Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 15, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (1:56 PM)

Thanks for joining me. I'm live from the press room at the Mets' spring-training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Let's get on to the questions ...

Amazin' in Chicago (Chicago)

Adam - Can we all agree that if the mets even sniff .500 this year it will be a major miracle? There are so many "ifs" for this team, it's incredible. Let's just all agree that the Mets will play hard for Collins, but it's nothing more than "let's see if this works" year, at best. It took Donnie a couple of years to turnaround the Knicks...

Adam Rubin
  (1:57 PM)

Miracle is too strong. I foresee no more than 80 wins, but there offense should be fine. It's greatly dependent on whether Chris Young and Chris Capuano can rediscover pre-surgery forms and whether the bullpen can be functional.

doug (monte nido)

If Oliver Perez makes the starting squad (or if Carrasco does) it would seem the natural person to move to relief would be Capuano. How do you think that would go down with him?

Adam Rubin
  (1:58 PM)

I firmly believe Chris Young and Chris Capuano will be in the rotation, but Capuano clearly is the more likely of the two to end up in the bullpen. He stopped talking with Milwaukee when he was told the rotation was filled up, but his contract with the Mets was structured with bonuses for relief work as well as starting.

Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)

Pelfrey- trade chip OR Met for life?

Adam Rubin
  (1:59 PM)

Isn't there something between those? He is represented by Scott Boras. And I don't know I'd pronounce any Boras client, even Pelfrey, as a member of one team for life.

Kevin (FL)

Have you heard any backlash from the Front Office towards Dan Warthen for his remarks regarding Mejia and the bullpen? It seems very irresponsible for a pitching coach to say that about a prospect, especially one who is seen as a starter long-term by many independent scouts.

Adam Rubin
  (2:01 PM)

Nah. He's a straight shooter. So are a lot of people around here now. He's giving his candid assessment, while saying that's not the prevailing organization view. I'd much rather honesty. And if you're getting honesty, you can't then jump on the person. What Dan Warthen articulates has zero impact on Jenrry Mejia's trade value if the Mets were inclined to move him. Each team has its own scouts that assess Mejia's value. Plus, a lot of those scouts think Warthen is correct.

doug (monte nido)

Thank you for the absolutely fabulous job you've been doing on reporting the Madoff/Sterling case. Have you heard how the agreement to bring in Cuomo as the mediator came about? How much pressure has the MLB brought to bear considering that if it goes to court they may have to open up their books to public scrutiny?

Adam Rubin
  (2:02 PM)

Thanks. I don't know particularly how Cuomo was selected, but the court documents note this is a particularly complex and high-profile case, so someone of Cuomo's stature made sense to be tabbed. Plus, I believe Cuomo has mediated before, if what I read is correct. The pressure to settle mostly will come from the Wilpons not wanting to be exposed to a $1 billion judgment. Even if you assess it's unlikely, is it a chance worth risking?

Steve (Huntington, NY)

Is there any news where John Maine was end up? I know as long as Warthan is around, New York will not be an option for John.

Adam Rubin
  (2:03 PM)

Last I checked with John Maine's agent, he had yet to sign anywhere. I'm sure he's trying to find the right spot, but it seems obvious at this point it'll be a minor league deal somewhere.

Frank (Bronx)

Please tell me there are other people in the Mets organization who feel Mejia can be a starter! Are there?

Adam Rubin
  (2:03 PM)

Well, he'll be starting this year at Triple-A Buffalo in the rotation, so someone believes it.

Steve (Huntington, NY)

If the Mets are out of contention by the trading deadline, considering the need for financial flexibility moving forward, who do you see the Mets trading? Clearly Beltran and Reyes are likely to go in that scenario, but could you see a healthy Santana or K-Rod being dealt for prospects and salary relief?

Adam Rubin
  (2:04 PM)

Carlos Beltran would be the ideal candidate to trade, since the Mets aren't going to re-sign him and it gives salary relief. But Beltran has to be productive/healthy for that to work. I don't think Reyes will be traded unless Alderson has already concluded he's not going to fit long term because of philosophy or cost.

