Earlier this week, the Mets signed –
RHP Bartolo Colon – ‘Big Bart’ returns for one more season, probably in the SP5 slot until Zack Wheeler returns. He also is around to step up in case one of the ‘ Big 4’ go down with an injury. Barring that, my guess he will go directly to the bullpen once Wheeler returns which I sonly a big plus as well. All this just is one more step in the way of Rafael Montero’s growth and there really is nothing left for him to do in the minors. I now expect Montero to definitely open up in the Vegas rotation and, hopefully, he will post up good enough numbers to create a desire to trade for him.
LHP Jerry Blevins – Blevins resigned with the Mets for a one-year, $4mil (+$1mil incentives) deal… or, as one Mack’s Mets reader pointed out, the Mets signed Blevens and Colon for the same money they saved from the Michael Cuddyer retirement. Blevins, like Colon, have worn the blue and orange before and knows the way to the clubhouse. His Met ERA was 0.00 (15 batters, 14 lefties) when he went down with a fractured left forearm after being hit with a line drive from Miami’s Dee Gordon. This is a great resigning and especially strengthens the LOOGY role if Josh Edgin is slow to return.
LHP Duane Below – Below comes out of the Tigers organization where he did rise to pitch in 64 major league games over two seasons. His best season was 2011 where he posted a 3.88 ERA in 27 games for the Tigers. Last season, he impressed the Mets in Las Vegas, going 4-3, 2.19, 1.09 in 11-games, 5-starts in a league not known for their pitching.
RHP Buddy Carlyle – The name Carlyle is no stranger to Mets fans. The 37-year old (38-year old next season) made 38 appearances in the past two seasons for the Mets, including a stellar 2014 stat line of 27-G, 1.45, 0.90. Carlyle stumbled in 2015 (11-G, 5.63) when injuries took over; however, it’s obvious the Mets feel there still is some gas in his tank.
LHP Andrew Barbosa – The 6-8 (yes, a 6-8 lefty) Barbosa is an interesting signing. He’s a 36th round (2012) pick out of USF-Fla that became a free agent on November 10th. His best numbers last season came at the AA level (16-G, 5-starts, 2.68, 1.12, 43.2-IP, 51-K) and Indy Ball (Long Island – 9 starts, 2.82, 51-IP, 59-K). He will pitch 2016 as a 28-year old and could start off the season as part of the Binghamton rotation.
1B-OF Marc Krauss – Going into the week, the Mets had no one ‘on paper’ as their Las Vegas first baseman. Prospect Dominic Smith will start the season in Binghamton and there was some hopes that the Mets could push Matt Oberste (will play 2016 as a 24-year old) from St. Lucie directly to Las Vegas. That’s not necessary now. Krauss will play 2016 as a 28-year old and has had some good lower level pop numbers, but they have faded as he began to play AA, AAA, and the major league level. He’s played most of his professional career in the outfield; however, he has exclusively become a first baseman for the past two seasons. I project his, a best, a AAAA player.
The bullpens of Las Vegas (Below, Carlyle, Barbosa, Kraus, Paul Sewald, Akeel Morris, Josh Smoker, Dario Alvarez, Jeff Walters, Zach Thornton, Beck Wheeler, Chase Huchingson, Chase Bradford, Stolmy Pimentel, Jim Henderson) and Binghamton (Kyle Regnault, Robert Coles, Mike Hepple, Kelly Secrest, David Roseboom, Jimmy Duff, Tim Peterson, Domingo Tapia) are both getting quite filled and adjustments will have to be made before the season starts.
Mike asked -
I was browsing the MLB Free Agents and saw an interesting Free Agent Outfielder named Domonic Brown, former Phillies Top Prospect. In 2010 Baseball America had him the number 1 prospect in front of Mike Trout. Yes the same Mike Trout that is arguably the best player in baseball right now and probably for the next 10 years. You can try him out in center field and see how he does. Best case, he is either really good and becomes full time starter or platoon man with Lagares. Worst case, he's your fourth outfielder instead of Captain Kirk. A change of scenery could do him really well and why not take a flyer on him with either a minor league contract or a low salary high incentive contract. Let me know your thoughts on this
Mack – Brown was one of the great ‘finds’… 20th round out of Redan H.S. in Georgia. His finest year in the minors was 2010, where he hit .318 in AA, .346 in AAA and finished the year with the Phillies. He was 22 years old and the whole world was ahead of him… after that, the best year he had was 2013 (Phillies: 27-HR, 83-RBI, .272). He signed a one-year deal last year to avoid arbitration but fizzled, hitting only .228 in 189-AB.
I asked John Cleveland, an old friend of mine and big Philly fan, his opinion of Brown -
Brown was supposed to be our next super star in Philly but it never materialized. He had one good year in 2013 when he hit around .275 with 27 hrs. and 83 rbi's. During that year he tailed off during the second half and fell flat the next two years. He's 28 and may be worth a shot on the bench and maybe a change of venue will help him.
I loved everything about Brown, and yes, if you can sign someone named Marc Krauss, you could give Brown one more shot. He’s have to earn his way back so I’d start him in Vegas which is a little crowded already. Still, Brown is (or was) a very talented ‘bat’ that just may need a new uniform.