11-2-12 – Darrell Ceciliani, Mike Nickeas, 40-man, The ‘T’ Word, Hot Stove


Darrell Ceciliani on playing in the AFL - MLB :
"I love being out here. It's been an honor to get invited to play here, playing with some of the best guys in the Minor Leagues. I think it's just helping me trying to get more consistent at-bats, consistent playing time. It's been good for me to see what I'm going to start facing at the next level as I move up the ladder. Whatever the Mets have in mind for me, we'll see what happens. I'm just trying to become more consistent in every part of the game -- defense, offense, using my speed to my advantage, trying to stay healthy. That's my biggest goal, and that's been going against me for the last couple years.”

Observation:  It sounds like DC is maturing. No one has ever questioned his ability to hit the ball. His only problem as a pro is his inability in letting his injuries heal in a proper manner and time period. It looks like he’s 100% and, normally, I would say he needs a full season at St. Lucie in 2013, but he’s being pushed by Gilbert Gomez, Brandon Nimmo, Travis Taijeron, and Cesar Puello. My guess is he and Puello are playing right now for a starting slot in Binghamton, while the other is left back in Florida.

photo by Mack Ade
Mike Nickeas (bats right) has cleared waivers, been removed from the 40-man roster, and has been out righted to AAA-Las Vegas. This comes as no surprise simply based on his anemic bat; however, this does not mean that you have seen the last of him in a New York Mets uniform. One must say at this point in his professional career that he doesn’t have the ability to hit at a major league level (3-yrs, .180), but Nickeas is loved by both the organization and the pitching staff when it comes to handling and catching the young talent in the organization. You can do a lot worse in life than make $480,880 a year playing baseball in Vegas. My guess right now is that Lucas May might be without a job, Anthony Recker will compete with whoever else they bring into camp for the platoon with Josh Thole, and Juan Centeno (bats left) will get the lion share behind the plate in Vegas.

photo by Mack Ade
I’m not exactly sure where the Mets stand right now on the 40-man rosters. One thing they are obviously doing is making room to protect some of the players that are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December. You also may see a number of players removed this month, either because they were DFA’d by the team, or they cleared waivers are were sent to Las Vegas. Names like Manny Acosta, Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch, Chris Young, Tim Byrdak, Mike Pelfrey, Ronny Cedeno, Reese Havens, Scott Hairston, Andres Torres, and Juan Lagares are all on the bubble. There will be major changes in 2013 with this team, even though it probably won’t be because some hotshot free agent was signed. Look for the Baltimore Orioles approach in 2013. Lots of new faces making $1mil a year for one year.

Update: - Scott Hairston, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno, Kelly Shoppach, Tim Byrdak and Chris Young all became free agents at midnight.

Jon Heyman finally dropped the ‘T’ word in his story about catcher Russell Martin. The story covered all the free agent catchers on the market; however, Heyman said that the Mets were ‘inclined’ to seek catching help via a trade. Look, the only way the Mets are going to field a competitive team in 2013, with a $100mil salary cap while living with existing contracts, is to start dealing off some of the depth they have in their system. And, all of that depth is pitching. It’s great to have 11-12 possible future starters, but there’s only five slots, and Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jon Niese own three of them for a considerable amount of years. We’ve talked about teams with four great outfielders or two great catchers in the system time and time again, and it’s now time to pull another Wheeler out of your cap. First, save yourself Montero and Fulmer for that fifth slot in 2015 latest. Then, package two of your top pitching prospects each (Verrett, Gorski, Pill, Camarena, Tapia, Mateo, deGrom, Ynoa, Lara, Cessa, Robles) for a centerfielder and a full time catcher. Sure, Brandon Nimmo looks like he’ll be ready by 2015, but anything can happen until then. Get someone you can offer a back-loaded three year contract, who’s lion share of salary can be paid once the 2014 money comes off the books. This is why you have all this pitching. Don’t wait until they have a bad year. Just do it.

Claimed Off Waivers:

          IF Alexi Casilla – from Twins to Baltimore – (excellent defense)
          P Zach Putman – from Rockies to Cubs
          C Brett Hayes – from Marlins to KC
        Thomas Fields – to Orioles
          Josh Roeniche – to Orioles

Outright to AAA:

          Mets C Mike Nickeas – $480,880
          Milwaukee 1B Travis Ishikawa (.257/.329/.428) - $525K)
Colorado RHP Carlos Torres - $480K
OF Lew Ford – Orioles - $488,500
          (.331/.390/.550 with 11 homers in 62 games)
LHP - Zach Phillips – Orioles - $488,500
IF - Steven Tolleson – Orioles - $480,000
RHP-  Sam Deduno  - Twins - $480,000
C – Manny Pina – KC - $480,425

Players opting for free agency:

          RHP Jose Veras – Milwaukee - $2mil
          RHP Kameron Lowe – Milwaukee – $2.6mil
          OF Nyjer Morgan – Milwaukee - $2.6mil
          OF Scott Hairston,  $1.1mil
           P Jon Rauch, - $3.5mil
           P Ramon Ramirez, $2.65mil
           IF Ronny Cedeno,  $1.15mil
           P Kelly Shoppach, $1.35mil
           P Tim Byrdak  - $1mil
           P Chris Young - $1mil

Players Teams Have Declined an Option On:

          Aubrey Huff – San Francisco - $10mil
          C Mike Napoli – Texas - $13.3mil qualifying offer
        P Dan Haren – LAA- $15.55mil - $3.5mil buyout

Reinstated from 60-Day DL:

          Colorado – 1B – Todd Helton  $5mil
          Coorado – RHP - Juan Nicasio - $480,000
          Colorado – LHP - Christian Friedrich - $480,000 (5.260
          KC -  LHP – Danny Duffy - $487,750
          KC – RHP – Felipe Paulino - $1.9mil

Players Teams Have Picked Up Options on:

          Colorado – RHP Josh Sulivan - $480,000 – 5.26-ERA

Players Signed:

          RHP Hishaki Iwakuma - Seattle – 2-yr.

Players DFA’d:

          P Josh Spence – San Diego
          OF Blake Tekotte – San Diego       


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