Dave (NJ)

Is there any realistic chance that the Mets go after Albert in a trade if Cards feel they will not sign him? Maybe Ike, Reyes, Mejia to start? There needs to be something done to liven up the fan base.

Adam Rubin
  (2:06 PM)

I'm not sure the Mets are in the financial position to be pursuing Albert Pujols.

RobPatterson83 (Fairfax, VA)

Do you think there may be a hidden motive behind Terry/Sandy allowing Perez to pursue a starting role, thus putting farther behind those in the bullpen he may ultimately be competing with?

Adam Rubin
  (2:07 PM)

No hidden motive. Like with Carlos Beltran and center field, they're going to defer to the veterans and give them an opportunity to succeed where the player wants before moving them.

Joe (Spencerport)

Adam, is it possible that Perez would accept a minor league assignment to start the year off? If he doesn't get a call-up by a certain date, he could request his unconditional release and his work in Buffalo serves as an audition for other teams. I realize he didn't do it last year, and he gets his money no matter what.

Adam Rubin
  (2:07 PM)

He didn't last year. Can't see what's changed. He might as well just collect his $12 million and try to find another team if that's the case--even if it's another team in Triple-A.

Jon (NYC)

Adam, I have attended Mets games my entire life, with last year attending the least i ever have at 3. But if Perez or Castillo is on the roster at the beginning of the year, i will not be at Citi Field this year. Don't the Mets brass realize my opinion is not the minority?

Adam Rubin
  (2:08 PM)

I don't think they're prioritizing fan base opinion in players moves. They'll take a look. It's far more likely than not that both are not on the team, but these guys want to take a look for themselves before making those decisions.

Kevin (FL)

Any real chance of an Izzy reunion tour? That Billy Taylor trade has to rank as one of the worst in recent Mets history.

Adam Rubin
  (2:10 PM)

Izzy made it sound today like he had an offer from Cincinnati that would get him into big league camp. Listening to Sandy Alderson speak, it sounded like he was only inclined to offer Isringhausen a minor league contract and ticket to minor league camp -- not the big league camp. But that was trying to interpret what he was saying without him being that explicit.

Andrew (Chicago)

Does anyone really care about the mets?

Adam Rubin
  (2:10 PM)

There are 100 questions in the queue waiting for me, so apparently so.

klabeck (NY)

Willie Harris and KRod aren't on the 40 man, both should make the team, there's obviously no room for a LHP who wasn't even replacement level in a Mexican winter league. I have 99% confidence Sandy will cut Ollie, you agree?

Adam Rubin
  (2:11 PM)

90% confidence, but yes.

Tom (white plains)

From the people you have talked to do you feel Wilpon will have to sell the team by the end of the year?

Adam Rubin
  (2:11 PM)

I don't know how long it will take to play out, and I'm not privy to settlement talks and Cuomo's mediation. I could see this dragging out for a while. Whether they need to sell outright is so contingent upon what final number trustee Irving Picard actually gets from them in a settlement or at trial.

Al (Cedar Grove)

Hi Adam, Do you believe Pelfrey is a legit front end starter? I know he is forced into because of a lack of pitching on the Mets right now, or maybe the better question is do you think he can become a front end starter?

Adam Rubin
  (2:14 PM)

If he's the Pelfrey who started 9-1 last year, yes. He's probably more like a No. 2 right now. And clearly he's not at the level of the No. 1s with the Marlins (Josh Johnson) and Phillies (Roy Halladay), whom he'll very possibly face in Game Nos. 1 and 6.

Jason (Rochester)

How has Murphy looked at second base?

