The Mets are a mess

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Unless something really ridiculous happens today I’m going to do my best to honor Bob’s voluntary cease fire on the Mets for as long as a I can. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t outsource the mocking.  Here’s Bob Klapisch:

None of this is good news for the Mets’ fans, who are wondering
what, exactly, Minaya has done to improve the team this winter. The
signing of Jason Bay has been virtually negated by the GM’s inertia . . . Unless Smoltz changes his mind, the Mets likely will begin the
season with journeyman Fernando Nieve as their No. 5 starter. He lines
up behind Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, all of whom will come to
camp with health issues and emotional baggage.

The gap between the Mets and Phillies has never been wider than it
is today. So unless Santana can pitch three times a week, Jerry Manuel
will have to rely on tightly crossed fingers to keep his job beyond
June 1.

Why are things so dire? According to Rosenthal it’s all about the process, or lack thereof, employed by the front office:

The Mets, multiple industry sources say, do not function like most
clubs. Their unique style would be fine if they were building
championship teams. Instead, they’re coming off a 70-win season and losing out on free agent after free agent–except for one, left fielder Jason Bay, who seemingly lacked a better option.

Ownership, rather than giving Minaya a set budget, weighs the
finances of each acquisition separately, forcing the team to run down
its priority list one move at a time. The paint-by-numbers approach,
which inhibits multitasking and creativity, would work against any GM.

In other words, despite Omar Minaya’s manifest shortcomings, he’s not the one most responsible for this mess. It’s ownership. And if the Wilpons can’t be taken down by a financial collapse and the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, nothin’ is going to take them down.

Hmmm. I guess this post didn’t honor the spirit of the cease fire.  I’ll try harder to be nicer to them tomorrow.

The Tigers will listen to trade offers on anybody

Miguel Cabrera
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Earlier this week Tigers GM Al Avila said that his club was going to get “lean” and “efficient” and that their days of spending big money are over. Later in the week Avila said that they would not likely offer a long term contract to outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season.

None of those comments necessarily suggested that the Tigers would be conducting a fire sale or anything, and it’s certainly possible to get leaner while still competing. One would assume that the Tigers could cut fat in the middle but still head into battle with their superstars. But that may not be the plan. Buster Olney:

. . . the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody.

Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler.


Trading those guys would be a pretty big deal. In both senses of the term.

It would take a blockbuster-sized deal to move such players. Verlander is owed $28 million a year for the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 at $22 million. Cabrera just finished the first year of an eight-year, $248 million deal that will be paying him more than $30 million a year between 2018 and 2023, with an $8 million buyout for 2024. And that’s before the fact that both Verlander and Cabrera are 10/5 guys with full no-trade protection if they choose to exercise it. Beyond that Kinsler is a relative bargain at $11 million in 2017 and a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton are hanging around too.

But for as big a trade would have to be if any one of those guys were dealt, it’d be a bigger deal in terms of team philosophy and direction. Cabrera has confirmed his Hall of Fame credentials in his nine years in Detroit. He’s the best player to wear the English D since Al Kaline and has been the biggest star in the organization for most of a generation. Verlander is nearly as important and nearly as famous. I don’t think it’s likely the Tigers will move either of them because the logistics of such deals would be mind-boggling, but even entertaining deals for these guys would alter the course of the franchise for years and years to come. It happens to every franchise eventually, but I don’t think the Tigers fan base is prepared for it to happen to them yet.

Still: the free agent market is thinner that it has been at any time in years and years. Cabrera and Verlander, if they could be had, would be the biggest splashes any team looking to improve could possibly acquire. Kinselr would be a big get for anyone as well. Al Avila knows that. Even if he’s not ready to part with his superstars, he probably owes it to his organization to at least listen.


The World Series broadcast schedule is announced

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Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.

There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.