John Harper

May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former first baseman Keith Hernandez is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former first baseman Keith Hernandez is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Harold Baines, really? 

A very good player, obviously, yet upon hearing that Baines was elected to the Hall of Fame on Sunday by a 16-person committee, I couldn't help but think immediately of a couple of dozen former star players who are more deserving. 

One of them being Keith Hernandez

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees passed on Patrick Corbin, smartly so at the price the Nationals paid, and now Nathan Eovaldi is heading back to the Red Sox. So where does Brian Cashman turn for starting pitching?

The obvious move is J.A. Happ, but if Cashman wants to gamble a bit on the potential for greater October dominance, as he did in trading for James Paxton, Trevor Bauer can be had at a bargain price.

Tags: Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees passed on Patrick Corbin, smartly so at the price the Nationals paid, and now Nathan Eovaldi is heading back to the Red Sox. So where does Brian Cashman turn for starting pitching?

The obvious move is J.A. Happ, but if Cashman wants to gamble a bit on the potential for greater October dominance, as he did in trading for James Paxton, Trevor Bauer can be had at a bargain price.

Tags: Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees passed on Patrick Corbin, smartly so at the price the Nationals paid, and now Nathan Eovaldi is heading back to the Red Sox. So where does Brian Cashman turn for starting pitching?

The obvious move is J.A. Happ, but if Cashman wants to gamble a bit on the potential for greater October dominance, as he did in trading for James Paxton, Trevor Bauer can be had at a bargain price.

Tags: Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, John Harper
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 (Richard Drew)
(Richard Drew)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | If Mets fans were looking for a sign of genuine hope on Tuesday, the most significant wasn't the donning of the jerseys by Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, but rather the stars in Jeff Wilpon's eyes when he spoke admiringly of his new GM, Brodie Van Wagenen.

Suffice it to say there could be a direct correlation to a higher payroll for 2019.

"Brodie's got his fingers in on everything right now," Wilpon said to reporters at Citi Field. "I haven't seen anybody with this much drive and determination in a long time."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Wright, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, John Harper
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Too many prospects for Cano? 00:03:12
SNY's DNL crew chats about the status of the Mets trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, and whether they spent too much in prospects.

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | -- OK, I know that even fans who hadn't heard of Jarred Kelenic until Thursday are now convinced he's the next Ted Williams, and there are plenty of scouts who will swear to that, but let's start with the bright side: 

The Mets are going to be better in 2019 for acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in the still-to-be-finalized trade with the Mariners, and maybe a lot better if Brodie Van Wagenen's first-ever deal kicks off a series of off-season moves, as anticipated.

For that matter, you can probably say the same thing about 2020 as well. 

 

Tags: Anthony Swarzak, Jay Bruce, Seattle Mariners, Todd Frazier, John Harper
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John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | -- Brodie Van Wagenen seems determined to make a big splash to kick off his career as Mets GM, and while you can debate the merits of pursuing Robinson Cano in a trade, such a move would leave no doubt that there's a new sheriff in town.

Under Sandy Alderson the Mets moved slowly and conservatively in making deals, and while that wasn't always a bad thing, this organization is desperately in need of some creativity at the moment.

In short, the Mets have declared themselves a win-now team, but they need more talent to honor such a pledge and they don't have much help coming from the farm system.

 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Seattle Mariners, John Harper
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Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton throws against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton throws against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees could have been content to re-sign J.A. Happ, who proved to be reliable in pinstripes last year. And maybe they will still do just that, but in trading for the Mariners' James Paxton on Monday, GM Brian Cashman went for the higher ceiling for an obvious reason:

He needs somebody to beat the Red Sox in October.

He needs somebody to make the Yankees champions again.

Tags: Justus Sheffield, Seattle Mariners, John Harper
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It turned out all that fretting over whether his lack of run support would cost Jacob deGrom the Cy Young Award was unnecessary stress for Mets fans everywhere.

In fact, in some ways it was fitting that deGrom won so easily, collecting 29 of the 30 first-place votes. For just as his season was historic in many ways, so was the verdict, as delivered by the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

With that in mind, here are two important takeaways from deGrom's landslide victory:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, John Harper
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New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres is congratulated by third baseman Miguel Andujar after hitting a three-run home run. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres is congratulated by third baseman Miguel Andujar after hitting a three-run home run. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

To the astonishment of just about everybody in Major League Baseball, Shohei Ohtani proved he was worthy of all the "Japanese Babe Ruth" hype, so it's hard to argue that he is not a deserving winner of the American League Rookie of the Year Award, as announced on Monday night.

But that shouldn't diminish Miguel Andujar's accomplishments in 2018. If anything, the historic nature of Ohtani's hitter/pitcher feats should only enhance appreciation for Andujar's rookie season.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

So what are the chances the Yankees could interest the Dodgers in trading for Giancarlo Stanton as a way of clearing a path to sign either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado

Put it this way: they probably have a better shot of convincing Brodie Van Wagenen to send Jacob deGrom their way for some minor-league prospects. 

That may have been the case under any circumstances, but especially so after the Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported the Dodgers have sent documents to investors pledging to stay under Major League Baseball's luxury-tax threshold for the next four years.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, John Harper
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Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | Why is it that the more Brodie Van Wagenen insists Travis d'Arnaud could still be a big part of the Mets' catching solution, the more I think of Bubba Crosby.

