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Just when it all looked so promising for the New York Mets, this happens.
During Tuesday night's game, the Mets made an announcement that third baseman David Wright sustained a broken right pinkie on the middle joint.
Wright apparently injured himself diving back into first base on a pick-off attempt Monday night against Washington. At first it was only thought to be a jammed finger, but x-rays revealed a slight fracture.
For now, Wright has been put in a splint and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday for further results. A presumed timetable can be expected Friday, after a hand specialist can look at the x-ray results, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.com.
Manager Terry Collins hasn't made any declarations yet whether or not Wright will have to go on the DL, or if he can play through the pain while it heals.
Wright says that while he doesn't want to go on the DL, he realizes it may be inevitable if he has to sit for a little bit.
"If I can't play sooner rather than later, I understand. They can't go and be down a man for 10 days or so," Wright said about the DL. "I want to get out there and play as soon as possible. I guess, ultimately, it's not my call, because if I'm not available and still on the roster, we're down a man. ... Obviously, I don't want to go on the DL. No one ever wants to go on the DL. But sometimes it just works out that way. Hopefully, that's not the case this time."
For now, the Mets and Wright play the waiting game.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with WFAN on Tuesday, expressing his optimism that the Mets can get their financial straits sorted out. He stoked the ire of some fans when he took to his @MetsGM Twitter account to poke fun of his team's money troubles. In the interview, Alderson assured those who were still worried that he is focused on sorting the books.
"Once we get to spring training, we'll be almost all business," Alderson said. "I think Mets fans have a sense of humor. I think they're passionate and I certainly don't want to offend that passion. Three months from now that financial picture could be a lot clearer and a lot brighter. In the meantime, we're going to spring training and I think we'll have a far more interesting team to watch than many people have felt."
Alderson also gave an update on starting pitcher Johan Santana, who underwent shoulder surgery in September of 2010 and is still on the road to recovery. Santana is scheduled to throw from the mound on Friday.
"He's going to be ready to start spring training as any other pitcher would be. I think from that point on we'll have to monitor where he is and hope he stays on track," Alderson said. "But from our point of view now he's one of the five. We expect him to start spring training that way. And we're very hopeful he'll end spring training that way."
Billionaire investor Steve Cohen, who is amongst the bidders in the pending sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is nearing a deal to buy a minority stake in the New York Mets, according to a report in the LA Times.
Cohen is expected to purchase one of the ten shares currently offered by the Mets, who have fallen on hard financial times. His investment is expected to total $20 million.
Should the deal go through as expected, Cohen's pursuit of the Dodgers will not be ceased, however he would have to sell his stake of the Mets if he were to successfully purchase the Dodgers.
Cohen's founded the Connecticut-based investment firm SAC Capital Advsiors, and has an estimated worth of $8.3 billion. A current government investigation is looking into charges of insider trading by one or two of the company's former employees, but no charges have been filed against Cohen or the company.
The Mets lost $70 million last season, and reportedly face potential liabilities of up to $386 million from the fallout of the Bernie Madoff scandal.
New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said recently that he expected rehabbing pitcher Johan Santana to have a “normal spring training” as he continues to come back from September 2010 shoulder surgery. Santana, however, does not sound so certain.
“My arm will let me know how I feel,” Santana said on a conference call. “Time will tell. We’ll see how it feels. I cannot tell you what’s gonna happen 5-6 weeks from now.”
At the end of my rehab last year, I felt good, but I also knew that doctors told me rest was part of my rehab,” Santana said of his work in the minors and Instructional League. “I had to shut everything down and now start everything over again. But right at the end of rehab, I felt good. Now, it’s just a matter of time and repetition … to see if the velocity is there. I don’t know what my velocity is right now. That’s why we have to go through spring training until the season starts.”
Mets fans need something to be optimistic about. Santana really did not provide that today.
