The Mets asked the Red Sox about OF Yoenis Cespedes toward the end of last season, but they were told it would take Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom to get a deal done, according to a source (Lennon, Dec. 11).
The Red Sox eventually traded Cespedes and two prospects to the Tigers for RHP Rick Porcello, who — like Cespedes — can be a free agent after next season.
“Porcello is a guy we had targeted earlier in the offseason,” Sox GM Ben Cherington said after the deal was announced. “We’ve had a pretty strong combination of scouting and analytics work on him.”
Matthew Cerrone: It doesn’t matter who the deal is for, the Mets have been or will be asked for a combination of the same three guys: Wheeler, deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. And, while Sandy Alderson might consider moving Syndergaard, as of now, deGrom and Wheeler are viewed as essentially untouchable >> Read more from Dec. 2.
It appears Eddie Boison, a.k.a. “Cow-Bell Man,” has fallen short of his bid to make ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame for 2014 (ESPN, Dec. 16).
“Boison is a stadium fixture for the New York Mets,” ESPN explains. “He can be seen at nearly every home game at Citi Field, wandering around the concourses while banging a cowbell. … He never knows where his seats are, he travels across the stadium hitting his cow bell to the tune of “Lets Go Mets,” and continues to do so throughout the game, specifically critical moments of the game.”
OF John Mayberry Jr. signed a one-year deal with the Mets, worth $1.45 million guaranteed.
Mayberry also has performance bonuses built into his contract that total an additional $500,000 based on plate appearances.
He will earn $50,000 each for 200 plate appearances, and each additional 50 through 450, and $100,000 apiece for 500 and 550 (AP, Dec. 16).
He hit .243 with a .341 OBP and .571 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching in 2014. For his career, Mayberry has hit .269/.324/.533, with 30 home runs, against lefties.
1) The Mets still haven’t decided whether to bid for Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang, who was posted on Monday.
2) The Mets officially announced that they have signed John Mayberry, Jr. to a one-year deal worth $1.45 million. To make room for Mayberry on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated RHP Gonzalez Germen for assignment.
3) Dillon Gee, who has been the subject of recent trade rumors, said that the Mets are ready to win.
4) The Mariners said that they’re not looking to trade SS Brad Miller.
5) SS Jed Lowrie, who the Mets reportedly had some interest in, signed a three-year deal with the Astros.
6) If the Red Sox trade a shortstop, it will most likely be 24-year-old prospect Deven Marrero – not Xander Bogaerts.
7) The Royals signed OF Alex Rios to a one-year deal worth $11 million.
“The Mets are ready to win,” Dillon Gee told MLB Network Radio on Monday. “This is going to be a big year for us.”
Last week at the MLB Winter Meetings, Gee was the subject of several reports indicating the Mets might trade him for a left-handed reliever or upgrade at shortstop.
“It’s hard not to see it, especially since I’m on Twitter,” Gee said. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little exciting to know other teams are asking about me.”
Sandy Alderson may be overvaluing Gee, according to an MLB source (Ackert, Dec. 11). There are several teams interested in Gee, but they seem to see him as a fall-back option as they try to acquire other pitchers on the free agent and trade market (Cerrone, Dec. 10).
The Astros have signed free-agent SS Jed Lowrie to a three-year contract, with a fourth year option (MLBTR, Dec. 15).
Lowrie’s deal is worth more than $20 million guaranteed, and he will play shortstop in Houston (Drellich & Drellich, Dec. 15).
The Mets were not as enthusiastic about Lowrie this winter as they once were (Rubin, Nov. 11). However, if prices began to come down later in the winter, they might have reconsidered (Rubin, Nov. 20).
There were several teams interested in Lowrie, but they viewed him more as a back-up infielder, second or third baseman, than a shortstop (Slusser, Dec. 8 & Crasnick, Dec. 8).
In November, a GM, agent and reporter predicted Lowrie would eventually get a three-year deal worth around $30 million (Heyman, Nov. 10).
Matthew Cerrone: Mo Vaughn was mostly a bust for the Mets, hitting just 29 home runs in the two and a half years he was on the roster. Yet, he’s responsible for one of the most impressive hits I’ve ever seen at Shea Stadium. In June 2002, he hit an 0-1, hanging slider roughly 500 feet that landed nearly two-thirds of the way up the scoreboard, creating a ripple down the Budweiser sign that I’ll never forget. The crazy part is, I can’t remember if the Mets won or lost, because the home run dominated the experience at the ballpark that night. I was seated some place in the upper deck in right field, almost eye level with where the ball landed. It was an incredible vantage point for what ended up being a meaningless, yet legendary hit.
So, you may have missed an entire season, Mo; you may have caused a lot of frustration for Mets fans; and you may have nearly killed me with a line drive during a pitching lesson with Kevin Morton in Norwalk when I was 14 years old (true); but I’ll always remember you and be thankful for that home run. It was an awesome experience, which is what the game is all about. Happy Birthday…