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Love the Mets



Updated: 2017-11-19T09:00:04-05:00

 



Mets Morning News: Triple threats

2017-11-19T09:00:04-05:00

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Your Sunday morning dose of Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

Meet the Mets

The Mets are devising a plan to deal with their struggles facing lineups the third time through.

The team’s new manager is leading the way to try and keep all the Mets off the disabled list in the coming years.

Around the National League East

The Marlins are starting to get some fairly serious offers for MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

Braves prospect Ronald Acuna helped lead his team to the Arizona Fall League championship, and won the league’s MVP award for good measure.

Nationals prospect Victor Robles had a good championship game too, but the result didn’t go as well for his team.

The Phillies have brought in a new bullpen coach.

Around Major League Baseball

The Orioles have a plan in place for free agency.

The Mariners have been very busy. Expect nothing less from Jerry Dipoto.

Former Major Leaguer Chris Woodward is the latest contender to interview for the Yankees managerial job.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

The latest episode of Amazin’ Avenue Audio took a look at some free agent candidates for the Mets.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets went on the auction block on this date back in 1979.




Amazin’ Avenue Audio, Episode 261: If only free agents were actually free

2017-11-18T22:07:15-05:00

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Free agency is underway, the Mets probably won’t spend much money, and we’re here to talk about it.

Welcome back to Amazin' Avenue Audio, where we celebrate Beltran's ring and start prepping for the off-season.

First up, Brian Salvatore and Chris McShane look at some of the rumors surrounding the Mets' free agent needs and answer your emails. (1:12)

Aaron Yorke looks at some second and third base options for 2018 (39:38)

And, finally, Brian Wright looks at the top 5 regular season games in 2015 (45:49)

As always, you can listen or subscribe to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, where we encourage you to leave a review if you enjoy the show. It really helps! And you can find us on the Stitcher app, listen through the embedded player below, or download the podcast directly from Blog Talk Radio.

You can follow all of our contributors on Twitter: Brian (@BrianNeedsaNap), Chris (@chrismcshane), Aaron (@AaronPYorke), and Brian Wright (@BrianWright86).

And don't forget you can email the show at podcast@amazinavenueaudio.com, and we'll be back next week for another edition of Amazin' Avenue Audio.

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Mets Morning News: Mets sign Matt Purke, close deal on Syracuse Chiefs

2017-11-18T09:00:08-05:00

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Your Saturday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

Meet the Mets

The Mets signed reliever Matt Purke to a minor league deal. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

The Syracuse Chiefs shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of the team to the Mets.

Around the National League East

John Hart has stepped down from his position with the Atlanta Braves.

The Marlins and Derek Jeter continued their yearly tradition of handing out thanksgiving turkeys to families in need.

The Nationals are having a lot of trouble getting the Orioles to pay them the money they won in an arbitration ruling.

Around Major League Baseball

Aaron Boone interviewed with the Yankees about their managerial opening.

The Giants submitted a trade proposal for Giancarlo Stanton.

Matt Williams will be the third base coach for the Athletics in 2018.

What does the first trade of the winter tell us about shifting values in MLB?

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

The AAOP finalists have been named. Go vote for your favorite!

Steve Sypa profiled Japanese free agent pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano.

This Date in Mets History

Doc Gooden won the Cy Young Award on this date in 1985.




Shareholders approve sale of Syracuse Chiefs to Mets

2017-11-17T18:50:59-05:00

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The Mets can now move their Triple-A team to upstate New York.

Shareholders of the Syracuse Chiefs met today to approve the sale of the team to the New York Mets. The shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of the deal, and it easily cleared approval from the two-thirds majority necessary to finalize the sale.

It was reported back in October that the Mets bought the community-owned team for $18 million, but approval from shareholders was still necessary to complete the deal. The sale could be seen as a win-win for both parties. The shares of the Syracuse Chiefs will now be valued at $1,300 a piece when they were initially bought for $10 back in the 1960s. The Mets have also committed to keeping the team in Syracuse through the year 2025.

As for the Mets, they get to move their Triple-A team out of Las Vegas and have them both closer to home and to their Double-A team in Binghamton. They will also have complete control of the team which will make it easier to deal with any issues that could arise.

The Triple-A team will move to Syracuse in 2019 and end its six-year run in the desert. After a long run in Norfolk that ended in 2006, the Mets bounced around to New Orleans and Buffalo before settling in Las Vegas. That move setup an untenable situation with the long distance travel, and the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League made it hard for the team to evaluate prospects.

Hopefully the investment into the Chiefs will be the start of a long relationship that will help stabilize the minors.




