The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 13): Making a Murder PT II, not really… We’re making a rotation.

Michael Garaffa, the newest writer with MetsJunkies.com joins Gem to talk about Bauer, the Mets rotation, and the Almora acquisition.

Did The Mets Dodge A Bullet?

It seemed like from the start of free agency the NY Mets and George Springer were destined for one another. Social media told us Springer to the Mets was all but a lock to happen. Buster Olney even said he would bet his family farm on Springer to the Mets. We all just assumed it would happen eventually, but then something crazy happened. The Toronto Blue Jays signed him for 6 years 150 million. Most Mets fans were bitter and angry about it. But did the Mets actually dodge a bullet?

The numbers kind of speak for themselves when you take a look at outfielders age 30 and up who signed long term contracts.

Jason Bay signed for 4 yrs/66 million at age 31. Coming off an incredible 2009 season in Boston with a career-high 36 home runs and 119 RBI, the Mets signed Bay. Bay averaged .229-9-36 with a .688 OPS in 89 games over the life of the deal, finishing out the contract (and his career) in Seattle after the Mets released him in November of 2012.

Carl Crawford signed for 7 yrs/142 million at age 29. Boston thought it was getting an elite offensive and defensive outfielder when it signed Crawford in 2011, but he was far from it. He struggled at the plate in his first season, hitting just .255-11-56 with 18 steals and a .694 OPS in 130 games. The following year Crawford played only 31 games due to injury, struggled to stay healthy for the remainder of his career and was traded to the Dodgers before 2013. Crawford played only six years of the seven-year deal, averaging .271-5-29 with 12 steals in 80 games per season.

Jacoby Ellsbury signed for 7 yrs/153 million at age 30. The outfielder was a very mediocre, overpriced contributor for the Yankees for the life of his contract. He had a decent year in 2014, hitting .271-16-70 with 39 steals and a .747 OPS but averaged just .261-8-43 with 21 steals in 124 games over the next three seasons and missed all of 2018 and 2019 due to injury.

Josh Hamilton signed for 5 yrs/125 million at age 32. The Angels signed Hamilton after hitting 43 home runs and driving in 128 RBI’s. Hamilton hit just .250-21-79 with a .739 OPS and played only 89 games the following year. He had a falling out with the organization after a shoulder injury and a drug relapse and was traded back to Texas in 2015. He played 50 games for the Rangers in 2015, but that was the last we saw of Hamilton.

Vernon Wells signed for 7 yrs/126 million at age 28. Wells was a star in Toronto and got paid like one by Toronto. After hitting .303-32-106 in 2006, he declined to .245-16-80 with an OPS that fell nearly 200 points. He had a bit of a rebound in 2008, with an .840 OPS, but he missed significant time to injury. Wells was inconsistent from year to year for the rest of the contract, posting one more .800-plus OPS, 30 home run season in 2010 but posting a sub-.700 OPS after getting traded to the Angels and later the Yankees from 2011-13.

Alex Gordon signed for 4 yrs/72 million at age 32. Gordon was never a star but always Mr. Reliable. Gordon imploded immediately after resigning, hitting just .220-17-40 in the first year of the contract, and it’s only gotten worse for him. While he did win three Gold Gloves in the four seasons, Gordon averaged .237-13-54 with a .686 OPS at the plate.

Yoenis Cespedes signed for 4 yrs/110 million at age 31. The Mets rewarded Cespedes with a four-year deal in 2017 after he hit 31 home runs and made an All-Star appearance in 2016. He missed more time than he actually played through the length of the deal and sat for all of 2019 due to heel and ankle injuries. He played for about a week in the 2020 season then decided to opt out due to covid.

If history repeats itself, which it usually does it looks like the Mets have actually dodged a bullet with not signing George Springer.

Photo from Bleacher Report

Blue Jays sign George Springer

The Toronto Blue Jays and outfielder George Springer are close to terms on a six year deal worth roughly $150M.

The New Britain, Connecticut native was first drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 48th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft, however made the right choice to not sign.

Three years later in 2011, he would end up being drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round as the 11th overall pick and make his way to the Major League level by 2014.

