Results tagged ‘ Sandy Alderson ’

Josh Edgin weighing Tommy John surgery

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mets left-hander Josh Edgin is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery, which would force him to miss the entire season.

Edgin returned to Mets camp Thursday from New York, where orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Altchek diagnosed him with a stretched ligament and a bony mass in his left elbow, according to general manager Sandy Alderson. Edgin will spend the next few days deciding if he wants to attempt a rehab program or undergo surgery, which would sideline him until 2016.

“It’s disappointing, yes,” Edgin said. “Actually, really disappointing. We’re going to have a great year this year, whether it’s with me or without me.”

If Edgin opts for rehab, he will still open the season on the disabled list. But he could contribute as soon as April, with the caveat that the stretched ligament and bony mass will still exist — perhaps portending future injury. Surgery would knock Edgin out for the season, but theoretically fix the problem for good.

“It’s not a black-and-white situation,” Alderson said. “There’s a certain amount of gray area here that requires some judgment on the physician’s part, as well as Josh deciding exactly how he wants to approach it.

“We’re going to let Josh sort through the information. We’ve talked about it and we’ve talked with the doctor. But look, I’m not the patient. I’m not the person who’s got the injury or the career in front of it.”

To that end, Edgin said he is considering “wife, kids, future, teammates, a lot of stuff” as he weighs both options. Understanding that Tommy John surgery “has a great outlook on it,” with most patients recovering all of their velocity within one year, Edgin also wants to pitch.

A former 30th-round Draft pick in 2010, Edgin, 28, grew up on a farm in Three Springs, Pa., receiving a $2,000 bonus as the 902nd player chosen that year. He blazed through the Mets’ system from there, coming to camp last month all but guaranteed a job for the first time. Now, Edgin is facing a decision that will significantly affect his career either way.

“Whatever I choose to do, I’m going to go at it 100 percent,” Edgin said.

Like most clubs, the Mets have had multiple big leaguers undergo Tommy John surgery in recent seasons. Most famously, Matt Harvey underwent the procedure in Oct. 2013 and is due to make his regular-season return in April. Closer Bobby Parnell had Tommy John surgery in April 2014 and is also due back this year, either in late April and early May. Right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who appeared in 50 games for the Mets from 2012-13, underwent his second Tommy John procedure last October and will miss this entire season.

Harvey initially considered rehab before consenting to surgery. Across town, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka is undergoing a rehab program in lieu of Tommy John. But both of those players had partial tears of their ulnar collateral ligaments; Edgin’s ligament is stretched like a loose rubber band, not torn, and Alderson indicated that rehab alone is not capable of tightening it.

If Edgin does miss significant time, the primary candidates to replace him are Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez and Scott Rice, all left-handers. Jack Leathersich is also on the team’s radar, but remains an unlikely option given his control issues. Starting pitching prospect Steven Matz is not a bullpen candidate at this time.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Why the Mets stood pat at the Trade Deadline

I’ll let Sandy Alderson dictate:

“There was some activity. Nothing came to fruition. There were some proposals that we made that were not acceptable and some made to us that we didn’t feel were reasonable. And so, while we were active in conversations, although not super active, we just didn’t make any deals. I think going in we didn’t intend to be sellers and we didn’t intend to be buyers necessarily. We were looking at the market and what it would dictate. We set a price on some of our players. And, under the circumstances, they weren’t met. So be it. We’re happy with the team that we have. We’re happy we retained all of our players. And we’re looking forward to the last 60 or so games of the season.

“The question of improving the club is certainly a legitimate one. In order to potentially improve the club some significant way, as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to have been prepared to deal some of our young pitching. At this particular stage, we’re not prepared to do that, at least in the deals that were presented or were available to us. I actually think that if we’re going to trade some of our young prospects, that we’re probably better off doing that in the offseason. We have a known commodity in those prospects, I think a recognizable group of prospect assets in the game. In some way, we don’t want to limit ourselves to the options that are available now, as opposed to what we think may be available in the offseason. That leaves you with some sort of an incremental improvement. We just didn’t see that out there. So we were alert to the possibility, but we didn’t feel the opportunity presented itself.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Alderson: “It’s got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances”

General manager Sandy Alderson spoke in depth today about Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, calling it unlikely that his Mets swing a deal between then and now. The highlights:

alderson2What will happen before Thursday afternoon?
“It’s very difficult to say. Had I to make a guess, I would say nothing will happen. But you never know what’s going to transpire in the next three days or so. Clubs that may be having conversations elsewhere circle back based on what they think their options might be. So I’d say we have an opportunity to do a thing or two, but we’re not inclined to at this point. It’s speculation, but I wouldn’t bet on something happening before the deadline.”

How do you assess the Deadline in context of the club’s recent play?
“We were 8-2 at home, and turned around at least for the moment the perception that we don’t play well at home. We were 1-3 on that road trip and finished 4-2, so not totally happy with 5-5 coming back so we’re still right there, but we need to start making up ground on .500. If we can do that, then we can start thinking about some of the other teams in our division and the league. We were challenged offensively on that trip, but by and large we pitched pretty well and that was encouraging. Lucas Duda was outstanding on that trip. You know, when I say it’s unlikely that we’ll do anything, we’re not anxious to be sellers. We’re cautious about being buyers. But we’ll see.”

