Monday’s Arizona Fall League recap…
Mets outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo had another nice night Monday in Arizona, reaching base twice on a single and a walk. He also drove in his fifth run.
The 21-year-old has at least one hit in seven of his eight AFL games, with a .333 batting average, three extra base hits and six walks.
Matthew Cerrone: The Cubs, D-Backs, Red Sox and Reds match up best for a trade with the Mets, according to researcher and writer Mark Simon (ESPN, Oct. 16).
For instance, Simon explains, the Cubs have have shortstops Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Addison Russell and they are in need of young starting pitchers; while the Red Sox and Reds have outfielders to deal, such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce. Similarly, in addition to having SS Didi Gregorius, Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings to trade, Arizona’s front office of Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart, as well as new manager Chip Hale, all have a positive history working with Alderson.
That said, it doesn’t seem Stewart is interested in doing a lot of trading this winter, even though any one of his three young shortstops could be used to acquire a starting pitcher, according to local reporter Nick Piecoro (AZ Republic, Oct. 9).
“You’re not getting back Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom,” one scout told Piecoro, “but maybe you get back Rafael Montero,” he said, in regards to deal for Gregorious, Ahmed or Owings.
The thing is, according to Arizona insiders, I’ve heard that if they’re going to trade anyone it’ll be Gregorious, who has never been tops on Alderson’s list. And, at this point, it can be argued that Wilmer Flores is a better overall option.
In regards to the Cubs, despite speculation from fans and media, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons has said many times that he doesn’t think the two teams will ever see eye to eye on a deal swapping pitching for hitting (MLB.com, Aug. 19). Chicago reporter Mark Gonzalez made a similar comment to SNY’s Mostly Mets Podcast this past summer (SNY.TV, Aug. 19).
In addition to the teams mentioned above by Simon, I’ve been told by MLB insiders to also keep an eye on the Rockies, Mariners, Dodgers and Angels, as it pertains to matching up with the Mets.
The Mets and Mariners talked early and late last off season, but nothing ever materialized. The two teams continued scouting one another deep in to March. For instance, last winter, the Mets offered Jon Niese to the Mariners for SS Brad Miller, but a deal never worked out, Gammons told MLB Network (MLB.com, Aug. 19). Nevertheless, Gammons said, because Miller is now on the bench, he could easily see him getting moved in a less-costly deal. The Mets and Mariners also reportedly talked about a deal for 22-year-old 2B-SS Nick Franklin, dating as far back as the Winter Meetings, according to a team insider (ESPN NY, Feb. 24). It was later reported that the Mariners were likely to deal Franklin before Opening Day (ESPN NY, Feb. 20), but he started the season with their Triple-A team.
“The Mets and Blue Jays have also made deals in the past, and though Jose Bautista might be too much to ask for, the Mets have the resources to give it their best shot,” he concludes.
I would love to see the Mets get Bautista, who will earn $14 million next year with a team option for 2016. It’s my understanding that the Mets checked in on him a few times last winter, as did other teams, but Toronto was (and probably still is) looking for a straight salary dump, while acquiring a big-league ready, front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. Also, I think it will be more difficult for these teams to hook up than people think, since they just swapped top prospects for a Cy Young winner a few years ago, and that will undoubtedly make for a weird negotiation.
In the end, I still don’t think Alderson will cave and overpay for Baez or Castro, or even Bautista or Bruce. Instead, I think there is a a far better chance he makes a less obvious deal using Niese, Kevin Plawecki, Montero, etc., for someone out of Boston, Seattle or Arizona. In any case, the Mets have one of best – if not the best – young pitching staffs in baseball. There is a deal to be made with any one of these teams, but I don’t expect either team to make a move just for the sake of doing something. It’s going to take work to find a match.
