Wow

There are no words left to describe what it’s like to root for this pathetic franchise. This rant isn’t even about the fact that the Mets lost their six straight game today (Mets 7, Braves 5) and 10 of their last 11. This rant isn’t even about the reality that it feels like the season is over in April. This rant is about the fact that we are again dealing with the same old Mets BS that I’ve been witnessing since I was old enough to follow this team in the mid-90s.

This team is a broken record. If you’ve been reading this blog then you shouldn’t be surprised by anything that’s happening.

I told you all offseason that the Mets needed Bartolo Colon and possibly more rotation depth. I told you the Mets needed to improve the lineup, the defense, and the bullpen. The Mets decided to go with Sandy Alderson’s insane plan to use the same roster and expect different results. Many fans tried to rationalize the “decision” to do nothing. Some fans even thought the team would magically improve and overtake the Nationals.

And how has that worked out so far? Well in 2016 the Mets were injury prone, had an underwhelming feast or famine offense, played long stretches of mediocre baseball, and struggled mightily against the Braves and Nationals. Here we are a month into the 2017 season, and we are seeing the exact same results on the field.

I told you last week what would happen with Yoenis Cespedes. I told you they would try to avoid a DL stint, keep him out of the lineup for the equivalent of the full stint, play short-handed, rush him back, and then he would have a setback and we would lose him for months. And of course today in the fourth inning he pulled his hamstring and was helped off the field.

They did the EXACT same thing last year. They forced him to play with his injured quad and his injury crippled him all season. Well it’s déjà vu all over again.

Today’s Noah Syndergaard injury debacle was truly classic Mets though. It turns out the Mets scratched Thor last night because he had bicep soreness. They knew about this yesterday. They basically knew they were going to have to skip his start entirely and send him for an MRI. But they never bothered to tell his replacement starter Matt Harvey until today. So instead of resting up yesterday for today’s start, Harvey spent all day in the weight room.

Harvey woke up today sore as hell, the Mets told him to pitch, and he was rocked. He gave up 6 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks in 4.1 innings. I don’t blame Matt for one second. This is the same guy recovering from thoracic outlet surgery, and the Mets are pitching him on short rest regularly because of the organization’s failure to address starting pitching depth in the offseason. The Mets regularly raise their level of incompetence to new heights. Unbelievable.

To recap: Cespedes is 100% going on the DL, and I’m sure we won’t see him until June at the earliest, Thor has bicep tenderness which can be a sign of an elbow problem/torn UCL, the Mets could be 10 games out of the NL East in April if they’re swept by the Nationals this weekend, and Daniel Murphy leads the league in RBIs.

Also, there is no God.

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One Hot Player At A Time

Final Score: Mets 5, Phillies 4

Jay Bruce being the Mets’ April MVP is the most scripted thing of all time. Many fans (not me) spent the entire offseason ripping him apart and begging Alderson to trade him for a bag of sunflower seeds. And now look at what Jay is doing. He’s cranking homers, and lately he’s providing our only offense. Last night he singlehandedly beat the Phillies with two home runs and five RBIs.

I’ve said this many times, but I’m really hoping Bruce goes full blown 2016 Mark Trumbo in his contract year and cranks like 40-50 home runs. I hope he sets the franchise home run mark. Obviously it’s unrealistic to expect that he’ll sustain this April performance. He’s streaky as hell and his performance is likely to fall off a cliff at any moment. Plus we all know the Mets are only allowed to have one hot hitter at a time. I’m sure the second someone else heats up Bruce will evaporate into thin air and hit .100 for three months.

Aggressive Yo: Speaking of Jay Bruce’s hot hitting, he really should be thanking Cespedes. Hitting in front of or behind Yoenis Cespedes is a gift from the gods. Just look at what Yo has done for Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cespedes was involved in every notable inning where the Mets scored/failed to score last night. In the first inning Asdrubal walked and then Yo hit a grounder to third base. The Phillies got the force out at second even though the second baseman came off the bag. No challenge by the Mets. Then Jay Bruce hit a double down the right field line and Yo tried to score from first. He was gunned down. I can’t blame Yo for trying to make something happen. He knows two hits in a row is an unlikely luxury with this team right now.

