Matt Ehalt | NJ Advance Media- When the Mets acquired Neil Walker from the Pirates last week, they found their replacement for free agent Daniel Murphy, who batted third for them throughout the playoffs. They have yet to find a replacement for cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes, though, and manager Terry Collins would welcome another bat to strengthen a lineup that lacks a right-handed slugger. “It’d be nice,” Collins said. “As we all know, you’d like to have as many great bats as you can possibly get. The front office executives are certainly searching for a couple more pieces.”
(Chris Soto: Terry speak generally mirrors what the front office is thinking so for him to publicly come out and say that he specifically wants a right-handed OF with a power bat is a pretty good indication of where the team's focus is right now. The only guy who fits that profile exactly is Yeonis Cespedes, unless you think Alex Gordon is capable of playing CF.)
(Chris Soto: As we expected, with the Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker signings, Flores now finds himself in the heavily used utility role that Terry Collins loves so much. Against lefties, you could see Flores spotting Walker at 2B or Duda at 1B both of which have lower splits when facing their fellow handed counterparts. In addition, you'll likely see Flores start for Wright at least twice a week in an effort to not overtax the Captain's back.)
Michael Mayer | Metsmerized Online- According to multiple sources I talked to on Tuesday, RHP Rafael Montero will make his Dominican Winter League debut on Thursday pitching for the Leones del Escogido in the Parallel League. The Parallel League is like the minor league feeder system for the younger players to get some experience. If all goes well Montero could pitch on Monday in the last game of the season or in the playoffs. He will be on a short pitch count and could be limited to only relief appearances. He hasn’t pitched since throwing in the Mets Instructional League this fall, he struck out all four batters he faced in one outing.
(Chris Soto: Michael does some great work over at MMO and is far more plugged into the Caribbean Leagues then I am. Mr. Mayer is usually the first to know about news coming out of there and also follows guys in the much more distant Colombian League and in these smaller "minor" leagues. In regards to Montero, this is a very important start for him as the Mets front office is probably going to use this game as a barometer to figure out what kind of health shape Montero is in. His performance will probably dictate what the Mets next steps are in the Free Agent market for SP's.)
HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
- The Mets lost another minor league player to free agency when SS Wilfredo Tovar signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins.
- The Washington Nationals are discussing a trade with the Cincinnati Reds that would send Gold Glove 2B Brandon Phillips to D.C. This comes on the heels of current 2B Danny Espinosa asking the team to give him a shot at playing SS in 2016 which would allow the club to keep prospect Trea Turner in AAA for additional seasoning.