Searching for pitchers capable of joining an MLB starting rotation but willing to begin the season in the minor leagues, the New York Mets announced the signings of right-handed pitchers Miguel Batista and Fernando Cabrera to minor league contracts on Tuesday. Both pitchers will be invited to spring training.
The Mets are hopeful that Batista, 40, and Cabrera, 30, can provide pitching depth in the organization, whether that be starting, relieving, with the Mets, or in Triple-A.
Barring injury, Batista is expected to begin the regular season with Triple-A Buffalo. He did show he is still capable of competing at the big league level at the end of last season, when he threw four starts and five relief appearances toward the end of the season, finishing with a 2.64 ERA and 15 strikeouts and 14 walks in 30.2 innings.
Cabrera spent last season in relief duty for the Oakland Athletics' Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento, where he delivered a 2.71 ERA and struck out 73 batters in 63 innings. He is expected to compete for a spot in New York's bullpen.
The Mets also signed minor league shortstop Sean Kazmar.
Martinez is a 23-year-old outfielder prospect who has constantly battled leg injuries. He hit .227 with 1 home run for the Mets in 11 games in 2011. For Triple-A Buffalo last season, he hit .260 with eight home runs and 30 RBI. If Martinez clears waivers, the Mets could option him back to Triple-A Buffalo. Martinez has never played more than 29 games for the Mets in a season.
Herrera, a 27-year-old left-handed pitcher, was acquired from the Brewers last season in a trade. He pitched 8 innings in 16 appearances for New York last season. He was 0-1 with 1.13 ERA and five strikeouts. For his career, Herrera is 5-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 101.2 innings with 71 strikeouts.
The New York Mets reportedly moved past the interest stage and have made a deal with veteran free agent shortstop Ronny Cedeno worth $1.1 million, as long as Cedeno passes his physical (via Adam Rubin's Twitter).
Cedeno was an everyday player at shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last two seasons. Cedeno isn't much of an offense threat with these career numbers: 33 home runs, 196 RBI, .246 batting average and an on-base percentage of .286. His glove is what keeps him around and he can play solid defensively at shortstop or second base.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said about Cedeno, who could be picked up to backup Ruben Tejada:
"somebody who can play shortstop for us on a stopgap basis, but probably more importantly if Tejada, assuming he's playing there, were to get injured." (via NJ.com)
The Mets expect former Cy Young winner and veteran pitcher, Johan Santana, to be ready for Spring Training after missing all of 2011 with injury.
The New York Daily News' New York Mets blog Surfing The Mets reported Thursday that the New York Mets have resigned outfield Scott Hairston to a major league contract. The announcement of Hariston's signing will be made official after he passes a physical examination.
Last season, Hairston, 31, hit seven home runs and drove in 24 RBI in just 79 games with the Mets, who will probably use the veteran off the bench.
According to the Daily News' Andy Martino, the Mets are for from done this off season:
The Mets are still seeking a backup shortstop, and they could either sign a lefty bench bat like Willie Harris (although there have been no talks with him), or give that job to Adam Loewen or Mike Baxter.
Heyman tweeted on Thursday that the Mets, Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves are all "looking at" Theriot. The Denver Post's Troy Renck reported that the Colorado Rockies also have interest in Theriot.
Theriot was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals after batting .271 with 47 RBI and just one home run in 442 at-bats. The 32-year old has played seven seasons in the MLB, batting .282 with 17 home runs and 229 RBI. During the 2008 season, Theriot finished eighth in the National League in hits (187), eighth in on-base percentage (.387) and sixth in batting average (.307).
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has tossed out the idea that he is hearing the New York Mets are checking on what it would take to pry highly-regarded left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics.
It's not hard to believe the Mets -- or any team -- would check. Gonzalez, 26, is a talented young pitcher who is not eligible for free agency until 2016. He has gone 31-21 over the past two seasons and reached the 200-inning mark in both of those years. He is worth pursuing.