Adam Rubin
  (2:14 PM)

Position players have taken groundballs, but these are informal workouts. Not remotely close to game-like scenarios. He's wearing a knee brace, but it's not nearly as clunky as Beltran's. I think he'll be adequate.

oleg (brooklyn)

I see 300 million as a realistic settlement number in the Madoff case - with the Mets the Sterling properties being worth well over a billion, can't Sterling borrow against their assets to cover the settlement cost without having to sell ANY of the team?

Adam Rubin
  (2:15 PM)

They've got a great deal of existing loans. If you hit the number, maybe they can raise a decent percentage of that payment through selling 25% of the team and figure out the other millions in some way.

klabeck (NY)

all these Tommy John reclamations seem like a good idea to me, but then why not retain Fernando Nieve?

Adam Rubin
  (2:16 PM)

They burned out Nieve and he was let go, if I remember correctly, before Alderson and crew even took over. Also if I remember correctly, he signed with the Pirates.

Steve (Huntington, NY)

What do you think are the odds of Pat Misch making the team, despite being out of options? Would the Mets need to have an additional left hander out of the bullpen, or could he be the sole southpaw?

Adam Rubin
  (2:18 PM)

Pat Misch's numbers against lefties are not as good as against righties, so he really needs to make the team as a long man, not a lefty specialist. He is out of options, and if he pitches well this spring, I project him making the team as that long man.

James (New York)

It might just be that im a big Jon Niese fan but do you think its possible he can get 12-15 wins this year. i mean last year was his first full year up and he got 9 wins last year and was working on his cutter throughout the year

Adam Rubin
  (2:18 PM)

That's an attainable range. He ran out of gas last year, so his endurance should be better and definitely the 12 is doable.

Andrew (Brooklyn)

Any prospects Mets fans should look out for to make a contribution this year? Captain Kirk? F-Mart? Havens?

Adam Rubin
  (2:19 PM)

The only non-40-man roster prospects in camp are Kirk Nieuwenhuis and catcher Kai Gronauer. Most of the other guys you've heard of before -- Ruben Tejada, Jenrry Mejia, Lucas Duda, Fernando Martinez. I'd just like to see Martinez stay healthy, to be honest.

austin (naples)

what do you expect out of chris cupuano? is he better suited for the rotation or the bullpen?

Adam Rubin
  (2:20 PM)

He wants to be a starter. And if the Mets are going anywhere this year, then he and Chris Young better succeed in those roles.

Steve (Huntington, NY)

Last year we saw Takahashi and Dickey come out of nowhere to become leaders of the team. Which of the under-the-radar signings this year may fit that description? Would you consider Taylor Tankersley?

Adam Rubin
  (2:20 PM)

Maybe Taylor Buchholz? He really was an elite set-up man with Colorado before Tommy John surgery. Maybe he's far enough removed now to rediscover that.

Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)

Have you gotten a look at Harvey AT ALL? VERY curious on where this kid/man ends up starting out and where he is on his development seeing as he went the college route.

Adam Rubin
  (2:21 PM)

If he was on the minor league side when I was there, I missed him.

Steve (Huntington, NY)

Do you feel that Terry Collins will limit K-Rod in non-save situations early in the year, so that it would be easier for K-Rod to miss his vesting option? Or will Collins treat him like any normal closer?

Adam Rubin
  (2:22 PM)

I think they'll treat him normally. K-Rod's agent will be screaming otherwise, so you'll hear about it.

Jc (Fort Myers Fl)

Hey Adam. Its starting to look like Chris Young may end up being a great signing. Saying he stays healthy, which is a big if, could he win 12+ games for this team? Thanks Adam.

Adam Rubin
  (2:22 PM)

If healthy, sure. He did have good numbers, albeit with low velocity readings, in three September starts with San Diego. He'll benefit from Citi Field being spacious, like Petco Park where he came from.

Howie (Knoxville, TN)

Do the Mets have any plans to relocate out of St. Lucie? There just aren't many teams training near them anymore.

Adam Rubin
  (2:26 PM)

That's a story I plan to pursue. With the Dodgers and Orioles gone from the area, it's only the Marlins and Cardinals in Jupiter 40 minutes away and the Nationals in Viera an hour away. Otherwise, everyone is two-hours plus.

