Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Last year, Sandy Alderson jumped early in the free agency market and signed OF Chris Young. We all know how that turned out.
This year could look like another premature signing of Michael Cuddyer, which once again is early and far ahead of how the market was going to work out.
Cot baseball[i] already lists Hanley Ramirez as a left fielder. Boston also had Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Allan Craig, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts to fill the other two slots in the starting outfield.
My guess is Castillo and Betts are the ceilings while Victorino is the foundation. The rest (that are left) all seem to be expendable.
Even if Cespedes winds up in Cincinnati (as rumored) one must ask if trading a back end starter for either Craig or Nava would have been a better deal than 2-years for Cuddyer and the loss of the 15th pick in the draft.
Another 5th OF candidate could be ex-Met Ezequiel Carrera, who elected free agency after turning down a triple-A assignment by Detroit. Carrera hit .261/.301/.343, 73-PA last season and has a lifetime .253-BA. He has good speed and has played all three outfield positions.
Would divisional rivals, the Washington Nations, consider filling the Mets need for a second lefty in the pen this season?
Fangraphs [ii] had a Thanksgiving feature on the Nats top 5 prospects, which included LHP Sammy Solis at number five:
5. Sammy Solis, LHP: This former second round draft pick (2010) has a lot of potential but injuries have derailed his promising career and he’s missed much of the past two seasons due elbow injuries (both before and after Tommy John surgery). The burly southpaw also missed time last year with a back injury. If he’s healthy, Solis could help the Nationals in 2015 but it might come from the bullpen in an effort to keep him out of the infirmary.
Seems to me a Gee for Solis deal would be one talented pitcher with an injury history for another.
Wendell Kim, 64, a long-time major and minor league coach should be spending his days playing golf near his home in Arizona, like many others in his profession. He had a long career with the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and several minor league clubs. Instead he is in a silent world of his own--all by himself. The world of Alzheimer’s Disease. And--according to a friend of his-- he's not coming back. [iii]
Sandy Alderson has now told reporters that 2B Daniel Murphy will be back for the 2015 season and he expects big things from him. The good news here is the fact that, at least, there seems to be some closure here. I always was a big fan for an extended contract here, which doesn’t seem to be an option anymore. I’ll just be happy he will be around for a pennant race in 2015.