Thanks for joining me. I'm live from Port St. Lucie, at the team's complex. Let's get started ...
mets should break darnard in slowly this year .
I believe they will, for a few reasons -- prudence and finances. D'Arnaud didn't play after June last year at Las Vegas, in his first season at Triple-A, because of a knee ligament tear. So he may very well need more development time. As for the monetary reasons, if he is in the minors the first 20 days of the season, his free agency is delayed from after the 2018 season until after the 2019 season. And if he doesn't come up until around June, he won't be eligible for arbitration a year early. The Mets are paying Ike Davis $3 million this season instead of $500,000 because he was called up in April his rookie season instead of the club waiting.
nieuwenhuis will have a break out year .
I spoke with Kirk earlier today and will write it up later for the blog. The one complication in his playing time is if Michael Bourn signs. Obviously Kirk either goes to part-time right fielder, or to Las Vegas. Kirk knows he needs to cut down on the strikeouts. He said it was a mechanical as well as mental problem last year. His foot is now fine, he believes. He wanted to come back in September, but his foot wasn't ready.
I love what I hear about Travis D'Arnaud but I think Noah Syndergaard might be the real gem of that trade. Will he start the season in A or AA ball? This is obviously very premature but are they rpojecting him for callup in 2014 or 2015?
Syndergaard pitched last season in high-A for the Jays, so he's certainly ready to take the step to Double-A. My gut is that because he's a highly regarded prospect and new to the organization, they'll hold him back at high-A St. Lucie for the first few weeks at least because it's warm and they can keep an eye on him. But I bet he's at Double-A Binghamton soon.
chances of bourn being a met
Just read from ESPN's Jim Bowden that he believes MLB would allow the 11th pick to be protected. That's contrary to what an MLB source was telling me in recent weeks, so I'll have to reinvestigate after this chat. Clearly, agreeing to a contract with Scott Boras is an uphill battle in itself, but the draft-pick issue would be a major hurdle overcome if Jim is correct.
Assuming Duda is the Left Fielder, who exactly is invited to camp to compete for the remaining outfield/bench spots?
This is all presuming no Bourn: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill would platoon in center field, and Mike Baxter and Marlon Byrd, Andrew Brown, Brian Bixler, Justin Turner or Zach Lutz would platoon in RF.
As for other bench spots, you're looking at Anthony Recker most likely backing up John Buck until Travis d'Arnaud is promoted. Brandon Hicks is out of options, so he should be the backup shortstop. And Justin Turner will be on the team as an infielder or outfielder.
We won 74 games last year; do we top that this year? I don't think we do.
I don't believe so either. Partly that's subtracting R.A. Dickey. Partly that's the Nats and Braves being juggernauts, and the Phillies still formidable.
How do you see the division finishing up this year? Same as last year? Are the Phillies dropping?
The Nats and Braves are both playoff teams. I suppose I'd pick the Nats for the division, but they'll be neck and neck. The Phillies should be on their heels, but probably are third. The Mets and Marlins should jockey for fourth, but you'd have to give the Mets a leg up in that race.
Adam,What's your best guess as to when Wheeler cracks the major league roster? What other prospects do you think have a shot of making the big show this season?
Aside from a need arising because of injury, you're probably looking at a similar time frame to Matt Harvey -- as soon as June, but definitely this summer.
Hey Adam,DePodesta has been singing the praises of Jack Leathersich. Will he open the year in Binghamton, and does he have a legitimate chance to vault to the majors this year (as DePo believes)?
I had Jack Leathersich on a list two weeks ago of seven prospects who could debut this year. He's a lefty-relieving strikeout machine. I do believe he'll spend the bulk of the year in Binghamton. Josh Edgin was on a fast track, and Leathersich could be the same. But so much is need-based. If Edgin, Pedro Feliciano, Robert Carson, etc., are doing well, perhaps Leathersich is a September call-up. And perhaps not, because the club doesn't need to add him to the 40-man roster next offseason.
