The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 8): Cookie with a Smile FT Mathew Brownstein

Gem and Mathew Brownstein from MMO get together and talk about the recent trade with Cleveland, Sandy Alderson, Luis Guillorme, as well as JD Davis.

Prospects Traded to Cleveland For Lindor

Mets prospects RHP Josh Wolf and OF Isaiah Greene were shipped along with Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez in a move that brought the Indians super star Shortstop Francisco “Mr. Smile” Lindor with RHP Carlos “Cookie” Carasco. What do we know about the two prospects that were traded?

JOSH WOLF– Wolf was drafted by the Mets in the 2019 draft in the 2nd round (53rd overall pick) out of St. Thomas HS in Houston TX. Other Mets drafted in the same class are 3B Brett Baty (Mets 1st round 12th overall pick), and RHP Matt Alan (3rd round, 89th overall pick). Wolf ranked 9th when he was on the Mets top 30 list. He now ranks 12th on Cleveland top 30 prospects list.

The youngster made his pro debut in 2019 with the Mets Rookie Gulf league where he pitched 8 innings, while striking out 12 and only allowing 1 walk. He gave up 4 Runs (3 were earned) on 9 hits and finished the year with a 3.38 ERA. He commands a plus fastball and curveball and definitely has some pretty good upside. Cleveland is great at developing young pitchers, so there’s definitely some potential here with Wolf. His ETA is 2023.

ISAIAH GREENE– Greene was selected with the 2nd round compensation pick they received when the Phillies signed Zack Wheeler. He was selected 69th overall out of Corona High School California. Mets also selected OF Pete Crow-Armstrong with their 1st round pick (19th overall) and RHP JT Ginn with their 2nd round pick (52nd overall). Greene ranked 10th on the Mets top 30 prospects list. He’s ranked at 16 on the Indians top 30 list.

I love Greene’s upside. He has the potential to develop into a toolsy player. He was not able to make his pro career debut last season due to the COVID-19 cancelation of minor league baseball. Its fitting that he is traded to Cleveland because he has drawn some comparisons to Michael Brantley, the former CLE Outfielder. Eta 2024

Overall, the Mets did not give up any of their top prospects and were able to aquire a superstar SS and a great quality pitcher. Cleveland acquired some young players with pretty good upside.

(Photo by AP)

He’s no Cookie Cutter

The huge news of the day in regards to the sports world would be the Mets acquiring potentially the best shortstop in the league, Francisco Lindor. However, in that same deal the team also got their mitts on Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco.

While the talk about Lindor won’t die down for quite a bit and understandably so, we have to recognize that Cookie might be an absolute steal in this transaction.

Let’s start with the Major Leaguers on their way to Cleveland. While Rosario has shown flashes of being a good ball-player, the youngster has shown to be more inconsistent than anything. Unfortunately, this entails bad pitch recognition as well as pitch selection.

They also gave up a potentially great shortstop in Andres Giménez. While he may never develop to be the type of player Lindor is, Giménez is without a doubt one of the most defensively gifted players in Major League Baseball, right now. He may never hit 25 home runs, however we’ve seen that there is sneaky pop in that bat of his.

Let’s get back to Carrasco, he legitimately is undervalued. I’m actually not sure if it’s just me or if others feel this way, but he was overshadowed on a rotation with Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and even current FA Trevor Bauer.

Baseball Savant

Carrasco is a five pitch righty that has a four seamer that regularly hits 94 on the gun. He also throws a Slider, a Change-up, and a Curveball to go along with his two-seamer/Sinker.

His fastball is a tick above the league average in pertains to velocity, however his movement on it towards the top of his class. When it comes to his curveball, he ranked in the 94th percentile during the 2020 campaign and has added approximately 6 inches to the drop in that pitch between 2017 and 2018.

So while he’s not blowing anyone away with his heater, the amount of movement he uses on his primary and secondary pitches has been a vital part to his success.

Since 2014, Carrasco owns a 3.41 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.23 SO/9, and a 2.3 BB/9. As Tim Healey put so well on Twitter, this includes a two month stint in which he pitched poorly, found and he had cancer, beat cancer, and even returned to pitch in September… wow.

In his career, he’s the owner of a 88-73 record and a 3.77 ERA in 242 games pitched. While he’s going into the 2021 season at 34 years young, Carrasco will prove that he’s a pitcher and not just a thrower. Slotted just behind deGrom, Carrasco will have two season in Flushing before his deal is set to expire.

Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Andrès Giménez 2021 predictions and projections

Andrès Giménez is a star in the making for the New York Mets. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store for the upcoming shortstop for 2021.

