Mike Piazza 4a (AP)

It’s early, but Mike Piazza is on target for HOF

Mike Piazza currently appears on 86 percent of 39 public Hall of Fame ballots (Thibs HOF Tracker, Dec. 22).

To get in to the Hall of Fame, a candidate must appear on 75 percent of the 571 ballots from Baseball Writers Association of America.

Piazza got just 62.2 percent last year, up from his debut. Results of the 2015 election will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6 on MLB Network and MLB.com.

“Given the likelihood of anywhere from two to four honorees, Piazza isn’t likely to get in this year,” according to HOF analyst Jay Jaffe (SI.com, Dec. 9). “But, with Ken Griffey Jr. the only likely first-ballot candidate in 2016, Piazza has a strong chance then, particularly if he inches forward this year. It won’t be the first-ballot entry he deserved, but he’ll get his bronze plaque soon enough.”

2014 world series trophy

Mets are 25-1 odds to win the World Series

The Mets have 25-1 odds to win the World Series in 2015, according to online sports book Bovada (New York Times, Dec. 21).

The Yankees are also 25-1 odds to win next year.

“On paper, when you look at them, the Yankees should be better,” YES TV analyst Al Leiter said to the Times. “Now I’ve got my YES cap on, but there’s reasons to be excited about the Mets with all that young pitching. They could be and should be a playoff team.”

Leiter cites a Curtis Granderson resurgance, Michael Cuddyer’s signing and Matt Harvey’s return as keys to the Mets winning the World Series in 2015.

“Don’t underestimate the impact that [hitting coach Kevin] Long will have on Granderson,” Leiter said. “That’s real. And [Lucas] Duda can hit the ball out of Yellowstone Park.”

Wilmer Flores readies at second

ICYMI: Priority list of free agent shortstops, and interest around MLB

This post was originally published Dec. 19, 2014

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said that, if he brings in another shortstop, it will likely be a free agent not by trade, despite the persistent Troy Tulowitzki rumors.

Based on the player’s demands, skill level, market, and the team’s interest, I’d say it’s more likely the Mets settle on Stephen Drew than Everth Cabrera or Asdrubal Cabrera. And, if they had to choose a Cabrera, I bet they go with Everth over Asdrubal. Also, I think signing Takashi Toritani is more likely than Jeong-ho Kang, though I think both are a long shot at best.

Here is a collection of reported information about the remaining free-agent market for shortstops, which is hardly burning with demand…

Stephen Drew: There are several teams considering him, including the A’s, Mets and Yankees. The Astros checked in on Drew as a possible utility player, but they’re no longer interested. The Braves have interest in him only as a second baseman (MLBTR). In November, Jon Heyman, an agent and a GM predicted he’ll eventually a one-year deal worth between $7-$10 million.

Jeong-ho Kang: Similar to the Mets, the Giants, Twins and A’s have asked about him, but are not overly interested because of concerns about his bat translating to MLB and his defense at shortstop. His agent has said, once an estimated $5-10 million posting fee is paid, Kang would consider signing a two- to four-year deal worth between $5-7 million a season (MLBTR).

Asdrubal Cabrera: He is being mostly considered by teams as a second or third baseman, rather than a shortstop. The Royals have some interest, the Twins have only slight interest and the A’s aren’t interested at all. The Giants had interest, but see him only as a third baseman. The Nationals checked in on him early in the offseason, though it’s not clear why (MLBTR). In November, Jon Heyman, an agent and a GM predicted he’ll eventually sign a three-year deal worth between $25-$36 million.

Everth Cabrera: The Mets are the only teams to be connected to him in rumor, and it’s mostly reports stating how concerned they are about his off-field situation (MLBTR).

Takashi Toritani: He has drawn interest from several teams, specifically the Blue Jays. Terry Collins said the Mets were looking at him, as well. According to his agent, Scott Boras, Toritani will be eligible to sign with a Major League club at some point in December, but he doesn’t have much interest in coming to America to be a part-time player.


Mets fans would trade Syndergaard, but not Wheeler or deGrom, for Tulowitzki

The Rockies and the Mets had been discussing trading SS Troy Tulowitzki in a deal involving RHP Noah Syndergaard, according to multiple reports (MetsBlog, Dec. 19).

In a poll to MetsBlog on Friday, nearly 58 percent of over 12,000 voters said they would trade Syndergaard and other prospects to get a deal done (MetsBlog, Dec. 19).

However, 80 percent of more than 12,000 voters said they would not include Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom to get Tulowitzki (MetsBlog, Dec. 17).



Red Sox sign Craig Breslow, Mets still seeking LH relievers

The Red Sox will sign left-handed reliever Craig Breslow to a one-year, $2 million deal (Bradford, Dec. 19).

The Mets met with Breslow at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, but reports later indicated they were not going to sign him (Martino, Dec. 9).

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that he’d like to add a second left-handed reliever to his bullpen next season, but any further additions will likely be players signed to minor-league deals.

The team re-signed LHP Scott Rice to a minor-league deal last week. Rice is expected to compete in Spring Training with minor league relievers Darin Gorski, Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich, among others, as well as LHP Sean Gilmartin, who was acquired from the Twins in the Rule 5 draft.