Scary Yo: In the 6th inning with two outs the Phillies gave up a single to Asdrubal and then they walked Yo. They wanted nothing to do with him. And right after that Bruce launched a three run shot to give the Mets the 3-2 lead.

Gsellman: Robert Gsellman had his first strong start. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, and struck out 7. Terry even brought him out to start the 8th inning. After he gave up a leadoff double, Terry pulled him and brought in Jerry Blevins. Annndddd of course the pen let the inherited runner score which tied the game at 3.

Scary Yo 2.0: In the 8th inning Yo singled on a 3-0 pitch up the middle. Phils were clearly looking to walk him again. They didn’t want to let Yo take back the lead with one swing. Bruce made them pay with his second homer to make it 5-3.

Get Familia Back: This bullpen need Jeurys Familia back. He may always wind up walking a tightrope in the 9th inning, but at least he’ll give the other overworked arms a rest.

The Body Count: Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud both left the game last night with injuries. Duda hyperextended his elbow on a play at first base and d’Arnaud smacked his hand/wrist against the hitter’s bat while making a throw to second base. I don’t expect to see them again this season.

Today: We need to win this series against the Phillies at home. Hopefully Noah Syndergaard comes through without losing his middle finger in the process.

Yo Shows It’s Gonna Be A Good Summer

good summer

Final Score: Mets 14, Phillies 4

The Mets’ offense was off to a slow start to the 2017 season. All it took was a few games where the lineup was lifeless to make a seasoned fan like me start to worry about player cold streaks and team strikeouts. Then booooooom. The offense finally broke out led by Yoenis Cespedes and his three home runs. It took one big night from Yo and this slugging squad to remind us that it’s gonna be a good summer.

Also, as a lazy blogging Mets fan looking to relax after a long work day, there’s no better game for me to watch than a 14 run, 20 hit, 7 homer blowout where my team triumphs. As a fan I was just watching the ding dongs fly out and loving every second of it. As a blogger I simply write that the Phillies suck, list all of the Mets ding dongs, and then hit “post.” There’s really nothing else to it.

Phillies Suck: Did I mention the Phillies suck? I never want to go back to a time where Philly isn’t the Mets annual divisional punching bag. I’ll take lopsided Mets’ victories against this Philly squad full of developing fringe major league players any day of the week. And we should also consider playing our home games at Citizens Bank Park. What a bandbox.

The Worst Pitcher In Baseball: It also helped last night that Clay Buchholz is one of the worst pitchers in the sport. The Red Sox were dying to dump him. Somehow the Phillies were duped into adding his useless body to their roster. Last night he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits over 2.1 innings before being yanked due to injury. Pathetic. Then Adam Morgan took over the role of worst pitcher on earth and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits over 3.2 innings including 4 home runs. He was demoted to the minors after the game. LOL.

Mets Ding Dong Recap

1st Inning: Yoenis Cespedes 3-run homer.

4th Inning: Asdrubal Cabrera and Yo (bomb 2.0) with solo blasts.

5th Inning: Yo 3.0- solo blast.

6th Inning: Lucas Duda 450 foot solo monster shot.

8th Inning: Travis d’Arnaud with a 2-run opposite field homer (not a typo).

9th Inning: Solo Duda Dong to close it out.

It wasn’t all home runs either. Jay Bruce hit a 2 RBI single in the second inning. Clay Buchholz managed to revive two struggling Mets hitters in the third inning. Jose Reyes hit a double off Clay to raise his average to like .040. Then Clay exited with an injury and d’Arnaud drove Reyes in with an RBI single. Asdrubal Cabrera also added to his near cycle 4-hit night with an RBI single in the 8th inning. Four hits for Duda and Yo, two hits for Neil Walker, and three for d’Arnaud. It was an absolute hit parade.

Everything Was Great And Nothing Bad Happened Right?: Matt Harvey looked good against the mediocre Phillies lineup. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out 6 and only walked 1. And of course he left the game with a tight hamstring because God can’t even give us one night to breathe easy. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Right?

