A quick note to any of my readers: unlike the end of last season, I will not be doing previews and recaps for every Mets game. Plenty of others, including Metsblog and Amazin’ Avenue do a fantastic job already, and it becomes a bit tedious. This season, I will focus more on editorial content, including discussing some game reactions, controversies, and other things I feel should be written about.
Once again, I urge all of you to follow We Gotta Believe! on Flipboard. In my Flipboard magazine, I flip interesting Mets-related articles I find across the internet (including my own content here). I have kept up with Flipboard all offseason, and plan to continue to do so this season. For up-to-date news, pregame, and postgame information, that is the place to go!
With arbitration decisions upcoming, here is a preview of the arbitration eligible Mets. As a reminder, players are eligible for arbitration if they have more than 3, but less than 6 years of major league service time. Players with more than 2 but less than 3 years of service time are also eligible, provided they are in the top 22% in major league service time for that particular class of players. If a player enters an offseason with more than 6 years of service time and has not already signed a multi-year extension, that payer is eligible to become a free agent (as is the case with Daniel Murphy). If the team and the player cannot agree on a salary, their case is sent to a neutral arbitrator who will decide which of the two cost figures is more reasonable. The team maintains control over all of these players for at least the next full season.
In terms of costs, payers are due raises through arbitration. They cannot be offered less than 80% of their previous season’s salary. Therefore, underperforming and injured players are at significant risk of being non-tendered.
Service time is listed as years.days. Therefore, 3.072 means 3 years, 72 days of service time. 172 days equals a year of service time, despite the fact that a season is usually 182-184 days. Often, teams exploit this to gain an extra year of control over a player (as the Cubs did with Kris Bryant this season, and the Mets did with Ruben Tejada a couple years ago. Notice that Tejada sits at 4.171, or one day short of 5 years). I will also list the projected free agency date (2018 means after the 2018 season), as well as the projected salary, according to MLB Trade Rumors (assuming the player is tendered a contract).
Also of note, Juan Lagares signed a 5 year extension before last season. Therefore, his arbitration years have been bought out and he is not eligible for arbitration.
Here are the Mets’ 8 arbitration eligible players, in order of likelihood they’ll be tendered a contract:
Matt Harvey (3.072, 2018, $4.7MM)
Lucas Duda (4.137, 2017, $6.8MM)
Jeurys Familia (3.030, 2018, $3.3MM)
The Mets will not let any of these players go, and will probably try to extend at least a couple of them (Duda seems the most likely extension candidate, despite the fact that he rejected a 3/$30MM offer last offseason). Harvey, represented by Scott Boras, seems least likely to sell out his free agency years, but may be open to a 2-3 year extension to buy out multiple arbitration years.
Addison Reed (4.002, 2017, $5.7MM)
Ruben Tejada (4.171, 2017, $2.5MM)
Carlos Torres (3.114, 2018, $800K)
Josh Edgin (3.015, 2018, $600K)
This consists of two categories of players: useful but expensive (Reed, Tejada) and cheap but risky (Torres, Edgin). Reed is the most likely in this group to be tendered a contract after his strong bullpen work after he was acquired from the Diamondbacks. However, he entered his arbitration years as a closer, and therefore is owed considerably more money than relieveres of his type. If the Mets lack the finances to pay him, he will be non-tendered. Tejada is another one that is useful, but it is looking more likely that the Mets will non-tender him and promote Matt Reynolds as the backup middle infielder. $2.5 million is a bit expensive, but options on the free agent market would be similarly priced. It really would be a shame if Tejada’s Mets career ended on a takeout slide by Chase Utley.
Torres struggled last year, but his stamina and versatility could keep him as an attractive bullpen option. If the Mets non-tender him, it will be because they are more comfortable filling the bullpen from within the organization, or from low risk free agents. As was the case with Tejada, $800K seems like market-rate for a player of Torres’s ilk. Josh Edgin, on the other hand, is a lot riskier to keep. Recovering from Tommy John surgery, Edgin would not be ready to return until midseason. That being said, $600K is not a lot to pay for a wild card.