International Free Agent Profile: Yoshihisa Hirano

2017-11-17T10:00:01-05:00

Yoshihisa Hirano, the highest-paid pitcher in Orix Buffaloes history, is looking to sign with a Major League Baseball club for the 2018 season. Born March 8, 1984, in Uji, a city in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan known for centuries-old Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, Yoshihisa Hirano grew up with back problems, making it unlikely that he would succeed in baseball as he has. He barely pitched during his time at Toba High School, but he went on to become a breakout star at Kyoto Sangyo University. As a result of his success in college, the Orix Buffaloes drafted the right-hander with their number one draft pick in 2005. Hirano made his NPB debut in 2006 and had an outstanding rookie season by some metrics, and a poor one by others. While he tied for third most losses in the Pacific League with 11, he posted a respectable 3.81 ERA, tossed 172.1 innings, which led the team, and threw 10 complete games- second to only superstar Daisuke Matsuzaka. His 2007 season was very similar. Despite posting respectable numbers across the board, Hirano led the Pacific League in losses, thanks to playing for a poor, sub-.500 team led by gaijin manager Terry Collins. In 2008, Hirano underwent elbow surgery and missed the entire season. When he returned to the mound in 2009, he looked rusty, putting up the worst numbers in his young career. In 2010, the right-hander was moved to the bullpen by newly instated manager Akinobu Okada. The move would prove to be the right one for both Orix and Hirano, as the pitcher found his niche and the club found a dependable reliever. Over the next three years, Hirano was both a reliable and effective reliever, serving as set-up man to closer Mamoru Kishida. He averaged nearly 80 innings per year, with an ERA around 2.00, a 2.6 BB/9 rate, and a strikeout per nine innings rate just north of 10. In 2013, Kishida was removed from the role in favor of Yoshihisa Hirano, and the 29-year-old did not bat an eye. In 2014, Hirano signed a three-year, ¥900 million contract, making him the highest-paid pitcher in Orix history. Though he had earned his domestic free agent option, he never really considered leaving the Buffaloes. When pressed by reporters, he would not commit to staying for the rest of his career. Sure enough, during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Hirano told reporters that he was interested in playing in the United States. The right-hander earned his international free agent option in 2015, but only submitted the paperwork to exercise it in early November 2017, when his contract with Orix was expired. After the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the closer got the itch to play in America, saying, “Considering my age, I figured this would be my last chance to move (to the majors). I have worries but my desire to try my luck over there is greater.” src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9_fd87SK6uw?rel=0&" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> The 6’1”, 185-pound Hirano throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. In his earlier years, he raised his hands up almost above his head when winding up, but he has since toned that part of his delivery down. The right-hander has retained another quirk, hooking his wrist and wrapping his arm behind his back, almost showing the batter the ball before his stride forward. Hirano is primarily a two-pitch pitcher. His fastball, which sits in the low-to-mid-90s, generally is a flat, straight pitch, though it sometimes has slight run to both sides. The pitch can be described as having late life, sneaking up on hitters in the zone, especially when he throwing with plane, down in the strike zone. His go-to out-pitch is his forkball, which is a bona fide plus pitch. The pitch sits in the mid-to-high 80s and features late dive. He is able to throw his forkball with the same arm action and speed as his fastball, allowing the pitch to fool hitters until the last moment[...]



Mets Morning News: Arms race

2017-11-17T09:20:01-05:00

Your Friday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links. Meet the Mets After an injury-ravaged season, the Mets are on the hunt for a high-performance director in charge of players’ health. Despite Wilmer Flores’s producing the best offensive season of his career, the Mets are still pursuing second basemen. Still, he says he’ll be ready for whatever comes his way in 2018. The Mets are in the market for impact bullpen arms. NJ.com has compiled a list of free agent relievers they may be targeting this offseason. New manager Mickey Callaway and new pitching coach Dave Eiland shed more light on the team’s approach with starting pitchers and how deep they’ll pitch into games in 2018. The Post’s Ken Davidoff would like to see the Mets trap themselves under a seven-year contract for first baseman Eric Hosmer. Please, no. Around the National League East With the Braves bracing for punishment from the league, Talking Chop looked back on Major League Baseball’s history of docking teams for front office infractions. Giancarlo Stanton narrowly beat out Joey Votto in the fourth-closest MVP balloting race in history. The folks at the Good Phight don’t expect the Phillies to be major players in free agency and the trade market this offseason. Dammit, this is a cool shirt. Around Major League Baseball On the AL side of things, Astros second baseman claimed the MVP handily, garnering 27 of 30 first-place votes. The Mariners and Athletics have consummated the first trade of the offseason. Grant Brisbee ranked the 40 best free agents. Yesterday at AA In a fantasy world where the Mets have money to spend, Yu Darvish would make a great fit for the Mets. Steve Sypa profiled Hideaki Wakui, the right-handed ace of the Chiba Lotte Marines who wants to play in America in 2018. Vote now for the 2017-18 AAOP champion. This Date in Mets History Tom Seaver turns 73 today. Wish Tom Terrific a good one. [...]