The Mets and Yankees have contacted Dave Magadan about their vacancy at hitting coach, he told the New York Post.1
Magadan was scheduled to meet with Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Wednesday in New York to discuss the job that opened when former hitting coach Kevin Long was fired.7
Update – Oct. 20: Magadan will not be the Yankees hitting coach, he’s been told. 8
Magadan is considered the front runner for the hitting coach vacancy with Oakland. 9
Magadan served as hitting coach for the Padres and Red Sox before joining the Rangers, who are allowing all of their coaches to talk to other teams in the wake of firing their manager. He was drafted by the Mets in 1983 and played in the big leagues for them from 1986 though 1992. He hit .288 with a .390 OBP over 16 seasons in MLB.
The Mets are also among teams to talk by phone with and show interest in hiring Long, according to a league source.2
“I’ve gotten calls from a lot of teams,” Long said, who is also drawing interest from the Braves, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Brewers, Pirates and D-Backs.4 Long was fired last week by the Yankees after being their hitting coach for seven years.
“The effort was sufficient. The results just weren’t,” Brian Cashman said this past weekend when announcing Long’s dismissal.5
It was reported in May that Curtis Granderson, who played four years under Long, and several teammates were using his ‘Home Run Drill’ during pre-game warm ups.6
The Mets fired their hitting coach Dave Hudgens in May. Lamar Johnson was named interim coach as his replacement, but was dismissed at the end of the season and offered a different job in the organization.
The Yankees will visit Port St. Lucie and play the Mets on March 22 during Spring Training next season (NYYFans, Oct. 20).
The Mets will travel to Tampa to face the Yankees on March 25.
The Yankees released their spring-training schedule on Monday. The Mets have yet to release their schedule.
The Mets and Yankees routinely played against one another to close out Spring Training in what was deemed The Mayor’s Trophy game. However, due to the Yankees relocating to Tampa, as well as interleague play, the two teams stopped the tradition in 1996.
The Mets and Yankees returned to play in Spring Training in 2012, but did not play the last two seasons.
NYT: Young Mets Discover Unlikely Pals in Yankees
Can the Mets and Yankees prospects co-exist as friends during the Arizona Fall League, asks report Tim Rohan.
Every year, each MLB team sends seven prospects and a handful of coaches to the AFL for six weeks. This year, Mets and Yankees prospects are on the same team >> Read more in the New York Times.
In a recent review of the Mets, Marlins and Nationals farm systems for FanGraphs.com, Marc Hulet described 18-year-old Mets Single-A SS Amed Rosario as the organization’s “Lottery Ticket.”
Rosario, who will turn 19 next month, was signed out of the Dominican Republic two years ago for the largest signing bonus in the club’s history (MLBTR, Oct. 2012).
“Rosario showed improvement during his second pro season,” according to Hulet (FanGraphs, Oct. 10). “He’s toolsy and has a chance to be a solid player both at the plate and in the field but he needs to get stronger. He has the frame to add significant pop once he puts on some added muscle, although he’ll likely never be a power hitter.”
Baseball America lists Rosario as the third-best prospect in the New York Penn League this year (Baseball America, Oct. 6).
He currently ranks as the organization’s seventh-best prospect (MLB.com, Oct. 2014). However, according to scouts that have talked with SNY.TV’s Toby Hyde, he may actually be their best prospect.
“Offensively, Rosario began to clean up a very busy swing, but he still has a long way to go,” says Hyde, writing about Rosario’s 2014 season. “At the plate, he’s shown that he’s very focused on shooting the ball the other way in games. In batting practice, he will show very impressive power given his age and size to his pull side, but he has not put that into games much.”
According to Hyde, Rosario will begin 2015 with Single-A Savannah, where his development could be one of the biggest stories in the team’s farm system next season >> Read more about the organization’s top shortstop prospects, including Gavin Cecchini.
The Sporting News has named Jacob de Grom their National League Rookie of the Year (Oct. 20).
The award is voted on by the players in the league.
“I’m very honored to receive this prestigious award,” deGrom said to the Sporting News. “My teammates were a huge reason for my success. Individual honors are nice but what excites me the most is looking forward to next year and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”
De Grom finished his season at 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 140 1/3 innings.
Jerry Koosman (1968), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984) were also honored as Sporting News Rookies of the Year. The award has been presented since 1946.
The Baseball Writer’s Association of American name their NL RoY on November 10.