New York Yankees: The ‘bad faith’ in baseball maddens Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees pitching ace Gerrit Cole said players need to “wake up” and understand how some teams think about players in the aftermath of former Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather’s admission that the Seattle Mariners manipulated service time and other things.

This all involved Jarred Kelenic, who the Mariners obtained from the New York Mets in a trade that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets, a trade that likely still stings the Mets. Most sources consider Kelenic as one of the best prospects in all of baseball. The Mariners Mathers said: “He’s a very good player, and quite frankly, we think he’s going to be a superstar; we would like him to get a few more at-bats in the minor leagues, probably Triple-A Tacoma for a month. Then he will likely be in left field at T-Mobile Park for the next six or seven years, and then he’ll be a free agent.”

Cole called some of the practices acting in “bad faith” and said he had no answers about how to solve the issues that many players have with the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) that will expire this December.  December. The Yankee ace said on Tuesday:

“If you start to play with the beginning of the bell curve [of a players’ career], so you maximize what it is and you’re only doing it strictly to be more efficient business-wise, that’s just frustrating, I don’t have an answer for how to fix it. I think it’s bad faith.”

The Mariners Mather said:

“He won’t commit beyond his free-agent years. I wouldn’t say he’s unhappy. He appreciates the offer, he just refused to sign it. He thinks he’s going to be that good. And he thinks he will be a very well-paid player after six years, and I think he might be right. Hopefully it’s with us, but we’ll see where we end up.”

Mathers’s surprising comments have blotted out any doubts the MLBPA (players union) might have had during a virtual discussion with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club earlier this month that became public Monday.

“I think every player needs to wake up and read the news about the guy with the Mariners,’’ said Cole, who is part of the executive subcommittee of the MLBPA. “Those conversations are being had in a lot of clubs, unfortunately. That’s what a lot of clubs are acting on. I don’t know if a rule is gonna be able to fix that. Somebody will find a way around that.”

The result of all of this is young players being forced to stay in the minors longer than they should, as Mather said. The Seattle Mariners will not promote the former New York Mets prospect Jarred Kelenic to T-Mobile Park at the start of the 2021 season, as that would start his clock towards arbitration and free agency.

“It’s happening with a lot of clubs and it’s not productive for anyone,’’ Cole said. “They’re not putting the best players on the field for people to see. This guy is talking about players making him money. The product is the people he’s talking poorly about.” Cole said of the situation, “It’s tired. I think players are over it. If you haven’t been awakened to that type of behavior, that’s what goes on. I don’t know how to fix it. I just know I don’t like it.”

The New York Yankee Cole, who is seldom outspoken on issues, is also not happy about the supposed new baseballs this year, saying that he has been trying to get his hands on the new less bouncy balls that are/will be introduced this season by MLB. He hasn’t been able to get a straight answer as to if the balls used in training camp are the old ones or the new ones, saying that no one will give him an answer. He said it’s time to be a little “more honest about that kind of stuff.”

All of this is a prelude to the renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners that will be coming this December. For the most part, the union has let the owners have their way the last few years. Starting with the negotiation to get in a season in 2020, the players have shown that that is no longer the case as they stand firm on their demands. Those negotiations after this season are sure to be contentious.

 

 

New York Mets: The Importance of Signing Every Draft Pick

The New York Mets executed their draft-day plan to perfection when they finally signed J.T. Ginn to a deal. With every draft pick signed, they are moving in the right direction to revitalized a weakened farm system over the last couple of seasons.

After dealing Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Anthony Kay in the same season, they had plenty of rebuilding to do. The Mets effectively replaced most of those parts during the 2020 MLB Draft.

Prosperous Future

Brodie Van Wagenen aimed to select versatile players with high potential. Every player the Mets selected fit into the category, and Pete Crow-Armstrong was the perfect player to draft with their first pick. Not only does he have five-tool potential, but he has a strong personality as well.

Ginn and Isaiah Greene fit into the high potential category, which is why they fell into the second round. Anthony Walters and Matthew Dyer are versatile players who will be able to play whatever position the Mets feel is best for them. Eric Orze seems to be a steal for what he signed for due to his battle through cancer and the ability to start or relieve.

Van Wagenen and the Mets scouting department did a fantastic job drafting a developed a great gameplan. It allowed them to cut money from their late draft picks and give the money to their top two selections. This has allowed the Mets to have the most success in the 2020 draft. Now we wait to see how each player develops in the future.

New York Mets First Round Picks in the Last Ten Drafts

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

The slightly modified MLB Draft takes place today as teams search for their future stars. The New York Mets’ success on their first-round picks in the past was solid. Some contributed with the Mets, and others found success across the league.

2019: Brett Baty, Third Base (12th Overall, Lake Travis High School) 

The 20-year old first-round pick had his ups and downs during his first season in professional baseball. Through 56 games, mostly at rookie ball, he slashed .234/.368/.452 with seven home runs and 33 runs batted in. Baty’s struggles at the plate were primarily due to fatigue, but his power/walk potential is very high. He already ranks as the fourth-best prospect in the Mets system, according to MLB.com.

