Chat with Adam Rubin
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at noon ET!
Adam Rubin (11:59 AM)
Thanks for joining me. Let's get started ...
Hey Adam, do you think they will non-tender both Ramon Ramirez & Andres Torres and use that money elsewhere this winter?
Adam Rubin (12:01 PM)
Ramon Ramirez actually has enough service time to be a free agent after the season. So the only issue would be with Andres Torres. That's a borderline non-tender to me. He's making $2.7 million this season and is arbitration-eligible one last time. An estimated salary would be $3 million. Is that worth it? If you were flush with outfielders, you easily could justify cutting him loose. The rub is that the Mets are not flush with outfielders. So, pure guess: I would shakily say they hold onto him. But I don't feel very confident in saying that without poking around a little first.
Mets Bro (New York)
Do you see the fact that the Mets took on money (Shoppach) mid-season a sign of things to come? Or was it merely an appeasement move?
Adam Rubin (12:04 PM)
He's barely making anything. $1.135 million this season. And, assuming the Mets picked up what remained on the contract, which I assume they did, you're talking 49 days out of a 183-day season. So the Mets picked up $304,000 -- less what they save by having Rob Johnson in the minors. So I don't see it as relevant as far as a window into future spending. In fact, you can argue that getting Shoppach in for a better chance to evaluate/re-sign him this offseason is unambitious in that they will not be spending a lot on that position this offseason.
i saw you tweet the other day about the rotation and it was without pelfrey, do you think hes not going to be ready come april?
Adam Rubin (12:06 PM)
He had the Tommy John surgery May 1. Typical recovery time is 12 months, although I certainly think he's aiming and may be back by Opening Day somewhere. The issue is that Pelfrey is making $5.6875 million this season. He is arbitration-eligible one more time. By rule, you have to make at least 80 percent of your previous year's salary -- and the odds are you'd make 100 percent. So the Mets will have to cut loose Pelfrey at the December non-tender deadline. At that point, Pelfrey would be a free agent. The Mets would be free to re-sign him for any price, but Pelfrey would be free to sign elsewhere. And I'd bet the latter.
Aaron (Waldwick, NJ)
A lot of my friends have begun to point the finger at Sandy. I happen to believe he's been hamstring by the Wilpons' unwillingness to spend, and will continue to believe that until the give me a reason not to. Thoughts?
Adam Rubin (12:09 PM)
Both points have merit, so I don't think it's an either-or. The bottom line is that the payroll was sliced $50 million or so last offseason. And he had nothing to spend his first winter either. Still, you would think such a ballyhooed front office would have some creative solutions. Obviously, it's a sound long-term strategy to build through the draft and have patience, but the intervening years could have been better. Alderson did miss big on devoting his available dollars to a bullpen that has not performed well. He did not trade Reyes, which is a shame in hindsight given Reyes did not re-sign. He got testy about being a seller at the trade deadline, but that looks foolish now. (On Hairston, he maintained he could not get a top-30 prospect. I would question that.)
Jeremy (South Jersey)
Do you think Harvey will be free of inning limitations next year?
Adam Rubin (12:10 PM)
I asked Paul DePodesta about innings limits, and the generally accepted philosophy around baseball is not to jump a young pitcher more than 30-35 innings a year. So if Harvey is going to be capped at about 170 innings this year -- which now should get him to the end of the season with a six-man rotation -- then next year he should be good for 200 to 205. Hard to envision any pitcher going beyond that much these days anyway, so Harvey should be basically restriction-free in 2013.
If the Mets continue their swoon, is it possible that Terry will be let go and Wally Backman brought in to manage the team?
Adam Rubin (12:11 PM)
Haven't asked. Doubt they'd tell me that. Doubt that'll happen. Was Charlie Manuel a great manager for a few years and now he stinks? It comes down to players. And these players do like/respond to TC.
Ira (Long Island)
If the Mets aren't going to spend money to improve, who is their best trade bait? I personally don't think Parnell will ever be able to establish himself here and I think there will be another GM who would be in love with his arm.
