What's Your Language?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Collins, Expected payroll, Signing Dickey/Wright, Gee, Slumping Murphy, Valdespin, Wheeler, Second-half Swoon

Mets News and Notes:

A source tells Mike Puma in the Post there is "no chance" Terry Collins will be fired after the season.

Sandy Alderson said he expected the 2013 payroll to be in the vicinity of $100 million -- comparable to this season -- although he again maintained during a Q&A with season-ticket holders Sunday that he has yet to get a firm figure from ownership.

"I have not talked to Fred [Wilpon] or anyone else about where that payroll is going to be, but I’m hopeful we’ll be in the same range if not somewhat higher," Alderson said. "But I can’t confirm that at this point. What I look at is what our needs are and how we fill those needs. And there’s no question that being able to add to the payroll is an important part of being able to address those. So is the willingness to make trades, trade prospects, bring players in from outside -- so lots of things to take into account.

"I wish I could tell you exactly where we’re going to be. You can probably sense where my sentiments would be. It’s something we have to address, various scenarios. We’ll see exactly where we land. It’s an important point, an important question, and I wish I could give you a better answer at this point. But I expect to be able to give you a better answer in the next few weeks -- well, before I have to spend it, anyway." 

The GM expressed his intent to re-sign David Wright and R.A. Dickey, although that also was his official position with regards to Jose Reyes. Wright and Dickey are under control for next season through team options. Wright has indicated he is uninterested in negotiating during the 2013 season -- with Dickey less resolute on that subject. Essentially, the Mets have this offseason to try to negotiate an extension with Wright or he may be testing free agency.

“I fully expect that David Wright and R.A. Dickey will be here not only next year, but long term," Alderson said. "As you all know, we have options on both those players, and it’s not our intention to simply rely on those options and go into next season and deal with their free agency after 2013. We’re going to deal with it up front while we still have a little bit of room to maneuver. But we’re committed to trying to bring those two back. I hope they’ll both be back, and I’m excited about the possibilities they will be."

Dillon Gee's angiogram in St. Louis on Friday revealed he has no lingering issue from surgery six weeks earlier to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee will begin tossing a baseball next week. He is not aiming for a return to pitching in games until next season.

Slumping Daniel Murphy, who returned to the starting lineup after a two-game rest, departed with a right shoulder injury after an eighth-inning at-bat. Ronny Cedeno replaced Murphy the following half-inning at second base. Collins said Murphy felt his shoulder pop. The team described the injury as a strain in the back of the shoulder. But Murphy described it as a spasm and predicted he would be OK. He will undergo an MRI today. Murphy was hitless in four at-bats before departing and is now hitting .095 (4-for-42) in his past 13 games. 

Duda's return seemed to bump Jordany Valdespin to Buffalo through when the Triple-A season ends, next Monday. But Murphy's injury has Valdespin in a holding pattern rather than leaving New York. The rookie could rejoin the Mets and be activated in Philadelphia if Murphy needs a DL trip. The requirement to spend the remainder of the season in the minors (or 10 days, whichever is less) is circumvented if a teammate lands on the DL.

Zack Wheeler tossed a seven-inning complete game as Triple-A Buffalo beat Rochester, 1-0, in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sunday. St. Lucie's game, originally moved to a 10:30 a.m. start, ultimately was canceled because of the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Michael Salfino in the Journal notes the Mets' second-half swoon may be historic.

Salfino Writes:

No team that was more than five games above .500 before the break (the Mets were 46-40) had a second-half record worse than the Mets' 13-29 -- a .310 winning percentage. If the Mets keep it up, they'll sink even further than the 1983 Angels, who went 42-36 (.538) in the first half, then 28-56 (.333) in the second. But the effects of this Angels' collapse didn't linger: The next season, they finished 81-81. The Mets suffered a similar collapse in 1991, falling from 46-34 (.575) in the first half to 31-50 (.383) in the second. The next year, they played more like the post-all-star version, finishing just 72-90 (.444). But the 1973 Yankees proved that their first half was a better predictor of next year results. That team faded from 57-44 (.564) to 23-38 (.377) after the All-Star Game, but played .549 ball (89-73) in 1974.

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