Also read: The importance of outfield defense.

Defensively, Springer will man down centerfield for at least the next couple of years. After that, he may be forced to moved to a corner spot as Corné has pointed out in the past.

Here are some dorky numbers brought to you by Del Alba of Mets Junkies.

George Springer Age 30– 3x All Star (2017, 2018, 2019), 2x Silver Slugger (2017, 2019), WS MVP (2017) 

Career Numbers- .270/.361/.491, PA: 3567, BB: 396, SO:785, HR: 174 WAR: 24.5 dWAR: 1.3

Career Nerd stats

Hardhit%: 40.4%, Average Exit Velo: 89.3 

Pull%: 40.0, Center%: 36.6%, Oppo%: 23.3%.

Corné’s Cut:

Springer has thrived in hard hit rate over the years. In 2019 he had one of the better hard hit rates and expected slash line in the majors. As you can see below, his defense isn’t too shabby as well.

BaseballSavant.com

In 2020 he didn’t slow down either, even after the Astros scandal. He still provides solid hard hit rates and good expected slash lines. Springer also provides a much needed RH bat in the outfield and lineup in general, which is a desperate need.

BaseballSavant.com

Photo: Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Also read: Hello, is it me (Nolan Arenado) you’re looking for?

Poll: The Outfield Conundrum

Earlier on in the week, I had created a poll on Twitter and here it is:

@MetsJunkies on Twitter

So assuming that the D.H. will not be apart of the National League and that the Mets acquire a natural centerfielder, what should the front office do with the abundance of corners.

Whether it be George Springer or Jackie Bradley, either acquisition will cause Nimmo to be bumped from center. The Mets have the option to put him and his amazing OBP in left field while providing better defense.

This move would bump Dom Smith to the bench. With Smith’s popularity spreading like a wildfire, it’s no surprise that only 4% would opt to trade Dom.

If the Mets decide to use Smith in left, this will push Nimmo to the bench and that would probably make him one of the best fourth outfielders in the game. And while Corné would choose to trade Nimmo as he stated on The Mets Junkies Podcast, 24% of the voters agree with him.

I was surprised to see that a whopping 72% would actually hold onto both players. This would entail some creative in-game lineup and defensive changes, but with the D.H. potentially coming back to being universal in 2022, this would make them extremely stacked.

Thank you to the 344 voters that participated on Twitter and don’t forget to follow us. We look forward to you taking part in the current poll on Joey Lucchesi as well as many more in the future.

Mets still candidates to sign Springer/Hand

According to Jon Heyman the Mets are still viewed as the front runners to sign George Springer, while also being heavily involved in the Brad Hand Market. To me the news about Springer is interesting with the addition of Lindor and Carrasco. It’s likely the Mets will go over the luxury tax this year and worth noting, it will make for some interesting decisions in 2022.

We all know what Springer can do and how good the Mets will be with Springer in the lineup. A RH hitting CF’er with a terrific bat and solid defense. It will move Nimmo to LF, were he is above average defensively.

Hand is the main lefty bullpen arm on the market. He led the majors in saves and pitched to a minuscule 2.05 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. The Mets don’t have a lefty in their pen right now, so going after the big lefty is a logical step.

With how good both of these guys are, the Mets will have a terrific team. They could we great even with the rotation as it stands now. Getting Hand will make the bullpen so deep, that will ease the pressure on the rotation. Springer will give the lineup even more thumb and provide solid defense up the middle.

With all that being said, it’s hard for me to imagine how this will all fit in the budget for next year. If the Mets want to extend Conforto/Syndergaard, the addition of Springer isn’t likely. Will the Springer addition mean no Conforto long term? Or will the Mets keep going over the luxury tax? Interesting how this is going to work out.

Photo from Yahoo News

The Case to sign Springer… and more.

Mets to Sign Springer
The NY Mets had a busy weekend. To kick things off they signed James McCann to a 4 year/40-million-dollar contract. Steve Cohen and his wife Alex then proceeded to show up Saturday at Citi Field to greet season ticket holders. They even handed out bobbleheads to fans, something the Wilpons wouldn’t be caught dead doing! Later that day they hired their next GM Jared Porter, who will become the Mets 14th GM in club history, handing him the keys to turn the Mets into the next powerhouse of the 2020s. Jared Porter will now work under team President Sandy Alderson.