The Boot: Michael Conforto is going to get the roster boot when Juan Lagares is ready to come off the DL this week. I feel bad for Conforto. Terry and Sandy just aren’t giving him a legitimate chance. They haven’t even attempted to rotate him into the lineup. I know he’s a professional baseball player who is paid to be resilient, and I’m just a mook blogger who can barely overcome a damaged cuticle, but I’d have a tough time going back to Vegas this year. He just doesn’t belong there. I still think the Mets will pull the trigger on a Jay Bruce trade if they can get a good late inning reliever, a back-end starter that can eat innings, or a versatile position player that fits better on the roster. I’m not saying they should pull that trigger. I’m just saying I think they will do it if they have the chance. But in reality we all know injuries will take care of the outfield “logjam” in no time at all.

Today: Zack Wheeler vs. Vince Velasquez. Let’s hope Zack has better command of the strike zone tonight. Let’s also hope the slugging continues so it will distract us from the horrendous team defense.

Cespedes Looks Enormous 

Well it wouldn’t be a Mets’ offseason without the mainstream media finding a way to take cheap shots at Yoenis Cespedes and his work ethic. I think today’s hit piece in the New York Post is meant to be complementary, but it essentially implies that Yo is committed to working out for the first time in his career and that his commitment is totally unexpected considering he just signed a new long-term deal.

The article also mentions that Yo said he’s playing less golf, and he sold his Lamborghini. Phew! I was worried all those distractions would stop Yo from being our most valuable hitter for the third year in a row.

I’ll never understand these old writers who are obsessed with the false narrative that Yo is a lazy player who has never been committed to winning. It couldn’t be further from the truth. However, the Cespedes hit pieces from dinosaur writers are old news.

The actual breaking news is the fact that Cespedes looks huge. Look at his arm:

yo-arm

Yo has been a freak physical specimen for years, but clearly he’s working out like a mad man this winter. He’s supposedly taking part in the Wilpon approved Barwis training program.

The Barwis method may not work for everyone, but based on those Yo muscles it’s obviously paying dividends for our star. If you read The Metssiah, you know I’m a glass half empty fan. Even as I write this I feel like I’m undoubtedly jinxing Cespedes. But I feel like this is going to be a big year for Yo. It’s been pretty clear over the last two seasons that Yo’s performance is trending up.

This season he’ll be back in left field where he’s comfortable, and he won’t wear down his legs chasing balls in center. This guy wants an MVP. This guy wants a World Series Championship. He wants to be the King of New York. If he stays healthy in 2017 and matches his 2015/2016 production then he’s obviously going to be in the NL MVP discussion. But what if he somehow ups his game even more? What if he blasts 40 homers?

I just need baseball back. I need La Potencia back in my life. Until then I’ll just keep doing what normal Mets fans do. I’ll watch an endless loop of his 2015 and 2016 highlight reels on YouTube and occasionally Google “Cespedes veiny muscles.”

Thor Should Save His Name-Calling For The Wilpons


On New Year’s Eve, Barstool Sports posted a video of Bryce Harper saying their famous catchphrase “Saturdays are for the boys.” In true legendary fashion, Noah Syndergaard commented “douche” on Harper’s Instagram video. 

Thor is really one of those once in a generation players that combines exceptional talent with an absolutely magnetic personality. He’s got it all. Everything he does further cements his status in New York sports lore.

That being said, we all know these guys are friends, and it’s just another fun artificial social media storyline serving to distract us from the reality that the Mets have done absolutely nothing to improve the team this offseason. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Here are The Metssiah’s updated Mets offseason highlights for those of you keeping track at home.

1) Mets sign Yoenis Cespedes. We re-signed our MVP candidate/number one ballpark draw and that was it. Thanks Fred and Jeff.

2) Mets Twitter account posts video of Yo in a Santa hat saying “Yo! Yo! Yo!” instead of “Ho! Ho! Ho!” on Christmas Day.

3) Thor calls his friend Bryce Harper a douche as a joke on social media.

That’s all we’ve got folks. Thor better save some derogatory words for Jeff Wilpon because when the time comes for his big payday, we may need him to bully ownership into opening their damn checkbook.

You want to hear the actual latest Mets’ news? Are you sure?

I put on SNY Mets Hot Stove last week and watched Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple ramble on and on about nothing for 30 minutes.

They might as well have aired this:

If you want to read the Wilpon media spin on how recently signed minor league sidearmer Ben Rowen could transform our bullpen, I encourage you to check it out

The Mets are also apparently scouting a 32 year old pitcher named Jose Arredondo who is currently pitching in the Venezuelan League and last threw in the majors four years ago. These aren’t exactly franchise altering talents.