Rotochamp projects Giménez to hit 6 home runs and drive in 30 runs with a .241 batting average and a .289 OBP.

I think he will outdo this prediction by a little, hitting 9 home runs and driving in 36 with a .250 batting average with a .295 OBP.

Sometimes it’s ok to be wrong, and I’d like to think higher of my young starting shortstop if that’s the case.

Giménez may or may not have a better season due to the productivity or lack of productivity around him in the lineup. I personally think with the moves the Mets will and are already making, Giménez will fare slightly better in 2021. He is very young, and his future is very bright.

It’s no surprise that former shortstop Amed Rosario will be giving up his natural position for Giménez, who looks to be the every day starting shortstop in 2021.

The sky is the limit for Giménez in 2021. Let’s hope he reaches his full potential!

Photo from The Athletic

Quick Notes from Luis Rojas Press Conference

Noah Syndergaards– Luis Rojas mentioned that Noah Syndergaard recovery from Tommy John is progressing well and that it is “on schedule or maybe little bit ahead of schedule.” Alderson expects that a reasonable return date to the MLB for Thor would be around June.

The Mets are expected to add a starter or two either by free agency or trade. As of right now the rotation is looking to be deGrom, Stroman, Peterson, Matz, and Lugo/Oswalt. Adding a couple of starters can push Lugo and Matz to the bullpen would add much needed LHP as they currently do not have any available.

Amed Rosario– Rojas mentioned that Rosario is going to take reps at 3B in addition to SS and there are no plans to move him to the OF. (Via Tweet DiComo).

After a disappointing 2020 season, Rosario starting SS job is at jeopardy with the emerging prospect Andres Gimenez looking to be the man to hold the starting role. Gimenez made some spectacular defensive plays for the defensively challenged Mets. He also added improved speed and had a surprisingly explosive bat and therefore should be expected to the opening day SS.

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Reaction: Rosario on the move?

By Angelina Heather Rizzo and Josh Hartman

Angelina Heather Rizzo:

Amed Rosario likely will see his Shortstop position handed over to upcoming star and developing SS Andrés Giménez, but his Mets tenure isn’t over, reports claim.

The Mets will look to insert Rosario in multiple positions all over the field, as his services to the team are still valuable.

Also read: Will the Mets move Rosario to CF?

Here is a look at Rosario’s 2019 and 2020 both:

In 2019, Rosario hit 15 home runs and 72 RBI’s with a .287 Batting Average.

In the 2020 Covid shortened season, Rosario posted up a OAA of 82, -0.2 WAR, 4 home runs, 15 batted in, with a .252 batting average.

I personally think it’s good that the Mets are not wanting to cut ties with the young athlete because Rosario is talented and can provide a quality arm and bat at another position, which is a win for the Mets and provides depth on the chart.

In 2020, Giménez had a 1.0 WAR, hit 3 home runs, 40 RBI’s and a .263 batting average in 49 games.

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Francisco Lindor

Giménez looks to have a solid 2021, and will no doubt be exciting to watch at Shortstop. I think moving Rosario to another position is the best for the Mets, who will have two young stars still contribute big when needed at their respective positions.

Josh Hartman:
Man plans and god laughs, right? From Baseball America’s 2017 8th ranked prospect to “additional organizational depth”? Well, it sounds quite negative if we put it that way. Let’s change the narrative here – “By utilizing him at several positions across the diamond, he can add more value to our beloved Mets.” Why the italics and underscoring in the previous sentence? That, my friends, is because every article that Mets Junkies puts out there is not simply an entertainment piece about baseball and the Mets. We are here to teach! The Latin term utilitatem (nominative utilitas) refers to “usefulness, serviceableness, profit” – All very significant and valuable traits that any baseball owner or manager worth his salt would hold in the highest regard. In essence, “utilitas” is the Latin term for WAR!

Also read: Free Agent Target: Jackie Bradley Jr

That’s right, close your eyes and picture it, savor it… the Founding Fathers of Sabermetrics – gathered around a bridge table in someone’s basement, rummaging through box scores and scorecards, rattling off statistical figures about the fly ball to ground ball ratios of Rod Carew; mouths agape as unconventional theories were concocted of how John Milner was actually superior to Hank Aaron – it was the infancy of data analysis, the quest for information to analyze our sport as none had ever done before… All with the collective goal of obtaining the one holy grail which would prove their scientific theory – VALUE.

