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How Can The New York Mets Improve For The 2014 Season? Start With Some Outfielders!

 

New York Mets

As of today, The New York Mets sit in third place in the National League East with a not so good 57-66 record. With that record being nine games under the .500 mark, they need to make some improvements. How will they do that? One way is to pick up some free agents.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

The New York Mets have struggled this year, but they are hoping to be able to do much better next year.

With solid players such as Third Baseman David Wright, Pitcher Matt Harvey, and an up and coming star in Jenrry Mejia the Mets have key players that they can build a good team around for the years to come.

If they want to improve, they need to do something. To do this, they will likely pick up some free agents and possibly make a trade or two.

If they want to pick up some free agents, they can go after outfielders such as Shin-Soo Choo of the Cincinnati Reds who would help defensively in Center Field and could also hit lead-off  or anywhere else in the line-up if asked.

Marlon Byrd’s GS

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Mark Reynolds And Asdrubal Cabrera: What To Make Of The Club In Cleveland

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Wednesday May 15th, 2013

 was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year." src= width="604" height="408" /> Mark Reynolds was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year.  He likely would have made in the 1 YR/$11 MIL Range.  Instead the club opted to try Nolan Reimold and a cast of others for the positions available.  The Orioles DH slot is hitting well under the Mendoza Line at the time of this article.

was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year.”  Mark Reynolds was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year. He likely would have made in the 1 YR/$11 MIL Range. Instead the club opted to try Nolan Reimold and a cast of others for the positions available. The Orioles DH slot is hitting well under the Mendoza Line at the time of this article.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start, sitting just one game back of the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central. In their last 10 (through Tuesday) they are 7 – 3. Most of this is due to Mark Reynolds.

So far this year, he is hitting .272 with 11 HRs and 32 RBI. This puts him on pace to hit 50 HRs and drive in  close to 15o Runs. Of course, there is no way that he drives in 151 runs, but I think it is possible that he could hit 40+ HRs.

He would have to stay hot the entire season and not get injured, so I would say there is about a three percent chance that he does so. His career highs in HRs and RBI came in 2009 when he hit 44 and drove in 102.

With the Indians lineup the way it is with Jason Kipnis (whom I will talk about later), Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher hitting in front of him, it seems like Reynolds will have plenty of RBI chances.

Reynolds is also on pace to strike out about 176 times, which is a little bit lower than his career average. Needless to say, if he keeps up his current performance throughout the entire season, he will be the MVP (although I would not count Miguel Cabrera out just yet with the season he is having thus far).

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Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?

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Monday May 6th, 2013

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the LA Dodgers going forward.  Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting.  He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.. Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the NL West teams  going forward Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out this season with the fences newly drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

For the past few seasons, Chase Headley has been the one guy on the roster that the San Diego Padres can rely on. Last year, he put up MVP-like numbers, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs.

This year, he is really the only guy in the lineup that can truly produce runs. Yonder Alonso has that capability, but he is still a bit raw. Headley is signed to a one-year $8.58 million contract.

He becomes Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and is a Free Agent in 2015. The Padres are faced with a conundrum: should they trade Headley?

This third baseman is 28 years old—about the time when most players enter their prime. With the season we saw from Headley in 2012, I think it is safe to say that he has already entered his prime, and probably has two or three more years similar to 2012 ahead of him.

If the Padres are building for the future, which I sure hope they are, they need to trade Headley right away.

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The Method To Pirates GM Neal Huntington’s Team Building Strategy

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Tuesday March 12, 2013

Neal Huntington was named General Manager by the Pirates in 2007 and has yet to produce a winning season.

Neal Huntington was named General Manager by the Pirates in 2007 – and has yet to produce a winning season.  Expectations are becoming higher with each passing year.  The Pirates are the only NL Team not to make the playoffs since the 1994 Lockout.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

There is no question that the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone through their fair share of struggles. They have not had a winning season since 1992, and the closest the team has come to a .500 season was last year, when they went 79 – 83. It looks, though, as if there is light at the end of the tunnel for Pirates fans. 

General Manager Neal Huntington has made some nice moves to strengthen the team since he was named in 2007.

