According to reports, the Mets continue to show interest in free-agent outfielders Nelson Cruz, who is looking for a four-year, $75 million deal…
6:30 am: The Mets, Mariners, Rangers and possibly the Phillies are among teams showing interest in Cruz (Heyman).
Nov. 26: Cruz is looking for a four-year, $75 million contract (Heyman).
Nov. 26: The Mets are definitely seeking a power-hitting corner outfielder, and are continuing to pursue Cruz and Granderson, among others (Heyman).
Nov. 22: The Mets remain interested in Cruz (Rosenthal), even after the signing of free-agent OF Chris Young.
Nov. 13: Mets are “going hard” after Cruz (Ackert), but a follow up report indicates their interest is overstated (Rubin).
The Mets have reportedly shown interest in signing free agent RHP Phil Hughes. Here is the latest…
Nov. 29: The Twins are likely to turn their attention to Hughes, now that they’ve signed Ricky Nolasco (Crasnick).
Nov. 29: The Mets are out of the bidding for Hughes, as long as he wants a two-year deal (Rubin).
Nov. 27: Hughes is likely to get a two-year contract, but the Mets aren’t interested in such a deal (King).
Nov. 24: The Marlins have shown interest in Hughes (Jackson).
Nov. 20: “At this point,” the Mets like Hughes more than Bronson Arroyo (Puma).
Nov. 12: The Mets have shown some interest in Hughes (Martino).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This is my 10th year writing MetsBlog.com. I never imagined I’d be doing it this long. It started as a hobby, grew in to a passion and now it’s a career and total obsession. This blog is going to do record traffic in 2013 and it would not be possible without you reading every day.
My goal for MetsBlog has always been the same: As a Mets fan, who desperately wants to see this team win again, I write about what I find interesting. That’s it. It’s that simple. Yes, there is news. Yes, there are rumors. Yes, I relay notes I’m fortunate enough to overhear and learn due to hustling for a decade. However, in the end, passion, context and timeliness are what make this site tick. I don’t care about getting credit for news or numbers, despite what people want to think. The only thing I care about is that you know this site is here for you, night or day, that you rely on it and that it helps you feel connected and more aware of what is happening with the Mets.
The day will come when I no longer write MetsBlog. I don’t know when that will be. I hope it isn’t any time soon. But, I know nothing can last forever. Regardless of where things go, I’ll always be thankful for your loyalty and readership over the years. It has given me a passion for sports media and digital content that focus me every day. I’ve been able to experience baseball in a way that is personal and very unique. I’ve met people I never could have imagined meeting. And, I’ve tried to share it all with you here as best as I know how.
In short, thank you for enjoying what we do, even if it isn’t always perfect. And thank you for reading MetsBlog, it means more to me than you’ll ever know…
Happy Thanksgiving… and Let’s Go Mets!
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Sandy Alderson has been focused on acquiring a power bat by trade, but he doesn’t want to give up any of his prized young pitching, according to Andy Martino of the Daily News.
For example, Martino explains, “There is gossip around the Mets about Alderson engaging clubs in talks for three-way deals.”
I’ve heard these rumors, as well. In early November I said, “In the event the Mets want to acquire Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista, it will probably need to be a three-way deal, according to people who have communicated with Toronto (MetsBlog, Nov. 18).” I also speculated a while back that maybe Alderson could bridge a gap between the Marlins and Rangers or the Rangers and Rays (MetsBlog, Oct. 8).
The point is — educated guessing, gossip or not — it’s going to take something like this to make a significant impact. The market is overpriced and tight, everyone is hustling for offense and no one wants to trade their best prospects. So, either no deals happen or GMs need to get creative, either by paying for parts of player salaries and/or wrangling in third and fourth teams in to deals…
Read More: Daily News (Martino)
6:01 pm: The Twins have agreed to sign RHP Ricky Nolasco (Cotillo). The deal is for four years and $49 million with a $13 million club option for 2018 (Passan).
10:18 am: The Rockies are aggressively pursuing Justin Morneau (Renck).
