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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The New York Mets are buying the Authentic Justin Morneau #33 Womens jersey Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs as they work toward centering more of their minor league baseball operations in their home state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the deal Monday, calling it "a home run that ensures the Chiefs stay right where they belong while the next generation of `amazin' greats is fostered right here in central New York." Cuomo is scheduled to appear in Syracuse on Tuesday at NBT Bank Stadium, the team's home, for a formal announcement. The Mets will make Syracuse their top minor league affiliate beginning in 2019. New York's current Triple-A affiliate is in Las Vegas, and the distance has led to problems with quick call-ups after injuries and extra-inning games. The Mets had a Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo from 2009-12 before moving to Las Vegas. The Post-Standard of Syracuse first reported the change in ownership. The International League franchise has been community-owned since 1961 and has been affiliated with the Nationals for nine years. Washington's player-development contract with the Community Baseball Club of Central New York Inc. team was through the 2018 season. The Mets also own the Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Double-A Eastern League. Let's take the case of a baseball postseason manager. We need to call him something, so just to pick a name at random, let's go with "Grady Little." It's the biggest situation of the series. Deciding game, score is tied, bases are juiced. There are two outs. You have the option of selecting any pitcher on your staff -- non-fatigued -- to make the biggest pitches of your campaign. Who do you anoint? It's not such an easy call for most teams. Just from a numbers standpoint, you have to consider several possible factors that might trump the option of simply taking your best overall guy. Do you go with high-leverage success? What about strikeout rate? We're not considering lefty-righty traits here, but in the real deal, that would be a consideration. Who is consistent? Is there a starter whose stuff might play up for one key at-bat more so than your bullpen stopper? Does anyone have that one Carlos Ruiz #52 Youth jersey unhittable pitch -- the Mariano Rivera cutter, or the peak-Brad Lidge slider? After throwing all of those ingredients into a stew, here's who I would want in that spot for each postseason club. This is the hardball testament of me -- "Grady Little" -- who bears no relation to any actual manager who might have carried that name and/or faced just such a situation. It takes an awfully special pitcher to edge Kenley Jansen, who might turn out to be the best closer of all time (at least in the non-Rivera division). The real question here is whether for one hitter, you think that Kershaw would be able to dial up the dominance to a higher level than what Jansen brings night after night after night. I think so. According to FanGraphs, which I leaned on heavily for this piece, Kershaw's slider carries about the same value as Jansen's famous cut fastball, both in total and on a per-unit basis. However, as a starter, Kershaw has more tools with which to carve up hitters. Both pitchers are consistent and both have exceptional command, the latter a must-have for these spots. Finally, in terms of FanGraphs' clutch rating, which measures high-leverage pitching, Kershaw has outperformed Jansen over the last couple of years. If there were fewer than two outs in our scenario, you might be tempted to go with Jansen because of his higher strikeout rate. Might. Let's face it, the answer to almost any question of which pitcher you'd want in which hypothetical situation is going to be Clayton Kershaw. What you really want is the 2015 version of Jake Arrieta, or at least the Jon Lester we've grown accustomed to over the years. Recency has to play into this though -- we're talking about this postseason, not a generic one. Arrieta's sore hammy is a concern and Lester's recent results have been worrisome as well, which is why Kyle Hendricks might end up starting Chicago's first playoff game. Hendricks might be my favorite pitcher in the game right now, but he's too hittable for the spots we're describing. Hittable might not be the right term, but even soft contact is contact. I want a bat-misser. Carl Edwards Jr. has the filthiest stuff on the Cubs' staff, but he walks too many guys. That leaves us with Davis, who is sort of the best of all worlds. He's implacable and owns a good track record of getting outs in the highest of high-leverage spots. That said, Davis isn't as purely dominant as Lester when the latter is right; if Lester hadn't been up and down lately, he'd be my pick.
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