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April 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (11:58 AM)

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

Peter (New Jersey)

Good morning Adam. Do you think that if Zack Wheeler has a sub three ERA in triple A and looks major league ready, he can get called up before mid June (which I think would be a mistake), or do they only care about the extra year. Also same with Travis, but with 300 batting average.

Adam Rubin
  (12:00 PM)

If Zack Wheeler has a sub-3.00 ERA in the Pacific Coast League, he will be pitching extraordinarily well and merit a call-up. There are a few factors: his readiness, rotation need at the major league level and economics. I don't think we should underestimate that last factor. A major league executive estimated to me that teams will likely have to wait until after June 15 to promote rookies in order for them to avoid getting an extra year of arbitration eligibility. It's not a set date. It's based on a percentage of "Super Twos."

Sam (Manhattan)

Can the back end of the rotation be stable enough to win in the long-term?

Adam Rubin
  (12:01 PM)

We're not sure how long Shaun Marcum is going to be out, and I actually like Dillon Gee, but Gee-Hefner-Laffey as three-fifths of the rotation for any length of time is not a recipe for success.

david (flushing)

Hey adam you're the bomb diggity. What is with the mets' hesitancy to sign chris young? He had a good spring and he would probably come pretty cheaply?

Adam Rubin
  (12:02 PM)

Don't know if it's money, but Young would only command about $2 million or so. ... Maybe they just feel they have enough non-hard throwers on the back end. Maybe they think with Marcum probably coming back and some point and with Wheeler coming mid-year they just won't have anywhere to put him.

Dexter (PDX)

Great work Adam - Any chance Jets will sign Matt Harvey given his ability to throw strikes in cold, windy weather?

Adam Rubin
  (12:02 PM)

Matt is a Patriots fan, so I don't think he would play for the Jets.

Keith (Maryland)

I saw a quote by someone today after the Mets were getting praises for their Starting Pitchers about remembering "Isringhausen, Pulsipher and Wilson" and I can't help but think how that turned out. Can we expect the same thing from Niese, Harvey and Wheeler?

Adam Rubin
  (12:03 PM)

No. Niese and Harvey now have major league track records. And Wheeler is the real deal.

Mackenzie (Princeton, NJ)

You noted that Collins said that he's taking it one start at a time with Laffey, and you've also indicated that it looks like Marcum may not be back particularly soon (and given the Mets track record with pitchers' setbacks) what do you see as the Mets most immediate solution? Will they go for a hodgepodge of AAAers, sign Chris Young, or look elsewhere?

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

I don't know that I said one start at a time with Laffey. He had a decent showing last year in the rotation for the Blue Jays. Unless he bombs, I imagine he just stays in the rotation. Unless they want to use Wheeler at some point, there really are not a ton of major league-ready options. You're talking about Collin McHugh as the primary alternative.

Bill (Syracuse, NY)

So how many "do you still think we'll only win 68 games" questions have you gotten so far from fans who think two games = a season?

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

66 wins was prediction.

Michael-Patrick Hogue (The BEST Coast)

Morning Adam, Whatz up with Stephen Matz, and Jacob DeGroom. Both showed signs last year of domination, and seem poised to move it on up this year, good health willing?

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

deGrom is in St. Lucie's rotation. He starts Saturday. Steven Matz starts tonight for Savannah (low-A).

Ron (Tempe)

What's the timetable on Marcum's return/debut?

Adam Rubin
  (12:07 PM)

He'll be examined by team doctors today, but the persistent pain running from neck to shoulder doesn't sound particularly promising. He hasn't been in a game in about three weeks. And Marcum volunteered that he thought about Chris Carpenter when he first started experiencing neck pain in St. Lucie. Carpenter underwent surgery last July and had to abort a comeback in February.

Jason (New Jersey)

Finish the sentence. The Mets will make the playoffs if..........

Adam Rubin
  (12:07 PM)

Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, both Uptons, Cole Hamels, and about six other players end up on the 60-day DL this season.

Kevin (NYC)

Matt Harvey, i am not putting too much stock in one start or 12 starts, but what i like about him the most is that he is NEVER satisfied with how he it pitching. It is an attitude of a bulldog and it may be the best asset he has. Thoughts?

Adam Rubin
  (12:08 PM)

Agree.

david (flushing)

hey adam. if zack wheeler were to be called up after 20 days and get super- two status how much money would that cost the mets. I know one extra year of arbitration but doesn't salary go up every year of arbitration? So it would be the extra year of arbitration plus the compounding factor of each year being higher than the last?

Adam Rubin
  (12:09 PM)

There's no perfect answer, but consider Ike Davis. He was called up in April instead of June/July. So this year he's a Super Two and making $3 million instead of $500,000. And now Ike has three more years of arbitration eligibility. So next year's salary is based on $3M, not $500k. So the cost of that rookie-year decision will exceed the $2.5 million difference in what his salary is and might have been this year.

