Results tagged ‘ Jose Reyes ’

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 2/26

A touch of bad news out of Mets camp today, when the team sent Jon Niese home for an MRI on his left shoulder. The image below is from photo day, an annual rite of spring:

photoday

What we learned: Niese is spending the night in New York, where he will undergo an MRI on his sore left shoulder Friday. The Mets’ presumptive Opening Day starter, Niese told MLB.com that he does “not foresee it being serious at all.”

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“A stud.” –Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, when asked to describe Noah Syndergaard in a single word

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Ruben hoping to be more like Jose

Ruben Tejada stopped by Flushing today in good shape and good spirits, eager to get going for the season. He took batting practice at Citi Field and plans to report to Spring Training on Saturday, eight days early, which should please Terry Collins just fine.

tejadajoggingSpending the past week and a half working out on Long Island with a group of local big leaguers and prospects, Tejada spent time with Jose Reyes, who helped his former teammate tweak his baserunning technique. Though Tejada said he is willing to bat anywhere in the lineup this season, he hopes to lead off — and believes stealing more bases may be the ticket to doing so.

“We talked about everything,” Tejada said. “In practice, I tried to learn a lot about running the bases, stealing more bases.”

Leadoff or not, Tejada has no competition this spring for the starting shortstop job. The Mets hope only that he proves strong and well-conditioned enough to give them upwards of 150 games at the position.

Tejada hit .289 with a .333 on-base percentage in 114 games last season, missing significant time early in the year with a right quad strain. Still just 23, he has two career homers and 11 stolen bases in 1,132 plate appearances.

Unlike Reyes, Tejada does not possess elite foot speed. But scouts do laud his baseball instincts, which can be every bit as important as speed when it comes to stealing bases.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Wright closing in on franchise hits mark

Six hits shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s all-time franchise hits record, David Wright spoke Wednesday about what it will mean to pass Kranepool:

“I hope I get there,” Wright said. “It’s been a grind lately. But it’s something I’m really, really proud about. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it much more when I’m done playing and can kind of look back. But as of now, it’s difficult to sit back and truly enjoy it or pat yourself on the back because of the position we’ve put ourselves in in the second half. But obviously it’s humbling and very exciting to be able to break some of these team records. I’m very proud of that.”

Asked about his relationship with Kranepool, Wright said: “He’s out here somewhat frequently so I get a chance to talk to him. It’s nice, some of these players that come back, including Ed, to get to know and understand the history of the organization. He always has really nice things to say to me. He’s always very encouraging. Obviously that’s nice when some of these former players come back and are as helpful and encouraging as Ed is.”

Here’s where Wright ranks all-time on several of the team’s major offensive lists:

Hits
1. Ed Kranepool, 1,418
2. David Wright, 1,4,12

Home runs
1. Darryl Strawberry, 252
2. Mike Piazza, 220
3. David Wright, 200

RBI
1. David Wright, 806
2. Darryl Strawberry, 733

Runs
1. David Wright, 782
2. Jose Reyes, 735

Doubles
1. David Wright, 321
2. Ed Kranepool, 225

At-bats
1. Ed Kranepool, 5,436
2. David Wright, 4,690

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/15

So the Mets finally got a glimpse of old friend Jose Reyes today, playing his Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. You can read about that on Mets.com and Marlins.com.

I also caught up with Frank Viola III, son of the former Cy Young award winner who, with the help of R.A. Dickey, is trying to revive his career with the knuckleball. That story is here.

I’m taking a long weekend off, so don’t expect any updates on Mets Cetera until Tuesday. But I’ll be back in full force then, bringing you all the news from the second half of Mets Spring Training.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 2/26

A rare cloudy day did not stop Johan Santana from throwing an “up-and-down” bullpen session on Sunday, simulating game conditions (pictures below). Santana will throw twice next week, once off flat ground, in preparation for his first Grapefruit League start on March 6. From there, his April 5 assignment against the Braves will be in sight.

One other interesting note today revolved around David Wright and his friendship with Ryan Zimmerman, who just inked a six-year, $100 million contract extension with the Nationals. The deal could — but probably won’t — have implications for Wright’s own financial dealings in the future, even if he’s not too keen on talking about it now.

