|photo by Mack Ade|
Posted by Mack Ade at 6:30 AM
Mack – Early Moves, Qualifying Offers, Jose Bautista, Trump and International Draft, Matt Harvey
The Mets have exercised the option on the contracts of OF Jay Bruce and IF Jose Reyes. They declined the option on P Jonathan Niese and have allowed 2B Neil Walker, P Jerry Blevins, P Bartolo Colon, P Fernando Sales, P Jim Henderson, 1B James Loney, OF Alejandro De Aza, OF Justin Ruggiano, IF Kelly Johnson, and IF Eric Campbell to declare free agency.
Mack – This is a reduction of over 25% of the players on the 40-man squad.
I expect a handful of these players to come back to the Mets this season. My hopes are to see Colon, Blevins, Salas, and Johnson.
Speculation is that ‘Josh Twins’ (Edgin and Smoker) will be the primary lefties coming out the pen, along with a new primary left handed pitcher. This could possibly end any future association with Blevins.
Sales was one of the best Mets trades in years (for minor leaguer Erik Manoah: A-ball, 6.00 … Sales-Mets: 17-G, 2.08)
This leaves the 40-man roster as follows –
Total - 33
Pitchers (15) – deGrom, Edgin, Familia, Gilmartin, Harvey, Lugo, Matz, Montero, Reed, Robles, Smoker, Syndergaard, Verrett, Wheeler, Ynoa
Catchers (3) – d’Arnaud, Rivera, Plawecki
Infielders (8) - Cabrera, Cecchini, Duda, Flores, Reyes, Reynolds, Rivera, Wright
Outfielders (6) - Bruce, Conforto, Granderson, Kelly, Lagares, Nimmo
That’s 8 openings
My guess is that P Paul Sewald, P Ricky Knapp, C Tomas Nido, and OF Wuilmer Becerra, and IF Amed Rosario will be added to the 40-man rather than be lost in the Rule 5 draft.
Both Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin could easily find themselves dropped from the 40-man, so you the net after all these moves could be 5 slots open.
The Mets will make a $17.2mil qualifying offer to both OF Yoenes Cespedes and 2B Neil Walker.
Don’t get excited about the Cespedes offer. It’s so low based his talent that he might even be offended by the offer. What it does do is guarantee the Mets a draft pick if Yo decided to go. I expect the Dodgers to be the team that secures his long term services (another one year opt out?).
And yet, then there is the article last night by Rich Mancuso (https://www.nysportsday.com/2016/11/09/mancuso-sources-say-mets-in-drivers-seat-for-yoenis-cespedes/) that say that the Mets are in the ‘driver’s seat’ for Cespedes.
The Walker is much more doable. Let’s remember… he is coming off a back injury and, though it wasn’t considered a serious injury, it does raise some questions to teams that might have made him a multi- year offer if he remained healthy during a wonderful 2016 he played for the Mets.
Will the Mets strike out here with another second baseman flying the coop?
The Mets inquire about the services of free agent OF Jose Bautista.
An interesting option; however, at 36, and coming off injuries, I’m not sure if this would be the best ‘bat choice’ to replace Yoesnes Cespedes.
For the record, he did have 22-HR and 69-RBIs this past season in 423 at-bats.
The Mets, nor Bautista, will ever be able to bring back 2010 (54-HR, 124-RBI). Still, it’s an option to consider, especially when you stick him in the lineup in between Granderson, Wright, Bruce, Duda, and Conforto.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfield on President-elect Trump and the planned changes in baseball’s international draft –
''Haven't heard anything with respect to the Cuba issue that would suggest that there's going to be any change, and I think we're all familiar with things he said about Mexico. I think we need to wait and see what actually happens. It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Donald Trump got elected president. Pretty interesting all the way around. So here we are.'' http://sports.yahoo.com/news/manfred-trump-not-impact-mlb-international-plans-211011195--mlb.html
Mack – The federal government is not going to build a wall around this process. Baseball will have a difficult time as it is getting this process reformed and there isn’t a simple solution for the 16-years old Latin players that could be signed and turned pro in the past. You can’t include them in a combined draft with the USA and then deny a 16-year old from America the same process. And you especially can’t ask America’s youth to quit high school and go play rookie ball in plays like, ironically, the Dominican Republic.
The Donald has bigger fish to fry than this catfish.
Super agent Scott Boras says he expects Mets pitcher Matt Harvey to be at 100% come spring training –
Boras - "I just saw him in New York. He's throwing free and easy. He's strong. He's had a great deal of time to work out and focus on his body and strength. We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old.''
Mack – Doesn’t Boras say this every off-season?
Nobody is more disappointed in Harvey’s 2016 (4-10, 4.86, 1.47) than I am, and no Mets pitcher gets less support from the rest of the starters (82 professional starts, only 57 decisions). But let’s look deeper at the stats he has compiled over his 4 year Mets career –
82-games, 82-starts, 29-28, 2.94, 1.08, 520-IP, 525-K, 119-BB, 9.09-K9
This may not be SP1 type numbers, but it does fit in nicely in between Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
It also, if Harvey could remain and pitch healthy, set up a perfect wave of creating a trade of Harvey around the all-star break that could bring the Mets two quality long term players.