Frankly, this was the most interesting nugget of information I learned recently.

It certainly feels rare, but when you see something like that you are reminded that sometimes the baseball gods smile upon the Mets. But the real evidence that the baseball gods are smiling upon us right now is the fact that Thor and Yo exist and play in Flushing. We are so #Blessed to have Thor and Yo donning orange and blue.

Buster Olney released a list of the top 10 starting pitchers in MLB. Thor came in at number 6, but that’s mainly because he’s entering his second full major league season. Fangraphs had Noah with the highest WAR in 2016 for a pitcher. Syndergaard will be a sexy preseason pick for NL Cy Young. And Cespedes will also be a popular preseason NL MVP pick. Yo will have a ton of competition for MVP with Harper, Kris Bryant and many other talented players fighting for the crown. So will Syndergaard in the Cy Young race.

But the bottom line is the Mets have a potential Cy Young stud and an MVP stud on their roster. Even if the Wilpons cheap out and refuse to bring in any other protection for Yo in the lineup or sign another viable reliever for Thor to hand the ball to in the pen, at least in 2017 we get to continue watching two of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uniform. I just wish the damn season would start already.

Cespedes The Merciful Returns To Mets

In Sandy we trust! Sandy Alderson that sly dog has done it again. He convinced Yoenis Cespedes to accept a four year deal at an incredibly high annual average value of 27.5 million dollars a season and just like that the Mets get their best player back. Sandy basically said the Mets (The Wilpons) weren’t willing to go to five years for Yo, but he was still able to convince Cespedes to return on the Mets’ terms for the second year in a row.

Cespedes The Merciful once again shows tolerance by remaining in Queens despite the Mets refusal to extend him a five year deal. Yo’s tender-hearted nature and love for the Flushing Faithful has once again inspired him to forgo an offseason bidding war for his services.

I genuinely believe if Yo wanted to go to the highest bidder, he would have found a longer more lucrative contract elsewhere. Are teams genuinely scared off by his age and his golfing, smoking, and sports car driving nature? Apparently so. Do I care? Hell no. The most valuable player on the team will be back next year. That’s all that matters.

All the credit in the world goes to Sandy Alderson for thoroughly taking advantage of the one thing that has remained a constant since we traded for Yo in 2015. Yoenis Cespedes wants to be a New York Met. It’s really that simple. The man displays a unique loyalty to the ball club in Flushing which totally separates him from the majority of professional athletes.

Obviously a four year deal with the second highest AAV for a position player and a full no trade clause is extremely appealing. But Yo could still go through the process of pitting teams against each other and trying to squeeze every last cent out of some organization. But he doesn’t do that. Instead he shows the Wilpon-led Mets compassion.

All that being said, this offseason can be summarized as follows:

  • Neil Walker and Yoenis Cespedes (the two most valuable hitters from our 2016 team) return. That’s good.
  • Eric Campbell heads to Japan. That’s great.
  • Bartolo Colon (our most durable starting pitcher) goes to a division rival. That’s bad.

In other words, there is a lot of work to be done. There’s a bullpen and bench to be bolstered. The rotation could use some insurance. A new catcher would be nice. Let’s hope this uplifting Cespedes signing is the first domino to fall in what will continue to be a big offseason for Sandy. Thank the gods for Yo. He makes this team go. His return means the 2017 Mets have a chance to win the World Series. The window remains open, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Psychics Agree: No Fifth Year For Cespedes

The New York Post indicated that the Mets remain interested in signing Yoenis Cespedes to a four year contract but a fifth year could wind up being a deal breaker for the team. We can spend all day speculating about the actual reason for this rumored line in the sand.

Many fans still think the Wilpons have no intention of signing Yo and are just trying to give the impression that they made their best effort to keep him here. It’s also possible that this is all just part of the negotiating process for Sandy Alderson.

The Mets may just be leaking this news to the media purely as a negotiating tactic. In the end the Mets may cave and give Cespedes exactly what he wants because they recognize how important he is to the team.

The Cespedes negotiations have implications that go beyond simply losing or retaining the most valuable bat on the team. Many fans will see the outcome as a signal for the direction of the franchise. If Yo leaves, some Mets fans will see that as confirmation of their worst fears regarding the Wilpons’ willingness to spend. On the contrary if he signs a multi-year deal with the Mets, some fans will see this as a sign that the team’s payroll is going in the right direction.

