Hot Stove - 11-24-17


The Baltimore Orioles just doesn't seem to enjoy participating in the International signing bonus period... they traded international money ($500K) for the eight time since July 2nd, sending these bucks to Colorado for RHP Konner Wade.

Six Toronto prospects were busted last week for PEDs. Sounds like a hell of a party. That makes it 13 in two years.

Arizona stretched out RP Archie Bradley (73-IP, 1.73, 9.7-K/9) to become a starter next season.

Miami signs IF Yadiel Rivera.

The LAD released Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez (AA: .306/.366/.498 - ???


11/23 & 11/24 Winter League Results | Uriarte Returns to Backup Role, Becerra's Struggles Continue, Turkey Day Bomb for Carrillo


November 22nd

Arizona Fall League

- Completed on November 18th
(Recap can be found here.) 

Mexican Pacific League
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 1 - 4 Tomateros de Culiacan
- Mayos de Navojoa 3 - 4 Venados de Mazatlan [11 innings]
- Caneros de los Mochis 2 - 4 Yaquis de Obregon

  • PR Juan Uriarte: Run Scored [Starting C Sebastian Valle has been reactivated which sends Uriarte back to the bench]
- Charros de Jalisco 9 - 2 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 1 for 3, R, Error(3 | Throwing), 2 SB Allowed, 1 Runner Thrown Out

Venezuelan Winter League
- Bravos de Margarita 3 - 5 Cardenales de Lara
- Navegantes de Magallanes 5 - 1 Leones del Caracas
- Tiburones de La Guaira 0 - 1 Caribes de Anzoategui
- Aguilas del Zulia 0 - 1 Tigres de Aragua [Doubleheader- 7 innings]

  • RF Wuilmer Becerra: 0 for 3, K

- Aguilas del Zulia 8 - 2 Tigres de Aragua [Doubleheader- 7 innings]
  • RF Wuilmer Becerra: 0 for 2, K
  • RHP Wilfredo Boscan: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 K, Win(2-1)

Dominican Winter League
Gigantes del Cibao 3 - 1 Leones del Escogido
Toros del Este 2 - 4 Aguilas Cibaenas
Tigres del Licey 7 - 3 Estrellas Orientales
  • SS Gustavo Nunez: 2 for 4, 2 K

November 23rd

Mexican Pacific League
- Caneros de los Mochis 5 - 4 Yaquis de Obregon
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 13 - 1 Tomateros de Culiacan
- Mayos de Navojoa 4 - 1 Venados de Mazatlan
- Charros de Jalisco 0 - 9 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 1 for 3, R, HR(2), 3 RBI(12), BB

Venezuelan Winter League
- Aguilas del Zulia 5 - 0 Leones del Caracas
- Bravos de Margarita 10 - 5 Cardenales de Lara
- Tiburones de La Guaira 7 - 4 Caribes de Anzoategui
- Tigres de Aragua 8 - 4 Navegantes de Magallanes
  • RF Wuilmer Becerra: 1 for 4, R, K
  • RHP Alberto Baldonado: 0.1 IP

Dominican Winter League
- No Games Sheduled

Tom Brennan - DRAFT DUDS: 2015-17


Tom Brennan - DRAFT DUDS 2015-17

In previous DRAFT DUDS articles, I covered the top 10 draft rounds' picks for each of the years 2008 thru 2014, identifying draft DUDS (what were the Mets thinking picking those guys) and DUDES (smart picks, whether they panned out).  Guys I identified as DUDS were far less a critique of the selected ballplayers and far more a criticism of those doing the picking.

In draft years 2015-17, all covered in this article, I went less detailed on the players, since if I am critical, these newbies don't need it.  So here goes:

2015 - an odd draft year where almost all players drafted in round 21-40 by the Mets went unsigned. Regardless of performance and injuries to date, I liked most of the Mets' top 10 picks this time around.  No first rounder, again, but I still like OF Desmond Lindsay in the 2nd round, the traded P Max Wotell in round 3 despite a terrible 2017 in his new organization, love the picks of 3B David Thompson and P Tom Szapucki in rounds 4 and 5, am OK with P Chase Ingram in round 6, thought P Corey Taylor, C Pat Mazeika, and OF Kevin Kaczmarski were very solid picks in rounds 7-9, and the luck ran out with P Witt Haggard in round 10.

After round 10, the selections of crafty lefty PJ Conlon in round 13, fine starter Jordan Humphreys in round 18, and fine hitting Anthony Domino in round 28 made for a quality DRAFT...except for that forfeited first round pick.

2016 - brought us 2 first round picks in Long Island pitchers Justin Dunn and Anthony Kay.  Not so good there so far, but very hopeful for 2018.  Pete Alonso was a great 2nd round slugger pick, but the rounds 3-5 and #10 round hitters picked (Blake Tiberi, Michael Paez, Colby Woodmansee and Gene Cone) I am disappointed with - so far...maybe 2018 is breakthrough time for each, but it seems like those crucial rounds' hitter selections could have been better.  
I want to see more power hitting drafted in these rounds.