He immediately went to work, hiring a new manager and making major trades up to the 2008 trading deadline. One of two major trades included sending Xavier Nady to the Yankees for pitchers, notably Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, and Outfielder Jose Tabata.

The second major trade was sending Jason Bay to the Red Sox for Brandon Moss, Andy Laroche, and others. Although these deals never really came to fruition, Huntington made it clear that he would not stand idly by and let his team suffer.

Pittsburgh Pirates Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Ricky Nolasco: Should Marlins Deal Him Or Keep Him For 2013?

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Tuesday March 5th, 2013

Nolasco might be the the next guy to be traded for more prospects.

Nolasco might be the next guy to be traded for more prospects.  The man has a Career Record of 76 – 64 (.543) with a lifetime ERA of 4.49 in 7 seasons for the Marlins.  However, despite a higher ERA – he does not walk that many hitters  (2.1 BB / Per 9 IP) – and his SO Ratio  is 7.4 / Per 9 IP.  He might be able to help a team that is playoff bound in 2013.  The Marlins will not offer him a 1 YR Free Agent deal to retain a Draft Pick – so it is either deal him or lose him for nothing at the end of the campaign.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The Miami Marlins are in a state of disrepair. 2012 was meant to be their return to contention with the signings of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell. A healthy Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton were meant to provide power to the lineup that supported the pitching staff anchored by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco.

The excitement of the new-look team combined with the anticipation of the new stadium. Unfortunately, the Marlins had a terrible season and shipped Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, and every notable player except Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco to the Blue Jays, most notably.

Ricky Nolasco Warming Up:

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Billy Butler: The Consistent Royal

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Thursday January 3rd, 2013

Billy Butler (Country Breakfast) heads into 2013 with a .300 Career Average and coming off a personal best year  of 107 RBI in 2012.  The big DH is perhaps the 2nd best player the position in the AL next to Big Papi

Billy Butler (Country Breakfast) heads into 2013 with a .300 Career Average and coming off a personal best year of 107 RBI in 2012. The big DH is perhaps the 2nd best player for the position in the AL next to Big Papi.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

For the past few seasons, the Kansas City Royals have not had a lot of consistency. The pitching has been sub-par, and the hitting has been disappointing. But, there has been one guy the Royals have been able to rely on: Billy Butler. Butler, a First Round pick in the MLB Amateur Draft (14th Overall), is not the type of player that is a household name, but he gets the job done—very well for that matter. Not much attention has been paid to Butler, probably because of the lack of success that the Royals have had. From 2009 to 2012, Butler has played in no less than 158 Games—something that is very valuable to a team. His worst season (power-wise) in that 4 Year span was 2010, in which he hit .318 with 15 HRs and 78 RBI. In 2012, Butler was outstanding, hitting .313 with 29 HRs and 107 RBI. This season included his first All Star Game Appearance and a Silver Slugger Award.

In terms of defense, Butler has been squeezed out. The rise of star prospect Eric Hosmer eliminated any possibility of Butler playing First base. Butler did not play much defense before Hosmer came up anyway, but the call-up solidified this. Now, Butler is the everyday DH, similar to a David Ortiz-type. He occasionally gets some time in the field, notably in 2012 when Hosmer was mired in a deep slump. If Butler was more versatile, maybe he would be more recognized and could receive the attention he deserves. When  Ortiz retires soon, Butler may take the reigns as the best DH in the game.

Billy Butler 2012 Highlights

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James Shields or David Price: Tampa Bay Rays are Ready to Trade an Ace

Thursday November 8th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  With center fielder B.J. Upton most likely leaving for free agency, the Tampa Bay Rays will have some gaps to fill in their lineup this offseason. Unless they sign a high-profile free agent like Josh Hamilton (which I discussed in my last feature), the Rays will need to make a move to land a bat. The Rays have a solid pitching staff. Some may even say they have a pitching surplus. With David Price and James Shields leading the staff that includes Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, the Rays can say that pitching is their strength. Out of all these pitchers, one should probably be traded though in order to boost the offense.

