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Ranking the 10 Worst Acquisitions in New York Mets History

Since joining the league in 1962, the New York Mets have excelled at making some of the worst player acquisitions in baseball history.

Due to mismanagement, front-office ineptitude, poor player development and a myriad of other reasons, the Mets have always seemed a step behind other teams in player evaluation. As a result, some of the trades and free-agent acquisitions over the years have been disastrous.

Mets fans, grab some ice cream. Here are the 10 worst trade or free-agent acquisitions in Mets history.

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Breaking Down the Value of the New York Mets’ Dillon Gee

After joining the league in 2010, Dillon Gee has quietly developed into one of the most reliable pitchers on the New York Mets.

Gee does not light up the radar gun, or New York newspaper headlines, like a Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler. Instead, the 21st-round pick relies on movement, consistency and a superb changeup that manager Terry Collins calls “as good as anybody’s in baseball,” per Anthony Mccarron of the New York Daily News.

In the last year, Gee has learned to maximize his abilities and has been consistently pitching like an ace.

Last year, on May 30, Gee shut down the New York Yankees in an impressive 12-strikeout victory. Since then, Gee has made 29 more starts, almost a full season’s worth, compiling a 2.72 ERA over that span. The only pitchers to post a better ERA in that span are Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Yu Darvish, Julio Teheran, Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright.

Not a bad list to be associated with.

This year, the 28-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in eight starts. Since giving up five home runs in his first three starts, Gee has given up just one in his last five starts. His current ERA and WHIP would rank in the top 20 and top 10 in the majors, respectively.

More impressively, the Mets are paying Gee just $3.625 million this season.

For that price, the Mets have a reliable pitcher who gets the job done each game. Gee has yet to go fewer than 5.2 innings or give up more than four earned runs in any game this season.

Interestingly, Gee is producing more balls in play this season yet still achieving the same results. Look at the below chart comparing Gee’s advanced metrics over the last three seasons:

(Note: LD% = line drive percentage, H/9 = hits per nine innings, O-Contact% = contact percentage on pitches outside strike zone)

This year, Gee is generating much more contact, especially outside the strike zone, but giving up proportionally the same amount of line drives and more infield fly balls (IFFB). But the most impressive feat is that Gee’s hits per nine innings has dropped considerably despite the increased contact rate.

Gee’s batting average on balls in play (BABIP) has plummeted this season from .296 to .219, which is third-best in the majors behind Teheran and Johnny Cueto. This good fortune has undoubtedly contributed to his success this season. 

At the same time, Gee deserves plenty of credit for his development and performance this season.

Since he is not a power pitcher, Gee has to rely on keeping hitters out of their comfort zone in order to be successful. This year, Gee has completely changed his approach in an attempt to induce more bad contact rather than try to miss bats. Considering his H/9 dropped so much, the strategy is clearly paying off.

Another key component of Gee’s value is that he now uses his pitches in much different ways. Look at the chart on Gee’s pitch type from the previous three seasons:

Gee is throwing significantly more fastballs this season and significantly fewer changeups. If a pitcher can keep the ball down consistently, which Gee has done so far, this strategy can be very successful.

Notably, Gee employed these changes just this season, which may explain why he gave up some late-inning home runs in his first three starts.

Gee has been cruising as he enters the prime of his career. He has learned to command his fastball well and use off-speed pitches in the right situations. Currently recovering from a strained right lat muscle, Gee should pick up right where he left off assuming a full recovery. But recent reports claim that Gee suffered another setback in his rehab, which could extend his absence even more.

Even if Gee does struggle, he has shown the ability and willingness to dramatically alter his pitching approach. As a result, any slump he may have should not become too prolonged.

In the end, that is exactly what makes Gee so great.

He may not strike out 10 batters per game (or even five), but Gee will always get weak outs and give the Mets a chance to win.

With so many prized young arms in the Mets system, it is easy for Gee’s name to fly under the radar. But he is pitching like a bona fide ace and does not appear to be stopping anytime soon.


Stats via,,

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4 Potential First-Round Targets for New York Mets in the 2014 MLB Draft

Entering the latter stages of their rebuilding program, the New York Mets have a crucial amateur draft coming up in June.

Over the recent years, the Mets have drafted very young players with an emphasis on tools rather than filling needs. With a much deeper farm system than just a half-decade ago, the Mets could potentially alter this strategy for 2014.