Kevin (Long Island)

Does Beltran seem like the kind of player who will move to Right Field if Pagan just flat out-plays him in Spring Training?

Adam Rubin
  (2:26 PM)

He says he will. We'll see. Mike Cameron always said he would welcome Carlos Beltran to the team. And then when it happened and Cameron forcibly moved to right field, it stung.

Steve (Jersey)

Is Jason Bay healthy?? How do you think year 2 will be for him?

Adam Rubin
  (2:28 PM)

Jason Bay should be fine. I think he'll hit about 25 homers. The concussion would appear behind him, barring another jolt. I figured he would be immune to a transition period to New York because he was coming from Boston, but perhaps part of the issue was trying to live up to his first truly large contract (four years, $66 million).

Ron (Tempe, AZ)

Assuming the starting 5 includes Capuano and Young, what would be your best guess for the bullpen after Rodriguez, Parnell and Carasco? And how much of that bullpen do you think is subject to change based on Spring performances?

Adam Rubin
  (2:30 PM)

It should be Carrasco in the seventh to Parnell in the eighth to K-Rod in the ninth. Taylor Buchholz should be No. 4. They'll have a left-hander. Maybe Tim Byrdak has the edge, but he or Taylor Tankersley or Mike O'Connor should be on as No. 5. After that, it gets a little more speculative. I like Pat Misch for the long man, which leaves one spot for a lot of characters -- the lefty competition losers, Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta (out of options), Ryota Igarashi (now off the 40-man roster), etc.

Tom (Belmar)

This is kinda beating a dead horse, but as far as injuries go, as bad as the big league team has suffered from constant lingering inuries, it seems like every minor league prospect going back for years is in jured. How can this keep happening for so long at all levels? I think it really shows incompetance as an organization.

Adam Rubin
  (2:31 PM)

They did hire a consultant from the University of Michigan to go over things, and they just named a new trainer who formerly worked with the Colorado Rockies for a decade. So perhaps they'll now make better decisions than to have Jose Reyes bat righty against a right-handed pitcher when his right oblique is too uncomfortable to bat left-handed.

Kyle (Charlotte)

With the whole Madoff/Wilpon mess, what is the actual mood in St. Lucie? Is it different then in years past?

Adam Rubin
  (2:31 PM)

Same mood. Not sure other than Wright and Alderson who those Madoff questions can be posed to, really.

klabeck (NY)

Will the Mets continue their time honored tradition of not sending key starters on long bus trips during ST and just dealing with the fines for not doing so?

Adam Rubin
  (2:32 PM)

Well, because there are so few teams around St. Lucie, there are very few short bus trips anymore. ... I don't think they've been fined, by the way, in the past. Just get disapproving glances from an MLB official in Florida.

John (Hoboken)

Is Nick Evans making the team as a righty power bat off the bench?

Adam Rubin
  (2:35 PM)

Nick is out of options, so there's a chance. But Scott Hairston, another righty hitter, got a major league contract, which makes it rough for Nick. Willie Harris is on a minor league deal, but you have to expect he's making it. If the Mets carry five bench players and seven relievers, and you have Ronny Paulino and Chin-lung Hu on the bench, that only leaves one spot. Daniel Murphy will be on the team, so Nick's best chance is for Murphy to be the everyday second baseman and for Brad Emaus to be returned to the Blue Jays. Then again, injuries happen. Last year we were trying to figure out if Mike Jacobs OR Frank Catalonotto would make the team. Then Murph injured his knee and they both did.