The two pitchers that would carry the most trade value on the staff are Shields and Price. Hellickson and Moore are both young and somewhat unproven, so they would probably not provide much of a return. Shields is a pitcher I compare to Mat Latos, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds from the San Diego Padres last offseason. The Padres cashed in big time. For Latos, the they got a haul including Edinson Volquez, the projected number two starter in the Reds’ rotation at the time, Yonder Alonso, a top prospect, and Yasmani Grandal, another prospect and first-round pick. If the Rays traded Shields and got a deal similar to that of the Padres, they would be set up quite nicely for future success.

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Boston Red Sox: Who is to Blame for this Mess?

Friday September 7th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The Red Sox are in a state of disrepair. They just traded two of the key players who were supposed to carry them to several postseasons in the future, and a pitcher who had the stuff to regain his status as the ace of the staff. Not to mention the team also has a manager who does not relate well to players. The Red Sox went from first to worst in the span of about a year. Why?

It all started going wrong in September of last year. The Red Sox started a skid and then information came out that some of the pitchers were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in which they were not pitching during the pennant chase. The Red Sox had a horrible month and ended up falling out of playoff contention as the Orioles walked off on them in game 162 and Evan Longoria subsequently hit a walk off homer versus the Yankees to clinch a playoff spot for the Rays. Terry Francona, the manager who broke the Curse of the Bambino and won two World Series, was fired and general manager Theo Epstein was rumored to be leaving. Owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino promised that a collapse like this would not happen the next year. The good news: Red Sox fans will not have to worry about a collapse like last years’ now. The bad news: the Red Sox have been out of contention for almost the whole year. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto have been traded, and it looks like Boston will be rebuilding for at least the next couple of years. Chaos in Boston is an understatement.

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2012 MLB Trade Deadline Update 7/23: Dempster, Blue Jays, Astros, and More

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make a final buy or sell in order to push toward the playoffs. Some teams are trying to get value out of their soon-to-be free agents while other teams are rebuilding. Here are some of the big deals that have gone down in the past few days:

Blue Jays and Astros—10 player deal. Big names: J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter, Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, Carlos Perez

The Astros are obviously in their rebuilding phase. Last year, they gave up Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and the year before they gave up Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Earlier this year, Carlos Lee went to the Marlins for top prospect Matt Dominguez and others.  More recently Brett Myers went to the White Sox for minor league pitchers and J.A. Happ went to the Blue Jays along with relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and other prospects in a ten-player trade. With these deals this year, the Astros have removed virtually all big names from the team. Not to say that J.A. Happ was a big name player, but he was a well-regarded pitcher that the Phillies gave up in the Roy Oswalt trade. Also given up by the Astros is former closer Brandon Lyon. He gave up the closer role to Brett Myers this year, but he does have the capability to serve in the back-end of a bullpen. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Closers Available at July 31 MLB Trade Deadline

Friday July 22, 2011

 

MLB reports:   The MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching.  With only nine days to go, MLB teams need to decide if they are buyers or sellers.  Right up until July 31st deadline, the baseball world will be buzzing on potential deals.  While transactions can occur after July 31st, the respective players will need to first pass through waivers, which makes trades more difficult to happen.  Especially in the category of closers, who are sought after by almost every team.  Whether to obtain a 9th inning stopper or upgrade their middle relief, the majority of MLB teams are currently on the prowl.

There are some contending teams would love to add a closer, including the Rangers and Cardinals.  The host of other teams battling for a playoff spot are ready to take a current closer to pitch the 7th or 8th inning.  To win today in baseball, you usually need 2-3 closer-type pitchers in your pen.  The Brewers recently added Francisco Rodriguez to compliment John Axford.  The New York Yankees signed Rafael Soriano to pitch in front of Mariano Rivera, although David Robertson has since grabbed the role.  True closers will always be in demand and teams with playoff aspirations will always find room for these guys on their rosters.