Jenrry Mejia (3.085, 2018, $2.6MM)
Though rumors have popped up suggesting the Mets could retain Mejia, I simply can’t see it happening. He would not be eligible to return from his 2nd suspension until late July. If I am correct, I believe that would only put the Mets on the line for $1MM of Mejia’s projected $2.6MM salary. Unfortunately, Mejia has destroyed his reputation and standing in the clubhouse. $1 million for 2 months of Mejia simply may not be worth it, especially when it comes with other baggage. Can you imagine the PR nightmare if Ruben Tejada, postseason rallying cry, is non-tendered for financial reasons but Mejia is retained? Time for the Mets to cut their losses.
Yoenis Cespedes won the 2015 gold glove for American League left fielders. Curtis Granderson fell to Jayson Heyward for the NL right field award, and Terry Collins is a finalist for NL Manager of the Year, alongside Mike Matheny of the Cardinals and Joe Maddon of the Cubs.
For more up-to-date news and notes as they happen, be sure to follow me on Flipboard!
The Royals defeated the Mets by a score of 6-1, taking game 2 of the World Series to take a 2 games to none lead. Jacob deGrom was very strong over his first 3 innings, but worked in and out of trouble in the 4th before giving up 4 runs in the 5th. It was the first time since September 22nd that a Mets starter allowed more than 3 runs (Logan Verrett). Meanwhile, the Mets struggled mightily against Royals starter Johnny Cueto, who went the distance giving up only 2 soft hits to Lucas Duda, 3 walks, and a run while striking out 4.
Both starters got off to a fast start, retiring the side in the 1st, before the Mets got a 1-out single by Lucas Duda, a soft grounder against the shift. Duda was quickly erased, however, on an inning-ending double play off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. Jacob deGrom worked around a 1-out walk in the 3rd before the Mets put together a few baserunners in the 4th. Walks to Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy put runners on 1st and 2nd for Yoenis Cespedes, who grounded into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. Eric Hosmer, however, came off the base at 1st, allowing Lucas Duda to dunk a bloop single into left to score the first run of the game. The Mets had a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 4th, Jacob deGrom worked around a leadoff fielding error, a 1 out single, and a 2 out walk, but deGrom would not be so lucky in the 5th. A leadoff walk to Alex Gordon set the stage, and Alex Rios singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Alcides Escobar, after failing to get a bunt down, singled into center to score the tying run. Ben Zobrist then grounded out to 1st, putting the runners on 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. DeGrom got Lorenzo Cain to line out to center, but Eric Hosmer singled in two to make it 3-1 Royals. Kendrys Morales and Mike Moustakas followed with singles to make it 4-1.
Hansel Robles and Jon Niese worked an effective 6th and 7th inning, respectively, while Johnny Cueto continued to retire the Mets in order. In the 8th inning, the wheels fell off for Niese, who allowed a single to Mike Moustakas and a double to Salvador Perez to lead off the inning. Alex Gordon followed with a double off of Wilmer Flores‘s glove, scoring only one run to make it 5-1. Addison Reed came in and allowed a long sacrifice fly to Paulo Orlando to make it 6-1. Alcides Escobar then tripled to make it 7-1. Sean Gilmartin came in to get the final two outs of the inning.
Johnny Cueto, with a 7-1 lead, came out for the 9th inning, and worked around a 2-out walk to Daniel Murphy to finish his complete game 2-hitter.
POSITIVES: Lucas Duda got a couple of hits, however cheap they may have been, and they proved to be the only two hits the Mets would have on the night. Hansel Robles worked a 1-2-3 6th (albeit with a couple of 400 foot fly balls) and Jon Niese worked a clean 7th, before imploding in the 8th. Sean Gilmartin got two quick outs once the damage was done.