VALUE – that subjective trait that no two people will ever fully agree upon. My grandma used to say -“One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. To me, it was her interpretation of the deviations of VALUE; The fact that data could always be interpreted to skew one’s perception of an argument. To her, this was her pretty shabby legal defense, as she never could prove that my grandpa actually preferred arsenic and hemlock to Sirloin. Either way, the statement proves relevant!
Yes, back to the utilitas of our former blue-chip prospect. As Angelina mentioned before, it actually wasn’t good in 2020 – it wasn’t good at all! A negative .2 WAR? I’m not an analytics expert, but that sounds like a score that would have only been celebrated if it was Robby Cano’s testosterone count. With regards to playing baseball though, I’d say that A) He wasn’t very useful 😎 I wouldn’t call him even serviceable and C) He ain’t gonna make much profit (relatively speaking) if he hits like he did in 2020. So in all three facets of utilitas – that Latin WAR sure does seem accurate!

So what to do now?

A) Give him another shot at his organic position of Shortstop? I guess that’s one option. Some may argue (me being one) that the talent of Rosario far exceeds the talent of our new shiny toy Andres Gimenez. But who am I to argue with stats? In this “what have you done for me lately” business, the “second chance” argument is a losing one and even an ardent fan of Amed’s talent couldn’t defend his paltry walk rate, and his obvious offensive regression from the 2019 season.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Nolan Arenado) you’re looking for?

B) Trade him? Hey, back to my felonious Grandma’s expression – maybe a team does still see Amed as more of an uncooked filet mignon than a cyanide tablet. It only takes one insightful GM, but let’s call a steak a steak here, the consensus is that Amed’s more likely to fetch Golden-Coral steak prices than Morton’s, so why trade a potential packed filet mignon for an already cooked Sizzler T-Bone? You get my point – a trade most likely won’t make any Mets fans (especially vegan ones) happy.

C) C, in Standardized tests with 4 possible answers, has a statistical probability of being the correct answer a whopping 25%! So, you see where I’m going with this. As my co-author eluded to atop, having Rosario around would actually be the most preferential option, even if it isn’t at his native position of shortstop! To combine all of the lessons I’ve imparted upon you above, let’s provide some data to substantiate this claim.

Knowns and Variables:

• “WAR = Utilitas”
• Utilitas (latin) = “Utility”(English)
• Filet Mignon > Sizzler T-Bone (in any state)
• Grandma = Delusional murderer or Terrible Chef
• Rosario Utility 2020 = -.2

Also read: International Free Agency Preview: A Tale of two Cubans- Part I

Based upon the above knowns and “unknowns” or variables, and utilizing a deductive argument theory, we can infer that:
The key to increasing Amed’s Value, whether external or internal is to:

1) Maximize the number of positions he can play in the field (Hence the term “Utility” player – from the Latin “Util…… ) In all seriousness, many feel that he can’t handle Centerfield due to his mental lapses on the field and his supposed “poor” baseball instincts. I disagree. I think his speed and athleticism make him a strong candidate to pick the position up, but I do not expect a seamless transition. I do, however, believe that any other position, he will perform as plus OOA (outs above average) player.

2) Although international winter leagues are in flux at the moment, it would behoove the Mets to strongly advocate his involvement in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano ( I have tried to translate this into English, but to no avail) over the winter. A move from shortstop to other positions is usually the most successful transition, but it should be based on his personal desire to better himself, and this could be a step in the right direction. He can work on his pitch selection and defensive versatility. There is a laundry list of shortstops who have made moves to other positions, and I don’t see why an athlete of Amed’s caliber can’t follow this pattern.

That’s all I got on this topic! But thanks so much for reading, and stay safe and healthy, or in other words, don’t swipe right on my paroled Grandma’s pic on tinder!

Also read: Free Agent Target: Liam Hendriks

Photo from the New York Mets

Mets Trade Target: Carlos Correa

Francisco Lindor is not the only shortstop heading into the final year of his contract. Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros is one of a handful of premier players doing so, and that’s just at that position. With that being so, some of these guys might be on the move before they even hit Free Agency.

Correa is another one of those players that just about every team would want, given the opportunity. He’s coming off of a decent year with a .264/.326/.383/.709 slash line with nine doubles and five home runs while driving in 25 RBI’s.

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Jo Adell

A huge problem with Correa last season was his defensive abilities at the premier position. While he had a good year in the batters box, he ranked in the bottom 36th percentile in OAA. However, in 2019 his OAA was +9(h/t to Corné Hogeveen), take with that what you will.

The shortstop won’t be cheap, since he averages 29 home runs and 106 RBI’s per 162 games. The Astros may not be in a rush to trade him either, especially if they aren’t blow away by an offer. With Jeremy Pena set to take over in 2022, Houston could easily wait out Correa’s contract, however they’ll probably want to add a few more prospects.