Where is Vaughn at and why does he get no attention?
Cory Vaughn will go directly too minor league camp. He had a ton of homers last season for the Florida State League, but sputtered average-wise. That's why he stayed the whole 2012 season in St. Lucie while teammates got promotions to Binghamton after the first-half Florida State League title. He's another guy who likely opens the season with the B-Mets.
I just read that the Mets could negotiate with the union to have their pick protected in order to sign Bourne. Any truth to this? Can this even be done?
The Mets, Scott Boras and the union are all on the same side. Basically, unless MLB relents, the union/Boras would have to file a grievance that the CBA is being misinterpreted. And then they'd have to argue that case to an independent arbitrator.
Adam, for the guys that are there right now, what time do they usually come out to train?
The voluntary workouts begin at 10 a.m. They're usually off the field by about 11:45 a.m. But tomorrow is the last day for those, pretty much. The complex is closed Saturday and Sunday, and then Monday is the official report date.
If Johan Santana proves himself healthy and effective, does he finish 2013 on the Mets? If not, assuming the Mets are willing to pay the majority of his remaining contract, what type of return might he fetch?
Well, if Santana is healthy and does what he did in the first half of 2012, he can definitely be traded -- if the Mets are motivated by being out of the race by July 31. Of course, the Mets would have to eat a ton of money. Santana will make $31 million this season, including a $5.5 million buyout of his 2014 contract. But it's sunk money anyway for the Mets. If you got Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran, I imagine the motivation would be the same to trade Johan. He does have a no-trade clause, but it probably would serve him well to get with a playoff-bound team to set up his free agency next offseason.
With the teams weak outfield, could Byrd be an option as a starter given his experience? If he had a decent bounceback year, Duda, Bourn, and Byrd left to right could be a decent outfield assuming Sandy delivers on Bourn.
Heck, Marlon Byrd may be the Opening Day right fielder if Bourn doesn't sign and the Padres start a lefty on April 1, which is very possible. There should be two platoons in the outfield -- center field and right field. Lucas Duda, I suppose, might sit against some lefties too.
Have the Mets got any interest in less costly CFers than Bourn, such as Coco Crisp, Carlos Gomez, or (my fave) Emilio Bonifacio?
Sandy Alderson said the roster is pretty much set expect for finalizing Brandon Lyon and whatever the Bourn outcome is.
Hey, Adam. It appears that most of the minor league coaching assignments for the 2013 season are in place. The only change being at the Triple A pitching coach position. Are there any indications as to who might be part of the reinstated Gulf Coast League Mets coaching staff?
I believe Jose Carreno will manage the revived GCL team.
Is Jamie Hoffmann getting in Spring Trading Invite?
You know what, he's already arrived to work out in Port St. Lucie, but he may be going directly to minor league camp. I'm not positive.
Who gets taken off the 40 man roster ???
It's premature, but after Brandon Lyon, the roster will be full. You can always try to pass guys through waivers. I suppose Reese Havens has to be the first try at this point. I don't want to bury Jeremy Hefner yet, but if the projected bullpen ends up how they intend, I suppose they could try with him too. Hefner has cleared waivers before.
Hey Adam, where do you see Michael Fulmer and Steven Matz playing this season? Any innings limit on Wheeler this year?
Fulmer spent all last year at Savannah, so I'd be shocked if he's not with St. Lucie this season. Matz's aim will be breaking with Savannah -- the lowest-level full-season club.
Marlon Byrd arrive yet? Who has the better shot of making Roster A. Brown or M Byrd?
That's pretty much the competition right there. Let's see who performs in spring training. I think Byrd is participating in the Caribbean Series, no? He wouldn't be here yet.
Please! When will this whole Bourn courtship thing end?! Forget about the implications for the Mets, tis is gonna affect my fantasy team! :)
I'd like it to end, too. Not because of fantasy baseball, but same hope.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY TALK OF USING MEJIA FOR LATE INNING RELIEF OR CLOSING AT THE MLB LEVEL? IF NOT, WHY?
