Monday, July 18, 2011

My Full interview with Andy Martino

As you can view on, I was fortunate enough to have an E-Mail conversation with Andy Martino of the Daily News. Since Andy gave me such thorough and interesting answers, I found it difficult to narrow down the questions from roughly 25 to the usual 10-12 questions I will publish in an interview article so I decided to post the interview in its entirety here on MaybeNextYearMets:

-Andy, after returning to the Mets after writing for the Phillies, which team have you enjoyed reporting on the most in your career?
Both provided unique and rewarding experiences, but I have to say--covering losing and dysfunction last year in New York, and the transition that it led to, provided richer material than covering a World Series run in 2009. Plus, after being a transplanted New Yorker living in Philly for a year, it was nice to get home to family and friends in New York.

-What was it like to return to the Daily News after beginning your career there as an intern?
It felt more like a continuation than a new beginning.  Because I knew nearly all my colleagues well, it was an easy transition. The only difficult part was staying in a buddy's extra bedroom in Brooklyn while my wife and I looked for somewhere to live on short notice (the offer from the Daily News came rather suddenly, and left us scrambling).

-In your Midseason report card, you gave both Chris Capuano and Daniel Murphy a B, the same grade given to Joba Chamberlain by Mark Feinsand, given that Murphy is batting over .300 and has 19 doubles and Capuano has been the victim of bad defense on numerous occasions, do you think that grade was a bit low for them?

I suppose it depends on your rubric and standards, which we did not articulate in our midseason report cards. So the end result comes out pretty much all over the place and based on gut feel.

-As a BBWAA writer, who do you believe is a Hall of Famer that is on the 2012 ballot?
I am a BBWAA member, but I don't support the idea of journalists voting for the Hall of Fame. I think it's a conflict of interest, and I also think the questions of "who is a Hall of Famer" is impossible to answer, because there is no set standard. I am not eligible to vote yet (you have to be a BBWAA member for 10 years), but will not vote once I able to.  To be honest, I don't think about the HOF much, and don't really know who is on the 2012 ballot.

-Do you think Pete Rose should be allowed onto the ballot for the Hall? If he is permitted, would you vote for him?
See my above answer about the HOF, but I will say this: It is good to ban gamblers from the game for life. If gambling were in any way acceptable, the sport would become untenable.  You have to take a hard line.

-Would you ever vote a baseball player into the Hall who has been proven to take steroids? Someone like Clemens or Ortiz who were accused but deny the accusations?
This is one of the issues that I have with the Hall of Fame. How are they going to deal with this? There is no good answer.  It would probably be better if it were just a museum, rather than something that involves elections.  Then we could focus not on issues like "do steroid cheats belong in the Hall of Fame," but on questions more relevant to society like, "should the MLB All-Stars who spoke out last year about Arizona's immigration law have boycotted the game?"

Wherever one stands on that issue, we should be talking about stuff like that more often, when we talk about sports.

-In you opinion, is Mike Piazza a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2013? When he ultimately does make the Hall, does he go in as a Met or a Dodger?

He probably does go in. Not sure when, but he seems more identified with the Mets, and he wore a Mets hat last week when he managed the Futures Game.

-Out of Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Mike Piazza, do you believe any of them should have their numbers retired by the Mets?

Those are three of the most important players in franchise history, so if anyone deserves it, they do.

-What was your take on the K-Rod trade? Was it just a salary dump? Who is the winner in this deal?
It was a good deal for both teams. A total salary dump for the Mets, who had to get out from under that $17.5 million vesting option for next year.  So they found a taker for much of the contract, and the Brewers--who were a championship caliber team except for their middle relief--get bullpen depth during a year that they're going for it. 

The Mets were worried that the market for K-Rod would drop later in July, as more closer became available, so this really was the right time for both teams to make the move.

-Does the moving of K-Rod increase the chances of re-signing Reyes? If so, by how much have their chances increased?

It certainly doesn't hurt, but that is still going to be a tall order for the Mets. Reyes will be seeking close to top dollar, and the Mets have budget constraints.  But moving K-Rod does clear payroll space, and probably slightly increases their chances of resigning Reyes.

-Was the K-Rod trade a waiving of the white flag on Alderson's part for the 2011 season?
He claims it wasn't. If you ask me, Beltran represents the white flag. But I would hope that, in a division with Atlanta and Philly playing so well, the Mets front office understands that this is not s playoff year, and that they plan accordingly.