Joe ((NY))

Does D'Arnaud have the ability to establish himself as a Mike Piazza like figure in New York? and If the Mets are in the hunt come summer time will they make a move, if so what position?

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

Bats.

Tom (Bronx)

Hey Adam! Just wondering your thoughts on Duda. More likely: 25-30 homers with .270 avg. or 10 homers, .200 avg and total bust?

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

The first one, but I wouldn't say that with complete confidence.

James (NJ)

Granted it's just the start of the season and he hit a HR last night, have you noticed anything with Ike Davis and his swing early that should worry the Mets?

Adam Rubin
  (12:11 PM)

No. Ike played very well during spring training.

Tony (Scranton,PA)

Hey Adam so I guess the buzz around New York is finally about the Mets and not the Yankees !!!

Adam Rubin
  (12:11 PM)

Mets started out 4-0 last year.

Eric (queens)

Could you give a brief list of prospects you are following most closely in the minors that might not be on peoples radars?

Adam Rubin
  (12:13 PM)

That's tough. Jack Leathersich as a lefty reliever who could come quickly. He's on the radar, but I'm also interested to see how 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo does in a full-season league (Savannah).

Justin (Queens)

Mets payroll is about 40 mil w/o Santana and Bay right? And they both come off the books next season. What do you think next years payroll will look like?

Adam Rubin
  (12:14 PM)

Even if they spend a ton of money next offseason (and I'm not holding my breath), it will be hard for them to get to this year's level (about $95M). You have Santana ($31M), Bay ($21M, although $16M deferred), Francisco ($6.5M) and Buck ($6M) all coming off the books. That's $64.5 million right there freed.

Eric (NYC)

Do you think there is any chance Danny Muno gets called up this season as a backup infielder/utility guy? Or is 2014 more realistic.

Adam Rubin
  (12:14 PM)

Not this year. He's set to open his first Double-A season this year.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Hi Adam - Are you surprised Tery Collins is going with the same 3 outfielders to start the season regardless of lefty-righty?

Adam Rubin
  (12:15 PM)

A little bit, considering all he and the organization talked about was about platoons. I think it speaks to Byrd and Cowgill looking good in spring training and the lefties not so much.

Brett (NJ)

Does Cory Vaughn have a chance to have a breakout year and develop into a Power hitting corner outfielder that the mets desperately need?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

This is a big year for him. Needs to keep his average above .250 in Double-A this year. He struggled last year in St. Lucie from a making contact perspective (although he had HRs) and never advanced past the Florida State League team while his teammates got midseason promotions to the B-Mets.

Ron (Tempe)

Even if Buck plays well and anchors the staff in the first half, is it a forgone conclusion that he'll be out by next season at the earliest?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

He could always stick around as a backup at a far diminished salary ($2M or less).

Scot (Washington, DC)

2014 rotation: Wheeler, Harvey, Niese, Gee, and Syndergaard?

Adam Rubin
  (12:17 PM)

Certainly plausible.

Eric (NYC)

Thanks for answering my question! I have another: player most likely to be moved this summer for a prospect or two if the Mets are out of contention.

Adam Rubin
  (12:17 PM)

Marlon Byrd, Brandon Lyon, John Buck.

Alex (Stamford,CT)

Hope allis well Adam! Just curious if you think Alderson will pull the trigger and go out and get another arm that maybe a team has put in the pen for now because there is no use for them. Like a Capuano type... thanks

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

I was led to believe again today in inquiring about Chris Young that they're not actively seeking outside help right now.

avery (ny )

do you tihnk the mets are capable of maybe trading flores montero and some of those prospects if they are doing well to enhance their rotation?

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

Capable? Yes. Will they? Doubt it.

Brett (NJ)

How does Wilmer Flores get to the big leagues this year, and what would his most likely position be if he does?

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

Maybe just September call-up. I believe he'll nearly exclusively play second base with Las Vegas, which is how he was nearly exclusively used during spring training as well.

david (flushing)

what was your win prediction based on? did you add up WAR or something?

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

My eyes.

Da'Quell (France)

Huge Mets fan from France! What is the ETA for top prospects Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini ? Also, with D'Arnaud now the top catching prospect for the Mets, what does that mean for Kevin Plawecki?

Adam Rubin
  (12:20 PM)

Both are a ways away. They were both drafted out of high school (at about 18 years old.) Nimmo's best-case scenario is opening the season at Savannah and finishing at St. Lucie. Then next year opening at Binhgamton. I doubt we'll see him in September 2014, but that's the best-case scenario. Gavin Cecchini is a year behind that, and is going to need to prove a lot. The early reviews have not been overly favorable when his draft position is considered.