Michael Baron, Contributor10:18 am:
This could prove very significant in the Mets’ efforts to deal either Ike Davis
or Lucas Duda
. Colorado seemed like a logical suitor for either, and they reportedly checked in with the Mets on Ike earlier this month. If the Rockies sign Morneau, it’s one less option for the Mets to trade, thus shrinking the market and opportunity to maximize the return in a potential deal.
10:18 am: The Orioles are willing to listen to offers for Jim Johnson (Olney).
10:18 am: The Yankees are expressing interest in signing Omar Infante (Marchand).
10:18 am: The most sought after player on the A’s is Yoenis Cespedes, but it’s not clear whether they would deal him coming off a down year (Slusser).
10:18 am: The Reds are interested in signing Carlos Beltran (Pinero).
The Mets are interested in signing RHP Armando Galarraga and LHP Victor Garate to minor-league deals (Tejera, Rubin).
Galarraga, 31, last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2012 with the Astros, going 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts. He’s only made 13 big league appearances since 2010. He went 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 appearances and 24 starts with Detroit in 2010.
Galarraga went a combined 6-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 23 starts between Triple-A Colorado Springs and Triple-A Louisville n 2013.
Garate, 29, last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2009 with the Nationals when he allowed five earned runs in two innings over four relief appearances – it was his only big league season.
Garate went 9-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 19 appearances and 18 starts in the Mexican League in 2013.
Michael Baron, Contributor
These are the kind of pitchers I expect the Mets to bring in as competition and/insurance to Jenrry Mejia for the fifth spot in the rotation. Galarraga has more experience starting in his professional career, but Garate seems to fit the profile of a possible swing man.
The organization was very impressed with what Mejia showed at the end of last year, as they are hopeful he is finally living up to the hype which has followed him for the last four years. But while the bone chips in Mejia’s elbow are a non-structural injury and they expect him to be ready for camp, that injury was just another example of Mejia fragility to date. Hopefully, this is the last one and Mejia finally can get on track. But, they have to protect themselves and bring in bodies to give them more options, just in case…
Here is a comparison of Ruben Tejada and Rafael Furcal during the last three seasons:
Mets Double-A LHP Jack Leathersich, 23, was one of just six minor league relief pitchers to strike out more than 100 batters last season, with 102 in 2013.
Leathersich struck out 113 batters in 2012.
The information comes courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, who adds:
“Leathersich faced 90 right-handed batters at Double-A this year and held them to a .107 average with no extra-base hits. Naturally, he got hit harder by them at Triple-A (.261/.386/.493), but his overall strikeout rate versus both sides gives him major league potential. Walks against lefties need to be reigned in, but Leathersich was victimized a bit by bad luck (.533 BABIP), seeing as he didn’t allow an elevated rate of extra-base hits (about one in 10 balls in play). Fewer walks could mean a set-up role in his future.”
Leathersich pitched in 52 games between Double- and Triple-A in 2013, during which he struck out 102 batters and walked 45, while posting a 4.63 ERA.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
There is a nice buzz around Jack going back to last summer, A) because he’s looking like he could be a nice arm in a future bullpen, and B) he’s really confident, aggressive and has a colorful on-field personality. They say he has really nice movement with his fastball, which works well for him because he has no fear of throwing inside on guys. He has made nice strides toward being more consistent with his delivery, especially when switching to his secondary pitches, which is probably why he was promoted this past season. Think of him on the Josh Edgin track, i.e., two years of Single-A, a short move through Double-A to Triple-A this year, followed by a late-season promotion to Queens during 2014…
By the way, he goes by @LeatherRocket on Twitter…
Lastly, I profiled Leathersich for this SNY.TV Mets Minor League Report, which includes footage of him pitching, as well as insight about his game:
Read More: 100 Club of Minor League Relievers (Baseball America)
Mets OF Chris Young looks forward to playing everyday, he told MLB Network on Tuesday.
According to Young, Sandy Alderson was very clear that he’ll be able to get 600 plate appearances playing mostly corner outfield, with a chance of playing center field.
Young had a 4.1 fWAR in 2010, which jumped to 4.5 in 2011. However, he was injured in 2012 (2.5 fWAR) and traded at the end of the season to Oakland, where he struggled to find consistent playing time. He ended 2013 hitting .200 playing in just 107 games with a 0.5 fWAR for the season.
