Matthew Cerrone: The Red Sox would like to sign a top free-agent starting pitcher, then get another arm by trading OF Yoenis Céspedes, according to people connected to the team.
In regards to the Mets, though, I don’t think they’ve ever been eager to trade for Cespedes, who is due $10.5 million next year, after which he can become a free agent. And at this point, with Michael Cuddyer on the roster, Cespedes is not what the Mets need, especially if he will cost Jon Niese and a pitching prospect, such as Noah Syndergaard.
That said, if I were Alderson, I’d get a conference call going with the Red Sox and Rangers.
Texas is willing to trade any of their shortstops, including Elvis Andrus (MLB Network, Nov. 16 & Rosenthal, Nov. 23). They also have middle infielders Luis Sardinas, Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor.
The Rangers have middle infielders to move, the Mets have extra pitching and depth at catcher and the Red Sox have Cespedes — who could be a great fit in Texas — and Boston have said they are looking to acquire a starting pitcher, catcher and an outfielder this winter. This sure sounds like a fit to me…
Daisuke Matsuzaka will return to Japan to continue pitching, according to the Japan Times (Nov. 25).
Dice-K will reportedly sign with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
Matsuzaka, 34, posted a 3.89 ERA and 1.344 WHIP over 83 1/3 innings for the Mets last year. In the two season with the team, Matsuzaka posted a 4.06 ERA in the majors over 41 appearances (16 starts). He signed a minor league deal with the Mets in 2013, and re-signed for $1.5 million for 2014.
The Mets are interested in free-agent LHP Craig Breslow (Morosi, Nov. 25).
“We’re a little thin on the left side,” Sandy Alderson recently said. “We can’t be complacent about the bullpen, they can ebb and flow from year to year.”
Breslow, 34, had a 2.04 ERA in 84 appearances in 2012 and 2013. However, he struggled last season with the Red Sox, going 2-4 with a 5.96 ERA in 60 games.
Matthew Cerrone: I’ve also heard they have interest in free-agent RHP Jason Motte, who, though right-handed, has pitched quite well against left-handed hitters. Breslow would be good, as well. And, I’m intrigued by what Jack Leathersich can bring to the table, since I assume he’ll be in Port St. Lucie competing for a spot on the roster as well.
By the way, Breslow and I were on the same high school baseball team. Obviously, he was A LOT better than me.
The Mets are still looking for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder, though they’re open to using Eric Campbell or Cesar Puello in that role as well, Sandy Alderson told SNY’s Joe Kraus.
Alderson wants someone on the roster who can play corner outfield in the event Michael Cuddyer starts at first base against left-handed starting pitchers.
Matthew Cerrone: I still think the Mets will and should sign a guy like Jonny Gomes, who can start in Cuddyer’s place when he’s at first against lefties for Lucas Duda. Cuddyer and Gomes could split time at DH in inter-league games, start here and there and each get ample rest since they’re both in their mid 30s. They’re also both known for aggressive play, they have post-season experience and would provide strong leadership around David Wright.
In 495 at bats the last three years, Gomes is hitting .253 with 23 home runs against left-handed pitching.
To read who Maggie Wiggin, Ben Berkon and Brian Mangan would pursue, click here.
Wilmer Flores is not a prototypical shortstop, Sandy Alderson told SNY’s Joe Kraus.
However, he added, “There are a lot of shortstops that are not prototypical and are successful at the major-league level. In fact, if you look around baseball, there aren’t a lot of classic shortstops, who can do it all.”
Alderson recently told reporters he is currently working to address his shortstop situation.
“It’s definitely something we’ll be taking a look at over the next week and through the rest of the offseason,” he said.
The Mets are reportedly looking to trade from their depth at starting pitching for a shortstop on par with or slightly better than Flores >> Read more about potential trades here.
“We’ll continue to look, but Wilmer has done a nice job for us the last couple of years,” Alderson told Kraus. “We’ll see where we are when Spring Training opens.”
Matt Harvey is not phased by the new, shorter outfield wall dimensions at Citi Field, he told WFAN on Tuesday.
“For us, if you throw three guys out there throwing 95-plus mph, to hit a ball out there you’re gonna have to crush it anyway,” he said. “We have to keep the ball down, move guys around anyway, so I don’t think it’s going to cause much harm.”
The Mets moved the right-center field fence from 390 to 380 feet, while the area near the bullpen moved from 375 to 370 feet.
According to Sandy Alderson, had the new dimensions existed last season, his team would have hit an additional 17 home runs, while opponents would have hit an extra 10.
To see a video of Alderson’s media tour debuting the new wall, click here.
Matt Harvey will be 100 percent ready when he reports to camp in February, he told WFAN this morning.
Harvey said he took the last month off and will begin his normal rehab program, throwing off a mound, in December.
“It’s nice going in to the offseason as a normal player,” Harvey said. “Spring Training can’t come quick enough.”
Last week, Sandy Alderson told WNBC that he does not intend to shut Harvey down next year the way the Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg when he returned from Tommy John surgery.
“The key for us is figuring out a way to manage his season so that he’s available to us if or when we get to the postseason,” Alderson explained.
Harvey missed all of 2014 after having Tommy John surgery in late 2013.