Kang seeking deal worth $5-6 M over 2-4 years

Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang‘s agent, Alan Nero, has said his client is willing to accept a four-year, $20 million deal, three-year, $17 million deal, or a two-year, $12 million deal, according to a source privy to player transactions in the big leagues (Korea Herald, Dec. 18).

Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that the Mets were unlikely to place a bid on Kang due to concerns about his defense and the transition to MLB.

Teams have until Friday evening to make a bid for exclusive negotiation rights with Kang.

“We’ve been looking at it,” Alderson explained. “It’s about the transition from the Korean league to Major League Baseball. It’s about questions surrounding the player’s ability to stay at shortstop — or possibly having to move elsewhere. Those are really the two major issues for us. I’m not saying we won’t make a bid, but I’d say right now it’s less likely.”

The Mets like Kang (CBS Sports, Dec. 8). However, similarly to the Giants (Shea, Dec. 9), they worry his power will not translate to MLB.

Kang hit 38 HR with 107 RBI for his team in Korea, where there was an 40% league-wide increase in run production last season.

More information and scouting reports on Kang...

That said, a talent evaluator with a background in scouting Kang said he possesses a good enough feel for the strike zone to make the necessary adjustments in America (Newsday, Dec. 15).

Similarly, ESPN’s Keith Law recently said, “I see a swing that will generate legit plus power. … The swing is rotational. … It’s a power swing more than a hitting-for-average swing.”

In terms of his fielding, there are questions about whether he can play a big-league shortstop on grass not turf. Wilmer Flores may actually be better on the infield, a talent evaluator recently said (Newsday, Dec. 15).

In the end, “He has very good bat speed and the potential for power, but I worry he’ll struggle to catch up to big-league fastballs,” an international scout told MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone last week, comparing Kang to free-agent SS Asdrubal Cabrera. “He’s an adequate fielder with decent reactions and a below-average arm who is probably best suited for right field or second base.”

In addition to the estimated $10-15 million posting fee, which goes to the team in Korea, Kang is expected cost at least a two- to three-year deal, according to MLB insiders (MetsBlog, Dec. 10).


Mets and Rockies were close to a deal for Dillon Gee

The Mets were close to a deal that would have sent Dillon Gee to the Rockies, but the deal is now on hold (Denver Post, Dec. 18).

The Rockies, Rangers, Giants and Twins all showed interest in Gee during the Winter Meetings, but viewed him as more as a fall-back option who they expect to still be available in January (Cerrone, Dec. 10).

Rockies LHP Rex Brothers was said to be of interest to the Mets (Harding, Dec. 10). However, their GM Jeff Bridich said, while specific players had come up during discussions, Brothers was not mentioned (Saunders, Dec. 10).


Rockies have talked to teams about Tulowitzki and CarGo

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.

Dillon Gee

ICYMI: Mets should keep their starting pitchers, create a new relief ace

This post was originally published Nov. 19, 2014

mangan avatarBrian 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 ParnellJenrry 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

Seven things we learned about Jeong-ho Kang from KBO expert Ryan Sadowski

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.

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David Wright takes a big hack 3333

David Wright is swinging a bat, will visit Long in january

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.”

In case you missed it on MetsBlog for Dec. 17, presented by Land Rover

1) On the shortstop front, the Mets likely don’t have interest in free agent IF Asdrubal Cabrera or Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang, but they continue to have interest in Mariners shortstops Brad Miller and Chris Taylor.

2) As part of their effort to get him through the entire season, the Mets may push Matt Harvey’s first start back to the home opener on April 13.

3) RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Steven Matz, and OF Brandon Nimmo topped Baseball America’s Top 10 Mets Prospects list.

4) Terry Collins revealed what his Opening Day lineup would be if the Mets made no more additions.

5) According to Sandy Alderson, the Mets signed 1B/OF John Mayberry, Jr. in order to enhance their production against left-handed pitchers.

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