The Mets went with pitchers in rounds 6 thru 9, and I like the Chris Viall (6), Austin McGeorge (7), and Colin Holderman (9) picks.  The fact that # 8 Placido Torres is already released speaks for itself.  Below the top 10, I like the 15th round pick of super speedy OF Jacob Damon, and a few relievers show some promise.

2017 - I like the David Peterson pick in round 1, as he may become a quality starter.  I also like 2nd round, 17 year old slugging IF Mark Vientos.  After that, time will tell, but I would have wanted more power bats and less relief arms drafted in rounds 3 thru 10.  May I be proven wrong and all of the 3 thru 10 round guys dazzle us in 2018.

My conclusion for draft years 2015 thru 2017 is that all 3 years were solid pitcher-wise, but the drafting of hitters could have been greatly enhanced by a greater emphasis on power bats.  Why power?

Because there are very few meaningful hitting roles at the major league level, and if a player lacks power, he already has strikes 1 and 2 against him, unless he has a true speed tool.  If hitters lack power, most times they are wasted picks in terms of meaningful future major league contribution.  Draft a power guy like a Paul Goldschmidt in the 8th round, or. Rhys Hoskins in the 5th round, and you may find you've gotten really lucky with that pick. DRAFT a low power guy?  Good luck, Harry.

My next article will recap my thoughts on 10 years of Mets drafting, 2008-2017.


Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving from the Mack family.

The site is closed today.

Go eat. 


Hot Stove - 11-22-17


Former Mets catcher, Juan Centeno, was placed on waivers by Houston.

Due to the International shenanigans by the Atlanta Braves, they have lost the rights to12 international prospects, including IF Kevin Maitan, C Abraham Guiterrez, SS Yunior Severino, RHP Juan Contreras, SS Livan Soto, RHP Yefri del Rosario and the work they have done to secure 14-year old SS Robert Puason.  

They also lost their 3rd round pick next draft and there has been severe limitations on the 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 international signing period. 

This is a big deal and now you know why Director Of Baseball Operations, John Hart, got out of town before baseball lowered the boom.

John Sickles has Maitan as the #13 prospect in the Braves pipeline (B/B-). 

Guiterrez and Severino received a C+ rating from Sickles. Del Rosario is rated C.

The MLB have authorized an agreement for the 'Japanese Babe Ruth', two-way star Shohei Ohtani, to play stateside: - 

When Ohtani chooses a team, it will pay a $20 million posting fee to Ohtani’s NPB team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. That figure was grandfathered from the previous posting agreement; in the future, Japanese teams will receive posting fees on a sliding scale, with 20 percent for contracts under $25 million, 17.5 percent on deals from $25 million to $50 million and 15 percent for bonuses above $50 million. Other issues expected to potentially affect future agreements bothered the union enough that it raised objections before ratifying the proposal.
     stop drooling Mets fans. Ain't gonna happen.

Jonathan Mayo outlined the who, what, and where the process would be to sign any of these players...

  • The players — who get to keep their original bonuses but cannot be represented by the agents that negotiated their original contracts — will be subject to international signing pool restrictions but are otherwise free to sign with any organization.

  • MLB teams will be allowed a fresh $200K of bonus pool space to work with to sign any of these prospects. They may elect to draw from either their current signing period pool allocation or that of the 2018-19 period (but not both).

  • All MLB teams but the Braves can sign the prospects between December 5th of this year and January 15th of the next. Any players that do not sign within that period will no longer be eligible to receive a signing bonus. The Braves are eligible to pursue any still-unsigned prospects (without a bonus offer) beginning on May 1, 2018.


Mack’s Apple’s – 11-23-17 - Noah Syndergaard, Eric Hanhold, Kenneth Bautista, Fredy Valdez, Manny Machado


Good morning.

Who can become baseball's next next superace ? -

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: It was a lost season for Syndergaard, who made five starts before going down with a lat tear (he returned to make two abbreviated appearances at the end of the season). He has said he learned a lesson from getting too muscular in his offseason workouts heading into 2017 and will scale back this winter. We know the upside: A 2.60 ERA over 183 innings in 2016 with a league-leading 2.29 FIP. In the 30 innings he did pitch this year, he fanned 34 and didn’t allow a home run. Aside from the raw stuff, his ability to limit home runs is a huge positive in this new era of home runs.

6-5 Eric Hanhold was identified as the ‘player to be named later’ in the trade of 2B Neil Walker to the Baltimore Orioles.