That being said, many baseball “psychics” seem to know exactly how the Cespedes deal will turn out. I can’t tell you how many fans have talked to me or tweeted at me to state their support of a four year deal for Cespedes but not a five year deal.

The baseball fans that take hard stances against giving a free agent “the extra year” always baffle me. Baseball doesn’t have a hard salary cap. The Mets’ payroll is not approaching the current MLB luxury tax threshold. So why do Mets fans have strong views on this? Do people seriously feel that a four year deal is acceptable, but a fifth year is so unreasonable that they’d rather not watch Cespedes (i.e. the most exciting baseball player in New York City) play at Citi Field?

Why are some people specifically afraid of a fifth year? Do you have a crystal ball? These fans act like they know with certainty that at 35 years old Yoenis Cespedes will cease to be a productive major leaguer. At 34 he’ll be fine. But at 35? He’s done!

In my opinion, you can make one of two arguments when it comes to Cespedes.

Argument 1: Don’t sign Yo and instead spread out that money across multiple players to improve the team.

If you feel this way then fine. I can think of many ways to spend the 25-30 million in annual salary in lieu of signing Cespedes.

Argument 2: Go all out to sign Yo to a four to six year deal and hope he maintains his power and health over the course of the deal.

I understand that there’s uncertainty surrounding a contract that takes a player into his mid 30’s. But arguing over the merits of a four or five or six year contract for a 31 year old player coming off the two best seasons of his career, drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is ridiculous in my opinion.

Sure long-term deals can be hit or miss. Jose Reyes signed a six year deal with the Marlins at 28, and it didn’t really work out due to injuries and his off the field problems. David Wright signed an eight year deal at 29 and due to his health issues that hasn’t really worked out.

On the other  hand, Carlos Beltran signed a seven year deal with the Mets at 27, and he’s still going strong at 39. The four year deal we gave to Curtis Granderson has worked out thus far, and he’s 35 years old.

The point is unless these baseball fortune tellers have seen Yo’s medical reports and somehow know for a fact that he’s on the path to early retirement, I don’t how they can possibly sell me on the argument that a four year deal makes sense but a five year deal is irresponsible.

Speaking of multi-year deals, the Mets just announced that they have agreed to a new long-term contract with Gary Cohen. For those of you keeping track at home, the re-signing of Gary Cohen is arguably the most significant news of the Mets’ offseason other than Neil Walker accepting the qualifying offer and Eric Campbell leaving to play in Japan. I suppose it’s possible that the brass at SNY spent weeks debating whether or not to give Gary the extra year on his new contract. But when it comes to superstars like Gary, sometimes you need to go the extra mile to keep them happy.

Editor’s Note: This was first published on Mets Merized Online.

Prepare For The Yo-pocalypse

mrmetyoyankees-1

Have you seen the latest Hot Stove rumor? The Yankees are interested in Yoenis Cespedes.

If the Yankees sign Cespedes I will cry. Tears will actually roll down my cheeks.

If Yo signs with the Yankees we’ll be forced to listen to delusional Yankee fans raving about how players are drawn to the pinstripes. It would be the biggest setback for the Mets since…well since we lost the 2015 World Series and then saw all of our young aces undergo surgery on their arms. But it could destroy the progress the Mets have made in shifting the overall balance of baseball power in New York City.

Sandy Alderson did an interview this week, and he sounded optimistic about the Mets’ chances of re-signing Yo. He said that Yo texted the club saying he’d like to return, but added “we’re going to have to wait a while to see how this turns out”. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Yo wants to stay, but the Mets haven’t made him an offer yet.

Instead the Mets will continue to play with free agent fire. They’re essentially calling out every team in the league and daring them to make a substantial bid for Yo. And now the Yankees are making phone calls to his agent? I don’t like it. If the Red Sox sign Carlos Beltran the Yankees could easily pivot and go for Yo. This whole thing stinks.