Today’s main story, of course, revolved around shortstop Ruben Tejada finally reporting to camp after manager Terry Collins called him out this week for not arriving early. The two smoothed things over early this morning, freeing Tejada to go about the business of replacing Jose Reyes.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Alderson gets down to business

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson appeared on FOX Business’s “After the Bell” this afternoon, answering questions on a variety of financial topics [Video here]. Here’s the full transcript, courtesy FOX Business:

LIZ CLAMAN, ANCHOR, AFTER THE BELL:  The owners of the cash-strapped New York Mets getting a $40 million loan to help finance the team while they try to raise cash by selling minority stakes in the franchise.

And with the wounds of losing star player Jose Reyes to the Marlins earlier this month still somewhat fresh, we have the man who can tell us what this latest round of financing means for the future of the team.  We’re proud to involve here New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, joining us now in a FOX Business exclusive.

Half this building are Mets fans.  “How did you get Alderson?”  And you’re here, but you’re here at a time where the word has come out that the team has taken a $40 million loan.  First, I just want to clarify when was that loan taken out?

SANDY ALDERSON: I’m not sure exactly.  I think it was sometime last month, about the time that the Major League baseball loan was extended.  But as I said earlier, maybe a week or 10 days ago, the Mets lost a lot of money last year.

CLAMAN: $70 million.

ALDERSON: Yes, it’s not surprising to make up for those losses, either you put money in equity or you take out some additional loans.  I think, in this case, a bridge (ph) loan was probably the right idea.

CLAMAN: And there was a $25 million loan last year.  So the appropriate question really is to ask are the Mets financially sound, Sandy?

ALDERSON: Yes, I think with this infusion of cash, together with the possibility, I think the likelihood — strong likelihood in the next two or three months, that there will be additional investors in Mets’ ownership, that, you know, we should be good to go over the next couple of years.

CLAMAN: Well, you’re talking about minority stakes being parceled out.  Are you close to announcing any kind of those deals?

ALDERSON: Well, I’m the general manager, which means that I focus all of my attention on the field, and I spend my time with the players and the team.  So from that standpoint, I’m probably not the best spokesman, but as far as I understand, I think things are moving forward and expect a successful investment closure.

CLAMAN: Well, one of the big stories was that lost Jose Reyes, the very big player, to the Marlins, $106 million multiyear deal for him.  First of all, did that surprise you, that amount of money being thrown around for a ball player at this point (ph)?

ALDERSON: No, not really.  You know, what ends up happening is that different owners have different motivations, and in this particular case, they’re opening a new ballpark.  And they expect or hope that their revenues will increase so they put a quality team on the field.  So I’m not surprised they went after Jose.

CLAMAN: Well, you say you’re in charge of looking at everything that’s on the field. David Wright’s on the field. Will you fight to keep him, at least?

ALDERSON: Yes, I think David’s going to be with us for a while, so I wouldn’t worry about losing David and Jose in the same year.

CLAMAN: So, David Wright, probably staying?

ALDERSON: I think so.

CLAMAN: OK.  And I know it’s inside baseball, so to speak, when you talk about the players.  But this all leads to big questions that come out in that movie, “Moneyball,” for example, that you can build a winning team with less expensive players.  I don’t want to say cheaper, but less expensive players.

Is that going to be what the Mets have to do?

ALDERSON: Well, I think, first of all, that “Moneyball” was about finding value.  And whether that was finding value at lower prices, or finding value in players that command higher salaries, the same point is made.  You know, we need to make good decisions with respect to players that don’t make a lot of money, but we need to make good decisions with respect to players who do.

And if we invest lots of money in high-salary players, we need to be right most of the time, just as we need to be right when we spend fewer dollars.

CLAMAN: Well, all of this money that’s thrown around tends to sometimes destabilize a team, because they don’t have enough money to actually run the operations, and people look at these loans that the Mets have taken out.  And I think that there’s a fair question being thrown around, and that is are the Mets in peril of not meeting payroll?

ALDERSON: Oh, no.  That’s not an issue.

CLAMAN: That is not an issue?

ALDERSON: No, absolutely…

CLAMAN: 100 percent?