For the most part, Van Wagenen has made a good early impression in his transition from agent to the Mets' front office, and falling into GM-speak is to be expected, but one thing fans don't want to hear is that all is well on the catching front.

Yet the new GM has spoken excitedly of d'Arnaud's potential, even coming off Tommy John surgery, as if the last five seasons hadn't already happened...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, John Harper
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Yankees not out on a Harper deal 00:01:03
SNY Yankees insider Sweeny Murti discusses why Bryce Harper would be a perfect addition to the Yankees young core despite a hefty price tag.

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

Just because Scott Boras is making the case that Bryce Harper could solve the Yankees' first-base problem doesn't mean Brian Cashman should come running with an open checkbook. 

But at the very least it's an intriguing thought, one the team in the Bronx can't afford to dismiss. 

After all, can anyone say with certainty that Greg Bird will overcome his recent injury history and slumping ways at the plate to become the star slugger the Yankees once envisioned?

Tags: Bryce Harper, John Harper
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John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

It would be incorrect to call the idea of the Yankees trading for Madison Bumgarner a pipe dream, considering the state of disrepair that currently defines the San Francisco Giants.

In fact, the immediate future of their organization is so bleak that team president, Larry Baer, has declared the need for new direction, starting with the ongoing search for a young, analytically savvy GM who can modernize the old-school front office. 

And given the Giants' lack of young talent at the major or minor league level, coming off back-to-back horrendous seasons, it's not unreasonable to think the new GM would consider trading Bumgarner as a way of jump-starting a major rebuild.

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Sep 26, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman (35) stands on the dugout steps in the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Sep 26, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman (35) stands on the dugout steps in the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brodie Van Wagenen will have pricier decisions to make this offseason if he's going to deliver a contender in 2019, but one of his first moves as Mets' GM should be to ensure competency in the dugout by hiring a savvy bench coach for Mickey Callaway.

That's not to say Gary DiSarcina was incompetent as Callaway's bench coach last season...

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 (Patrick Gorski)
(Patrick Gorski)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | 

The more you watch the Red Sox this October, the more obvious it is they are superior to the Yankees offensively, mostly with a relentless approach that has translated into remarkable success in two-out situations.

And that begs the question: how does the home run-or-bust team in the Bronx become better-rounded offensively and thus close the gap on its rivals?

For starters, Brian Cashman should sign Daniel Murphy. 

Tags: Daniel Murphy, John Harper
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 (Patrick Gorski)
(Patrick Gorski)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | 

The more you watch the Red Sox this October, the more obvious it is they are superior to the Yankees offensively, mostly with a relentless approach that has translated into remarkable success in two-out situations.

And that begs the question: how does the home run-or-bust team in the Bronx become better-rounded offensively and thus close the gap on its rivals?

For starters, Brian Cashman should sign Daniel Murphy. 

Tags: Daniel Murphy, John Harper
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USA infielder Peter Alonso hits a two-run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
USA infielder Peter Alonso hits a two-run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

At times Peter Alonso has been portrayed via scouting reports as the worst defensive first baseman since Mike Piazza, if you remember how that ill-fated -- and brief -- position switch went for the Hall of Fame catcher late in his Mets' career.

In that case it would make sense to dangle Alonso, the 23-year old slugger, as trade bait to American League teams this winter to help fill immediate needs elsewhere, notably at catcher or in the bullpen.

Except the Mets insist it's not the case at all...

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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In the end, Giancarlo Stanton was far from the only reason the Yankees failed miserably in this ALDS against the Red Sox, but he is the only one making a zillion dollars, coming off an MVP, 59-home run season, and acquired theoretically as something of a final piece to a championship puzzle.

So he is going to have to wear it all winter and into next season, as the most obvious target for fan frustration. And rightly so.

In some ways Stanton is the new Alex Rodriguez from those Yankees-Red Sox wars of the past, the hired-gun superstar who came up small when it counted most -- unable to get a clutch hit throughout this series, despite his many opportunities...

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, John Harper
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Ron Darling (AP)
Ron Darling (AP)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | 

A day later, despite denials from all involved on the Yankees' side, Ron Darling is standing by his comments that Luis Severino appeared to be late for his warm-up before Monday night's ALDS Game 3 loss to the Red Sox. 

"It seemed unusual to me," Darling told SNY by phone on Tuesday. "That's why I brought it up. A lot of people can disagree, but, really, I don't know how they could."

Darling, the former Met who does analysis on Mets' games for SNY, told a national audience during TBS' broadcast that he saw Severino begin throwing off the bullpen mound at 7:32 p.m., eight minutes before the game was scheduled to start. 

Tags: Luis Severino, John Harper
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Ron Darling (AP)
Ron Darling (AP)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | 

A day later, despite denials from all involved on the Yankees' side, Ron Darling is standing by his comments that Luis Severino appeared to be late for his warm-up before Monday night's ALDS Game 3 loss to the Red Sox. 

"It seemed unusual to me," Darling told SNY by phone on Tuesday. "That's why I brought it up. A lot of people can disagree, but, really, I don't know how they could."

Darling, the former Met who does analysis on Mets' games for SNY, told a national audience during TBS' broadcast that he saw Severino begin throwing off the bullpen mound at 7:32 p.m., eight minutes before the game was scheduled to start. 

Tags: Luis Severino, John Harper
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