-After the July 31st deadline, where do you believe Carlos Beltran will go or stay? Mets? Giants? Redsox?
I think the Mets will shop him aggressively, but hold out for a favorable deal.  Let's say it's 65-35 he is dealt. Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, Tigers, Indians--there are a lot of places he would fit.

-The Phillies have interest in acquiring a right fielder with a power bat and the Mets have just that on the market in that of Carlos Beltran. Do you think that Alderson, a GM who traded Jose Canseco to the Rangers during a pennant race back in his Oakland days, would deal Beltran to the rival, first-place Phillies? 
If Alderson judged that a deal with the Phils was right for the Mets from a baseball standpoint, I do not believe that the "rivalry" would in any way hold him back.

-Have you heard anything about Mets rental players on the market other than Beltran that could be dealt before July 31st such as Capuano or Byrdak? Any rumblings about Pelfrey as a possible trade candidate?
Byrdak and Isringhausen could go.  Capuano makes sense, although there haven't been a whole lot of rumblings there yet.  As for Pelfrey, the Mets would be selling low now, after a spotty first half, but maybe this winter.

-Who is more likely to remain a Met in 2012, David Wright or Jose Reyes? Which of the two are more valueable to the Mets as far as building a team around?

Wright is far more likely to remain a Met next year. Reyes has taken his game to such a high level this year, it's hard to call almost anyone more valuable

-Who is more likely to return from injury in 2011, Ike Davis or Johan Santana?
Tough one. We'll know more about Davis soon. If he has surgery,he's done, so I'll go with Santana.

-Out of the top Mets prospects, who do you think will have the biggest impact on the 2012 Mets? The Mets in years to come?
Matt Harvey.

-Based on the age of current players, financial situations and farm systems, who do you think has the brightest future 5-10 years down the road, Mets or Phillies?
Wow. The Mets' financial situation makes them a wild card, but assuming the franchise finds a way to stabilize, I'll choose them.  There is a cyclical nature to contending in baseball, and the Phillies are on the backside of their run.

-Is Domonic Brown the next Fernando Martinez? A prospect who so far has yet to pull it together at the major league level?

He has struggled to live up to the hype so far.  There is a lot of talent there, though, so

-Will the Phillies eventually regret the Roy Oswalt trade because of the young talent they gave up in that of J.A. Happ?
Happ is a solid pitcher, but at the time that was the trade they needed to make. It didn't work out last year for the Phillies, of course, but that's the risk you run with deadline deals. Ruben Amaro Jr. is not the kind of guy to express regrets.

-What was it like, from a reporter's standpoint, to lay witness to Terry Collins' now infamous post-game tirade in late May? Were you hesitant to ask a question to the Mets skipper in that post-game?
Collins is an emotional guy, but it's always controlled. The few times he has gotten angry publicly, he hasn't pointed it at reporters.

-You have been accused of being too critical of the Mets in comparison to other writers and overly praising of the Phillies by some readers, what is your response to that?
Many readers in Philly accused me of being a Mets fan. Many readers in New York accuse me of being a Phillies fan.  Both are, of course, ridiculous.  I'm a reporter.

-Finally, Do you think Brian Wilson's spandex tuxedo at the ESPY's out-did Lady Gaga's egg arrival at the Grammy awards?
Ha.  I'd have to say so. You expect it from Lady Gaga, but from an athlete? Good for Wilson, for always being an interesting character.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Francisco Rodriguez has been traded to the Brewers for 2 players to be named later. There is apparently a list of 5 prospects the Mets will chose from, but don't expect much as the Brewers farm system ranks 28th in all of baseball. This trade was more of  salary dump than anything else. It also increases the likeliness that Beltran gets traded.

Here is what K-Rod said on his twitter account in regard to the trade, translated into English:

"I want to thank all the Mets fans for their great support during these 2 ½ years he wore his shirt

And to all my fans I would say that I continue to support this new phase of my life and as he says the war cry of my team"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pelfrey Pic:

Mike Pelfrey has been unhittable lately, most recently in his complete game 5-hitter in tonight's 6-1 Mets win. His recent stretch of dominance has inspired me to make a picture you might get a kick out of:

Uh-Oh: Reyes Meets With Scott Boras

According to Ken Rosenthal, Mets free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes met with super-agent Scott Boras. This meeting does not break any contractual agreements to Reyes' current agent Peter Greenberg, nor does it violate any rules in the player's union, so long as Boras discloses all contact with the Mets shortstop.
If Reyes ultimately does become a client of Scott Boras, that will greatly decrease the chances that the Mets retain the 28-year old speedster. Boras is infamous for getting top dollar for his clients, in most cases exponentially more than the player's true worth. Boras rarely allows for his players to give their former teams "home-town discounts", which is what the Mets are counting on to keep Reyes past 2011. Boras creates situations to get the most money out of any team interested, many times going into bidding wars, which the Mets in no way can afford to do.