Adam Rubin (12:13 PM)
You obviously would not be selling high with Parnell, but that's possible. I know one team approached the Mets about trading for Parnell last December at the winter meetings. The Mets balked because, at least at the time, Parnell was still under their control for four years at a low salary and had such upside. The Mets did part with hard throwers such as Heath Bell and Matt Lindstrom when they were young, and they were productive elsewhere (for a while), so you can understand the hesitance. Obviously, you can be overwhelmed in any trade. And I still think Parnell can be useful/cheap. So would I be surprised if Parnell were traded? No. Would I look to dump him? No, too.
Aaron (Waldwick, NJ)
Taking a road trip to see Zach Wheeler pitch next week - what can I expect to see?
Adam Rubin (12:15 PM)
Best pitcher in the system, and one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.
Emanuel (Astoria, NY)
Right now, the Mets have only 2 position players who can legitimately be considered above-average at their respective positions --- Wright and Tejada. I think Davis is getting there too but otherwise, there's nobody else on this current roster that is an above-average player. So how can ownership justify not going after a solid free agent when this team has a chance to make a good run in 2013 with the pitching coming together.
Adam Rubin (12:16 PM)
You can justify it by saying there's not enough money to go after free agents. I will say that if Alderson were so inclined, he could backload any free-agent deal with a low base salary in 2013. After next season, there are no players under contract beyond Jon Niese, so obviously there's payroll flexibility for 2014 and beyond, unless the Mets intend to become the Pirates of 5-10 years ago.
Danny A. (Brooklyn)
Have you spoken with any scouts about the performance of Brandon Nimmo in Brooklyn? He's hitting .273, and has shown tremendous plate discipline. Would you pencil him in to start next year in Savannah, with a potential call up to St. Lucie later in 2013?
Adam Rubin (12:17 PM)
Hadn't asked scouts. They rarely get to the New York-Penn League -- at least the guys I know. Sounds logical to start in Savannah and finish in St. Lucie next season.
Would you trade a Top 30 prospect (eg Harvey) for Hairston?
Adam Rubin (12:18 PM)
Top 30 in the Mets' system, not top 30 in baseball. Unless he was being a lawyer and taking advantage of that ambiguity. Whose the Mets' 30th-best prospect? Robert Carson? Yes, if I were a playoff contending team and needed a righty-bat for the bench, I would trade Carson for Hairston.
Ira (Long Island)
Either with Wright or without Wright, the Mets are not going to draw next year. I think it's pretty obvious. If they don't resign him, then they really need to trade him. I think the FO can sell that rather than letting him walk as a FA and getting nothing in return.
Adam Rubin (12:18 PM)
Danny A. (Brooklyn)
Hey Adam,If we want to give Alderson a pass for not making high salaried acquisitions, how about addressing his lack of creativity? Aside from the Beltran for Wheeler deal, he's done nothing via trade to adequately address any glaring long-term needs.
Adam Rubin (12:19 PM)
I'm in full agreement. I'm not going to say he's done nothing -- Hairston, Baxter have been productive, for instance. Capuano performed well last season. But any GM with no money could twiddle thumbs waiting for a farm system to produce.
The Mets seem pretty set for next year at several positions including IF (Davis, Murph, Tejada, Wright) SP (Dickey, Niese, Sanatana, Gee, Harvey) RP (Frank Frank, Parnell, Edgin). I think Baxter, Thole and Hefner make the team one way or another. That leaves a RH catcher, backup infielder, 4 OFs and 4 RPs. Other than the OF I cant imagine any of these other holes being filled with a big ticket item. What am I missing?
Adam Rubin (12:21 PM)
Perhaps they do something more aggressive this offseason, whether that's trading Murph or Ike. So I'm not sure I'm in complete accord on those positions being set. But I mostly agree. You can bring back Shoppach to pair with Thole and that sets up your 2013 catching platoon. The dollars have to go -- again -- to bullpen and definitely outfield. They need power out there, too. Francisco is making $6.5 million next season, so he's the closer. But you have to surround him with people.
Adam, Our outfield is terrible. What are your thoughts for next year? Did melky just put himself in our price range?
Adam Rubin (12:23 PM)
I don't have a feel for Melky/Mets yet, but obviously the Mets have shown no aversion to those types of players. Wasn't Alderson's first signing Ronny Paulino? And, pre-Alderson, the Mets handed Guillermo Mota a two-year, $5 million deal after a comparable issue.
