It's real... Mejia has a new look. #Mets pic.twitter.com/jO3umo0mqz
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 2, 2015
(Chris Soto: No more 'fro for Mejia which is sad. I thought it really gave him character on the mound.)
- According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, OF Cesar Puello has been placed on outright waivers in an attempt to option him to the minors. It is highly expected that some other team will place a claim on Puello as he has significant value off the bench as a bat against lefties, a late inning defensive replacement, and a pinch runner.
Tim Rohan | nytimes.com “The Mets welcomed (Jerry) Blevins on Tuesday, and they hope that he will become one of the final pieces of a contender. After making two trades Monday, the Mets have three promising left-handed relievers: Alex Torres, Sean Gilmartin and Blevins. Of the three, Blevins may be the most important, because he will be expected to match up against the best left-handed hitters in the division. Blevins made his unofficial Mets debut here, against the Nationals, facing Bryce Harper, whom he considers a friend. During the past few years, the Mets have overworked their left-handed relievers, from Pedro Feliciano, to Tim Byrdak, to Scott Rice, to Josh Edgin. All of them sustained arm injuries. But perhaps Blevins’s fate will be different. “I don’t throw quite as hard as Billy Wagner,” he said, grinning. In the N.L. East — where teams employ hitters like Harper, Freddie Freeman, Christian Yelich, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley — Blevins could become a valuable acquisition. “I evaluate the hitter, what they’re trying to do,” Blevins said. “Then you either try to exploit what they’re doing or play a little chess match and mix and match. Some guys guess, some guys don’t. It’ll be fun. It’ll be fun. I enjoy that."
(Herb G. There is little question in my mind that the Blevins acquisition will be a key to the Mets‘ playoff chances this year. His ability to get lefties out is critical in the NL East, and he has shown an uncanny ability to do just that over his entire 8 year career. I like the way he describes going about his job, the cerebral approach, and the fun in rising to the challenge. I don’t think there is too much danger of overuse in Blevins case, because I think Collins will use him differently than Feliciano or Rice, and certainly not like Wags. Blevins will get his lefty or two, and then be pulled, what with Alex Torres in the mix.)
Mike Puma | nypost.com “Rafael Montero gave it a good try, but Dillon Gee has clinched the final spot in the Mets’ rotation. A club source indicated Gee – the front-runner all along in the derby to replace injured Zack Wheeler – will get the ball for the Mets’ fourth game of the season, in Atlanta on April 10. Montero excelled in his final two starts of the exhibition season, combining to allow one run over 10 innings against the Yankees and Marlins. He will open the season in the bullpen, giving manager Terry Collins another young, power arm.”
(Herb G. I‘m not going to say that this is a travesty, because Gee pitched well this spring, and he has the major league track record, which Montero doesn‘t. But in my opinion, Montero deserved to get the nod. Just yesterday, Sandy Alderson was saying “There [was] a certain presumption that Dillon is the guy and I’m not sure that has changed, but Montero has done everything he possibly can to change that presumption, so we’ll have to see.” I guess Montero couldn‘t do quite enough to change Terry Collins mind. Collins has always seemed to favor experience over youth and potential, but I think he has made a mistake here. Not a fatal mistake, and not one that can‘t be rectified down the road. Meanwhile, Raffy will just make the pen that much stronger.)
Jeffrey Bellone | metsmerizedonline.com “The Mets made their fans happy on Wednesday by signing all-world, defensive wizard, Juan Lagares, to a four-year $23 million extension. The deal will start in 2016, covering all four of his arbitration-eligible seasons, plus a one-year $9.5 million club option for his first year of free agent eligibility. At 26-years-old, the Mets have locked in a cornerstone player for the next four, or five, years, hoping that at about $5 million per season, while they may overpay in 2016 to what the arbitration process would have granted in salary, they will make out in the long run. Looking at what we could expect Lagares to make through the arbitration process, and perhaps being conservative, it appears the Mets found a good discount at 4-years and $23 million. Of course, they also get that 2020 team option at $9.5 million, which turns the deal into a real cost saver.”
(Herb G. This article is an interesting read and I suggest you look it over in its entirety. In it, Bellone compares Lagares to Brett Gardner and Andrelton Simmons, both of whom are strong defensive players who recently signed extensions. He points out, among other things, that the Mets have secured Lagares’ services for $5.6 million per season, while the Braves will be paying Simmons an average of $8.2 million and the Yanks will be paying Gardner $13 mil. No one knows which player will be more valuable to his team, but it seems to me that the Mets have gotten a bargain. My only regret is that they didn’t lock him up for a longer period . . . But that just isn’t the Mets way.)