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Dickey trade is a necessary gamble for the Mets’ future

It’s official: the trade between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays is a done deal.

R.A. Dickey (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
R.A. Dickey (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas are headed to Toronto.

Travis D’ArnaudJohn BuckNoah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra are coming to the Mets.

I hate that the Mets are in a position where trading the reigning Cy Young Award winner makes sense – I’d much rather be thinking about winning the World Series than how many more years until they’ll have a shot to make the playoffs again.

But let’s be clear about something: the New York Mets were not going to the playoffs in 2013 with or without R.A. Dickey. They finished 74-88 this year with him, and were not in a financial position to add enough pieces through the free agent market to substantially improve.

Even if they did have the ability to spend like the Dodgers and decided to overpay Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to play the outfield and got Rafael Soriano and a few other free agent relievers for the bullpen, there’s no guarantee those moves would have made the Mets better than the Nationals and the Braves.

The Mets have been selling a “plan” of waiting until 2014 when the bloated contracts that Omar Minaya gave to Johan Santana and Jason Bay finally expire. But next year’s free agent class is likely to be as disappointing and overpriced as the current one, and there are no legitimate prospects at the upper levels of the farm system besides Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t really have a position now that David Wright is locked up.

So before today’s trade, all we really had to look forward to in 2014 were players who’d be another year older.

Continue reading “Dickey trade is a necessary gamble for the Mets’ future”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

State of Mets farm system makes unpleasant choices necessary

The New York Mets are rumored to be close to completing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for one or more prospects.

While money may have played a role in moving things to this stage, a look at Baseball America’s newly-released ranking of the top 10 prospects in the Mets’ farm system is more telling.

Brandon Nimmo gets interviewed before a Brooklyn Cyclones game in 2012 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Brandon Nimmo, seen here being interviewed before a Brooklyn Cyclones game in 2012, is the number three prospect in the Mets farm system according to Baseball America. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

To no one’s surprise, pitcher Zack Wheeler is at the top of the list. The rest of the list includes just three other players who’ve advanced to the Double-A level or above: infielder Wilmer Flores and pitchers Jeurys Familia and Cory Mazzoni.

Seven of the ten players are right-handed pitchers, with Flores, shortstop Gavin Cecchini and outfielder Brandon Nimmo the only position players ranked. Both Nimmo and Cecchini are still teenagers and neither has advanced above short-season ball yet.

As for Flores, Baseball America writes:

A lack of blue-chip position prospects clouds New York’s future lineup possibilities, however. Its best upper-level hitter is infielder Wilmer Flores, but he may not have enough power or defensive chops to profile as a long-term starter at any position.

It’s not pleasant to think about trading away a popular Cy Young Award-winning pitcher. But the holes in the Mets’ major league lineup and the lack of position player prospects in the minors make unpleasant decisions like this necessary.

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Winter meetings items & thoughts

David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Item: The Mets officially announce David Wright’s contract extension.

Thoughts: David Wright should finish his career as a Met and own nearly all of the team’s career offensive records when he retires. And since he has a full no-trade clause, he doesn’t have to worry about being shipped off to Toronto next winter.

“I take a lot of pride in putting on this uniform on every day,” Wright said. “I take a lot of pride in going out there and trying to play hard in front of those fans every day. And there’s a lot of good times to come.”

Let’s hope he’s right, because as happy as I am to see Wright commit to the Mets, this deal doesn’t make the team better – it just keeps them from getting worse.

Item: The Mets could officially name Wright “team captain” this spring.

Thoughts: Titles are nice, but I think they’re mostly for the fans. Any baseball player that needs that little “C” on his jersey probably isn’t up to the leadership the role requires.

Continue reading “Winter meetings items & thoughts”

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Minor Mets moves aren’t exactly stoking the hot stove

While there are plenty of conflicting rumors about the Mets’ contract negotiations with David Wright and R.A. Dickey, there has been no actual news regarding them.

The Mets will (or won’t) sign them to contract extensions this winter, and they will (or won’t) trade them at some point this off-season or before the trade deadline next year. Make up your favorite scenario, attribute it to unnamed “baseball sources,” and you too can be a baseball writer. 🙂

Zack Wheeler was one of six players added to the Mets’ 40-man roster today. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Still, the team made a few minor player moves today. Tonight is the deadline for major league teams to add players to their 40-man rosters to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 draft. (Minor League players with four seasons of experience that were signed before age 19, or five years and were signed before age 18,  and have not been added to the 40-man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft.

The Mets added six players to the 40-man roster: pitchers Zack Wheeler, Hansel Robles, Gonzalez Germen, Greg Burke, Darin Gorski and shortstop Wilfredo Tovar. Aside from Wheeler, you’ve never heard of these guys unless you really follow the Mets’ farm system, so I’ll send you over to The Real Dirty Mets Blog to read more about them if you want. Burke could contribute to the Mets’ bullpen in 2013, and Wheeler and Gorski might make their major league debuts in 2013 – the others are further down the road.

The Mets also signed three minor league free agents: pitchers Scott Rice and Carlos Torres, who were invited to spring training and are expected to compete for bullpen spots, and outfielder Jamie Hoffman, who is expected to offer depth in the minor leagues. Rice played for several Atlantic League teams from 2008-2011, including the Newark Bears, so I have a little more reason to root for him.

Really, though, I can’t get excited about minor league free agents in November, even if Paul DePodesta reminds us that Dickey was once a minor league free agent