If Jared Porter and Sandy Alderson aren’t sure how to proceed, I am here to save the day!
In a perfect world, the Mets should sign George Springer, Trevor Bauer, Liam Hendriks, another starter like Kluber or Lester, and trade JD, Rosario, and a prospect not in our top 10, for Lindor.

Although we don’t know what Steve Cohen and the Mets budget is for 2021, it’s safe to assume they don’t want to go over the luxury tax threshold in year 1. (But if Uncle Stevie wants to go buck wild that should be the plan!)
Back to reality, next on the Mets’ wish list should be centerfielder George Springer. The 31-year-old would be an absolute perfect fit for this Mets team and would provide an immediate return on investment in 2021. Signing Springer would allow the Mets to slide Brandon Nimmo over to leftfield, his natural position. This would give the Mets one of the better outfields in baseball with Nimmo, Springer, and Conforto. Springer is expected to receive a nice payday of around $125 million over 5 years.

Next, I would sign Jake Odorizzi who has been pretty consistent throughout his career with a 3.92 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a 22.7 percent strikeout rate against an 8.2 percent walk rate. He did have a rough year last season, as he battled blisters issues and only made four starts with a 6.59 ERA. The Mets could potentially sign him to a 1 year “prove it” deal or if there is enough interest in him he may end up getting a three year deal, with around $10-13 million a year.

Last but not least, I would lock up Liam Hendriks, who is arguably the best closer in baseball. Over the past two seasons he had a 1.79 ERA with 110.1 innings pitched since 2019, and he struck out 38% of opposing hitters with a 5.7% walk rate. With Hendriks in the mix, that would give the Mets an absolute monster bullpen that would consist of Trevor May to pitch the 6th, Lugo in the 7th, Diaz in the 8th, and Hendriks to close it out.
My oh my, yes please, where do I sign?!?!

Written By Corey Kaplan
Corey Kaplan is a lifelong Mets fan who grew up on Long Island and now resides in Texas.

Design by PKP Creative and Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Brandon Nimmo 2021 predictions and projections

By Angelina Rizzo & Del Alba

Angelina’s take:

I personally feel that Brandon Nimmo still has a lot to offer the 2021 New York Mets. Here’s a glimpse of what I see him doing this upcoming season.

Rotochamp has Nimmo projected to hit 19 home runs and 57 RBI’s with a .389 OBP.

I think the Mets will fare slightly better in 2021 due to big name talent coming in. I’m going to predict Nimmo hits 21 home runs, drives in 63, has a .260 batting average, and a .410 OBP.

Nimmo could or could not accomplish more depending on if he hits a hot or cold streak, which can happen to any player. That is just life in the MLB. I think Nimmo will find his stride in 2021.

Also read: Is Nimmo more than a fourth outfielder?

Here’s a look at Nimmo the past two seasons.

In 2019, Nimmo hit 8 home runs with 29 batted in sporting a .221 batting average and a .375 OBP.

In the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season, Nimmo hit 8 home runs and drove in 18 runs while owning a .280 batting average and a .404 OBP.

I see Nimmo improving statistically in 2021.

Del’s take:

Via Del Alba

The big question about Nimmo’s projections is if the Mets are going to acquire someone else to man CF or not. If so, then this create a competitive environment for playing time. There’s no denying that he has a great eye and is a patient hitter that draws a lot of walks.

If the Mets do not acquire another CF, then I expect Nimmo to be on top of the order and be a big contributor to RBI for guy’s batting behind him. I would love to see him steal more bags to go along with a high OBP, but Nimmo just simply isn’t that guy.

I also expect him to continue brightening up the Mets club house with that radiant smile of his. It’s fun to watch him play the game with so much heart. I also project him to lead the league in BB walk speed, seriously one of the most fun things to watch about Nimmo is how he sprints after drawing walk.

Photo from New York Mets

Also read: Pete Alonso 2021 predictions and projection