You’re not sitting on any potential deal right now?
“It’s not clear that there’s something out there, but whatever may be out there may be prohibitive in terms of — I don’t want to say cost, because that suggest a financial component, but in any deal the cost is financial and prospects. Both currencies are important, and right now we like some of the players we have in our system.”

In general, have you been talking about buying or selling?
“Anybody who’s offering us a potential upgrade on our current roster is looking at our young pitching. And from the standpoint of those interested in our veteran players, we’re offering prospects. We’re in that position where we really don’t want to give up prospects, but we’re not anxious to trade for guys that can’t help us nearer-term. That may lead us to more of a status quo situation.”

At some point, would you be willing to splurge prospects on a blockbuster trade?
“That’s a possibility. In fact, to me that sounds more desirable than inching your way there, giving up prospects in more cautious transactions. So I wouldn’t rule that out. But it’s got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/25

What we learned: Jenrry Mejia could make the Mets on a technicality, with the team concerned about Jon Niese’s health … both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will be on the Opening Day roster.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“Performances matter. I think last year was a small sample. This year is an almost equal sample, so I think we have to take everything into account. We’re not ignoring Spring Training performance.” –General manager Sandy Alderson on Vic Black

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/12

What we learned: Despite the opposite strategy unfolding in Atlanta, the Mets are not about to fill a major hole by making a free agent splash late in spring.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I’m not interpreting it in terms of our situation. I don’t know that we have a situation here.” –GM Sandy Alderson on the Braves’ deal with Santana

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Mets Spring Training: Week 1 in review

The first calendar week of camp is complete, with Mets pitchers, catchers and position players all on the premises. Here’s a recap of what went down in Week 1:

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“It’s hard seeing all the guys, seeing them put their uniforms on and realizing that Spring Training is going to go a little differently this year,” Harvey said during his first day in camp. “Today has definitely been a little bit of a struggle.”

  • Mets doctors later cleared Harvey to throw a baseball for the first time since surgery, which he did Saturday.

“There’s always a conversation on [the payroll]. It’s not something that [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] can just go out and do whatever he wants, but yes we’ve had multiple conversations, and we’ve had the ability to go after some guys that I don’t think anybody knew we were going after. They didn’t all hit, but we did try, and those all would have expanded the payroll above where we are now.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 2/21

We’re officially a full week into Spring Training and there’s no controversy here in Florida. No major news stories, either. Is this really a Mets camp?

dicekautographs

What we learned: The Mets are instructing all catchers in their organization not to block home plate, regardless of whether Major League Baseball ratifies a new rule prohibiting plate collisions. General manager Sandy Alderson personally demonstrated proper protocol to his catchers. … No Mets player experienced a visa issue for the first time since 2010. All 64 players are officially in camp.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“Say, for example, it’s Game 6 of the World Series and I’m told I can’t block the plate. Well, my instincts are going to tell me to save that run being scored. That’s part of the game that every catcher enjoys. It’s our thrill, like the infielder making a diving play in the hole and throwing someone out from his knees.” –Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud on MLB’s pending collision rule

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Shortstop not necessarily dead for Mets’ Flores

Wilmer Flores has not played his natural position of shortstop professionally in the United States since 2011, when he was 19 years old. Despite the Mets’ clear weakness at that position, Flores’ name does not typically surface in discussions about it. And for good reason — the Mets have no immediate plans to use him there, in part because of the lack of mobility that scouts have long predicted for him.

But the notion of trying Flores at shortstop is not permanently dead. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this week that if Flores’ winter conditioning program pays the type of dividends the team hopes, it’s possible he could receive some reps at the position this spring.

“I don’t think we’d rule it out,” Alderson said in a telephone interview. “Why should we? I think we have to see how Spring Training plays out for him — is there going to be a spot for him in the lineup? Is there not? Is he going to be a bench player for us? Is he going to go to Las Vegas?”

Alderson pointed several times to the team-supervised conditioning program Flores attended in Michigan this winter alongside Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and several Mets prospects. This was the first winter of his career that Flores spent significant time focusing on his overall health rather than his baseball skills, according to the GM.

“I don’t want to place too much stock on four weeks of conditioning, but this is a guy who’s never really had the opportunity to develop himself physically the way players here in the United States do, who have a season and then an offseason,” Alderson said. “He’s never had an offseason. He’s always played. So this is a different type of offseason for him — one in which he’s been able to invest in his career. We’ll see how it pays off for him.

“I wouldn’t say [Flores to shortstop] is dead. I think that one of the things we want to see is how well he has done with his training regimen in Michigan. Before this offseason, I’m not sure he ever had any sort of structured, regimented conditioning program. The work that they have done on speed and agility and quickness, etc., may have an impact on his ability to play certain positions — including second base and conceivably even shortstop. But right now, that’s all speculation.”