Sandy should be given more credit for letting Reyes walk in the face of fan sentiment and having the confidence in Tejada. That said, I think he may have missed the window earlier this season on moving pieces like Murphy to the AL where he could be a Dave Magadan-type DH. Seems like there's no one left to "trade high" on?
Adam Rubin (12:24 PM)
The mistake people make is that letting Reyes walked open the door for Tejada. Tejada would have been the second baseman. This is New York. You keep your stars. Anyone who thinks the Mets are a better team without Jose Reyes is absolutely deluding himself.
Do you honestly think the Mets will make a genuine offer to keep Wright during the offseason?? The Money ball philosophy says the Mets will not put a lot of their eggs in one basket and instead use the $$$ targeted for Wright to acquire 3-4 decent players.
Adam Rubin (12:26 PM)
The baseline is the Ryan Zimmerman deal, which was essentially eight years, $126 million when the existing contract when he signed the extension is included. If the Mets are not going to exceed that, they're wasting their time. And, the bottom line is, Wright is going to get a deal like that somewhere else anyway. I don't think the Mets are going to blow away other offers. So I really do believe it's about the Mets' ability to win, too. And that's what's scary. Some who knows Wright well told me: "David wants to win. I actually think odds are against" him signing. I'm not sure I'd go that hard that direction -- it may be 50-50. But I don't think the Mets' front office/ownership's confidence in him remaining is well-founded.
Disgruntled Met Fan (a basement) [via mobile]
Ugh, over/under 71 wins for the Mets?
Adam Rubin (12:27 PM)
Richard (San Antonio, TX)
Say Adam I know that the Mets rotation this year and last have been hit hard by injuries what will they do to protect themselves next year will they bring back Pelfrey ,Young cause I have heard that they don't want to rush the kids in the minors to the majors so in your opinion what will they do?
Adam Rubin (12:29 PM)
Well, Young is pricing himself back into the Mets' price range -- unlike Capuano a year ago. I would say this: The logical plan would seem to be to go with a 2013 rotation of Dickey, Santana, Gee, Niese and Harvey. You have to have more than five starters, though. Zack Wheeler is one clear safety net. And I wouldn't completely discount him being on the Opening Day roster, but wouldn't project it. Whether it's Young or someone else, their model has been to bring in a couple of guys with low base salaries and incentives if they're needed/perform well. So some veteran likely will be brought in. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Pelfrey would want a fresh start somewhere.
Max (Los Angeles)
Do you agree with the 6 man rotation? Can't it mess with players routines as Ron Darling mentioned last night
Adam Rubin (12:31 PM)
Bob Ojeda was pretty vocal against it at this point, too. I understand the extra rest for Harvey, Niese, Young and Santana being important. The semi-humorous thing is that by keeping R.A. Dickey on standard rest and maximizing his stats, they're making him more cost-prohibitive/expensive to re-sign. You may recall the past administration did something similar, albeit on a smaller scale, with Hisanori Takahashi. He was closing games over a young Bobby Parnell, and parlayed that into a mega-deal with the Angels.
Can we possibly go into spring training '13 with an entire pool of 4th outfielders?
Adam Rubin (12:33 PM)
Obviously there will have to be some external additions -- and that's not even accounting for Scott Hairston being a free agent. Internally, you have Andres Torres (if not nontendered), Mike Baxter, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker, Jason Bay (under contract at least). I suppose you can always put Murph out there, too, although I'd cringe and that doesn't exactly address the desperate need for power.
How do you explain Mets announced attendance figures being relatively high when the team is so boring to watch?
Adam Rubin (12:35 PM)
I've never precisely figured out how they're counting. You recall they had those buy-one, get-one-free days early on? I'm sure they allocated those so that they could count both those as tickets sold. They seem to be flooding freebies as well now, and I'm not sure what methods they may or may not use to count those in official attendance. The bottom line, though, is that in a population center as big as NY, where people just wants to be outside in a nice ballpark, it's never going to be an absolute ghost town. That doesn't mean their revenue is good, though. And I would be interested in the next homestand, which is the Rockies and Astros, now that the team has nosedived. And it's bound to get even uglier in September when kids are back in school.
