New York Mets: Lucas Harrell

Morning Briefing: Bobby Bonilla check day

July, 1, 2014
7/01/14
1:00
AM ET

Kent Horner/Getty ImagesBobby Bonilla gets cut a check for $1.19 million on Tuesday, as he will every July 1 through 2035.
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: It’s payday for Bobby Bonilla.

Back near the end of Bonilla’s playing days, the Mets agreed to pay him $1,193,248.20 annually on July 1 for 25 years, beginning in 2011.

Bonilla was owed $5.9 million when the Mets agreed to that buyout.

The agreement called for deferred payments at an 8 percent annual interest rate. At the time, Mets ownership did not mind that interest rate because their investments with Bernie Madoff were returning comfortably more than that figure.

Meanwhile, believe it or not, the Mets annually make a second payment to Bonilla, too.

CBSSports.com reported last year that Bonilla receives a separate payment for 25 years, which is the shared responsibility of the Mets and Baltimore Orioles and runs through 2028. The Mets reportedly are required to pay slightly more than half of the annual $500,000 sum, which stems from Bonilla’s original tour of duty with the Mets.

On the field Tuesday, the Mets continue their series against the Atlanta Braves. Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2, 3.23 ERA) opposes left-hander Mike Minor (2-5, 4.50) at 7:10 p.m. at Turner Field.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Frank Cashen, the architect of the ’86 Mets, died Monday in Easton, Maryland. He was 88. Cashen traded for Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter and drafted Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. “He’s the greatest GM in Mets history,” Hernandez said. “There’s no question about it.” Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Journal, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• The Mets plan to play shorthanded in Atlanta while David Wright remains active. Wright is missing the Braves series and instead is getting treatment at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan for a bruised left rotator cuff. Terry Collins now expects Wright will rejoin the team and be available to play on Friday when the Mets return to Citi Field to face the Texas Rangers. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.


Mark Duncan/Associated PressStolen internal communications suggest the Mets asked for Jonathan Villar in a deal involving Daniel Murphy in December.


• A breach of a database containing Houston Astros trade dialogue, which was posted to a web site, reveals the Mets asked for Jonathan Villar last December in conversations about Daniel Murphy. The Astros in late February also purportedly pitched to the Mets trading Lucas Harrell and minor-league left-hander Alex Sogard for Ike Davis.

The Astros have involved law enforcement in investigating the breach of their private database, Evan Drellich writes in the Houston Chronicle.

“We had security in place, and when you’re talking about criminals, we just never know if we have enough,” GM Jeff Luhnow told the newspaper.

Read more in Newsday.

Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares and Eric Campbell committed errors in a four-run eighth by the Braves as the Mets lost, 5-3, Monday at Turner Field. It marked the first three-error inning by the Mets since June 25, 2012 at Wrigley Field, when Wright, right fielder Lucas Duda and second baseman Ronny Cedeno all committed errors behind Jon Rauch. The Mets (37-46) are now a season-high-matching nine games under .500. They now trail first-place Atlanta by a season-high eight games.

Read game recaps in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Dillon Gee is expected to make one more minor-league rehab start, then return to the Mets in time to make one major league start before the All-Star break.

• Dustin Lawley homered and had four RBIs as Binghamton beat New Britain, 8-3. Eudy Pina had a go-ahead two-run triple and finished with three RBIs as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 5-2. Matt Oberste improved to 7-for-7 with two homers in his past two games as Savannah beat Rome, 8-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Braves have placed catcher Evan Gattis on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his back. Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

BIRTHDAYS: Savannah right-hander Chris Flexen turns 20. ... Original Met Craig Anderson was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you have approved of a Daniel Murphy trade that returned Jonathan Villar as at least one of the pieces?

Hack reveals Mets talked Murph with Astros

June, 30, 2014
6/30/14
2:14
PM ET
ATLANTA -- Internal trade dialogue among Astros executives posted on the anonymous data sharing web site Anonbin (here and here) reveals that Mets and Houston officials discussed a deal involving Daniel Murphy last December.

lastname
Villar
lastname
Murphy
The Dec. 16 entry in which Astros officials purportedly share details internally of trade conversations with the Mets reads:

"12/16/2013, Depo asked Jeff if we would consider Villar in a Murphy deal."

DePo is, of course, Paul DePodesta. Jeff would be Astros GM Jeff Luhnow. And Villar is shortstop Jonathan Villar, now 23 years old and hitting .200 with six homers, 22 RBIs and 14 steals in 225 at-bats this season.

A Mets official, apprised of the leaked dialogue, did not dispute the accuracy.

That Murphy was available last offseason if the Mets got the right price is no industry secret. In fact, it's entirely foreseeable Murphy is traded at some point in the next 13 months -- either in July, during the winter, or at the 2015 trade deadline.

Murphy (.301/.351/.417) leads the National League in hits with 101. He also is making $5.7 million this season, is arbitration eligible one more time next offseason, then can become a free agent after the 2015 season.