He attributes his poor 2013 to being traded to a new team, not playing every day and having to learn a new position. He says he is more comfortable playing corner outfield now, he knows what to expect and feels in control of his situation with the Mets.
“When you’re comfortable on defense, you don’t worry about (offense) as much,” Young said, referring to his time in Oakland. “I’d never been uncomfortable in the outfield, it never effected me at the plate. But, last year, moving to right field effected me, but as the year moved on I was able to get comfortable.”
Young had a .640 OPS in the first half of last season, a .690 OPS after the All-Star break. He has a .746 OPS for his career.
Ideally, Young says he would prefer to play center field for the Mets. That being said, he said he understands the situation with Juan Lagares, so, “Wherever the Mets need me, I’ll be there for the team.”
Rafael Furcal continues to draw interest on the free-agent market…
10:30 am: Furcal is working out in Miami, he’ll soon start a throwing program and lots of teams will be interested, including the Mets, who were very interested when free-agency started (Sherman on MLB Network).
Nov. 27: The Pirates and seven other teams have checked in on Furcal, according to his agent (Sawchik).
Nov. 5: The Mets are among five or six teams to show early interest in Furcal (Puma).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I mean, he is an option. I doubt he’s anyone’s first option, but he’s an option to compete with Ruben Tejada and others for the starting job… assuming no one else can be acquired. I’m putting him in the hope-he-can-be-what-Marlon Byrd-was bucket, and the fact that so many teams are calling him indicates there is a potential for a turn-around season. Of course, I’m not holding my breath. By the way, interest in Furcal by a third of the league speaks to the high price of doing business at shortstop this winter…
Furcal is a career .281 hitter with a .346 OBP during 13 seasons. He played in 121 games with St. Louis in 2012, but missed all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Mets OF Chris Young will essentially be a full-time player, likely getting the bulk of his at bats with the Mets in left and right field next season, Sandy Alderson told reporters Tuesday.
It’s not necessarily a ‘platoon,’ but it’s a mix-and-match, put-him-in-the-best-position-to-succeed strategy that is back in style in baseball, according to people around MLB.
“There is a premium on offense right now, especially power,” an NL source told me, after pointing out that fewer runs were scored last year than at any point in the last decade. It’s a common theme.
“Runs are runs, whatever it takes,” another front-office person told me, saying he expects to see more old-school trades this winter swapping role players to fill specific needs, such as the recent Peter Bourjos-for-David Freese deal.
He pointed to success last year in Oakland, Boston, St. Louis and Tampa — and the Yankees to a certain extent — who routinely used multiple lineups, platoons and rotated players.
It’s a market strategy that leads to the Reds giving Skip Schumaker, 34, a two-year, $10 million deal. Last year, he hit .262 in just 125 games for the Dodgers, but played second base and all three outfield positions.
“Again, what we’re looking for is eight players who give us our offensive package without completely sacrificing the defense,” Alderson said Tuesday, indicating he is still looking for outfielders, in addition to Young.
The goal is not to have three outfield platoons, as well as Lucas Duda and Josh Satin at first base. The Mets are still very much looking for a reliable power hitter to put behind David Wright. However, given what other teams are saying behind the scenes, “whatever it takes,” and mix-and-match are very much an option and something being turned to by teams desperate to up their run production.
The Mets are definitely seeking a power-hitting corner outfielder, and are continuing to pursue free-agent outfielders Nelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson, among others (Heyman).
Cruz is looking for a four-year, $75 million contract (Heyman).
Sandy Alderson said the Mets asked the Brewers about OF Ryan Braun, but the Brewers are not interested in moving him (Heyman).
Also, “We’ve reached out to other clubs about shortstops,” Alderson told reporters Tuesday night.
The Mets officially announced the signing of OF Chris Young to a one-year contract.
The Rays like Ike Davis, but the Rangers like David Price and can offer 1B Mitch Moreland to get him, which would take the Rays out of the running for Davis (Martino). However, the Rangers may be leaning towards keeping Moreland (Rosenthal).
The Rockies are shopping OF Dexter Fowler and are looking to acquire relievers and a hitter (Renck).
“I think Sandy has a plan in place and I think he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve starting at the winter meetings,” David Wright said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. ”I fully expect us to be a much better team moving forward.”