The action of becoming a Scott Boras client, is a move for someone NOT looking to stay with their current team. Reyes has stated several times that he wants to be here, yet a move like this would prove to be the exact opposite of his statements. Scott Boras tends to have his clients hit the open market to go to the highest bidder. His clients very rarely return to their former teams, unless their old teams have the cash to retain his clients, which the Mets do not.

Not to mention, the Mets probably do not want to have to deal with Boras. After deals such as Oliver Perez's and Carlos Beltran's huge, overpriced contracts that were at the hands of Boras, the Wilpons will likely prefer not to deal with him.

Maybe Reyes is starting to see cash symbols now that he is on pace for such a monstrous year. Maybe he is starting to see the incredible amount of money he can command. If this is the case, Reyes knows that in order to squeeze the most money out of whatever ballclub he ultimately signs with, going to Scott Boras is the best way to do so.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

June 3rd, 2011 "Don't Trade Jose Reyes Day" at Citi Field

In an effort to show the Mets Front Office that we do not want to see Reyes gone, Mets fans have agreed to make "Don't Trade Jose Reyes Day" on June 3rd 2011 in the series opener against the Braves.


To attend it on facebook Click Here

To Buy Tickets to the game Click Here

Be sure to buy tickets to that game and bring your favorite Reyes attire and signs against him being traded.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Killed By American Forces

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with baseball but who cares! Osama Bin Laden has finally been killed by U.S. forces. US officials reportedly have the body. They are awaiting test results to be 100% sure that it is indeed the monster who planned the 9/11 attacks. It is hard to believe but America has finally gotten our guy. It took us nearly 10 years, but we have finally found the one low-life who almost got away.
Barrack Obama received a tip on Osama Bin Laden’s possible location in Pakistan. After verifying this report, the U.S. went into action, sending in a special team in Pakistan and killing Bin Laden in an incredible showdown. No US forces or civilians were harmed in the assault.
This is not only the killing of leader of Al Qaeda, but a symbol of American triumph and will no doubt create an overwhelming sense of patriotism in the hearts of every American. As I write this article in complete and utter shock, all I can think is: Justice has finally been served.
To associate this with baseball somewhat, during the Mets vs. Phillies finale, the broadcasters had trouble keeping up with the game as they kept trying to give updates to viewers. When the fans slowly began to hear the news through texts and mobile updates, they spontaneously broke out into chants of USA USA USA! I personally got chills, as I am sure anyone else watching did aswell.
Think of all the closure the families devastated after 9/11 must feel right now. Although the loss of their loved ones can never be filled, this must be such a boost to their morale that we finally got the sick person responsible for this.
Think of where you were when you heard this news, on this day, America won.
This is truly an incredible symbol to the world and a message: Don’t mess with America.
God Bless America!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mets 2011 Rotation: A Force To Be Reckoned With. Part II

By: Clayton Collier

   After taking a look at the three pitchers who will be the immediate impact at the front of the 2011 rotation, we will now look into the back end of the rotation and Johan Santana who will return in the later part of the season. These guys can keep a hot streak going or stop a losing stretch from continuing when the premier guys in the rotation can not get the job done. With some newly acquired arms, the back of the Mets 2011 rotation looks pretty formidable.

  The back end of the Mets rotation will feature Chris Young and either Chris Capuano or Dillon Gee in 2011. These three arms have come from utter insignificance to key pieces of the 2011 staff. While the front three arms had breakout seasons in 2010, they aren't bonafide top-tier pitchers. That said, depth is a crucial factor to the 2011 season, something these three must provide.

