Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 8, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

Thanks for joining me. Let's get started ...

Lincoln (MO)

Ike Davis had a really good rookie campaign, but last year he kind of fell off of the radar; do you see him having a bounce back year this year?

Adam Rubin
  (12:31 PM)

Ike was having an all-star-caliber season last year before colliding with David Wright in Colorado and missing the rest of the season with the ankle injury. I don't think that's a fair characterization.

Jack (CT)

Not trying to be critical given they made the right decision in the end and that;s all that really matters, but whats the deal with the Wright injury situation? First the injury was no big deal and was doing the drills, going to play Monday, then he was just going to sit a couple more days, and now he's not playing for a week and half at the least. Was it just worse than they thought it was or were they that spooked by the Hairston injury? Given its now taking this long it seems pretty foolish that they were ever considering playing him Monday. Hairston getting hurt might be a blessing in disguise (no offense to Scott)

Adam Rubin
  (12:33 PM)

I think it's obviously a little more than they let on early, which is typical, and why you tend to assume the worst when they acknowledge the minimal. But certainly Hairston's oblique strain caused them to be more conservative. Wright probably won't be in a game now until late next week at the earliest. He's due to field grounders without throwing this weekend, and I'm not sure they'll even let him swing a bat until early next week.

Danny A. (Brooklyn)

Hey Adam,A hypothetical: Andres Torres is hitting .220 in mid-May, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis is tearing it up in AAA. How long would it take for the Mets to promote Kirk and relegate Torres to the bench?

Adam Rubin
  (12:35 PM)

Under your scenario, I can see Kirk called up. But, remember, when teams make trades, the front office tends to stick with it longer than prudent because their reputation is at stake. And there would be an intermediate step between Torres being removed from the leadoff spot and being removed from the lineup -- namely, putting him lower in the order.

Jeff (Bronx)

If Tejada is not the every day answer at SS, do they have any SS prospects in the minors to replace him in 2013? Has there been any buzz on a possible 2013 FA answer at ss if Tejada fails?

Adam Rubin
  (12:37 PM)

Wilmer Flores is moving off of shortstop to third base for the most part (and is too slow with first step to be a major league shortstop anyway). Jordany Valdespin is more a second baseman. So the short answer, at the upper levels that would be ready for next season, is now. That's why you saw them bring in Omar Quintanilla to serve as the Triple-A shortstop and for depth.

Michael (Dallas, TX)

Based on the Mets financial situation, when do you see them realistically becoming a contending team in the NL East? Especially with how strong the division is getting.

Adam Rubin
  (12:40 PM)

If you assume the payroll is not going up in the near term because the team will perform poorly and attendance revenue won't be there, then you need to have contracts clear in order to be able to spend on free agents again. If their vesting options don't kick in, Johan Santana and Jason Bay's contracts are up after 2013. But Bay, particularly, has a good chance of vesting for 2014 because he just needs 500 plate appearances apiece this year and next, or 600 in 2013. Either way, the Mets will be dependent mostly on the farm system. Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia will contribute next year, and Zack Wheeler perhaps by the end of 2013. Jenrry Mejia is coming back from Tommy John surgery in May too. But it probably will take a year or two of major league action before they hit their strides. So we're talking 2014-2015 for the Mets to be hitting all cylinders potentially again.

Gary (Connecticut )

Adam, how many starts can we expect from Johan Santana this season?

Adam Rubin
  (12:42 PM)

Today was another good day for him in that he was able to throw a bullpen session two days after a Grapefruit League start. The jury is still out whether he can keep doing games every fifth day (or every sixth day for the first several starts of the regular season). Johan should be able to will himself to a certain level with his competitiveness. We all remember that second-to-last game of the regular season against the Marlins in 2008. But I don't think we're going to see the same pitcher again. Hopefully for the Mets it's 80-90% of what he used to be, which is very possible.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think that the New York Mets will Trade Before Spring Training Ends?

Adam Rubin
  (12:43 PM)

Don't foresee anybody getting traded. I can see them acquiring a lefty-hitting backup outfielder (or a starting pitcher if there's a serious injury). But the lefty-hitting outfielder, if they don't go with Adam Loewen or Mike Baxter, might just as well be some cut loose at the end of spring training from another camp.

Abdullah (FL)

Why is Fred delaying the inevitable? He won't be able to pay off nearly 900 million in debt by 2015. He can't even pay off an overdue loan of TWENTY FIVE million! Why make Mets fans suffer through 3-4 years of mid market spending when he can sell now and give Mets fans an owner who will spend like a team with the Mets revenue stream should?

Adam Rubin
  (12:44 PM)

The family feels its identity is owning the Mets. They won't sell unless they are compelled externally -- either by MLB or the financial burdens overwhelming them and they default.

Malcolm (Brooklyn)

Where is Adam?

Adam Rubin
  (12:44 PM)

Port St. Lucie press room.

Jon (Florida)

Will Reese Havens ever make it Citi?

Adam Rubin
  (12:45 PM)

He's got to stay healthy, and again it's been disappointing in that respect. He's had a back issue all spring training and has not been outside with teammates since the start of camp.

Jon (Florida)

plus/minus 150 innings out of Johan?

Adam Rubin
  (12:45 PM)

You're always safer taking the under with the Mets.

Mike (Hicksville)

Long sufferring Mets fan... Why are the Coupons allowed to still own the team when Frank McCourt had to sell? This is a joke and the mets are an embarrassment!

Adam Rubin
  (12:46 PM)

MLB differentiates between the two, rightly or wrongly, because -- they say -- Frank McCourt was taking money out of the organization for other personal financial issues such as divorce and properties. The Wilpons are trying to reorganize, but are not pulling money out, per MLB.

Jon (Florida)

Bounce back year for Pelf?

Adam Rubin
  (12:47 PM)

He needs to rediscover the sinker to guard against the home run total from last year repeating itself. He's working on it this spring training. The new Citi dimensions won't help him or any of the pitchers. I think he'll be OK, though.

Jeff (Bronx)

Is Mike Nickeaus really our back-up catcher? It is not like we have a great hitting number 1, that we can afford to carry a far below average hitting back-up

Adam Rubin
  (12:48 PM)

As long as Mike Nickeas shows he can hit a minimal amount this spring, he'll be the backup catcher. He's already on the 40-man roster. The primary competitor would be Rob Johnson, but I'm forecasting Nickeas as Josh Thole's backup as of now.

Greg (Forest Hills)

Would the Mets have a union grievance to deal with if Bay stinks and they bench him (causing him to miss his plate appearance benchmarks)?

Adam Rubin
  (12:49 PM)

Not if he stinks. Alex Cora was upset when the Mets released him before his vesting option kicked in a few years ago, but he didn't have standing for a grievance because his performance was such that the Mets -- no matter their motives -- could justify it on pure on-field baseball grounds.

Adam Rubin
  (12:49 PM)

Anyway, sorry for an abbreviated chat. Game starting soon and need to get in place. Thanks for joining me.