Also read: The Mets Junkies Fix: The Press Conference (Episode 1)

Through BaseballTradeValues.com, I was able to simulate a trade in which the Mets were able to acquire Carlos Correa for prospects Mark Vientos and JT Ginn. Correa would join an already stacked lineup while the Astros stockpile prospects.

Via BaseballTradeValues.com

Correa will also be a cheaper option next to Francisco Lindor, but that’s because Lindor is about to break the bank. And while Correa will be the cheaper option here, he’s also going to be the riskier one as he ages. So while he is a trade option, it isn’t one that I’d pursue.

Also read: International Free Agency Preview 2020/21 – Part I

Photo from KHOU11

Mets Trade Target: Francisco Lindor

Finally!!! Francisco Lindor has come back… to the center of trade talk (Shout out to The Rock Duane Johnson). And by finally, I mean relentlessly again and again. But let’s be real, a decent portion of the fan base wants Lindor now, as opposed to trying at him or a handful of other premier shortstops next offseason.

So let’s entertain the idea of trying to acquire the MVP caliber shortstop via trade this off-season, what’s it going to take to get that done?

Also read: Free Agent Target: Jackie Bradley Jr

MetNews posted their own trade proposal involving Andres Gimenez, J.D. Davis, and third base prospect Brett Baty for the All-Star shortstop.

While a lot of people are saying it would take Dom Smith or Pete Alonso to make the deal happen, Jon Harper of SNY doesn’t believe that to be so.

Harper believes that if the new GM is patient enough, the Mets can have Lindor for a couple of their young shortstops, referring to Gimenez and Mauricio. As well as including J.D. Davis and another young prospect.

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Byron Buxton

With Lindor going into Free Agency next off-season, Steve Cohen and the Mets should really look into an immediate extension for the shortstop. Of course it’s not going to come cheap, but it’s important that the Mets have a long term solution.

Lindor’s lifetime slash line is .285/.346/.488/.833 while averaging 40 doubles, three triples, and 29 home runs every 162. He also averages 86 RBI’s and 21 stolen bases alongside solid defensive abilities at the shortstop position.

The man has a career 28.4 WAR in just six Major League seasons so he’s going to get record setting money if he does decide to hit free agency. Let’s just hope that the Mets can either trade for the shortstop, or just be patient and acquire him on the free agent market with Uncle Steve’s fat ass wallet.

Also read: Marcus Stroman must impress in 2021

Photo by Harrison Barden/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Mets Trade Target: Trevor Story

Here weeeee go, again!!! Let’s just make rounds with shortstops that’ll be available in the near future. If the Colorado Rockies really want to cash in with Story, they’ll highly entertain trading him before the start of the season.

Why’s that you ask? Well, Story isn’t going to hit the Free Agent market till the 2022 season, that’s a full season after his compatriots at short hitting the market after the 2021 campaign.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Alex Colome

Story won’t be cheap fiscally nor with the cost of prospects. That’s understandable when you have an up the middle player that’s performing at such an elite level.

Story will cost $18.5M in 2021 before he hits Free Agency and that’s before paying in prospects and talent. And if the Mets decide to extend, I expect the built shortstop to make a move to third base by the time he hits the age of 30.

That would give Story two more years up the middle, but if the Mets chose, they can trade for Irving, Texas native and start him at short during 2020. Then if Cohen wants, they can slide Story over sooner than later and sign a Francisco Lindor or Javier Baez to man down short.

Also read: 8-10 teams have shown interest in Morton

Yes, this is all wild wishful thinking and the Mets would have to make a ton of corresponding moves to make this work, but with new ownership and management “throwin’ bows” from the jump, anything and everything is to be expected, especially the unexpected.

But looking at some of the statistics, you have to wonder if Story is just the next player to benefit from the thin Rocky Mountain air in Coors Field.

Story has 134 home runs and has averaged 36 bombs a season in his five years of Major League Baseball, however history has shown that those numbers do not translate when playing in Flushing, Queens.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Nolan Arenado) you’re looking for?

Story has played 12 games at Citi Field and owns a slash of .261/.306/.370/.676 with five doubles, zero home runs and four RBI’s in 46 at-bat. However, outside of Coors all together, Story has a .250/.315/.445/.760 slash line with 66 doubles, 50 home runs and 143 RBI’s in 1145 at bats. The shortstop has also accumulated 80 steals in 104 attempts throughout his career.

So while Story has a small samples size of work in Queens, his road numbers show that he can adjust to playing away from the hitters friendly Coors Field.

With Story about to turn 28 any day now, I expect the infielder to push for the highest paid contract available once he hits the market. If the Mets commit to Story past 30 years old, they will be burned unless they push him over to third.

Also read: Three Mets that could be dealt away

Photo from ESPN