Chat with Adam Rubin
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, New York Mets writer Adam Rubin will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
Send your questions now and join Rubin Thursday at noon ET!
Adam Rubin (12:00 PM)
Thanks for joining me. I'm headed to the GM meetings in Milwaukee next week, where Sandy Alderson will be, so hopefully we'll have some actual news to report in the coming days. Let's get started ...
Lou (New York)
Can the media just relax with the Reyes-to-Marlins stuff? He visited, nothing more. That's what free agency is all about, correct? And from what I've heard, Marlins have about $20-$25 mil to spend this winter...so they're going to get one player and ignore everything else?
Adam Rubin (12:02 PM)
I would not pay too much attention to the fact that Jose Reyes had lunch with Marlins executives at Joe's Stone Crab in South Florida. As you suggested, it's going to come down to the best offer. But it certainly seems like the Marlins will be aggressive spenders, and that signing Reyes would not completely preclude other moves. They're moving into a new ballpark, brought in Ozzie Guillen and have wined and dined Mark Buehrle and Reyes and are now in the Dominican courting a Cuban defector. You've raised the expectations for fans unnecessarily unless you plan to deliver players. So I expect them to deliver.
Scot (Washington, DC)
Next year's rotation: Satana, Pelfrey, Dickey, Niese and . . .
Adam Rubin (12:04 PM)
Those four, assuming health, are near locks. Then Dillon Gee would compete with whomever they bring in for another slot. They need to sign two or three viable starting pitching candidates that can either move to long relief or Triple-A if they're beaten out for a rotation spot. There is zero safety net beyond the current pitchers until Matt Harvey is ready, which may not even be this upcoming season. Apparently, Chris Capuano may have priced himself beyond the Mets' inclination to spend. So they'd have to bring in the next Capuano/Chris Young-type pitcher.
Hey Adam, any news of changes in the 2012 uniforms?
Adam Rubin (12:07 PM)
Actually, there are rumblings that what I wrote back in August (http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/32181/in-depth-new-jersey-blue-horizon)regarding changes is dead on and will be announced in the not-too-distant future. The Mets are going to borrow significantly, I hear, from the early 1960s uniforms. You can see a picture of that era of uniform in the picture at that link. I hear the black drop shadow is going away, so it will just be the orange and blue lettering ... script Mets for the home lettering, block letters NEW YORK for road. Even the bright white home uniforms (without the pinstripes) should drop the black. ... There's going to be a patch on a sleeve I hear, too, with the city skyline and "50th anniversary" on it. ... I even hear banner day may be making a comeback.
Chris Ess (New Jersey)
Will the Mets go after Mark Buerlhe if they don't get Jose Reyes?
Adam Rubin (12:10 PM)
I don't expect the Mets to be spending a ton on the rotation, and Sandy Alderson has all but said do not expect another big free-agent signing to replace Reyes. Reading between the lines on what I've directly heard Alderson say, I'm speculating the Opening Day payroll will be in the $95 million neighborhood. I base that on Alderson saying that the payroll may start below the $100 million to $110 million figure he has cited on multiple occasions and drift into that range in-season with the inclusion of amateur signing bonuses (which generally you would not lump into the payroll category unless you're trying to inflate that figure and make it appear more palatable to fans.)
Am I the only one that is okay with Jose leaving, the Mets starting Ruben Tejada at SS and spending that money elsewhere be it pitching or outfield help?
Adam Rubin (12:11 PM)
If you're asking whether Ruben Tejada is a suitable replacement for Jose Reyes, I'll rely on what Chip Hale told me. Chip is a straight shooter as it is, and had no reason not to be candid since I spoke with him after he had departed for Bob Melvin's staff in Oakland. Chip says Tejada can be an AVERAGE major league defensive shortstop. And in good years he can hit .270 to .280 at the plate, with .250 in other years. That's going to be a major dropoff in both areas from Jose Reyes' capabilities.
RON D. (ROCKAWAY NJ)
Adam if you had Sandy and Fred's ear how would you try to praude them to reisgn Reyes because at 28 being a home grown player you build around that . your giving mix mesg you sign then cut back in other areas.
Adam Rubin (12:14 PM)
I would say this: I understand/endorse the building through the farm system concept. But Jose will still only be 28 on Opening Day. Are you telling me the Mets are not planning to be competitive by 2014 with homegrown players. By then, Jose will only be 30. And if you let him go now, he won't be there in two or three years obviously. And you're just not going to duplicate that production. There is no one in the system now who you can tell me will one day duplicate what Jose Reyes is doing. Wilmer Flores? I'm not writing him off. But, No. 1, he will be moved from shortstop to another infield position at some point. No. 2, he's following up an average season in the Florida State League by hitting .189 in winter ball in Venezuela currently.