What is hard to believe is that the Mets would be serious players for Gonzalez. There are consistent reports that the Mets are trying to trade one of their other capable young starters -- Jon Neise. There are those financial difficulties the franchise has. There is also the small matter of not having much in terms of top-notch young talent to offer the A's in return for Gonzalez.
Maybe the Mets did ask about him, but it's hard to picture the Mets actually being a serious contender for Gonzalez' services.
The New York Mets are a franchise desperately in need of some good news, and general manager Sandy Alderson did not provide that Tuesday when discussing the franchise's ace starting pitcher, Johan Santana.
"We think he's going to be ready [Opening Day], but he might not be," Alderson said.
That really is not the kind of news Mets fans want to hear. On the heels of losing shortstop Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins via free agency, with the team's finances still a mess and facing the prospect of another miserable, rebuilding season fans could use a bit of good cheer.
The prospect of Santana being sidelined when the season begins is definitely not that. The 32-year-old lefty missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in September of 2010.
Santana has two seasons remaining on the six-year, $137 million contract he signed with the Mets prior to the 2008 season.
New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese is still drawing interest from several teams, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Previous reports had stated that the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies were all asking the Mets about Niese's availability.
In a contradictory report from MLB Trade Rumors, the Mets are apparently saying they have received no "significant" offers for the young left-hander.
Niese, 25, has been a full-time starter for the Mets for two seasons. He has a 22-23 career record, 4.39 ERA and 1.457 WHIP. Using some of the sabermetric data from FanGraphs, Niese comes out with a surprisingly impressive SIERA score of 3.42. SIERA is explained here.
Niese seems like a guy who could be a decent middle of the rotation pitcher for most teams. It seems hard to imagine the Mets dealing him unless someone overpays.
In a matter of two hours Tuesday night at the winter meetings, the New York Mets made three moves and added three relievers. With so little money to play with -- between $10 and $15 million -- the Mets could not really add any of the big free agents, but they did prioritize one aspect above all else: the bullpen. The final move on a busy night was inking Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract, according to multiple reports. It's the second former Toronto Blue Jays reliever to be signed on the night; Jon Rauch was the first.
The right-handed Francisco, 32, immediately becomes the frontrunner to assume the Mets' closer role. In 50 2/3 innings last season with the Blue Jays, the fireballer allowed 49 hits, fanned 53 and walked 18, finishing with a 3.55 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He was tabbed Toronto's closer for much of the year, but had two very bad months so he was often relieved of his duties (Rauch took over, amassing 11 saves himself) until he found his stuff: May (8.68 ERA) and July (5.59 ERA). Beyond that, he was exceptional, finishing August and September with 18 innings thrown, just three earned runs and more importantly was 7-for-7 in save opportunities. Overall (six years with the Texas Rangers, one with the Blue Jays), he has logged 334 innings, given up 286 hits, while striking out 368. He has a career 3.72 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Francisco will throw a lot of hard stuff -- primarily his mid-90s four seamer, but he'll sprinkle in his sinker and cutter, as well.
To give someone like Francisco a two-year deal worth that much money indicates the Mets see him as their stopper, but also as someone with some upside. He's a darkhorse guy who could end up being a very nice addition to the bullpen and a good closer to boot. With the collection of arms now, which include Rauch, Ramon Ramirez (acquired from the Giants) and Bobby Parnell, the Mets have totally redesigned the bullpen to the point it should be plus for them. With the state of the rotation, it will need to be.
The Mets spent about $9.5 million, according to ESPN NY's Adam Rubin, meaning they'll have about $5 million to add some outfield and starting rotation depth before the season starts.
It's no secret that the Sandy Alderson administration soured on New York Mets center fielder Angel Pagan. There were rumors that he would not be even be tendered a contract this offseason because both his hitting and -- more importantly to the new front office -- his fielding regressed. Plus, Pagan was often the culprit of a number of boneheaded mistakes and his attitude often did not jive with his bosses.