  Almost certain to fill the 4th spot of the rotation is RHP Chris Young. Young is the perfect example of Alderson's under-the-radar signings that have a very high reward situation. Although I would not classify Young as a low risk situation, when healthy, Young is a top of the rotation quality pitcher. He has battled injury the past few seasons, failing to complete 20 starts each of the past three season. but when he is healthy, he is locked in. Young has a career 48-34 record with a 3.80 ERA. He pitches best with little run support, a pattern he will become very accustomed to on the Mets. He has posted a 2.61 ERA when his own team scores two or fewer runs for him. Young, coming from the Padres is already used to little run support and large ballparks, if he stays healthy, could be the best off season signing of the Mets this winter.

  Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee appear to be the two major contenders for the 5th spot in the 2011 rotation.

  Capuano before 2010 had not pitched since 2007 due to injury. He came back healthy with the Brewers in 2010 and pitched to a respectable 4-4 record and a 3.95 ERA.

  Gee has never been considered a blue-chip prospect for the Mets, but with little options down the stretch in 2010, Omar Minaya decided to give him a chance. Gee flourished in his 5 major league starts going 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA. Gee had a quality start in every single one of his outings including his major league debut in which he no-hit the Nationals through his first 5 innings en route to a 7 inning gem in which he only allowed one run and 2 hits.

  Alderson and Collins may want to give Capuano the job to allow Gee to further develop, but if Gee can continue the success he had in September 2010, he would likely win the starting role.

  The best pitcher on the team is without a doubt 2-time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana. The 31-year old Venezuelan native has been the ace of the staff since he was acquired from the Twins before the start of the 2008 season. Now going into 2011, Santana will start the year in Port St. Lucie rehabbing, following the surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder that sidelined him since September. Santana has since begun to rehab, starting with playing catch and soft tossing.

  The question is, is when he returns, estimated somewhere from June to July, will he still be the Johan Santana of old? Shoulder injuries like this have proven detrimental to pitchers' careers in the past, and with Santana being the highest payed player on the team, his full recovery is crucial. These questions will just have to wait until mid-season when Santana takes the the mound in orange and blue once again.

  With low expectations at an all-time high, the Mets could be looking at a few bottom-of-the-barrel arms with hidden potential, possibly catching lightning in a bottle in 2011.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Jason Bay Will Bounce Back (He Better)

By: Jonathan Bernardo

     On December 29th, 2009 Jason Bay signed a 4-year, $66 million contract with the Mets.  Many hopeful Met fans thought he was a lock to play around 150 games, smack 20 homeruns, knock in 100 runs, become their “Big Bopper” in the middle of the lineup, and help the Mets make the playoffs. Well let’s just say it didn’t happen.
          Jason Bay’s 2010 season was his worst of his career.  He only played in 95 games, a career low, because of concussions and only batted .259/.347.402(Avg/OBP/Slg) with only 6 homeruns and 47 RBI’s.  I believe his 2010 was a major fluke just like that 45-3 drubbing the Pats gave to my beloved Jets.  It was the first season in which he did not reach 20 homeruns since his 2003 season in which he played just 30 games.  His season averages per 162 games are .278/.374/.508 with 30 homeruns and 105 RBI’s.  Look for his 2011 season to come closer to those numbers.
          Another big factor in why his numbers decreased tremendously was “Citi Field-itis.”  I believe he suffered the same type of “thing” David Wright suffered during the 2009 season.  Citi Field is one of the most spacious outfields in baseball.  It can hurt players by forcing them to over-compensate for the long distances to hit a homerun.  I believe Citi Field got into the heads of both Wright and Bay.  David Wright only had 10 homeruns and 72 RBI’s in 2009 compared to 29 homeruns and 103 RBI’s in 2010.  Look for Bay to conquer Citi Field in 2011 just like the way Wright did in 2010.
          So here are my predictions for Jason Bay for this upcoming season and his 2010 numbers and his 162 game averages:
162 game average

Saturday, January 29, 2011

R.A. Dickey Signed to 2-year Deal

By: Clayton Collier

     One year after signing a minor league contract, Robert Alan Dickey has now signed a multi-year major league contract, avoiding arbitration with the Mets. In just one season, Dickey has transformed from a minor signing to fill the roster, to a cornerstone of the major league franchise. Dickey has proved to himself and everyone on the Mets and all of baseball that he can indeed pitch, and really well for that matter.

   According to Andy Martino, the deal is for two-years and a club option for a third year, pending a physical. This is a major difference than just one year ago in which the signing of R.A. Dickey was mocked by nearly every Met fan and seen as a waste of money. Dickey would defy the odds and rise to become the best signing of the prior off season for the Mets and maybe the best signing of the entire 2009-2010 off season.