Is pelfrey in jeopardy of a non-tender? also, off topic but this Wilson Ramos thing has to be the most underreported story ever
Adam Rubin (12:16 PM)
I cannot foresee the Mets non-tendering Pelfrey. They need to add arms, not subtract. He's going to get a raise from his $3.925 million, but you're not going to duplicate in cost what he offers in terms of innings and potential upside on a one-year contract from outside. Plus, Dan Warthen believes the talent is in there. I guess my point is fans can be down on players, but the grass isn't always greener.
How many people are actually in this chat more than 10, less than 100, more than 1?
Adam Rubin (12:16 PM)
I've got 100+ questions to choose from, and it keeps growing. So I'd say a few.
Lynch (New York)
Hey Adam,How likely is it that Jose Reyes will be a Miami Marlin next year?Also if Reyes goes does it make it more or less likely the Mets seek offers for David Wright? Thanks
Adam Rubin (12:19 PM)
I don't think the Marlins would go through a show of bringing in Reyes, and his agents would allow it, without them being a serious suitor. ... My rationale with David Wright is that if you allow Reyes to leave, you're essentially acknowledging the window for winning is a few years away. Wright may choose to leave on his own by then as a free agent. Why not investigate dealing him too and do rebuilding properly? I'm not saying dump him. But at least listen. I believe they will listen, although I still find it difficult to believe they would actually pull the trigger on a trade.
Michael-Patrick Hogue (Los Angeles)
Glad to see you aren't one of the writers trying to "make the news" Adam. Who are the top 5 minor leaguers to watch for now. How is Neuwenhuis coming along, and will we see him in Spring training 100%?
Adam Rubin (12:21 PM)
Not making the news? Not breaking it either, I suppose. Hah. ... If you're talking about guys with a closer major league horizon, you have to start with the three pitchers who get all the hype -- Zack Wheeler (obtained for Carlos Beltran), Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia. Beyond that, Juan Lagares is underhyped, but getting more attention now. ... I had not asked specifically about Kirk Nieuwenhuis recently, but he underwent shoulder surgery that supposedly should not inhibit his 2012 availability/production.
Young said he'd like to return. Are the Mets interested?
Adam Rubin (12:23 PM)
Sandy Alderson also said he should not be ready until June or July under the best-case scenario. And you never know with that type of shoulder surgery. It's the one Johan Santana and Chien-Ming Wang had. That said, Alderson did say he believed Young wanted to latch on with an organization before spring training, rather than rehab on his own and sign in-season when he's ready. There's no way the Mets could structure Young's contract with the same $1.1 million base salary and incentives as this past season. But if it's the major league minimum and similar incentives, I suppose I can see it being an option.
Adam, you said the Mets plan a ~100M budget, to INCLUDE things like draft bonuses. i've never heard of a budget for an MLB team that includes draft/amateur signing bonuses. how can Selig say he has no concerns with the Mets?
Adam Rubin (12:23 PM)
Adam Rubin (12:24 PM)
I actually called the Players' Association to ask if they had any concerns about the Mets' projected spending. They declined to comment. I'll ask again when it's in the past tense and projected spending becomes actual spending.
Lou (New York)
Still don't get the trade Wright mantra. Listen to offers? Absolutely. Maybe you get a GM that just loses his mind and offers too much to turn down. But too many factors not to deal him now. Coming off down year, his contract can be whittled down to 1 year instead of 2.
Adam Rubin (12:26 PM)
He is a free agent after the 2013 season if he stays. So if you don't pull the trigger at some point, you're resigned to getting the same draft picks as for Jose Reyes if he opts to leave via free agency. ... Oh, and by the way, if Jose Reyes signs with the Marlins, the Mets will not get Florida's first-round pick as compensation. Florida drafts ninth, which is protected. The Mets would get a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds, then Florida's second-round pick.
Hi Adam, OK get on the phone to Dan Duquette and start working on Wright to Baltimore for Wieters and Britton!
Adam Rubin (12:28 PM)
I've had a vibe for a while that David Wright's next stop will be Baltimore or Atlanta. Both are certainly within proximity of his native Virginia. And Chipper Jones' retirement could coincide with Wright's free agency. I mentioned that to David O'Brien from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently. He mentioned to me that there was one minor league player they're trying to groom -- I'll recall the name in a minute, hopefully -- but it's certainly conceivable if that prospect does not prove to be the heir apparent.
Erik (Watchung, NJ)
What's the percentage of how much you think Reyes will be back with the Mets?