The Mets seem primed to compete next season, as well as try to push for an optimistic 90-win season this year.

Therefore, it is reasonable to believe the Mets may emphasize filling holes with veteran collegiate talent. Draft picks out of college need much less grooming time in the minors, so a player who is drafted in 2014 could be in the majors by 2015 or 2016, right when the Mets plan to compete again.

At the same time, if a high-ceiling player were available for the Mets at pick No. 10, recent history shows they will not be afraid to pull the trigger.

With these ideas in mind, here are four potential draft targets for the Mets with their first-round pick in 2014:

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New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Instant Reaction and Analysis


New York Mets 6 – 1 Philadelphia Phillies



WP: Jon Niese (2-2, 2.20 ERA)

LP: Cole Hamels (0-2, 6.75 ERA)

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The One Trade Deadline Deal New York Mets Have to Make

The New York Mets are still in rebuilding mode.

This long, torturous rebuilding process, though, seems to be nearing its end. Big-name prospects like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are already contributing to the major league team, and many more prospects are on the way in the next couple years. 

Assuming a majority of these high-ceiling prospects become quality major leaguers, the Mets could be contenders within the next couple years. 

Therefore, if the Mets make a trade this season, the return piece should be a player or players who will help the team in the near future.

My trade: Marlon Byrd for Jesse Winker (OF) (Cincinnati Reds)

Marlon Byrd has been one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball.

Byrd signed a minor-league contract before this season, and since then has put up numbers better than fellow right fielder Justin Upton, who is in the middle of a 6-year, $51.5 million contract.

Byrd has an excellent .277/.322/.519 line with 15 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 56 RBI and 42 runs.

At this pace, Byrd would finish 2013 with 29 home runs and 97 RBI.

The Mets have struck gold with Byrd this season. He is playing spectacularly in July, too, hitting .338/.360/.620 with an RBI in five straight games. 

However, the Mets have no reason to keep Byrd.

Byrd is a 35-year-old who does not fit in the Mets’ future plans, and also has a soaring trade stock. The Mets also have little to no chance to contend this season. If the Mets can trade a red-hot Byrd for a quality package, the team must pull the trigger. The team is far more likely to contend in 2015 than in 2013, and Byrd is not a long-term solution.

Byrd’s current form only makes him more enticing to general managers around the league, and perhaps Mets GM Sandy Alderson could convince a contending team to overpay for Byrd.

As for this trade, Jesse Winker is a very solid outfield prospect, which is a deep position for the Reds and a weak position for the Mets. 

Winker is already becoming a pure all-around hitter at just 19 years old in Class-A.

He currently boasts a well-rounded .276/.371/.470 line with 15 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs, 62 RBI and 56 runs in 88 games. Winker dominated the Pioneer League (Rookie ball) last year with a .338/.443/.500 line in 62 games, so this year’s production is clearly no fluke.

Also, Winker has a solid arm and plays above-average defense, meaning he won’t rely solely on his bat to reach the majors.

Winker is more advanced than most 19-year-old prospects. He is already getting experience in a full-season league, along with plenty of international experience.

Winker played on the gold medal-winning 2012 18-U USA National team, as well as the 2011 Junior Pan-Am Games. Interestingly, due to a shortage of pitchers, Winker was forced to pitch the Pan-Am Games and eventually was named the top pitcher at the tournament. 

The Mets have developed a farm system in recent years that is loaded with incredible pitching prospects and few notable hitting prospects.

Barring injury, Winker is a safe bet to become a good major league outfielder by around 2015, which (coincidentally) is when the Mets can seriously plan on contending again. Winker has an advanced hitting approach, especially for his age, which fits Alderson’s patient hitting style perfectly.

Furthermore, trading Byrd opens up a spot for other promising young outfielders to gain valuable playing time, such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Juan Lagares or even the red-hot Cesar Puello

From the Reds’ perspective, they can afford to lose Winker.

While Winker is clearly an above-average player and projectable prospect, the Reds’ major league team and farm system are stacked with high-ceiling outfielders. Players like Ryan LaMarre, Kyle Waldrop and Billy Hamilton project to be solid major league outfielders one day, and the Reds already have quality outfielders like Shin-Soo Choo and Jay Bruce.

However, the Reds have been employing a platoon of players in left field, and none of them have stuck.

Currently, Reds’ left fielders have hit a combined .245 with nine home runs in 98 games this season.