Hanhold is another right-handed reliever with a big arm, was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 draft, out of the University of Florida, by Milwaukee.
I never had this kid on my draft board because he pitched three years as a reliever for Florida and his best ERA was 4.20 (2014). He didn’t fare any better for Milwaukee, even when they converted him to a full-time starter in 2016 at the A+ level (19-starts, 2-12, 4.81).

He did turn it around a little last season (A-Carolina: 30-G, 3-starts, 8-3, 3.94, especially in the second half of the season where he posted a stat line of 1.53, 1.09-ERA.
I have him breaking camp with the Binghamton team this spring.

I talked earlier this week to Mets outfield prospect, Kenneth Bautista, down in Puerto Rico.

Bautista lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico and he told me that he is blessed to have his power on at him home. Not everyone is that lucky down there with the island still estimating that over 50% of the island is without power.

Bautista was a 25th round draft pick, in 2015, out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

The 19-year old hit .264/.383/.450/833 in 129-at bats for the GCL Mets last season. He had 43 strikeouts, but balanced that off with 22 walks.

I’ve got him going to Kingsport this spring.

Baseball America is reporting that the Mets are the favorite to sign 15-year old corner outfielder, Freddy Valdez. He’s 6-3 and known for his ’raw power’.


I find it very interesting that Baltimore hasn’t begun any extension discussions with 3B Manny Machado. He has one year left on his contract and it’s no big secret that the Orioles have plans to move him to shortstop so one of their prospects can take over the hot corner.

Let’s remember Machado was a top SHORTSTOP prospect in the minors and only moved to third because of team injuries at that position.

I can’t imagine the Orioles giving up on this guy, but I’ve seen many players with huge salary demands be dealt off before the team loses them anyway.

Could we get this guy for the 2018 season and beyond?

David Rubin says I’m nuts here and this guy would never sign a deal with the Mets. Rubin has good contacts, both at the team and league level, so he may be right, but, if it was possible, what could the Mets offer here?

You know how I hate projecting phantom trades, but Machado is worth the effort here.

The first thing the Mets would have to work out with Machado’s agent is a trade and extend deal, somewhere in 4-5 years attached to the 2018 commitment. Remember… Machado will only be 25 years old next season!

Machado will obviously cost $30+mil a season.

In addition, I would offer 4 players.

To start, either 3B David Thompson or SS Luis Guillorme. The Orioles would need some infield depth on that side of the field and they can decide what position they would like to fortify (I would hate to lose Luis, but baseball is first a business).

Next, an SP… I’d give them three…

One at the MLB level… Seth Lugo.

Next, a top high level prospect… they can pick one from Chris Flexen, Marcos Molina, or Corey Oswalt.

And last, a low level pitcher… either Thomas McIlraith or Jason Viera.

Is it enough to get him?

Well, it would first take Machado and the Mets to work out a new deal. If they could do that, this is a good haul for a team that is going to lose this guy anyway in a year.


NEW MET - OF Zach Borenstein


The Mets have signed corner outfielder, Zach Borenstein, to a minor league contract.

Borenstein was a 23rd round draft pick in 2011, out of East Illinois Univ., by the Los Angeles Angels.

He has played the last three seasons for Arizona. Last year, at AAA-Reno (PCL), he hit: 384-AB, .279/.353/.573, with an OPS of 926 and 24-HRs and 91-RBIs (remember... this was only 384 at bats)

He was granted free agency on November 7th.

11/21/2017 Winter League Results | Becerra Back In the Line-Up, Albaladejo Knocked Around, 2 More Hits for Nunez


Arizona Fall League

- Completed on November 18th
(Recap can be found here.) 

Mexican Pacific League
- Caneros de los Mochis 0 - 1 Yaquis de Obregon
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 5 - 3 Tomateros de Culiacan
- Mayos de Navojoa 2 - 3 Venados de Mazatlan
- Charros de Jalisco 2 - 5 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 0 for 2, R, 2 BB, Error(2 | Fielding), 1 SB Allowed

Venezuelan Winter League
- Aguilas del Zulia 5 - 6 Tigres de Aragua
  • RF Wuilmer Becerra: 1 for 3, RBI(4), BB
  • RHP Alberto Baldonado: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K 
- Leones del Caracas 6 - 5 Tiburones de La Guaira
  • RHP Jonathan Albaladejo: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 3 K
  • LHP Kevin Canelon: 0.2 IP

Dominican Winter League
Aguilas Cibaenas 9 - 5 Tigres del Licey
Leones del Escogido 8 - 2 Toros del Este
Estrellas Orientales 4 - 9 Gigantes del Cibao
  • SS Gustavo Nunez: 2 for 4, 2B, BB

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Regular Season will start January 8th, 2018.