Adam Rubin (12:31 PM)
20 percent? I've firmly believed Reyes' agents need to deliver him a big contract for their own image as much as Reyes' well-being. They retained Reyes as a client after overtures from Scott Boras. You can't tell me Boras wouldn't deliver a six-plus year contact, no? Am I wrong?
Adam - am I the only one who doesn't see the Mets competitive till 2015-2016, but if they resign Reyes it will happen around 2014?
Adam Rubin (12:34 PM)
They can be competitive for the wild card NEXT YEAR if they spent. You can simultaneously build a farm system and sign free agents, but not at the projected payroll. Everyone assumes you sign free agents to six-year deals because that's what we were conditioned wit hthe past regime. But if you had a $140 million to $150 million payroll, couldn't you sign a capable closer for two/three years, Grady Sizemore or whomever for two years or less, Jason Marquis, etc., without impacting long-term flexibility? It's like a short-term stimulus plan. Apparently the Mets are more like the Republicans than the Democracts -- spending has to match revenue. The only difference: The Mets don't believe in spending on defense. (Joke.)
What's your take on Acosta? He was almost unhittable from the end of June to season's end. Should he get a chance to compete for the closer, or at least 8th-inning job?
Adam Rubin (12:35 PM)
They're going outside for closer. He should be arbitration-eligible for the first time, if I recall, so he'll have a relatively modest salary. He'll be a competent bullpen piece. If he rises to eighth-inning duty, great. But you better bring in several other options as a hedge. You cannot count on it.
RON D. (ROCKAWAY NJ)
Will Omar be going to arizona to be Farm director or assist GM there?
Adam Rubin (12:36 PM)
There's always been speculation because of his relationship with Kevin Towers that he would join that organization in some capacity. Omar and I have not talked in a while, though, so I really have no idea.
according to what you know, do the Mets plan to offer Pagan arbitration? I know Heyman tweeted it earlier...but I have little confidence in his information.
Adam Rubin (12:37 PM)
When I spoke with Mets officials as the season was wrapping up, they spoke about Pagan's tenure with the team in the past tense. And that's the best information I have on the subject. I have no doubt they will look to trade him before the Dec. 12 non-tender deadline. And, it's entirely conceivable they're putting out there that they plan to tender him because otherwise, why else would a team agree to trade for him if they know he's going to be cut loose?
Is it true that the 2012 Season Motto for the Mets will be "Atleast we're not the Dodgers!"
Adam Rubin (12:38 PM)
Except the Dodgers will have a new owner soon.
Davis, Duda, Thole, Murphy---who'll have the best season at the plate in '12?
Adam Rubin (12:39 PM)
If he's healthy, Ike Davis. But "best" is subjective. Certainly he has the best potential for a combination of average and power. And I know you isolated hitting, but he'll be light years ahead of the others in terms of competency at his assigned position.
Adam you are the reporter best calling out the Wilpons on all of their lies. Is there anyway you can publish Philly revenue compared to Mets from last year? That way the fans can see that it's the Wilpons debt not reduced tix that is killing this team.
Adam Rubin (12:41 PM)
I don't think anyone is leaking me that data. But it's no doubt that when Sandy Alderson says spending needs to equal revenue, debt payments are being included in the spending side. ... The Mets owe money on the ballpark, SNY, to MLB, etc. If you wanted operating revenue and operating costs to match, I'm sure the payroll could be significantly higher.
Adam - Why do the Mets go in spurts, put together a few winning seasons (84-90, 97-01, 05-08 and then fall of the cliff dramatically (91-96,02-04, 09 -Present) Why isn't there any consistency with the franchise?
Adam Rubin (12:45 PM)
I can speak to the more current cycle best. I got villified for this June 2008 article I wrote while working for the Daily News (http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-06-09/sports/17899688_1_omar-minaya-new-mets-disabled-list) calling the Mets a House of Cards. Yes, they collapsed the previous year. But things still seemed pretty good regardless. The point was that sustained winning means a farm system regularly churning out cost-effective players, reasoned decisions about when to let players go and not committing too much on the back end to free agents. You could see how things were going to collapse as the Mets got to the back end of contracts without a farm system churning out talent. It was not too long ago that the Mets essentially sold two draft picks (with Billy Wagner) to the Red Sox to save money. That isn't obvious to most, but you could see those types of decisions leaving the Mets where they are now.
Are the Mets now a "small market" team due to Wilpons Madoff woes? Now we have a cap, can't spend the money we need to to compete. I understand the Cards and Det win with smaller budgets, but they don't have roughly half their money tied up in mediocre/downswing players like Santana, Bay and to a lesser extent Wright. How long until Wilpon gets away from this mess (if ever) and how long until the Mets can become relevant spenders again?