The 2017-18 AAOP: The Finalists

2017-11-17T09:00:11-05:00

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Vote for the champions!

We’ve gone through the AAOP entries and made up our minds on the finalists. Several Amazin’ Avenue writers and authors chipped in to come up with the list of finalists, and now it’s up to you, the community, to vote for the champions. The finalists, in no particular order, who found ways to make the Mets’ offseason good, fun, or both are:

Voting will remain open until 5:00 PM EST on Monday, November 20, 2017, and we’ll post the winners that evening or the next morning. Best of luck to all, and thanks to everyone who took the time to submit an AAOP. This contest wouldn’t be the same if participation weren’t as strong as it is every year.

As a reminder, the prizes are:

First place: 1986 New York Mets Road to the World Series Art Print

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Second place: A paperback copy of Yells for Ourselves, Matthew Callan’s forthcoming book on the 1999-2000 Mets

Third place: One Daniel Murphy baseball imprint t-shirt, now out of print, size medium.




International Free Agent Profile: Hideaki Wakui

2017-11-16T11:00:01-05:00

The ace of the Chiba Lotte Marines is a free agent and is looking to play in America in 2018. Born on June 21, 1986, in Matsudo, a city in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan, Hideaki Wakui was a ballplayer from an early age, playing softball in elementary school and baseball in junior high school. He would go on to attend Yokohama Senior High School, one of the best baseball high schools in Japan. In 2003, he participated in the the 75th annual spring Koshien tournament. A junior, he was given the ball to start the tournament final against Koryo High School after pitching mostly in relief during the competition, but was touched up for six runs in 3.2 innings in an eventual 15-3 rout. The following year, the senior helped lead his team to the finals of the 86th annual summer Koshien tournament. Wakui was dominant in his first couple of games in the competition, but gave up six runs on fourteen hits in the quarterfinals against Komazawa University Tomakomai High School, knocking Yokohama Senior out of the tournament. The right-hander ended his high school baseball career on a high note, helping lead his school to a Sainokuni Magokoro National Sports Festival championship, and went on to get drafted by the Seibu Lions. Wakui made the Lions opening day roster in 2005, but failed to make much of an impact, as high pitch counts and his propensity to give up home runs limited the amount of innings he was able to pitch. Despite that, the 19-year-old showed a lot of promise, and with his above-average fastball in the low-90s and plus slider, the results would soon come. He had a much more respectable sophomore season in 2006, finishing the season with a 12-8 record, 3.24 ERA in 178.0 innings, and a solid 2.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2007, teammate and Seibu Lions ace Daisuke Matsuzaka left Japan to play for the Boston Red Sox, effectively making Hideaki Wakui the Lions ace. The 21-year-old took the ball from Matsuzaka and ran with it, having a breakout season and establishing himself among the upper echelon of pitchers in Japan at the time. He went 17-10 for the Lions, posting a 2.79 ERA in a career-high 213.0 innings pitched. Wakui wasn’t able to replicate his 2007 success in 2008, having a solid-yet-unspectacular year, but he was able to regain form in 2009, having the best season of his career. Having switched over to wearing the number 18, traditionally reserved for the ace of a pitching staff in Japan, during the winter, the right-hander went 16-6, posting a 2.30 ERA in 211.2 innings pitched. He led the Pacific League in innings pitched, complete games, shutouts, and wins, and was second in ERA and strikeouts. He led enough pitching categories to be named the 2009 Sawamura Award winner, beating out fellow Pacific League pitcher Yu Darvish- though Darvish may have gotten the last laugh, as he was named the 2009 Pacific League MVP. Wakui had another solid season in 2010, though he seemed to lose steam during the end of the year, posting a 5.79 ERA contributed to fatigue and a minor car accident that he was involved in. When the season ended, the pitcher and Lions management had a public spat, as the two sides were unable to come to terms on what a proper salary for the 2011 season would be. After Wakui stalled on agreeing to their offer of ¥200 million- which represented no raise, as he made ¥200 million for the 2010 season- the Lions balked and told him they were actually thinking of cutting his pay, citing the expectation of more from the ace than a solid season. The pitcher did not budge from his demands, and filed for salary arbitration. “I was amazed by Nippon Ham, “ Wakui said in regards to his situation and how easily the Nippon Ham Fighters came to terms with their ace, Darvish. “If only the [Lions] would just listen [to what I have to say and try to understand my position]. I have no intention of making this[...]