Chris Cwik | Yahoo Big League Stew- After losing out on Ben Zobrist, the New York Mets decided to go another direction at second base. The team traded pitcher Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for second baseman Neil Walker. The move all but guarantees playoff hero Daniel Murphy will not return to the club next season. The move also enables the Mets to send Herrera to the minors for more seasoning in preparation of him taking over the full-time role once Walker leaves. Herrera came into last season as a top-50 prospect according to Baseball America, but hit just .211 during his limited call up.
(Chris Soto: After sleeping on this trade overnight, I am still quite happy with the move. The club was able to fill a position of concern, trade from their team' strength without diminishing said strength, and provided the opportunity to get Herrera some more seasoning, as well as, open up some competition for the 5th spot in the rotation. Adding Walker only adds $1-2m of payroll vs. the $15m it would have required to add Zobrist. Lastly, with a rotation spot open, the club can now bring back Bartolo Colon on a 1 yr low salary deal to be a solid bridge till Zack Wheeler is healthy again. Let's say he signs for $5M per season....the net gain in funds for the off--season ends up being $8m that can be used elsewhere to improve the team.)
(Chris Soto: Well....there goes the $8m per season I was talking about. As much as we love Flores' hitting potential, the fact of the matter is, his bat left much to be desired even at SS let alone at the more offensive oriented 2B position. His bat was supposed to make up for his defensive shortcomings but unfortunately he has done nothing but post below league average numbers in both departments. Defensively, Asdrubal is not that great at SS either, but he has surer hands and better instincts at the position that can limit the damage. Offensively, he's had some down years [2013, 2014] but most of his other seasons he is usually one of the Top 5 offensive SS in baseball. He even garnered some MVP votes in 2011 when he launched 25 HRs for the Cleveland Indians.)
Danny Abriano | Rising Apple- The Mets will likely re-sign RHP Bartolo Colon, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. With Niese now in Pittsburgh, bringing Colon back makes perfect sense. Ideally, Colon will be in the starting rotation until Zack Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery in June or July. Once Wheeler is back, Colon can shift to the bullpen — where he excelled in the postseason. Or, if the Mets are comfortable with their fallback options during the summer, they could always trade Colon to a team in need of rotation help. If the Mets don’t sign Colon or another starting pitcher, Logan Verrett would be an option, and Sean Gilmartin has experience starting as well. The Mets could also potentially turn to Rafael Montero, who missed the majority of last season due to shoulder issues, but who is due to begin pitching in winter ball next week.
(Chris Soto: I love the idea of bringing back Bartolo on a 1yr low salary deal. Not only is he a consistent Innings eater who can take pressure off the bullpen, but he's just a flat out great clubhouse guy. He knows how to have fun and enjoy the NYC market. Sure he has his occassional blow-ups on the mound whenever he doesn't have fastball command but the fans love him, and more importantly, the young arms in the rotation gravitate to him and learn about his mastery of pure fastball command. There is no risk to signing him back on.)
HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Colorado Rockies are taking offers on all 3 of their OF's Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Corey Dickerson.
- The Phillies traded young RH closer Ken Giles to the Houston Astros for RHSP Vincent Velasquez, LHSP Brett Oberholtzer, OF Derek Fisher, and RHP Thomas Eshelman.
The Rockies making Charlie Blackmon available is extremely enticing. Blackmon has 3 yrs left of cost control left via arbitration and he has a massive amount of speed that can extremely valuable at the top of a batting order. His speed also helps mitigate the fact that you should be expecting some power decline moving from Coors Field to Citi Field. He isn't rated as a good defender in CF, but there is a TON of ground to cover in Coors so a move to Citi Field's smaller dimensions could be helpful. He's certainly worth taking a look at.)