Sandy Alderson said earlier this week that Jenrry Mejia will work as a starter and Jeurys Familia as a reliever during spring training.
Do you see Matt Den Dekker getting a chance in the outfield this year?
The Mets are so heavy with lefties in the outfield (Duda, Nieuwenhuis, Baxter), it would take an injury or a serious surge in Triple-A. Matt, like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, needs to get his strikeout totals under control. He had a slow start his first half-season at Binghamton, then took off the following year. I'm sure after a slow Triple-A start to close last season, he'll adjust and do far better at Las Vegas to open this year.
Besides Wright, do you see any other Met possibly being an All-Star this year? We need to represent our home turf!
Tough to identify one, unless Jon Niese or Matt Harvey has an awesome first half. I suppose Ike Davis is a possibility. First base is usually a really tough position, but it's opened up a little bit with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder in the AL now.
How healthy do you think Pedro Feliciano is?
Not sure. He had good numbers in Puerto Rico in winter ball, but Sandy Alderson implied without saying it that his velocity was not optimal and signing him was on the recommendation of Dan Warthen based on Feliciano's last tour with the Mets.
love your coverage of the NYM all year round.... looking forward to the morning briefings!! why do the Mets not want to go with both Edgin & Carson....it seems as if Edgin is aleady a given for opening day with perhaps Feliciano unseeding Carson for the 2nd loogy role
Thanks. There should be two lefties in the pen. Josh Edgin seems destined to be one. So the question is who is the second. Sandy Alderson acknowledged to me this week that Carson could get bumped to Triple-A if someone like Pedro Feliciano shows something in spring training. But there's nothing wrong with depth.
Flores going straight to Las Vegas this year?
The front-office guys apparently said that at the season-ticket holder event in NY. At least that's how fans tweeted it. So I suppose so. If not, he'll be in Binghamton briefly before getting promotion.
What do you see Valdespin's role being going forward? Organizational depth at AAA? A potential trade candidate?
I'm sure they'd love to trade him for something equivalent talent-wise who has a little different disposition.
What do you make of Reese Havens? He had such a terrible year, but he's still got talent. Do you sense the organization has written him off or do you think he could still emerge as a big league contributor with a strong season?
He's struggled to stay healthy. And last year, when he was finally in the lineup a little bit, he didn't hit like he's capable. You have to remember he was drafted in the same first round as Ike Davis -- back in 2008. That's way before this front office took over. They've shown ample patience. And without that allegiance since he was drafted by Omar's group, he could be off the 40 this spring training. They made need to open as many as four 40-man roster spots.
Does Zach Lutz make the opening day roster?
Hard to see, but he was exclusively an outfielder today in the voluntary workout. I suppose you have to lump him in with that Marlon Byrd, Andrew Brown competition and see what happens.
Follow-up to my first question: If there HAS to be a Met in the HRB, who is it? Wright or Davis?
Wright finished second in Pittsburgh when he was young, but doesn't like participating. Maybe because it's NY he would. Best chance of winning obviously would be Ike, though. He can hit them far.
If Marlon makes the team, how long before the first " The Byrd is the Word" headline?
Or me finding YouTube clips of Peter Griffin singing it.
Predict our opening day outfield. Thanks
So many variables. Let's say lefty Clayton Richard is the Opening Day starter for the Padres. And let's say no Michael Bourn. I still think Lucas Duda starts in left field, but you're looking at Collin Cowgill in center. Just on name recognition, I'll go with Marlon Byrd starting in RF on Opening Day and Andrew Brown and Zach Lutz in Las Vegas. But I'm not ready to commit to any of that.
Who do you think has the better career ahead of them..Harvey or Wheeler?
Most scouts -- more than most -- forecast Wheeler.
Thanks for joining me for the past 40 minutes. We'll do these consistently on Thursdays throughout spring training.