Danny A. (Brooklyn)
I don't think it makes any sense to bring Young back, not with an already fragile Santana one of the starting 5. They should stop the nonsense, and simply allow Mejia to keep starting. If they did, they'd have three guys (Wheeler, Mejia, McHugh) ready to step up in the event one of the Major League starters goes down.
Adam Rubin (12:36 PM)
I would not expect Chris Young back either. I think you do need a veteran safety net, beyond Wheeler, McHugh and -- although he really is viewed as a reliever -- Mejia.
What exactly is gained by keeping Duda and Nieuwenhuis (once healthy) at AAA at this point? If these are potential starters in 2013, isn't the team better served seeing them play in the major league setting?
Adam Rubin (12:36 PM)
TC is on the record saying Duda will be back pre-September. They wanted him to find his stroke, which was lost. He's doing better now. Not sure when we see him -- the Mets face two lefties this weekend in DC, so that's not exactly the right time to activate him. But perhaps for the next homestand.
Jerry (Rapid City)
Do you get a sense that the Mets' are being honest about Johan's health, re his shoulder? Are they concerned about his health, or do they really believe that he was just rusty in his last start?
Adam Rubin (12:38 PM)
Howard Johnson, who is active on Twitter, has been saying for a while that he does not look "free and easy," and his interpretation is there is an issue. They were encouraged with the velocity after he returned from the DL, albeit in a terrible outing. So I don't know.
earlier in the year, there was hope for the team/system. The 2nd half has produced a lot of losing on the big ballclub. Have you heard anything from scouts regarding some minor leaguers that may give us some hope?
Adam Rubin (12:40 PM)
In the immediate term, I don't think you're going to see many position-player introductions. The immediate help is Zack Wheeler and Collin McHugh in terms of rotation. And I don't want to overstate McHugh's capabilities. I've been touting him for a while as a major league talent, but he's in the Dillon Gee, back-end-of-the-rotation mold. Matt den Dekker, the center fielder at Buffalo, is probably the closest outfielder, but he's not going to be a dominant force. There seem to be a lot of encouraging pitching prospects down below.
Bill (NYC) [via mobile]
Adam, think RA gets to 20 Ws?
Adam Rubin (12:41 PM)
Well, he's sitting at 15. And if you give him every fifth game, that's basically eight more starts, counting quickly. I suppose they may be able to cram one more in. But he may fall short.
Jey Pett (NYC)
The only way MLB can make up for what they did to Dickey is to allow all the players to wear first responders hats on 9/11
Adam Rubin (12:42 PM)
What I just wrote on the blog is that they don't seem averse, as long as the protocol is followed and applied for early. I think the Mets just had forgotten to do it, and I think I put it on their radar.
Does it appear to you that many of the Met players have given up on the season and are no longer playing hard? David Wright, in particular, looks exhausted and is playing lately like he needs a long vacation.
Adam Rubin (12:43 PM)
Exhausted and giving up are two different things. I really don't think they've mailed it in. It's about talent. I know, for instance, everyone was seduced by Jordany Valdespin early (and killed my scout friends for offering dissenting opinions). But reality tends to set in.
The Wilpons must know how the public feels about them, yet they're the owners of a team in NY. Any messages from them at all regarding the teams performance, expectations, budget, etc?
Adam Rubin (12:43 PM)
Fred said ask Sandy.
Aaron (Waldwick, NJ)
Follow-up question: Aside from Wheeler (and guys we've already seen in the bigs ie. Beato, Nieuwenhuis), is anyone in Buffalo that you expect to contribute in 2013? Den Dekker maybe? Thanks Adam!
Adam Rubin (12:44 PM)
In terms of AAA, as I mentioned, you're really talking Wheeler, McHugh, den Dekker. I suppose infielder Wilmer Flores (AA) is an outside possibility for a 2013 contribution, but I need to ask scouts who have watched him.
Mitch (medford, ny)
this team is lefty lefty lefty on offense. With Bay a complete bust will 1 righty bat be enough this off season ? If not does Murphy go to bench and they pick up a right handed 2B?
Adam Rubin (12:45 PM)
Something has got to give. And, remember, Hairston is a free agent as of now. So unless addressed, it's going to tilt even more next year -- the Shoppach addition notwithstanding.
Adam Rubin (12:46 PM)
Anyway, thanks for joining me for the past 45 minutes. We'll do it again next week.