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Can the NY Mets Take the Next Step?

While the Mets are 7 games under 500 heading into this weekend it appears good days are ahead for the Mets and probably as early as next season. However there is work to be done by the Mets front office and ownership to make the Mets a contending team for the post season next year.

Current Core:
The Mets seem set with the position players of d’Arnaud, Duda, Murphy, Wright, Lagares and Granderson for next year. In terms of the rotation assuming the Mets trade Bartolo Colon, which they will, they are set with Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom, Gee and Niese. The Mets have a young bullpen lead by Mejia and Familia. Clearly the Mets need a shortstop and an outfielder. In a perfect world one would be a lead off hitter and one would be an RBI clean up hitter.

Shortstops:
Okay I am going to go through a list of shortstops that are either free agents in the off-season or could be had via trade during the off-season.

Starlin Castro – Cubs – Only 24 years old and has already been an all-star 3 times. Plus Castro is signed to a team friendly contract for the next 5 years for a total of 44 Million. Also what is great about Castro’s contract is your buying years 25 through 29. Cubs are going to want young controllable starting pitching in return. Continue reading

Diamondbacks AZ

After the Trade Deadline AZDB

The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone and it was one of the busiest deadlines baseball fans have seen in a long time with several big name players going to contending teams. For the AZ Diamondbacks we saw them make some trades, not a complete revamp of the team, but some key players that are no longer in a Diamondbacks uniform. It started with the trades of Brandon McCarthy, Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana in early July and ended with the trades of both Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado on the last day.

The Diamondbacks were able to free up around $22 million in salary for next season. Arbitration-eligible players, such as Addison Reed (if not traded by August 31st) and Mark Trumbo will influence that $22 million, but the team should come out on the plus side and the Diamondbacks management, with some extra money to spend, should be able to make an upgrade or two in free agency.

It is still possible that they will make more trades to free up more money and contracts, as the August 31st waiver trade deadline approaches. This is how the waiver trade works: the Diamondbacks can put a player on waivers; if that player goes through waivers, he has to be made available to the other 29 teams before he is able to be traded. If he is claimed by a team, the Diamondbacks can choose to either complete a deal with that team or pull him back off waivers. Continue reading

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Sneak Peak at MLB Off-Season

With the non waiver trade deadline over it’s time to take a sneak peek at the upcoming MLB off-season. Outside of the 3 very big starting pitchers in this winters free agent class this years crop of free agents is lacking. This should open the door for a lot of trades this off-season. Potentially could be a wild winter meetings.

Free Agent Class:
Let’s start with the starting pitching. No doubt there are 3 aces in this years class in Jon Lester (will be 31 in January), Max Scherzer (just turned 30) and James Shields (will be 33 in December). There is no doubt both Lester & Scherzer will get 6 years plus at big dollars (20 Million and above). Interesting to note there will be no draft pick compensation with Lester due to the trade with the A’s. Shields is a little bit older than Lester and Scherzer and not having as good of a year as those two it’s possible Shields might have to settle for a 4 year deal but at big dollars as well. The second tier starting pitchers have their pluses and minuses in J.Beckett (LAD), J.De la Rosa (Col), J.Hammel (Oak), A.Harang (Atl), R.Hernandez (Phil), F.Liriano (Pitt), J.Masterson (Stl), J.Peavy (SF), E.Santana (Atl) & E.Volquez (Pitt). In terms of the closers there really is 3 guys to watch out for in C.Janseen (Tor), D.Robertson (Yankees) & K.Uehara (Red Sox).

In terms of the hitters this is probably one of the weakest classes in years. In terms of the top of the class you have M.Cabrera (Tor), N.Cruz (Balt), H.Ramirez (LAD) & V.Martinez (Det). All 4 guys will be at least 30 come this off-season and in the case of Cruz and Martinez in their mid 30′s. Also Cruz and Martinez are not great fits for the NL. Continue reading