There's also an early spring training inquiry about Ike Davis, floating Lucas Harrell and minor-league left-hander Alex Sogard. It reads:

"2/27/2014, JL asked PD if they woudl consider Davis for Harrell + Sogard. PD said they value Davis higher for that. He said it appears they may value Davis higher than the market does, so they are comfortable hanging on to him."

In an early offseason groundwork call, Mets assistant GM John Ricco reportedly told Houston, according to a database entry from the Astros: "JR said that they have some pressure to get better next year but have some payroll flexibility to help them do that. They are looking for corner OF help, a veteran starter, and a little bullpen help. Overall they're looking to incrementally upgrade where they can"

Deadspin first reported the existence of the data.

Series preview: Mets vs. Astros

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
10:29
AM ET

Getty Images
Tony DeFrancesco (left) was named interim manager by first-year GM Jeff Luhnow (center), replacing fired Brad Mills (right).
METS (57-68, fourth place/NL East) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (39-86, sixth place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (10-6, 3.82) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (2-10, 5.70), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.82) vs. TBA, 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 5.11) vs. RHP Lucas Harrell (10-9, 4.04), 1:10 p.m. ET

Astros short hops

Tony DeFrancesco became interim manager Sunday, replacing fired Brad Mills. DeFrancesco had been managing Triple-A Oklahoma City. First-year GM Jeff Luhnow also replaced hitting coach Mike Barnett with Ty Van Burkleo and first base coach Bobby Meacham with Dan Radison.

• This series marks the last meeting before the Astros move to the American League West in 2013. Houston is 307-256 against the Mets all time in the regular season.

The Mets beat the Astros, 4-2, in the 1986 NLCS -- taking the clinching Game 6 in 16 innings. The Mets trailed, 3-0, entering the ninth, with the prospect of facing ace Mike Scott in Game 7 looming. But the Amazin’s scored three runs in the ninth on RBIs from Mookie Wilson, Keith Hernandez and Ray Knight. After trading runs in the 14th, the Mets produced three runs in the 16th and held on, 7-6, when Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass.


Bob Levey/Getty Images
All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve remains on an otherwise dismantled Astros roster.


• The Mets and Astros own the two worst second-half records in the National League. Houston is 6-33 since the All-Star break. The Mets are 11-28. Next: The Cubs are 14-24, followed by the Marlins at 16-25 and the Rockies and Brewers, each at 17-21.

• The Astros’ pre-trading deadline dismantling included:

July 4: Sent first baseman Carlos Lee to Miami for third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

July 20: Traded right-handers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter and left-hander J.A. Happ to Toronto for right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, right-hander Joe Musgrove, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, left-hander David Rollins, catcher Carlos Perez and a player to be named.

July 21: Traded Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Matt Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters.

July 24: Traded left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh for left-hander Rudy Owens, outfielder Robbie Grossman and left-hander Colton Cain.

July 27: Claimed right-hander Chuckie Fick off waivers from St. Louis.

July 28: Claimed outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce off waivers from Baltimore.

July 29: Sent third baseman Chris Johnson to Arizona for infielder Bobby Borchering and outfielder Marc Krauss.

• All-Star Jose Altuve leads NL second baseman in average at .304, two points ahead of Arizona’s Aaron Hill.

• Outfielder Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers from the Mets on Jan. 11, was promoted from Triple-A on Aug. 10. During a June stint with the major league club, he landed on the disabled list for 18 days with a concussion. Martinez is 7-for-44 with the Astros this season, but he produced a .314 average with 13 homers and 62 RBIs in 341 at-bats for Oklahoma City.

Jordan Lyles is the youngest active starting pitcher in the majors. He was born Oct. 19, 1990. Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez (April 18, 1990) ranks second. Miami’s Nate Eovaldi (Feb.13, 1990) is third. The Astros have the youngest active roster overall, at an average age of 26.4. Kansas City (26.5) and Colorado (26.8) are next.

Lucas Harrell (10-9) has logged more innings than any NL rookie and ranks second in wins to Arizona’s Wade Miley (14-8).

• With 50-year-old Roger Clemens pitching for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Saturday, there is speculation he could appear with the Astros before the end of the season.

• Reliever Rhiner Cruz (1-1, 6.90 ERA), a Rule 5 selection from the Mets, appears poised to last the season with the Astros and become Houston’s property.

Last series results

Houston won, 3-0, at Minute Maid Park, April 30-May 2 (AP game recaps)

Astros 4, Mets 3: Jordan Schafer had two hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run on a single by Jed Lowie in the eighth inning. More

Astros 6, Mets 3: Chris Snyder hit a three-run home run and Jed Lowrie had a two-run shot. Lowrie's homer, off Jon Niese, which hit the inside of the foul pole in left field in the first inning, got things going for the Astros. More

Astros 8, Mets 1:Chris Johnson homered in consecutive at-bats among his four hits and drove in a career-high six runs to back up another solid outing by Wandy Rodriguez. Johnson's first homer of the season, off Chris Schwinden (0-1), was a three-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field that put Houston up 3-0 in the second inning. More

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187