So for now I’m sitting on my couch with my tinfoil hat, preparing for the worst, and urging everyone to take action:

Don’t Stop Complaining: I think every Mets fan has a daily obligation to tweet or post on Facebook “Sign Yo”. If you are driving and stop at a red light, you should roll down your window, honk your horn, and scream “Sign Cespedes” at people walking nearby. Last year, the World Series appearance really energized the fan base and sparked the #SignYo movement. I’m genuinely worried that the movement has lost some momentum. So this is a reminder to keep it going.

Contact Your Local General Manager: When American citizens are angry about the political process, we are supposed to “contact our representative” in Congress. Well in baseball, the best we can do is contact our GM. And it just so happens that Sandy Alderson has a Twitter account.

Considering his most recent tweet was a 2014 plea to make David Wright the #FaceofMLB, it would seem he’s not exactly an active Twitter user. But it’s better to tweet at his idle account than to do nothing. It’s about as useful as calling your congressional representative and leaving a voicemail.

Don’t Donate To The Wilpons: The Mets have been releasing schedules and sending out ticket promos. Ummm let’s hold off on all those purchases people. Obviously Noah Syndergaard is amazing every fifth day. But Yo is the number one daily attraction at Citi Field. The Mets already let Bartolo Colon, the sexiest man in all of sports, take his talents elsewhere. Hold off on sending the Wilpons any money until we know where they stand with Yo.

Secretly Hope The Yo Propaganda Scares Teams: I’ve spent so much time disputing the anti-Yo press. But it’s possible that the golf playing, non-hustling, smoking, horse riding, flashy car driving, distracting superstar narratives will scare off other teams. I want Yo to get paid big money and stay with the Mets. Whatever makes that possible works for me.

Pray For A Wilpon Cabinet Post: Maybe Donald Trump will appoint Fred and Jeff Wilpon as co-Secretaries of the Treasury? The Madoff stuff didn’t stop Major League Baseball from appointing Fred as head of the league’s Finance Committee. Maybe they’ll join Trump’s cabinet and be forced to put all their holdings (including the Mets) in a blind trust. If my choices for ownership are the Wilpons or a non-Wilpon human being controlling a blind trust, I’m going with the non-Wilpon every day and twice on Sundays.

Remember Where We Play: The important thing for Mets fans to remember is we deserve Yoenis Cespedes. Our team plays in New York City, and we deserve all the luxuries other big market clubs enjoy. Yeah we made the playoffs two years in a row. That’s amazing and in large part due to the fact that Sandy Alderson is an incredible executive. But this team has a legitimate chance to win the World Series with the pitching we have and we have to take advantage of the opportunity.

My Demands: What do I want? I want the Mets to head to the Winter Meetings in December and make some damn noise. The Braves signed R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon and they reportedly want Chris Sale. The Marlins are supposedly targeting Kenley Jansen. You know the Nationals are going to make big moves.

Well I want Yo, another stud closer, a new catcher, a bat off the bench, and a starting pitcher to replace the innings we gave to the Braves in the form of Big Sexy. I want a roster stacked with talent and the fans deserve that. I’m saying that the Mets should spend money to try and win during our window. I refuse to settle for less. As long as the Mets continue to have a payroll in the middle of the pack, I’m going to complain about it. And if that means I’m labeled a broken record by brainwashed Mets fans that have accepted the Wilpon way of operating then so be it.

Neil Walkyear Returns To The Mets

Neil Walker has officially accepted the Mets’ 17.2 million dollar qualifying offer instead of testing free agency. Neil Walkyear 2.0 commences effective immediately. 2017 continues to go down as the year of the walk-year for the Mets as Neil is added to the list of guys playing for a contract. It’s a smart move by Neil since the market for his services may have been hurt by his late season back-surgery as well as the draft pick compensation tied to signing him as a result of the qualifying offer. Now he will have another full season to show he’s healthy, and it’s also possible that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will modify the qualifying offer system and eliminate draft pick compensation as part of the process. So in an ideal world for Neil, he will prove his health in 2017 and have a chance to sign a 3-5 year deal next offseason without being tied to a draft pick.

On the surface this is great news for the Mets, assuming Neil’s back injury doesn’t linger and turn out to be a chronic issue (i.e. it evolves into a classic strain of METS disease). Obviously as a Mets fan I fear the worst, but even if the back problem persists the Mets aren’t committed to Walker long-term. They get to keep the roster/payroll flexibility that Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons love so much. The 17.2 million dollar price tag may be a bit higher than the 13-15 million annual salary Walker would probably earn as part of a long-term deal. But it’s a small price to pay to avoid the extra commitment in terms of years.

