The Rockies have talked with teams this winter about trading SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez for pitching, but no deal is imminent (Morosi, Dec. 18).
In November, Colorado representatives talked with a Mets executive, but they did not discuss specific players, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich told reporters during the GM Meetings.
The Mets and Rockies talked more about Gonzalez, less Tulowitzki, last summer (Harding, Dec. 10).
In early December, at the Winter Meetings, the Rockies were again asking around, wondering if the Mets were a match for their star shortstop, according to Daily News reporter Andy Martino. (Twitter, Dec. 8). However, he was later told by a team source that a deal was “not happening.”
The Rockies would want the Mets to take on all of Tulowitzki’s remaining $114 million, plus give up at least Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. However, the Mets are unwilling to pay this much of his salary, and they’re not interested in trading Wheeler or deGrom (Cerrone, Nov. 26).
Tulowitzki, 29, has missed nearly half his games the last three season and had his 2014 season cut short due to hip surgery to repair a tear in his left hip labrum.
Brian P. Mangan: The Mets will field the strongest possible roster in 2015 by keeping all of their starting pitchers, rather than trading them away for small, marginal upgrades — and converting one or two of them to the bullpen.
Starting pitchers generally see an uptick in performance in relief. The average converted starter throws about 1 mph harder, strikes batters out 17 percent more often, and allows roughly 17 percent fewer home runs when pitching in relief. The net result of that is about one less run allowed per nine innings (Baseball Analysts, Nov. 2014).
Remember, Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia were all starting pitchers that converted to the bullpen and have experienced great success there. To read more of this story, click here
It is unlikely the Mets place a bid on Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang, due to concerns about his transition to MLB, Sandy Alderson told reporters Tuesday.
Teams have until Friday evening to make a bid for exclusive negotiation rights with Kang.
Earlier this week, SNY.TV’s Toby Hyde and Robert Brender talked by phone with Korean baseball expert and former major leaguer Ryan Sadowski.Here are seven things we learned about Kang from Sadowski during the interview, which you can listen to at the end of this post…
1) He is a good athlete, but he has a thick lower half, which is why shortstop will be a challenge for him.
2) He has a good arm and decent hands, but he needs work on his fundamentals and footwork.
3) He would make a better third baseman than shortstop, where he’s not likely to stick at the MLB level.
4) He won’t hit 38 HR in MLB, though he does have the potential for power numbers.
5) He will need some development time in the minors, like the Dodgers did with Yusiel Puig.
6) He is worth a three- or four-year deal worth at around $4-5 million per season, and the negotiating team will have leverage for option years.
7) The Korean Baseball League’s every-day players can compete in MLB, but bench players and the lesser teams are stocked with guys that would be low-level minor leaguers in America.
David Wright has resumed swinging a bat, “a little,” he told reporter Adam Rubin (ESPN, Dec. 18).
Wright battled an injured shoulder during most of the second half in 2014, during which he received a cortisone shot and missed the final three weeks of the season, resulting in his least productive season since 2011.
Wright has said he expects to visit new Mets hitting coach Kevin Long in Phoenix after the New year, while arriving to Port St. Lucie at some point in early February.
In November, Wright told MLB Network Radio that his shoulder feels good, and current MRI results look significantly better than ones taken late in the regular season.
According to Wright, though his rehab has been tedious, he says, “I can feel my shoulder getting stronger and closer to normal.”
This week at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson said, though he continues to look for an upgrade at shortstop, Wilmer Flores will likely be his team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day.
That said, the Mets still have interest in free agent SS Stephen Drew and Everth Cabrera, a source told reporter Marc Carig (Newsday, Dec. 17).
In terms of free-agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, it was reported early Wednesday that the Mets are among teams still showing interest in him(Heyman, Dec. 17). However, Carig later said the team is not pursuing Cabrera due to concerns about his defense, according to a source.
Similarly, Alderson said Tuesday that he’s unlikely to place a bid on 28-year-old Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang, mostly due to concerns about his defense and the player’s ability to transition in to a MLB shortstop.
Lastly, according to Carig, while the Mets continue to have interest in the Mariners shortstops Brad Miller and Chris Taylor, “efforts to make a move for Miller have gained little traction.”
The Mariners have acquired OF Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs, meaning they’re less likely to move SS Brad Miller to the outfield (Dutton, Dec. 17), which was reportedly being considered earlier in the off season.
Miller and teammate Chris Taylor (also a shortstop) are two of three potential trade targets to be pursued by Sandy Alderson this winter, according to sources (Carig, Dec. 9).
In the days after the MLB Winter Meetings, a Mariners official said the team was not looking to trade Miller (News-Tribune, Dec. 12), since Taylor is considered to be more of a defensive shortstop.
In November, a front office person, an agent and multiple insiders said the Mariners and Mets match up well for a trade (Rubin, Nov. 11).
Matthew Cerrone: I heard the Mariners would be willing to use Miller in a deal to get an every-day outfielder, but instead it looks like they may go with a platoon and cobble the position together. They’re rumored to still be seeking a reliable, mid-rotation starting pitcher, which is where I’m people see the Mets coming in to play. I still think Dillon Gee and, say, Rafael Montero could get Miller or Taylor.
I think once the Seattle has their outfield buttoned up, they’ll turn their attention to the market for remaining pitchers, likely in January, which should still include Gee, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. At that point, I suspect these two teams will circle back and see if they still have a match, because — as Adam Rubin’s sources said — they’re the best possible fit. Frankly, at this point, Seattle may be Alderson’s only fit.