   Now with a 1-2 punch of R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey at the top of this rotation, and Niese, Young and Gee/Capuano to follow, the Amazin's rotation is looking pretty fearsome.

  For a pitcher who never recorded a season with an ERA under 4.50 prior to 2010, it is pretty incredible he is now the arm the Mets will look to in 2011 for consistent dominance.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mets 2011 Rotation: A Force To Be Reckoned With. Part I

By: Clayton Collier

   With Cliff Lee heading back to Philadelphia, creating arguably the best rotation in baseball history, the Mets have their work cut out for them to have a chance at competing in the NL East. Although the Mets do not have even close to the rotation that the Phillies do, they still have a formidable staff capable of being a feared set of arms that the opposing teams would be reluctant to face.
    With the emergence of R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, The Mets have a solid 1-2-3 punch in the rotation. In 2010, the three combined for a 35-28 record and a 3.57 ERA. Originally considered back-of-the-rotation and in R.A Dickey's case, a weak contender for the bullpen, they proved Jerry Manuel, the franchise and the baseball world that they were much more than what everyone made them out to be. Now going into 2011, the Mets entire season literally relies in the palm of this trio's hands.

    Mike Pelfrey enjoyed the best season in his career in 2010. Former skipper, Jerry Manuel declared Pelfrey the 4th starter behind John Maine, Oliver Perez and Johan Santana prior to Opening day of the 2010 season. Instead of complaining and being discouraged, Pelfrey took it upon himself to prove Manuel wrong; and that he did. Pelfrey busted out of the starting gate with a dominant 4-0 start with a microscopic 0.69 ERA to match en route to a 15-9 season with a 3.66 ERA. Pelfrey has been declared the ace of the staff and has been named the opening day starter in the absence of Santana do to his shoulder injury.  At 27, Pelfrey still has yet to enter his prime. If the Mets can assemble a consistent offense capable of decent run support, Pelfrey could be a future 20-game winner for the Mets in the near future. In 2011, you can expect an even better 2011 campaign from Pelfrey.

  Robert Allen Dickey was originally a first round pick and a highly touted prospect in the Rangers organization before a photo revealed his throwing arm was missing an ulnar collateral ligament. After which Dickey converted to the knuckleball, having little success until he signed a minor league contract with the Mets. Dickey failed to make the major league roster out of Spring Training, being demoted to a Triple-A starter where something just clicked. Dickey was called up following a one-hitter in which he gave up a hit to the first batter he faced then proceeded to retire the following 27 hitters he faced. Dickey would dominate the majors finishing the season with a 11-9 record and a 2.84 ERA. His 2.84 ERA would rank 10th among all of baseball, pretty good for a minor league signing that was mocked on Loudmouths prior to Spring Training of 2010.

   Jon Niese started spring training competing for a job in the rotation with Fernando Nieve. Needless to say, the 24-year old southpaw won the job and Nieve wound end the year in Triple-A Buffalo. Having never had any major league success prior to 2010, Niese had to prove that he belonged in the rotation, and that he did. In the first two moths of the season, Niese had a 3.10 ERA. Niese would struggle with inconsistency throughout the season, ending the year 9-10 with a 4.20 ERA. Although Niese is not on the same level as Pelfrey and Dickey, he is still a young pitcher with a great deal of potential, much of which has yet to have been fully reached. Hopefully Niese can reach his full potential in 2011.

  With most of the Mets roster in complete and utter uncertainty, the success of Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese is both crucial and to be expected come Opening Day of 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mets To Sign Chris Young. Smart Move!

By: Clayton Collier

  After months of speculation and rumors regarding the Mets and free agent RHP Chris Young, the two parties have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, pending a physical. Young has had bouts with injury bug, resulting in his failing to reach at least 20 starts any of the past three seasons. But if Young can remain healthy, the Mets could have very well caught lightning in a bottle.

  Although the 31-year old righty has had issues with staying healthy, he still has the ability to be a top-tier arm for the Mets.Young has a career 48-34 record and a 3.80 ERA to match. Young has had four seasons in which he had finished with an ERA south of 4.0. This kind of consistency is just what the Mets need in order to fill the void left behind by Santana and his injured shoulder.

