The Mets extended a $15.8 million qualifying offer to free agent Daniel Murphy today, though that doesn’t mean he is any more likely to return to the team in 2016. Rather, it was about making sure the Mets get an extra draft pick between the first and second rounds of next year’s amateur free agent draft. But it’s a good move, nonetheless. Before the playoff run, I was concerned that Sandy Alderson might let Murphy leave for no return.
The weather did not cooperate last night, so the Mets’ game I had tickets for got rained out. I will have to exchange those tickets for a game next April since I can’t make it to today’s doubleheader.
But on the bright side, I was able to add a couple of new cards to my Mets autograph collection via eBay purchases.
Juan Lagares had certified autographs in a few different Topps sets this year following his gold glove season in 2014. This one, a “Career High” insert from Topps Series 1, is probably my least favorite … but the price was right. And Lagares has a nice autograph. Hopefully he will find a way to contribute during the playoffs and have a more productive year in 2016.
Kevin Plawecki started 65 games for the Mets in 2015, more than the team’s number one catcher Travis d’Arnaud. And he had a solid season for a rookie catcher. Plawecki’s rookie autograph card from this year’s Topps Chrome was another nice pickup for a low price…probably because it’s not of much interest to many people other than Mets fans.
By my latest count, I have autographed baseball cards for 913 of the 1,007 players in Mets history.
A few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to wander around Citi Field before a Mets vs. Phillies game. My first stop was the Mets Museum.
I was initially disappointed that there seemed to be less “stuff” on display than in previous years, but I think the 2015 setup actually represents the best balance between the different eras of Mets history that they’ve had since it opened.
You’ve got Ed Kranepool’s contract from 1973 on display along with one of Rusty Staub‘s bats, one of Darryl Strawberry‘s batting helmets, Mike Hampton‘s 2000 World Series cap, Endy Chavez‘s jersey from the 2006 NLCS game that made him famous and Juan Lagares‘ Gold Glove Award.
While it would be nice to see more of an effort to use the artifacts to illustrate a timeline of Mets history, I can see why the staff members don’t bother. The items are almost all on loan from collectors (or sometimes the players themselves) and will only be on display for one year.
I recommend a visit the next time you are at Citi Field.
Topps released the official checklist for the first series of its 2015 baseball card set today, and I’m pretty excited about it.
With an official release date of Feb. 4th through hobby channels, scattered cards will probably start to turn up soon since individual Target and WalMart stores never seem to be all that concerned about keeping to day-and-date. (Mine, unfortunately, are more likely to put out the cards late than early.)
We’ve got a 700-card base set to look forward to in 2015, split into two series of 350 – and it does look like that will help us get cards of some middle relievers and bench players who might have been skipped in recent years. (How you feel about this is going to depend very much on your reaction to the news that Carlos Torres is getting his first baseball card since 2006 – if you said “who’s Carlos Torres?,” you probably would have preferred fewer cards to collect. I’m happy and wouldn’t mind going back to the 792-card sets that were the norm in the late 1980s, when there were only 26 teams and they employed a 24-man roster.)
By my count, there are 16 Mets players in the base set, and 14 of them are still Mets as I write this (though Dillon Gee‘s days in New York definitely seem to be numbered.) Daisuke Matsuzaka will be pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks this season, and Eric Young Jr. is still looking for a job.
To make up for that, we’re getting the first Mets baseball cards of the aforementioned Torres (and it only took 106 appearances over two seasons, not bad for a 26-year-old middle reliever who’s not exactly a household name) and rookie Dilson Herrera. Most of the Mets’ stars appear in Series 1, with Matt Harvey and winter acquisition Michael Cuddyer the biggest names who are waiting for Series 2.
The Colorado Rockies extended a qualifying offer to outfielder Michael Cuddyer this week, likely removing him from the off-season plans of the New York Mets and every other potential suitor. If Cuddyer accepts, he’ll earn $15.3 million to play for the Rockies again in 2015. If he declines, the team who signs him will forfeit a draft pick.
Cuddyer was expected to get a two-year deal in the $20 million range, so it’s probably in his best interest to accept the qualifying offer. I thought he could be a decent fit for a Mets team that badly needs more offense from the left field position, but signing a player who will be 36 on Opening Day was already an expensive gamble – particularly considering he played in just 49 games this year. Add in the loss of the Mets’ first round draft pick, and Cuddyer just doesn’t make sense any more. I’m sure most other potential suitors will make a similar evaluation.
I’ve heard talk about the Mets trading for Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes or signing free agent Michael Morse as an alternative, but I just don’t see it. The Mets and Red Sox are not a very good fit as trading partners, and Cespedes is not the type of player Sandy Alderson covets. Morse is simply not an outfielder at this stage of his career – he can handle first base if you don’t have high expectations for his defense, but he’s best suited to DH.
MetsToday.com writer Dan Capwell shared what he thought the Mets would do this off-season, which basically amounts to maintaining the status quo. That sounds about right… I can see Bartolo Colon getting traded near the deadline next year if the Mets need to open a spot for Noah Syndergaard once the Super Two deadline has passed, and maybe Daniel Murphy will get shopped then if the Mets are nowhere near the wild card race. This winter, I expect stories designed to boost traffic for the media outlets that publish them and little action from the Mets.
In happier Mets news, congratulations to outfielder Juan Lagares who won his first Gold Glove Award last night, and Jacob deGrom, who was honored with the Player’s Union National League Outstanding Rookie Award and named as a finalist for the “real” National League Rookie of the Year Award.
New York Mets CF Juan Lagares is a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, along with Washington’s Denard Span and Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton.
If Lagares wins the award, which is determined by advanced defensive statistics as well as voting by National League players and managers, he will be the third Mets outfielder to achieve this distinction.
Carlos Beltran and David Wright were the last Mets players to win a Gold Glove in 2008.
With spring training nearing an end, the New York Mets and other teams are making their final preparations for the regular season.
Dillon Gee will make his last Grapefruit League start tonight against the Houston Astros to get ready for his first career Opening Day assignment.
Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will both make the Opening Day roster, though it’s still up in the air which one will get to face Stephen Strasburg on March 31st. (I don’t think it matters that much. As long as Terry Collins sticks with a platoon of Davis or Duda and Josh Satin at first base – something he’s probably not going to do – the Mets should manage to get some production out of the spot. If he decides one is an everyday player, I expect to see a repeat of last year’s performance.)
Sandy Alderson suggested that Juan Lagares would get the nod over Eric Young Jr. for the third spot in the outfield. If that decision lasts longer than Collin Cowgill’s status as the everyday centerfielder did last year, the Mets are making the right call – defense is worth more than stolen bases.