2018: Jarred Kelenic, Outfield (6th Overall, Waukesha West High School)

Kelenic was a rising prospect in the Mets system before they dealt him in the infamous Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade. During his first season with the Mets, he slashed.286/.371/.468 at only 18-years old. In 2019, he set the bar even higher, hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 homers and 31 doubles between A, A+, and AA. Kelenic is the 11th overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, and each day the trade stings the Mets more.

2017: David Peterson, Pitcher (20th Overall, University of Oregon)

Peterson is currently the 10th ranked prospect in the Mets system. He was on track to pitch in Triple-A during the 2020 season. There were also talks of bringing him up to supplement the lack of rotation depth. With Binghamton last season, he had a 4.19 ERA in 24 starts with 122 strikeouts. At his highest potential, Peterson projects to pitch in the middle of the rotation.

2016: Justin Dunn, Pitcher (19th Overall, Boston College)

Dunn was also part of the Kelenic trade to the Seattle Mariners. After two good seasons in Double-A during 2018 and 2019, he earned an opportunity to pitch for the M’s. They used him as an opener during his four 2019 outings. After allowing two runs in his debut, his next three opens were all scoreless.

2016: Anthony Kay, Pitcher (31st Overall, University of Connecticut)

Kay underwent Tommy John Surgery before he ever threw a pitch for the Mets. He understandably did not pitch to his full potential during his first season in professional ball. Kay had a 4.26 ERA over 122.2 innings but averaged about one strikeout per inning. During a stellar 2019 season in Double-A, the Mets moved him to Triple-A, where he struggled. They traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman, and he made his MLB debut in 2019. Kay had a 5.79 ERA over three outings but should be an excellent addition to a young Blue Jays roster.

2015: No First Round Pick

2014: Michael Conforto, Outfielder (10th Overall, Oregon State University)

The Mets struck gold with Conforto. It only took 133 games for him to make it during the big leagues. He helped the Mets make it to the World Series in 2015 and became the fifth rookie to homer twice in a World Series game. After a rough 2016, which involved his demotion, he has produced in the last three seasons, including an All-Star selection. Conforto is hitting .257/.363/.492, averaging 29 homers, 81 RBIs and plays all three outfield positions.

2013: Dominic Smith, First Base (11th Overall, Serra High School)

Smith has overcome plenty to become a contributing member of the Mets. He was on track for stardom after hitting over .300 throughout the minors. Dealing with sleep apnea, injuries, and weight issues caused a stunt to his journey of becoming a solid big leaguer. In 2019, all three points were no longer problems, and it allowed him to have his best season so far. His playing time tougher to find due to Pete Alonso at first base, but Smith showed the versatility to play the outfield as well.

2012: Gavin Cecchini, Shortstop (12th Overall, Barbe High School)

2012 was the only year where the Mets missed on a quality big league prospect. They had two first-round picks, and Cecchini was the first one. Known for his bat more than glove, it took a couple of years for him to figure things out at the plate. Two straight seasons above .300 in the minors earned him a 2016 promotion. Cecchini went 2-for-6 with a double and waited some time to return in 2017. He struggled with the bat, only hitting .208 but off Clayton Kershaw for the only one of his career. Cecchini remained stranded in the minors for the last two seasons and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks before spring training. Unfortunately, he was released in May as teams across baseball were cutting players to save money.

2012: Kevin Plawecki, Catcher (35th Overall, Purdue University)

The combination of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud was supposed to carry the Mets catching corps through the next decade. Neither of them hit successfully at the big league level. Plawecki only hit .218 with a .330 slugging percentage with the Mets. He was also known for his abundance of groundouts to the left side of the infield. The Mets traded him before 2019 for Sam Haggerty and Walker Lockett.

2011: Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder (13th Overall, Cheyenne East High School)

The Mets took a risk on the Wyoming native, but it has paid off so far. The Plawecki/d’Arnaud combination is what Nimmo/Conforto became. Nimmo’s grit and grind make him a fan favorite with the Mets. He broke out during 2018 when he received everyday action for the first time. Nimmo’s propensity for getting on base led to his career .254/.387/.440 and is a very underrated player.

2011: Michael Fulmer, Pitcher (44th Overall, Deer Creek High School)

Fulmer was another pitcher who never saw time with the Mets. They dealt him in the Yoenis Cespedes trade during the 2015 playoff run. Fulmer ended up winning the rookie of the year award and becoming an All-Star during his first two seasons with the Detroit Tigers. His disappointing 2020 ended early when he learned that he needed season-ending Tommy John Surgery.

2010: Matt Harvey, Pitcher (7th Overall, University of North Carolina) 

The Matt Harvey story is one that draws the same intrigue as the one of Dwight Gooden. A fantastic young arm, destined to be the next Tom Seaver but ran into an obstacle they could not overcome. Harvey had the excellent rookie campaign, then the 2013 All-Star Game start with a 2.27 ERA, which succame to the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. An excellent 2015 season led to a rough 2016, which led to Thoracic-Outlet Surgery. Harvey never returned anywhere near his Cy Young quality form and has a 5.89 ERA over the last three seasons.