NEGATIVES: Other than Duda, there were a lot of 0/3s and 0/4s in the box score, with Daniel Murphy 0/2 with a couple of walks. Jon Niese did not do well in the 8th after a strong 7th, and Addison Reed proved again how he should never ever enter the middle of an inning. Jacob deGrom was solid at first, but was unable to put away the Kansas City batters in the 5th.
WPA Winners: Lucas Duda (.156)
- Jacob deGrom (-.275)
- Travis d’Arnaud (-.108)
- Lucas Duda hits an RBI single, Mets up 1-0, 4th inning (.143)
- Lorenzo Cain flies out with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. Game tied 1-1, 5th inning, Jacob deGrom pitching (.106)
- Salvador Perez grounds out with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Mets up 1-0, 4th inning, Jacob deGrom pitching (.100)
- Eric Hosmer hits a 2-run single, Royals up 3-1, 5th inning (-.235)
- Alcides Escobar hits an RBI single, game tied 1-1, 5th inning (-.142)
The NLDS roster is taking shape for the Mets, and has been narrowed down to 27 possible players. Out of the 38 man active rosster, 5 players, Anthony Recker, Eric Campbell, Eric Young Jr., Logan Verrett, and Bobby Parnell were sent to Port St. Lucie to stay in shape should the need for them arise. Today, it was announced that 5 more players, Dilson Herrera, Johnny Monell, Eric O’Flaherty, Dario Alvarez, and Tim Stauffer have been sent home. In addition, it was announced that Juan Uribe will be unavailable for the NLDS, narrowing the roster possibilities to 27. The roster does not have to be finalized until early Friday.
Catchers: Travis d’Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki
Infielders: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores, Kelly Johnson
Outfielders: Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Cuddyer, Kirk Nieuwenhuis**
Starters: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz
Bullpen: Jeurys Familia, Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon*, Eric Goeddel, Hansel Robles, Sean Gilmartin**, Carlos Torres**
*Will start if Steven Matz is not available (Matz had a successful bullpen session today)
**May be left off roster; 2 of 3 will be left off roster if Matz is healthy, 1/3 if he is not
In addition, a minor firestorm erupted earlier today when it was revealed that Matt Harvey was not at the team workouts. Apparently, he called Terry Collins at one point to say he was stuck in traffic, but once he arrrived, Harvey said “Obviously today was not the greatest. The last thing I ever want to do is not be with the hteam. There’s no excuse. I screwed up.”
The NLDS starts on Friday at 9:30 ET (probably more like 9:45) with Jacob deGrom facing off against either Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.
UPDATE: According to Sandy Anderson, the Mets will carry 11 pitchers. This would seem to solidify Kirk Nieuwenhuis’s position on the roster, putting the last spot between Goeddel, Gilmartin, and Torres.
After the Nationals’ win and the Mets’ loss yesterday, the Mets’ lead sits at 7.5 games with 16 to play. The Mets have a well-needed off day today before opening up a series against the Yankees tomorrow. The Nationals play the Marlins 4 games starting tonight, with Jarred Cosart opposing Tanner Roark.
- ESPN: Are Mets mismanaging Matt Harvey?
- ESPN (Insider): Executive of the Year candidates, including Sandy Alderson
- ESPN: Cespedes trade, from Dave Dombrowski’s point of view
- ESPN: Offense is up in 2015
- NBC Sports: Adam Wainwright’s status to be determined Monday
- SB Nation: A recap of last night’s odd battle between Kyle Seager and Jered Weaver
- SB Nation: What will Yoenis Cespedes be?
- Amazin’ Avenue: Is Cespedes worth $140 million?
- Beyond the Boxscore: 2015 in the record books
- Beyond the Boxscore: Financial impact of a playoff berth
- JABO: Ryan Braun’s 2015 and PEDs
- JABO: Deadline deals: Much ado about… not much
- JABO: Shelby Miller set to make history… in the hard luck department
- Metsblog: Jump on the Mets bandwagon!