The original starting left fielder, Ryan Ludwick, has not played since he separated his shoulder on Opening Day.

While Ludwick is scheduled to finally begin an extended rehab assignment this week, the odds are highly stacked against the 35-year-old repeating his surprising 2012 season, where he hit .275 with 26 home runs.

Thus, it is essential that the Reds acquire a cheap player like Byrd who can hit for power.

While either Byrd or Bruce must end up moving to left field, this trade is still worth it and both players need to be in the lineup. Byrd’s surprising right-handed power outbreak this season, as well as Brandon Phillips’ bat, will perfectly complement the left-handed power of Bruce and Joey Votto, who is one of the best players in baseball.

In the end, the trade is a win for both sides. 

The Mets are a team planning for 2014-15, and Byrd does not fit that plan. Acquiring Winker gives the Mets a valuable prospect in a position of need in their farm system. While the current team will undoubtedly suffer without Byrd’s lineup presence, the organization is more likely to contend in 2015 than 2013 and must act accordingly.

On the other hand, the Reds are currently just 5.5 games back in the tough NL Central, and they have a very legitimate chance of contending. The team is incredibly talented and should add Johnny Cueto back into the rotation in the coming weeks, too. Their lineup needs a power-hitting corner outfielder that doesn’t break the bank, and Byrd fits both needs. 

This trade is by no means a blockbuster trade.

The Mets are not willing to trade any of their blockbuster-worthy assets, nor do they have a desire to trade a package of their own prospects in a blockbuster deal.

But this trade is a smart one for both sides, and one that adds great value to both organizations. Byrd will significantly help the Reds win now, and Winker will help the Mets win in the future.

While Mets fans may be saddened to see Byrd go, the trade must be done.


Stats and/or info via,,,

Stats updated as of July 22, 2013

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New York Yankees vs. New York Mets: Live Score, Analysis and Reaction


New York Yankees 1 – 2 New York Mets


WP: Scott Rice (3-3, 3.38 ERA)

LP: Mariano Rivera (0-1, 1.86 ERA)


Top 6th: Lyle Overbay RBI single

Bottom 9th: David Wright RBI single, Lucas Duda RBI walkoff single


Matt Harvey: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

Hiroki Kuroda: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets: Live Coverage of Clayton Kershaw in N.Y.


Los Angeles Dodgers 7 – New York Mets

Home Runs

LAD: Mark Ellis 2 (1,2)

NYM: none

WP: R. Belisario (1-2)

LP: B. Lyon (1-1)

Jon Niese leaves game with lower leg injury. X-rays negative, being called bone contusion. (day-to-day)

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Recasting the New York Mets as Star Wars Characters

After a busy offseason for the New York Mets, including a nine-figure extension for David Wright and trading Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, there is one ultimate question that no one seems to be talking about: Which Mets players would be cast as the main characters in Star Wars? 

And with J.J. Abrams set to direct Disney’s first Star Wars movie in their new trilogy, there is no better time to start the debate.

Considering a Lucasfilm source says the trilogy will be an entirely original story, these guesses cannot apply to the new trilogy.

Nevertheless, here are my guesses (some explanations may contain a spoiler alert) for recasting the Mets as Star Wars characters:

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MLB Free Agency: Latest Talks on Top Players Still Available

Although spring training is just under way, there are still a number of quality free agents available who could have a big impact with a team.

The latest news yesterday was the huge contract that Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians. Bourn is one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in baseball, and in spite of a relatively down year for him, he still hit .274 with 42 stolen bases. Bourn was perhaps the top free agent still available, and his signature arguably turns the Indians into serious contenders for their division.

Even with the signing of Bourn, there are many talented players still unsigned, primarily with pitching.

Here are the latest talks on a few of the top players: 

Kyle Lohse

Lohse had an incredible 2012 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA, 109 WHIP and 211.0 innings pitched.

Lohse turned down the Cardinals’ qualifying offer of $13.3 million to become a free agent.

However, as recently as early January, Lohse had not received a single offer from a team. But he is still far and away the best free agent available, and one of the top pitchers in this league.

The lack of an offer is, in large part, because a team that signs him would lose a valuable first-round draft pick to the Cardinals.  Lohse is in amazing form, but at 34 he cannot be expected to pitch this well for much longer. He is also a Scott Boras client and he will want Lohse to command top-dollar.