ALDERSON:  No.

CLAMAN:  So you wouldn’t fall to the same fate of the L.A. Dodgers, where MLB had to come in and seize the team?

ALDERSON: No. I think that had to do with a completely different set of circumstances, where some of the money was being moved out of the franchise, and being used for other personal reasons.  I think this is an entirely different situation.

But as I said, I think with the successful infusion of capital from new investors, you know, we’ll be in good shape.

CLAMAN: Is this the World Series team in 2012?  Or is this a rebuilding year, as (inaudible)?

ALDERSON:  Well, 2012, we won’t be favored in the National League East.  The National League East is pretty stacked, and probably the toughest division in baseball at this point.

But we’re going to be fun to watch, and you know, the nice thing about baseball is that anything can happen.  It’s not necessarily the highest payroll that wins.  It’s very often somebody who’s put together a team, based on not just resources but also quality decisions.  Teams like Tampa Bay are a good example of that, and certainly it can happen here, too.

CLAMAN:  Well, FOX knows all about underdogs winning.  So it can happen.

ALDERSON:  All right.

CLAMAN:  Sandy Alderson, the Mets general manager.  Have a great season.

ALDERSON:  All right.  Thanks very much.

CLAMAN:  Thank you very much.  Oh, and by the way, David — spring training February 16th?

ALDERSON:  15th, 16th, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CLAMAN:  February 15th…

DAVID ASMAN, ANCHOR, AFTER THE BELL:  … birthday, OK.  And it has happened, by the way.  I remember well the amazing Mets.  They can do pretty much anything if they set their mind to it.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Reyes’ contract details with Miami

Wondering just how sweet Florida’s offer was to Jose Reyes? Below are the full details of his new deal, including bonuses:

Salary breakdown:

2012: $10 million
2013: $10 million
2014: $16 million
2015: $22 million
2016: $22 million
2017: $22 million

2018:  $22 million club option or $4 million buyout.

Total value: $106 million, or $124 million if seventh-year option is exercised.

Incentives:

MVP: $500,000
World Series MVP: $1 million
LCS MVP: $250,000
Silver Slugger: $100,000
All-Star selection: $50,000
Gold Glove: $50,000

Extras:

  • Reyes will donate $176,666 per year to charity.
  • He will receive a personal suite both on the road and at home.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

World Baseball Classic to expand to 28 teams

The World Baseball Classic announced its plan Wednesday morning to expand from 16 to 28 teams in 2013 through use of a qualifying round. The expansion will give more players an opportunity to play in the tournament, though fewer big leaguers may actually qualify for to the round of 16 — and it’s not yet clear exactly when in the fall of 2012 the preliminary games will be played. Among the teams that now have to qualify for the tournament are Canada and Panama, which could affect Mets players Jason Bay and Ruben Tejada if they choose to participate in the event.

Here’s a list of participating countries and those Major League Mets who participated in the 2009 event:

Automatic Qualifiers
1. Dominican Republic (Jose Reyes)
2. Mexico (Scott Hairston)
3. Puerto Rico (Carlos Beltran)
4. United States (David Wright)
5. Venezuela (Francisco Rodriguez)

Qualifying Round Invitees
1. Canada (Jason Bay)
2. Panama (Ruben Tejada)

*Note: Angel Pagan (Puerto Rico) and Johan Santana (Venezuela) did not participate due to injuries.

—-Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Fred Wilpon and baseball ops

I tend to look at things through the prism of baseball. I enjoy the game, the people and the stories; the extraneous stuff that sometimes pops up does not interest me.

So when I read Fred Wilpon’s critical comments in today’s New Yorker magazine (see previous post), my mind turned immediately of their effect on the team’s baseball operations. The three stars Wilpon criticized — Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and David Wright — are all trade candidates for the Mets this summer. Reyes and Beltran in particular are likely to be gone before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

So why would the owner of the team come out and disparage those three players, calling Wright “not a superstar,” referring to Beltran “sixty-five to seventy percent of what he was” and saying that Reyes “had everything wrong with him”?