As the line between buyers and sellers becomes less blurry, we take a look today at the top five closer candidates to be traded by the July 31st MLB Trade Deadline:

 

1)  Heath Bell:  San Diego Padres

The Rolls Royce of available closers, the Padres are talking to teams on a daily, if not hourly basis on the availability of Heath Bell.  Nearly every team has been linked to Bell in the past few days, from the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox, Jays and Tigers.  The prize of the closing market, expect the Padres to demand a king’s ransom for his services.  At least two top prospects, with one being major league ready should get this deal done.  With 28 saves and a 2.45 ERA, the 33-year old Bell is having another fantastic campaign before his impending free agency.  The Rangers and Cardinals are most in need of a closer, with the Rangers the most likely destination based on availability of prospects.  The Rangers have the superior farm system and could match up best with the Padres.  The Phillies and Jays are the dark horses according to reports and need to decide if they are willing to pay the price.

 

2)  Brandon League:  Seattle Mariners

A first time All-Star in 2011, Brandon League has raised his stock this year and given the Mariners an interesting trade chip to work with at the deadline.  League has chipped in 23 saves already this year, with a 3.35 ERA and 1.088 WHIP.  With a team friendly contract and under team control for another season, League should draw much interest on the market.  St. Louis seems like a logical choice, as the Cardinals will be looking for a long-term solution to their closing woes.  I cannot see the Mariners dealing in their division and having to face League next year with the Rangers.  A top prospect or two middle prospects should make this one happen.  With the Mariners far out of contention and in complete rebuild mode, a top closer seems like a luxury that the Mariners cannot afford at the moment.  The Mariners need offensive help and need it quickly, with League being one of many candidates likely to leave Seattle by July 31st to replenish the farm system.

 

3)  Frank Francisco, Jon RauchOctavio Dotel, Jason Frasor:  Toronto Blue Jays

If Heath Bells is a Rolls Royce, the Blue Jays are running a used Ford dealership in their bullpen.  Frank Francisco is like a used mustang with transmission problems, while Jon Rauch is a pickup truck without the V8 engine.  The Jays have assembled a collection of the middle-of-the-road closers and setup men this year in their bullpen.  Francisco will likely draw the most attention, despite his mostly awful numbers this year.  At 31-years of age and throwing big time heat, Francisco still has potential.  Rauch has served as the Jays closer for much of the year and could be in demand as well.  Octavio Dotel, the eldest member of the pack, has bounced around during his major league career and could be a useful trade deadline pickup.  The most effective reliever though for the Jays has been Jason Frasor and a smart team should consider him.  While the Jays are unlikely to offer any true closers to contending teams, there are middle relief candidates to be had.  Expect the Phillies to come calling and pickup one of the above.

 

4)  Kevin Gregg:  Baltimore Orioles

For those teams that like to play with fire, closers don’t get more dangerous than Kevin Gregg.  A 4.00 ERA and unsightly 1.583 WHIP are not numbers that scream out lock-down closer.  Gregg has shown though the ability to get hot at times during his career and will be considered by many teams over the next week.  Signed through next year, the Orioles will look mainly for salary relief in shedding Gregg’s contract.  Personally, I wouldn’t consider Gregg if I was running a team.  But somehow he will likely move by July 31st.

 

5)  Leo Nunez:  Florida Marlins

Another up-and-down closer in the Gregg mold, Leo Nunez is quietly having a very solid season for the Florida Marlins.  Up to 27 saves, with a 3.22 ERA and 1.187 WHIP, Nunez might actually be the best affordable option on the closers market.  The Rangers and Cardinals will sniffing around here, as will the Red Sox, Indians and Tigers.  As the Marlins and Tigers have matched up well before in trades, I can see this swap happening.  The Tigers have the ability to surrender a decent pitching prospect and can use Nunez down the stretch as Valverde insurance.  With the Tigers in contention and the majority of their bullpen being fairly unstable for most of the year, Nunez might be a late inning option that the the Tigers can ill-afford to miss out on.

 

Send us your comments and opinions on available closers for the trade deadline.  Other names thrown around have been Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Andrew Bailey and Brian Fuentes.  The trading of players, especially closers, is especially reliant on the competitiveness and status of a team in the standings.  With so many teams still in their respective races, there are not as many top bullpen arms available at this point in the season.  But come August, as more teams continue to drop out, expect to see even more trade activity.  Exciting times, as the MLB pennant races continue to heat up, and baseball trade talk is on everyone’s lips.

 

 

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