Flores, who signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old international free agent in 2007, played shortstop exclusively over the first four years of his Minor League career. In 2012, he shifted to third base, before playing mostly second last year — partially an organizational response to third baseman David Wright signing an eight-year contract that runs through 2020.

Along the way, scouts have continually pegged Flores as a corner infielder, skeptical that his limited mobility would allow him to play a middle infield or corner outfield spot. But Flores held his own at second despite a nagging ankle injury, and Alderson is curious to see how he responds after two intensive fitness sessions near Ann Arbor, Mich.

“It became clear, if you watched him play last year and run the bases … that [conditioning] was an area that needed to improve,” Alderson said. “Since he’d never done any conditioning at all, you say to yourself, ‘Gee, there may be substantial opportunity for improvement. Let’s see what happens. Let’s try it.’ And that’s what we’ve done. We won’t know the benefits of that until we get down to Spring Training.”

What the Mets do know is that they are thin at shortstop, with Tejada coming off a below-replacement level season, free agent Stephen Drew a long-shot to sign and no high-ceilinged prospects on the immediate horizon. Flores, by contrast, revived his own prospect status with a breakout offensive year in 2012, carrying that wave all the way to the Majors in 2013.

“Is he definitely not a shortstop? I try not to say anybody’s definitely not something,” Alderson said. “We tried Duda [a natural first baseman] in left field. There’s no reason why we can’t try other players at positions where at first blush you’d say, ‘No, that’s not possible.’”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Top five Mets Cetera posts of 2013

With the year winding down, it’s time to take a look back at the top five Mets Cetera posts of the year, in terms of total traffic:

metsceteraharvey5. Mid-July was All-Star season in New York, and it just so happened to coincide with the height of Matt Harvey’s rapid-rise fame. We linked to a skit that Harvey did on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, seeing how many so-called Mets fans recognized their newest and brightest superstar.

metsceteraoutfield4. Last offseason, Sandy Alderson famously poked fun at his team when he quipped, “What outfield?” in response to a question. By the end of July, Alderson had changed his tune so completely that he called the Mets “maybe the most productive outfield in baseball.” We investigated his claim.

metsceteracurse3. Just last week, we revisited the Curse of Kris Kringle that has haunted the Mets at their annual holiday party for the better part of a decade. Well aware of the curse’s history — Kris BensonMike Cameron and even Wright have been among the victims — Daniel Murphy suited up as St. Nick.

metsceterawright22. As usual, David Wright was a popular figure in 2013. In March, we held a Twitter contest for fans to create their best “Captain America” photoshop mock-ups. The winner, from @Miss_Met, featured the captain in full regalia on a DVD cover. The runners-up were nearly as impressive.

metsceterawright1. In December, we took a look back at Wright’s eight-year, $138-million contract and what he might have made as a free agent this winter. The consensus? You’ll have to click and see. But here’s a hint: it’s closer to Robinson Cano’s 10-year, $240-million deal than you might expect.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

David Wright, the $200-million player that could have been?

When the Mets flew David Wright to the Winter Meetings last year to finalize his eight-year, $138-million contract, they did so without assurances of what the deal would look like in the future. Injury and performance aside, it was impossible to predict how the market would shake out, and how Wright’s $138 million would stack up.

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A year later, it’s clear that the Mets inked Wright for far less than he could have made on the open market this winter, when he would have been a free agent for the first time in his career. Just look at some of the position player deals that have been done:

  • Ten years, $240 million from the Mariners for second baseman Robinson Cano
  • Seven years, $153 million from the Yankees for outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Five years, $85 million from the Yankees for catcher Brian McCann
  • Four years, $60 million from the Mets for outfielder Curtis Granderson

Though none of those players are terrific comps for Wright, they serve to demonstrate how much players are currently worth on the open market.

With that in mind, I spent some time at the Winter Meetings informally surveying a handful of executives and agents, asking them what Wright could have received as a free agent. The answers did not dip below $170 million, rising as high as $200 million.

One person suggested tacking $5 million per year onto Wright’s existing deal, resulting in an eight-year, $178-million pact. Another said that Wright probably would have been able to push for a 10-year deal, which would have taken him through his age-39 season. Two suits budgeted $200 million on the dot — a number that only five players in history have earned in a single contract: Alex Rodriguez (twice), Cano, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Prince Fielder. On more than one occasion, Wright’s squeaky-clean franchise cornerstone reputation came up as a potential negotiating platform.

Imagine those numbers in the context of the Mets’ rebuilding efforts. Even if Wright fell short of that $200 million mark, his $170+ million value might have forced the Mets to reconsider their commitment. Market factors alone could have transformed franchise history.

Wright knew he would be taking a discount to sign with the Mets a year before hitting free agency, but he still did it because he knew New York was where he wanted to be. (Recall that Wright shaped his deal like a bell curve to help the Mets retain present and future payroll flexibility.) He and the Mets are both happy things worked out the way they did.

But the rest of baseball was left wondering what Wright would have received on the open market had — like so many others — he chosen to play for the highest bidder.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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