The downside of course is that nobody really knows the Mets projected payroll for next season. I’ve heard speculation that this contract may prevent the Mets from signing Cespedes. I’ve heard speculation that this deal may force the Mets to dump some extra salary in order to make a reasonable offer to Yoenis Cespedes. I’ve heard that the Mets ideally would like to keep Cespedes and Walker and won’t make any significant additions to the roster beyond the retention of those two guys.

The bottom line is this. If Neil Walker’s decision to accept the qualifying offer truly prevents the Mets from signing Yo or making other meaningful acquisitions then the organization is a lost cause. I’m hoping the Mets keep Yo, Walker and make other big additions to both the bullpen and the bench. We’re trying to win a championship. So let’s improve this damn roster and make a run. Retaining Yo/Walker and dumping the salaries of Bartolo Colon and Jay Bruce to make that possible doesn’t exactly equate to a net improvement of the roster heading into 2017. But the offseason has just started. Let’s see what happens.

The next step is to sign Cespedes. The Mets should have already signed Yo. But there’s still time. Do it tomorrow. And at least today is a good day. A Neil Walkyear reboot is a pretty good thing. As long as he doesn’t catch the stenosis. Pray for his back. Pray for all their backs.

Mets Are “Interested” In Some Top Free Agents

The most significant news coming out of Sandy Alderson’s address at the GM meetings on Monday was that the Mets supposedly want to retain Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker and:

If you accept that quote, then you believe the Mets will have the necessary financial resources to sign Cespedes. If you doubt that quote, then you’re probably used to hearing the Mets feed us lines like the one above over the past few years. Let’s see how it plays out, but the Cespedes to the Nationals/Yankees rumors are already starting. Get your antacids ready. It’s going to be a long offseason.

Other than the ambiguous Yo news, we heard a few more news nuggets to kick off the Mets’ Cold Stove.

Outfield Situation and Jose Bautista:

I saw this tweet and my first thought was “I’d love to have Yo and Bautista mashing dingers in the Mets’ outfield.” Then I remembered the Mets aren’t a true big market club like the Cubs/Yankees and Bautista would be considered as a replacement for Yo not a complement. In that case it’s a hard no from me. I have no interest in signing an older, less mobile version of Cespedes. Pass.

Bartolo Colon and Pitching Depth:

The Mets, like any competitive team, should want to bolster or at least maintain their pitching depth in the offseason. Seemingly we feel the best way to do that is by letting our most durable and reliable starting pitcher leave via free agency. Bye bye Bartolo Colon. Pray that he’s willing to take a one-year discounted deal with the Mets once again. Pray.

Interested In The Guys We Have:

The Mets Hot Stove is really sizzling. Oh boy do we love our internal options. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo it is!!

No Big Arms:

The Mets will probably lose Jeurys Familia for a third of next season once he’s suspended for his domestic violence arrest. Our bullpen needed some depth before Familia’s potential suspension. So what’s the move? Apparently it won’t be to replace him with another “higher-tier” reliever like Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon. Sounds great. Just bring back Jim Henderson or some other low impact arm and get it over with already.

Showcase Showdown:

Greg Holland would be a great guy to take a flier on. I’m shocked we sent a scout to see him. I’m guessing the scout got right back on the plane once he found out it’ll take more than a spring invite to sign Holland.

Improve Catching by Doing Nothing:

Travis d’Arnaud was terrible last year. Kevin Plawecki has shown nothing at all in two seasons filling in for Travis. Rene Rivera was a great receiver but can barely hit over .200. What’s our plan to improve at the catching position? Apparently we’re going to pray that the results change with the same personnel. Exciting stuff.

Offseason Just Started But…

So far there’s been no surprises in Mets land. I already wrote about the Mets annual Cold Stove and the fact that Sandy is just hoping to double down with the same roster in 2017. The Cold Stove reality was reinforced when it was reported that the Mets are unlikely to make a splash if Yo departs via free agency. I’m still crossing my fingers for some Mets’ offseason fireworks. But for now it looks like we’re just “interested” in everything and planning to do almost nothing as usual.