sure, he was a lightning rod #MetsTwitter loved having around and he does have pure talent, but let’s not forget he was only a .219 hitter in his time with the Mets with a few dramatic game-winning homers sprinkled in.
Justin Turner - The fact that Mets fans are upset about Turner’s non-tendering speaks volumes about the ball club’s current position.The Mets lost 88 games last year and we are worried about a bench player being shown the door?! Hopefully these moves mean that better players are on their way to fill their roster spots. Justin Turner was a great clubhouse guy, a solid backup player and he played the game hard - but there are other guys like that available in baseball.
Jeremy Hefner - This one was surprising, but not as much as Turner. Hefner is due to miss much of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery. Hefner was a solid spot starter and could fill that role in the future for the Mets. He could have been placed on the 60-day DL in spring training to open up a roster spot, but the Mets obviously wanted that flexibility sooner rather than later.
Other non-tenders my the Mets were Scott Atchinson and Omar Quintanilla. Below are some players I’d like to see the Mets make a run at.
J.P. Arencibia - He was thought to be a part of the Blue Jays package to acquire R.A. Dickey last winter, but the Mets wanted and got Travis d’Arnaud instead. Now, with the Blue Jays non-tendering him, he’s available to the Mets as a backup catching option should they want him. Arencibia is only a career .212 hitter, but he has hit 23, 18 and 21 home runs that last three seasons while driving in more than 50 runs in each.
Andrew Bailey - Bailey is a hometown boy who went to school on Staten Island. After a horrid 7.09 ERA in 2012, he bounced back nicely with a 3.77 ERA in 2013 to go along with a 12.2 K/9. In his three years in Oakland, Bailey had over 20 saves each season; he is a valuable bullpen commodity the Mets should look to add.
Baseball’s Winter Meeting start in six days, so expect lots of movement and rumors in the coming weeks.
Now that it’s after Thanksgiving I can officially recognize this wonderfully awful music video of the Mets, Mr. Met and Mrs. Mets partaking in their rendition “Sleigh Ride.” It seems the only thing missing from this masterpeice is Jay Hortwitz.
Today, the Mets and some of their minor-league affiliates are having in-store and online sales for “Black Friday.” Here are some of the deals going on today:
Mets - The big club is having their usual “Blue Friday” promotion. The teams tore at Citi Field will be open from 8am until 4pm, with 35% off between the hours of 8am and 10am. There will be other deals there as well.
Las Vegas 51s - From today through Monday, the 51s will be providing free customizations on all replica jerseys - that is a saving of $45.99.
Binghamton Mets - The B-Mets told me there will be no “Black Friday” deals, but to stay tuned for deals throughout December.
St. Lucie Mets - The entire online team store is 40% off and includes frr shipping for all orders over $50.
Brooklyn Cyclones - The Cyclones team store at MCU Park in Brooklyn will be open from 10am to 4pm. All purchases will receive a 30% discount, if you spend $100 or more you will receive a 40% discount, and purchases of $200 or more will receive a 50% discount. For the online Cyclones store, there will be special online prices starting at midnight. In addition, for every $100 you spend (after discount is applied) you will receive a $20 gift card for Applebee’s.
And of course if those options don’t do it for you, you can always pick up tickets to the Queens Baseball Convention by clicking here. If you order today, you’ll also get this fresh looking tee.
Mets fans have said it since he left, and even more so in recent years, but it’s clear fans would welcome Carlos Beltran back to the team. As the perennial scapegoat for 2006, Beltran did get some grief, especially from this “bro,” but I am even now on board with what he can do for this ball club.
Beltran’s production has gone the opposite way that most expected after leaving the Mets. His knees have held up allowing him to play in 151 and 145 games in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He hit .282 over those seasons while bashing 56 home runs and knocking in 181 runs.
The Mets should be interested in a player of this caliber and the may be the best option for the Mets budget since other free agents are asking for years and dollars the Mets aren’t willing to dish out. It appears Beltran’s biggest concern this offseason is getting paid the most money (which free agent isn’t) and getting a guaranteed third year. Unlike in St. Louis, Beltran wouldn’t be occupying an outfield spot as prospects come up through the system because let’s face it, the Mets don’t have any outfield bats coming through. Therefore a guaranteed third year, or at least an easily obtainable vesting option (when healthy), shouldn’t be a problem for the Mets.
Now a report has surfaced from Puerto Rico that Beltran prefers to play on the East Coast and stay in the National League. The Mets obviously meet both criteria and he’s familiar with the organization and has a good relationship with Terry Collins.
Based on ESPN’s Average Annual Value predictions, Beltran is in line to receive a two year, $36 million contract ($18 per year). The way free agent prices have been trending that may be low, but let’s assume it’s in that ballpark. I believe a three year, $45 million from the Mets may be the winning bid given Beltran’s desired criteria of a third year, National League and East Coast.
It’s no doubt that a Beltran reunion will make Mets fans happy and more importantly make the Mets better. It fills three major needs in one transaction - power bat, outfielder, and protection for David Wright. Now the only question is, will the Mets make a play?