Reese Kaplan -- Gambling on the Rule V Draft


While a great many of us think we know a lot more about how to run a successful baseball franchise than do the people who are being paid to do so, the fact is that there are some difficult choices that will always leave the decisionmaker open to second guessing.  On Monday was one of those occasions when you watched the Mets decide who to retain on the 40-man roster, who to protect from the upcoming Rule V draft and who not to protect.  With a precious five spots available on the roster the Mets chose to shield just four from being exposed to changing teams. 

On the surface, that was a little surprising since in the lower minors the Mets have some talent that was worthy of consideration such as Adonis Uceta.  The calculated risk is that players who have not been above the A-ball level would likely not be picked by another club as it is a reasonable expectation they would not last the entire season on the receiving club’s major league roster. 

Of course, the flip side to that seemingly logical argument is that they chose to give one of those 40-man roster spots to A-ball hurler Gershon Bautista.  Here I think there was more afoot, primarily not wanting to wind up with egg on your face by losing a guy who put up some pretty gaudy numbers after coming over from the Red Sox as part of the Addison Reed deal. 

Tyler Bashlor is a bit more understandable as he did actually spend some time in Binghamton and is two years older and ostensibly more experienced than Bautista.  He also had a superior season overall, so there are no arguments from anyone for choosing to protect him.

Luis Guillorme has drawn parallels to Rey Ordonez for his magical glove.  He did hit well in the Arizona Fall League -- .289 to be precise -- which is actually right on par with his minor league career average of .285.  The problem with his game has been his anemic ability to drive the ball.  He has just 2 home runs in over 2000 plate appearances.  He had one outlier year in 2015 for Savannah when he stole 18 bases, but he has been at 6 or fewer in every other season.  As a comparison, Ordonez hit just .255 in the minors so perhaps there is a little more potential for a solid career.  Ordonez won 3 straight Gold Gloves and lasted 9 seasons.  I cruelly compared him to Ruben Tejada who was a .273 minor league hitter who, like Guillorme, stole some bases once upon a time but then seemingly gave up that part of his game.  He did manage to club 23 home runs over 2500 minor league plate appearances, so he was Ruthian by comparison to Guillorme.  Still, I can understand the logic of having a potential Gold Glove fielder who can offensively keep his head above water as a potential player in the future or a trade chip down the road.

It also makes perfect sense to protect your minor league pitcher of the year, Corey Oswalt, who put together a sensational season for Binghamton.  When you turn in an entire season with an ERA of just 2.28 that’s a no-brainer.

However, for a club that is seemingly forever pinching pennies, it would seem a good way to economize for the future and to build up your limited arsenal of trade chips would be to protect people who MIGHT be part of a long term solution rather than hanging onto those folks who have already shown that they are likely not. 

Towards that end, would outrighting Matt Reynolds or Josh Smoker or some others on the bubble have been a smarter decision?  That way even if an Ucetas or a Mickey Jannis don’t factor into your future plans in Queens, they’d still be guaranteed to be in the fold for trades down the road. 

Well, there is a silver lining to this puzzling strategy.  The Mets left one 40-man roster spot open.  That means either they could be scrap heap shopping when the Rule V draft occurs much like they did when they picked Sean Gilmartin a few years ago and were rewarded with a season of 50 game appearances and a 2.67 ERA. 

Of course, the more exciting aspect of the empty roster slot is the possibility of signing a free agent.  Don’t think Jake Arrieta or Wade Davis or J.D. Martinez.  Still, it will make for some good Hot Stove fodder until after the December winter meetings and Rule V draft conclude on December 13th

So what do you think of how the Mets handled their roster?


Hot Stove - 11-21-17


Mets and Tigers discussing possible trade for 2B Ian Kinsler...
$11mil in 2018... 9 straight years with positive DRS numbers at second... 2017: .725-OPS... 91/wRC+  - Kinsler would be a great one year fix until Luis Guillorme becomes ready in 2019

Former 2013 1.1 Draft Pick, RHP Mark Appel, DFA'dby the Phillies... 17 starts last year for AAA-Lehigh Valley: 5.27. 1.76. 

Trade:  Yankees send RHP Ronald Herrera to Texas for LHP Reiver Sanmartin. The Herrera move was designed to clear room on the Yankees' 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft. 

    Herrera's best 2017 numbers were at the AA level: 9-starts, 8-0, 1.13, 0.82

    Samartin rose to A ball in 2017: 7-G, 6-ST, 4-1, 2.62

Toronto outright former top outfield prospect, Harold Ramirez. The 23-year old Ramirez hit .260/.320/.358 in AA ball last season.

Cleveland DFA's RHRP Dylan Baker... 2017: AA - 13-G, 2.84

Trade: Yankees  trade IB Garrett Cooper and LHP Caleb Smith to Miami for RHP Michael King and International signing bonus pool money

    2017 - 

    Cooper - AAA: .366, 17-HR, 82-RBI

    Smith - AAA: 18-G, 9-1, 2.39, 1.05

    King - A:  26-G, 25-starts, 3.14, 1.09
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