Jimmy (NJ)

Syndergaard is only in A right? Is it legitimately realistic for him to be in the rotation next year?

Adam Rubin
  (12:21 PM)

Noah Syndergaard is in St. Lucie. His first start is Sunday. I doubt out of camp next year he's in rotation. It's probably like a Wheeler situation this year or a Harvey situation last year -- aiming for a summer call-up under the best case.

Eric (New York)

Top sleeper prospect: go!

Adam Rubin
  (12:22 PM)

Still sticking with Jack Leathersich.

Dan (NYC)

Adam - clearly I am infatuated with Wheeler's call-up. When is the 20th day of the season? Is that back-tracked to March 31st when Houston/Texas played?

Adam Rubin
  (12:22 PM)

Don't know. Let's be safe and say April 21 is Day 21.

Alex (Long Island)

Adam, is the Giants model, with their recent success with young pitching and defense the ceiling for these Mets in 2014 and beyond?

Adam Rubin
  (12:23 PM)

The Mets are building the young starting pitching. You can always buy the bats in free agency. At least, it's a lot easier to buy bats than arms.

Brett (NJ)

Is it just my perception, or do the mets move their players through the minor league system at a much slower pace compared to other teams?

Adam Rubin
  (12:24 PM)

Don't think so. It's a much slower pace than when Tony Bernazard ran things, for sure.

Bill (Syracuse, NY)

Do you think Sandy Alderson remains with the org after his contract is up in 2014?

Adam Rubin
  (12:24 PM)

Gut: No.

Matt (Steinway)

With all this money coming off the books, shouldn't the Mets be looking to lock up Ike, Harvey and Wheeler? The longer they wait, the more expensive they'll be, and we need to invest in our own players before looking at FAs.

Adam Rubin
  (12:25 PM)

I'm sure they'll do deals if they're the right value. But the fact that they have so much payroll flexibility is actually an incentive not to do it. If you wait, you might pay a little more. But you get more certainty about what you're getting.

Chris H (NYC)

you think mets ship murphy out midseason if flores is thriving at 2B in AAA? seems like murph is often in the mix to be dealt in order to improve pen/outfield

Adam Rubin
  (12:26 PM)

I can see the Mets trading Murphy, but I really don't echo the fascination about Wilmer Flores. He may end up productive, but he's no sure thing by any stretch.

Jon (NYC)

Regarding your comments on Cecchini, were you referencing the early reviews from internal or outside evaluators, or both? What's been the criticism, specifically?

Adam Rubin
  (12:27 PM)

Outside evaluators from other teams. He's young, so I'm not dismissing him by any stretch. But one scout told me when you watched him along with teammates last year, you'd be hard-pressed to identify him as the first-rounder. That doesn't mean the potential isn't there. He just hasn't been extraordinary yet.

Eric (NYC)

Do you think Familia will get a chance as a spot starter this year to see if he can stick as a SP, or are the Mets committed to keeping him in the bullpen long term?

Adam Rubin
  (12:27 PM)

Familia's days as a starter are over. He's only be used in 1-, sometimes 2-inning stretches.

Dan (NYC)

Is fullmer still projected to be a starter, who has a better shot of reaching the bigs first. Fullmer or Mazzoni

Adam Rubin
  (12:28 PM)

Probably Fulmer. But you develop a ton of starters and see who blossoms. Having a surplus, if they all materialize, is a blessing and you can use it as currency in a trade.

david (flushing)

you seem to have shifted your position and become more positive about valdespin. Is that accurate?

Adam Rubin
  (12:29 PM)

My position is he's likely to drive you nuts, but has more talent than most of the Mets. I don't think he's an integral player on a competitive club. But he merits playing on this team.

Brett (NJ)

Is it true that the mets would have had to traded either wheeler or harvey to get justin upton in the offseason? Or is that Alderson's convenient excuse for not getting him. I feel they could have gotten him without giving up either of them.

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

No idea if they're telling the truth, but I do believe Arizona GM Kevin Towers would have been overly demanding with Sandy Alderson since their shared tenure together with the Padres wasn't ultra-smooth.

Paul (Manhattan)

Adam, any thoughts on playing Valdespin at SS if Tejada continues to falter? Tejada looks like he has regressed, he looks slower, still has no pop, is making some defensive mistakes (see 9th inning last night). Lots of red flags. They may need to send him down if he doesn't get his act together. Thoughts?

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

After Terry Collins got a look at Valdespin at shortstop last season, I'd be shocked if Collins put him at shortstop.

Eric (NYC)

Do you think TC will get a new contract even if the Mets win ~65 games?

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

65 games? No. And it won't be Terry's fault.

Adam Rubin
  (12:31 PM)

Anyway, thanks for joining me for the past half-hour.