Now, shred general managers can flaunt those comments in front of the Mets when they look to extract value from their stars this summer. That premium package for Reyes may lose some of its luster in light of the team’s self-deprecation. The Mets may have just given other clubs reason to lower their offers for Beltran, as well. And what about Wright, who remains under contract for two more seasons? Will he be as willing to stick around long-term?

Judge Wilpon as a person if you must. More damaging to the Mets may be the effects of his comments on the team.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Where will you go, Jose Reyes?

Welcome to speculation season. Various reports Wednesday pegged San Francisco as a possible trade destination for Mets shortstop Jose Reyes — which it is. But the reigning World Series champions are hardly alone in their desire. To nab Reyes at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, a team must be both in contention and in need of a shortstop — a rare combination that eliminates two-thirds of the league at first glance.

Below is the remaining one-third, in no particular order:

Team: Giants
Current SS: Miguel Tejada

The Giants have a clear need with an anemic offense, no true leadoff hitter, and an aging and unproductive starting shortstop in Tejada. Hardly a Moneyball disciple, general manager Brian Sabean is also unlikely to fret over Reyes’ history of low on-base percentages. But if a bidding war is in the offing, the Giants may fall short — their farm system remains thin beyond top first base prospect Brandon Belt.

Team: Brewers
Current SS: Yuniesky Betancourt

The Brewers could use someone to set the table for sluggers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. But they also have greater needs — pitching, anyone? — and if they fall out of the race in the NL Central, the small-market Brewers are liable to turn into sellers themselves.  Like the Giants, they also have a weak farm system, widely considered to be the league’s worst.

Team: Cardinals
Current SS: Ryan Theriot

Acquiring Reyes would allow the Cardinals to shift Theriot down in the lineup and over to second base, improving their team in more ways than one. But they already have four dynamic offensive players in Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and Colby Rasmus; like the Brewers, the Cards may be more interested in shoring up their rotation.

Team: Reds
Current SS: Paul Janish

Put Reyes in Cincinnati, and the Reds suddenly become clear favorites to repeat as NL Central champions. But given their rotation struggles, they may also mirror their division rivals, the Cardinals, in prioritizing a pitcher.

Team: Dodgers
Current SS: Jamey Carroll

It’s unclear how Major League Baseball’s takeover of the Dodgers’ day-to-day operations will affect their ability to take on salary at the deadline. If the Dodgers can indeed spend, they’d be an ideal trade partner for the Mets: a big-market team with playoff aspirations, a glaring lack of middle infield punch and a strong-enough farm system.

Team: Tigers
Current SS: Jhonny Peralta

As in St. Louis, acquiring Reyes would allow the Tigers to shift their current shortstop to second base. But if former top prospect Scott Sizemore pans out in Detroit, the Tigers may be more inclined to allocate their resources elsewhere. A big outfield bat may be a more pressing concern.

Team: Angels
Current SS: Erick Aybar

As long as the Angels remain unwilling to expose young center fielder Peter Bourjos to the leadoff spot, they could use a player such as Reyes. Their need is not glaring. But Reyes could be enough to vault them past the Rangers in a crowded AL West, and the Angels possess a deep enough cache of prospects to outbid almost anyone.

Team: A’s
Current SS: Cliff Pennington

A longshot, considering the team’s perennial small payroll and general manager Billy Beane’s affinity for on-base percentage. But Reyes would still represent a major upgrade over Pennington by any measurement, and the A’s do have the ability to take on some payroll. If they’re in serious contention come July, it’s not impossible.

Team: Twins
Current SS: Alexi Casilla

It’s clear the Twins are in need of an offensive jolt, and it’s clear that Reyes would be a major upgrade over Casilla. But after adding significant payroll in recent years by signing several key players to long-term contracts, they would the Twins would be unlikely to pursue Reyes in free agency. That makes a trade for the shortstop unlikely, as well.

Team: Red Sox
Current SS: Jed Lowrie

If Lowrie continues to produce at his current clip, this may be a moot point. But the Red Sox are never shy about trading for top talent, and despite the Adrian Gonzalez trade, they still have several intriguing arms in their system. Toss their deep pockets into the equation and they could be a match.

Team: Yankees
Current SS: Derek Jeter

It doesn’t make sense. But it’s the Yankees. Don’t ever count them out, ever.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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