 Young has spent most of his career with the Padres, a club of inconsistent offense and little run support in a spacious ballpark. Young's experience with the Padres has prepared him perfectly for his tenure with the Amazins. When Young's team scores 0-2 runs, he has a dominant 2.61 ERA. This is just what the Mets need given the uncertainty of the Mets offense. Young works even better under pressure in close, low scoring games. He can keep the Mets close when they aren't scoring runs. This ability is something that only one other starter on the Mets staff has: Johan Santana. Young can very well become the Mets stopper in place of Santana until he returns, likely around the all-star break. Young is also a fly-ball pitcher, a convenient attribute for the spacious dimensions of Citi Field.

  With little to be sure of and mostly questions to expect in 2011, the signing of Young, as long as he remains healthy, could be a reliable go-to arm for the Mets this season.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making Sense of the Tankersley Signing

By: Clayton Collier

  The signing of LHP Taylor Tankersley on the surface appears to be a mediocre move, but an in-depth look reveals a method to the madness.

  Tankersley has been with the Marlins for his entire major league career so he knows the division. It is not a huge factor but is a slight benefit knowing the premiere bats in the NL East in advance. Not only does Tankersley know the division, but he been a reliable arm versus the NL East. Tankersley has a career 3.24 ERA vs. the Phillies and a 1.93 ERA at Turner Field.

  The 27-year old southpaw could serve as the lefty specialist in 2011. A lefty specialist is an arm out of the bullpen used for the purpose of getting the tough left-handed batters out. Lefties have posted .223 batting average and a .313 on-base percentage against Tankersley in his career. Most of the time, these tough lefties, like a Brian McCann or Ryan Howard, bat in the 3rd and 4th spots in the lineup. Tankersley has held the 3rd and 4th spot in lineups to a microscopic .185 batting average in his career. Although he has struggled mightily the past few seasons, Tankersley, if used in the proper role, could become an excellent addition to a reshaped and now somewhat formidable bullpen.

  For a signing that isn't exactly a blockbuster deal, there is a lot of hidden potential for Tankersley.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Castillo and Oli Could Be Gone by Opening Day....For Real!

By: Clayton Collier

According to Buster Olney of, the Mets are internally discussing the option of releasing 2nd baseman Luis Castillo and LHP Oliver Perez. The Mets have aggressively attempted to trade Castillo all winter but the bottom line is nobody wants him. So what do you do with a washed up player that you can't trade? The logical solution is to release them. That is what apparently the Mets are finally considering.

Alderson warned Oli and Castillo that if they do not show signs of improvement in spring training, they will not be with the team come Opening Day. With both Oli and Castillo being unable to be traded and little hope of improvement, the option of being released seems eminent.

 Oli has pitched with little to no improvement in the winter leagues going 3-3 with a 5.18 ERA. The 29-year old southpaw has been unable to keep the walks to a minimum either in the winter leagues allowing 23 walks in just 33 innings. There was talk that Oli could be salvaged as a lefty specialist but due to his inability to get batters out in even the winter leagues, it seems highly unlikely.

  Castillo looks like the more likely of the two to be released. He has less money on his contract, and can easily be replaced. Castillo has no power, can longer hit, field or be a good influence on this team. Castillo was told that unless he excels in Spring Training, he will not be on the club come Opening Day. Castillo has likely lost his starting role to 25-year old Daniel Murphy. Castillo will compete with the likes of Chin-lung Hu, Luis Hernanadez, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner for one or two reserve roles on the 25-man roster.

  With the Mets invested roughly $18 million in these two players this season, the cost is great in cutting Castillo and Oli, but it is better then having a 23-man roster in 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mets Q&A: Answering Your Questions Sent Into Us

By: Clayton Collier

Q: Now that the Phillies have acquired Cliff Lee and the Braves got Uggla, what are the 2011 Mets chances at competing in the NL East? The Wild Card? (We received multiple questions like this)

A: The Mets very little to no chance at competing in the NL East this season. Ruben Amaro Jr. has assembled one of the best teams baseball has seen in a long time. The stacked lineup, even though weakened by the departure of Werth, would make any pitcher quiver. The Phillies currently have a dynasty caliber team on their hands going into 2011. With four ace-quality pitchers on their staff in that of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, the Phillies would have to have an season of injuries equivalent to the 2009 Mets for the Amazin's to have a shot at the division title.