There were recent soft rumors of the Boston Red Sox making a move,  but according to a major league source, that is highly unlikely.

One team that remains an option is the division rival Milwaukee Brewers.  GM Doug Melvin stated recently that there is a chance the Brewers could pursue Lohse, and the loss of their first-round pick (No. 17) is not as big a deal for them as it is for other teams. 

The most intriguing destination is the Washington Nationals.

One of the names included in the highly publicized Biogenesis PED records was ace pitcher, Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez Tweeted in response to his inclusion, strongly denying any association whatsoever.

But if found guilty, he could face a 50-game suspension, and the Nationals would need to quickly replace their ace and the player who finished third in the Cy Young voting.

Enter Lohse.

The Nationals were linked to Lohse soon after the recent allegations. Even more, the team already forfeited its first-round pick to sign Rafael Soriano. They are already serious contenders, and the addition of Lohse would only add to that recognition.

But nothing will happen with the Nationals until the allegations with Gonzalez get resolved.


As it stands, the first-round compensation is the biggest obstacle for Lohse, much like it was with Bourn.

The Nationals and Brewers seem the most likely landing spots, but a team could certainly swoop in unexpectedly and sign him, just as the Indians did with Bourn. 

Jose Valverde

The normally dependable Valverde, who will turn 35 this season, finished 2012 with 35 saves and a 3.78 ERA for the Detroit Tigers.

Valverde had a solid year on paper but completely imploded during the playoffs and was eventually replaced as the closer by Phil Coke. He is seen as a player on the decline.

The market has been quiet for Valverde, until falsely reported that Valverde agreed to a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. 

However, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the report was shot down by the Marlins. The Marlins would be wise not to sign Valverde, as they are rebuilding and also have a good closer in Steve Cishek, who had 15 saves, a 2.69 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.


The false rumor, according to Spencer, was actually agent Scott Boras garnering attention for Valverde and trying to create a market that isn’t there. Boras rarely has done business with the Marlins.

The most likely option for him is the New York Mets.

If signed, Valverde would likely replace Frank Francisco as the closer, who struggled all last season with injuries and inconsistency. 

Valverde is also on their radar, according to Adam Rubin of He reports that a deal with the Mets would likely be similar to the one they gave Shaun Marcum this offseason, which was a one-year deal worth $4 million plus incentives. According to Spencer’s Miami Herald article, Boras is demanding about $4 million to $7 million for Valverde.

Valverde has not played himself into an enviable role, as he pitched terribly down the stretch last season. Although the Marlins rumors seem to be very false, Valverde does appear to have a good shot at being signed by the Mets.

They could very much use the bullpen help, but it is worth noting that the Mets rumor was published before the recent signing of Brandon Lyon.


Francisco Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who turned 31 in January, had a somewhat down year.

He finished 2012 with a 4.38 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 72.0 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers. But Rodriguez also recorded 31 walks and only three saves in 10 save opportunities.

His final record was 2-7. 

The market for Rodriguez has also been quiet due to a domestic abuse charge filed by his girlfriend in early November.

It is his second domestic violence arrest, but in this case no one appeared to testify against him, the charges were eventually dropped, and the girlfriend admitted Rodriguez did not cause the injuries.

Despite the dropped charges, Rodriguez has not been too hotly pursued.

Almost a month ago, a rumor went around that the Toronto Blue Jays were seeking a late-inning reliever and Rodriguez’s name was included. Jon Heyman of CBSSports Tweeted of the Blue Jays’ interest. The New York Mets are rumored to be interested in a potential reunion. Rodriguez had a successful two-plus seasons with the Mets before being traded, but Valverde seems the more serious candidate for the Mets.

K-Rod is also another Scott Boras client, and Boras will try to command as much money as possible.

The Mets have signed a flurry of cheap, low-risk relievers recently. Right now the market is quiet for K-Rod, but the Mets seem the most viable option of any teams.

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NL East Players Who Will Break out in 2013

Once again, the NL East is stacked with talent from the top teams.  Despite the complete overhaul of the Miami Marlins after the disappointing 2012 season and the trade of Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets, this is still arguably one of the toughest divisions there is top to bottom.

The Washington Nationals have made a prominent rise to the top, winning the division last year through an incredible core of young pitchers and hitters, most notably 3rd-place Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez, fellow star pitcher Stephen Strasburg, and All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond.

Much like the quick rise of these stars, here are five players who will break out in 2013:

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