Mark G (Laurinburg , NC)

Hey Adam, i got a Mets question for you with Beltran back and looking healthy, what should the Mets staff do with Pagan? he had an impressive year last season and the kid continues to add a sprak to the lineup. So that leads to my next question of who do you think is going to be the starting center field opening day? Love 2 get your input on the situation

Adam Rubin
  (2:36 PM)

Well, I haven't seen Beltran yet. He hasn't arrived yet. If his mobility is similar to last year's second half, you have to put Pagan in center and Beltran in right field. I don't buy the Beltran "looking healthy" thing. I'm sure he feels fine now, but he has an underlying condition that forced him to stop with a week to go last season. During the pounding of a season, I don't see why that won't flare up again.

Tony (Jacksonville, Fl)

What's the "infamous" thing about K-Rod's Lamborghini?

Adam Rubin
  (2:37 PM)

It was involved in his brief "getaway" -- and I say that loosely -- from Citi Field after the incident last August.

Andrew (NYC)

Us Mets fans aren't expecting to win the World Series, but please stop being so darn negative. Yes, state your opinions, but don't make this team out to be like the Pirates or Royals.

Adam Rubin
  (2:37 PM)

Show me where I made them sound like the Pirates or Royals. I said approaching or at 80 wins, and that the offense should be fine. The pitching ain't good enough for the division. That's all.

Tony (Pt Jeff, NY)

When is the last time a Met was in the home run derby?

Adam Rubin
  (2:38 PM)

David Wright in Pittsburgh, when he was the runner up, and when Paul Lo Duca was pitching.

James (New York)

who do you think between Murphy, Emaus, Turner and Castillo would be the best option at second base

Adam Rubin
  (2:39 PM)

I can foresee some combination of righty-hitting Emaus and lefty-hitting Murphy at second base, with both on the team on Opening Day, Luis Castillo released and Justin Turner (who has options) in Triple-A.

Bill F (Bridgeport)

Does Parnell have what it takes to be a future closer?

Adam Rubin
  (2:39 PM)

I'd have a better answer for that if they let Parnell close games during the final month and a half of last season instead of Hisanori Takahashi.

Joe (White Plains)

How is the pitching staff responding to Thole being named the starting catcher?

Adam Rubin
  (2:40 PM)

He was the starter last year. Not sure there's anything to comment on now.

Adam Rubin
  (2:40 PM)

After Barajas trade, I should amend that.

Kyle (NY)

How do you see Collins as a manager? Will he run? Hit & run? Squeeze? How about stretching out pitchers?

Adam Rubin
  (2:42 PM)

I know Moneyball is not giving away outs, but Terry Collins today was marveling at how well Japanese players bunted there and how he wants his pitchers to square around and show bunt early to be set, then pull back on occasion to drive the ball past unsuspecting infielders. And I don't have the exact stat in front of me, but even if Moneyball doesn't value steals, I'm pretty sure I remember Mark Simon saying that one of Collins' Astros teams was the last one to have six players with 20-plus steals.

Travis (NC)

Thanks for your great work. Who is the one guy that you are not that familiar with that you are anxious to see?

Adam Rubin
  (2:42 PM)

Justed chatted with Pedro Beato today. Perhaps he can be a darkhorse for the bullpen.

Dave (NJ)

If Santana comes back strong, would Mets ever trade him to Yanks?

Adam Rubin
  (2:43 PM)

i think Brian Cashman knows better than to acquire a player signed through 2013 at salaries up to $25 million annually given Santana is coming off shoulder surgery.

Steve (Jersey)

Wilmer Flores? Why will he play shortstop in the minors according to Terry Collins, if all I hear is he is not quick enough to be a shortstop and will one day move to the corner outfield?

Adam Rubin
  (2:44 PM)

He may move to third base or first base, if not LF or RF. Collins' rationale was that you get more chances at shortstop, and he'll get to work on his footwork and the like more as a result of staying there for now.

George (Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Do you think Ike Davis has Adam Dunn-like homer potential?

Adam Rubin
  (2:45 PM)

Half of Adam Dunn-like homer potential maybe.

Adam Rubin
  (2:45 PM)

Anyway, thanks to joining me. Off to follow up on the New York Times story saying Fred Wilpon approached Donald Trump about buying the Mets.