   As for the wild card, if the Mets have a lot go right for them, it could be a possibility. First off, Bay and Beltran would have to have bounce back years. Second, Davis, Thole, and Niese need to avoid sophomore slumps. The bullpen needs to hold its own, as does the back end of the Mets rotation. Finally, Santana needs to return at a reasonable time, fully healthy and pitch like the elite pitcher he has been throughout his career. If the Mets can click on all cylinders, they could contend with the Braves among other National League hopefuls.

Q: What is the situation with Jose Reyes? His option for 2011 was picked up but now Alderson is talking about the possibility of trading him during the season before the July 31st deadline. What Gives?

A: Jose Reyes and the Mets will without a doubt discuss an extension. Unless an extension is reached, Reyes will become a free agent at the end of the 2011 season. If the two sides can not come to terms on a deal, Reyes will most likely be traded by the July 31st deadline. The Mets do have a high asking price for Reyes though. It is said that the Mets want three or four players in return for the Dominican native. Reyes has stated he wants to retire a Met and I think the Mets would be happy do comply for the right price.

Q: How do you think Beltran will bounce back in 2011? Will he play Right field or Center? What is his status as far as his future after 2011 with the Mets?

A: Beltran in 2011 is basically a toss up. He could hit 40 home runs or 4, he could bat .230 or .290, we just do not know what to expect from Beltran. One can realistically expect Beltran will have some success in 2011, but not the Beltran of 2006. Beltran will still have to wear that knee brace that he had in 2010 after returning from knee surgery. With this in mind, Pagan seems the best candidate to play center field. That brace impedes movement, which results in slower outfield defense and limited ability as a left handed batter. The brace doesn't allow him to accelerate like he used to, it also prevents Beltran from turning on his knee as a left handed batter, crippling his talent at the plate.  But, based on how he went on a tear in September, it isn't out of the question to expect Beltran to finish around a .280 average with 20 homers and 75-85 RBIs.

  This season will probably mark the last year that Beltran wears a Met uniform. Beltran, who turns 34 in April, is in the final year of his massive 7-year $119 million contract. He will receive $18.5 million in 2011 after which he will become a free agent. Given the fact that GM Sandy Alderson is not a big spender and that Beltran's agent is none other than the infamous Scott Boras, the odds of Beltran returning does not look good.

Q: Who do you think the Mets will go after in the offseason after the 2011 season since they'll have like $50 million in payroll being freed up?

A: Next year's offseason is nearly impossible to determine for sure. Based on the fact that many core players such as Reyes, Beltran and K-Rod could be traded or be lost to free agency, it will all depend on the direction Sandy Alderson wants to go.

  Although the Mets have a huge sum of money coming off the books after the final pitch of 2011 is thrown, that doesn't mean that they are going to be big spenders. Alderson stated that he will spend only about $15-$20 million of the roughly $60 million in payroll he has to spend. He wants to do this in order to have at least $10 million to spend every offseason instead of one lump sum every 3-4 offseasons.

  We can't say exactly who the Mets will target in the 2011-2012 offseason. But what we can take a look at is who would make sense for the Mets that could be a free agent next offseason.

 Ronny Paulino only signed a one-year deal with the Mets so the backup catching job will be in question next winter. Ivan Rodriguez would be a great idea for the Mets. Rodriguez would be an excellent mentor for Josh Thole and be able to help shape the Mets relatively young pitching staff. The 20-season veteran could serve as a clutch bat off the bench and unbelievable defense at the backstop.

  Second Base will finally be vacated by Luis Castillo after 2011. Unless Daniel Murphy thrives at 2nd base, the Mets will be in the market for a man to fill the position. The internal options would likely not be major league ready for 2012. Maybe a Kelly Johnson, Omar Infante or a Rickie Weeks could be a possibility for the Mets.

  Beltran will probably be lost to free agency next offseason so the Mets will also be in need of an outfielder. The only internal options could include Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and maybe Fernando Martinez if he gets himself together. Some possible outfield fits for the Mets could include Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel or Josh Willingham.

As far as pitching, K-Rod and Oliver Perez are the only major pitchers coming off the books after 2011. Mark Buehrle would fit nicely for the Mets as a starter. K-Rod has an option for 2012, but it is not a done deal they would pick up his option.

The Mets have a lot to answer next offseason, but these questions can't be answered for certain until the end of the 2011 season.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year From Maybe Next Year Mets!

   Maybe Next Year Mets would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May 2011 be a great year for all and hopefully a good year for our favorite team: those Amazin' Mets!