Adam Rubin (12:49 PM)
I feel badly for Sandy Alderson in one respect. If you're told you can spend $95 million (estimated) on payroll and Johan Santana, Jason Bay, David Wright, R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey account for roughly $65 million, you're in an untenable situation. That does not mean he has $30 million to fill out his team. You have to understand that you go through more than 25 players a season, and even if everyone else made the major league minimum -- which is impossible -- you have to add another $10 million in costs roughly. So he may really have $20 million to spend over the major league minimum for the rest of his team. And then subtract $2 million or so for D.J. Carrasco and Tim Byrdak over the minimum and you're down to $18 million. You basically need an entirely new bullpen, center fielder (or subtract $4 million to $5 million you're playing Pagan), a starting pitcher, etc. And you're accepting Tejada instead of Reyes.
You posted an article recently showing Reyes to be less than stellar defensively at short. I would generally say he's about average. How is his defensive reputation among those in the game?
Adam Rubin (12:52 PM)
That was a Bill James statistical assessment about double-play turns, when combined with Justin Turner. Mark Simon did a study that rated Reyes insufficient going one direction -- don't remember which off the top of my head. But given his speed/arm strength, I'd certainly rate him among the better defensive shortstops. I do worry about him as he gets older, which is why I think people are misunderstanding my advocacy about him staying. I'm just advocating making a baseball-fueled decision rather than have your hand forced by budget constraints. That Chip Hale interview reaffirmed what I have heard plenty of times -- that Reyes relies on his athletic ability rather than baseball IQ in terms of shading based on pitch about to be thrown, hitters' swings, etc. He has to get better at that or as his legs fade, his defensive ability will take a major swoon.
Mehmet Dushaj (Hillsdale NJ)
Do you see anyway the Mets sign Jorge Posada for one year to be the catcher for 2012?
Adam Rubin (12:53 PM)
I have to believe the Mets would sign a defensive-oriented catcher to complement Josh Thole if they do bring in a major league caliber catcher. That's why Mike Nickeas is in the consideration set. I do not believe Ronny Paulino, who is arbitration eligible, will be back. They were way down on his ability to follow Dan Warthen's game plans.
Are the Mets operating as if Buchholz will be back next year, or would his return be a bonus?
Adam Rubin (12:55 PM)
I've been meaning to try to get an answer on this and don't know. He is arbitration-eligible, I believe, not a free agent. But I have to believe, assmuing his inclination is to continue pitching, that he'd be better served in a less-intense market. Maybe they can trade him before Dec. 12. Maybe for the reason I cited they just non-tender him Dec. 12 and allow him to find a place that has less scrutiny. I just don't know, though.
From what Sandy is saying, Reyes is a good as gone. Reyes is 28 years old. If you talk about rebuilding, if we re sign Reyes, we will only have 1 regular (Jason Bay) over 30 years old. We are still a young team.
Adam Rubin (12:58 PM)
Once Bay and Santana are off the books (potentially after 2013), there are no other commitments. So I don't see how re-signing Reyes really compromises anything. I'm not advocating going crazy with backloaded free-agent signings like the past regime, but is allocating $16 million to Jose Reyes in 2014, 2015 and 2016 when he is 30, 31 and 32 years old on Opening Day really crippling if there are no other commitments on the books currently for those years. ... With that said, there's a K-Rod-type potentially sticky situation that can come up in 2013. Jason Bay has a vesting option for 2014 that kicks in if he has 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 apiece in 2012 and 2013. That raises the value of the contract from four years, $66 million to five years, $80 million. ... We may be doing a "BAY COUNTER" in 2013 as that plate appearance total approaches.
Erkan Caygoz (Staten Island NY)
Any chance the Mets look at bringing K-Rod back at a reasonable price? If not, what is the next best option?
Adam Rubin (1:00 PM)
I stopped at "reasonable price." He hired Scott Boras. That, aside from the baggage, is an issue. ... My ESPN colleagues seem to think Joe Nathan wants to return to the Twins, and the Blue Jays make a ton of sense for him. But from that spending point downward seems to make sense (Jonathan Broxton, etc.). I would say it would have to be troubling for the Mets if Philadelphia's four-year, $44 million deal with Ryan Madson goes through. That sets the bar higher for closer spending than I'd imagine the Mets would like, in that it pulls up the price even of the lower-tier closers.
Adam Rubin (1:01 PM)
We've been going for an hour, so let's call it quits for the week. As I mentioned at the outset, I'll be at the GM Meetings in Milwaukee next Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully some news will be forthcoming. ... And for the person who snidely asked, still more than 100 questions in the queue. So, yes, there is interest in the Mets.