Tuesday night, the Mets completed their first winter-meetings trade, ridding themselves of Pagan. They acquired San Francisco Giants center fielder Andres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez, two arbitration-eligible players, according to The Record's Steve Popper. It's Alderson's second significant trade with Giants general manger Brian Sabean after jettisoning Carlos Beltran to San Francisco for blue-chip pitching prospect Zach Wheeler.
Alderson and Co. were not fans of Pagan. After breaking out in 2010 with a .290/.340/.425 year with 11 home runs, 80 runs 69 runs batted in and 37 steals, the 30-year-old took a big step back in 2011. He hit .262/.322/.372 with seven home runs. 68 runs, 56 runs batted in and 32 stolen bases, while playing just 123 games because of injuries. Even more crucial to this front office is center-field defense. Pagan was a decent defender in 2010, worth 14.9 on Fangraphs ultimate zone rating per 150 games. In 2011, Pagan was worth -16.1. The center fielder earned $3.5 million this past campaign.
In reality, Pagan and Torres (both switch hitters) are almost exactly the same players, Torres is just three years older. He did have an awful 2011, batting .221/.312/.330 with four home runs, 50 runs, 19 RBI and 19 steals, but he was also very good in 2010 when he had 16 home runs, 26 steals with a .268/.343.479 slash line. It's the definition of a change-of-scenery trade, with the Giants hoping Pagan regains his form (still in his prime) and the Mets banking on Torres rebounding from a down 112-game campaign. Torres' upgrade comes as he has a bit more pop in his bat, is considered a more reliable defender, not having a 'negative' UZR/150 year since 2002 (his rookie year) when he played 19 games, and can also bat leadoff. He made $2.2 million last season.
Ramirez is another arm the Mets add to their bullpen, and promising one at that. He's a 30-year-old right-hander who has been traded five times over the past five years, but so is the life in the reliever's world sometimes. He had a fantastic year with the Giants in 2011, striking out 8.65 batters per nine innings, with a 2.62 ERA and 1.17 WHIP overall in 68.2 innings. He has a career 3.16 ERA, but hasn't had one above 2.64 since 2007. The 5-foot-11, 199-pound reliever will throw in the low 90s, has a very good slider and a decent change up. He profiles as a very nice set-up man in Flushing. He made $1.65 million last season, and is due for a slight raise this coming year.
While Pagan might have slightly more upside, the Mets got a similar player in return and added a quality arm to their bullpen. A win-win trade for both sides.
The New York Mets made their first offseason/winter meetings move Tuesday night, agreeing on a one-year contract with 6-foot-10 right hander Jon Rauch, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The deal is worth $3.5 million, according to MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette and includes performance bonuses.
Entering the winter meetings, general manager Sandy Alderson made it clear that the team would look to add some back-end pieces to the bullpen to fill the eighth- and ninth-inning roles. The Daily News' Andy Martino, suspects the team will add "at least one more reliever" and Sherman said they'd like to add "one more closer-type." The two would then compete for the closer's role, leaving someone like Bobby Parnell, who has the stuff suited for the role but hasn't shown the command, to the seventh inning.
Rauch is coming off a season in which he had a 4.85 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 11 saves in 16 opportunities with the Toronto Blue Jays. He logged 52 innings, giving up 56 hits, walking 14 and striking out 36. Rauch is kind of in the Chris Young (pitcher) mold: Despite his great size, he doesn't throw hard, but uses the high arm angle and that deception to get guys out. The righty will touch 90 miles per hour, has a fastball, slider, change up and curveball. He's not really your typical late-inning guy in that he will not blow anybody away and pitches to contact. He's also fly-ball guy, allowing 50 percent of them -- 13 percent went for home runs -- last season.
It's not a fancy signing by any means, but Rauch has a decent, yet unspectacular track record: 3.82 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, and he has closing experience, having locked down 21 games with the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and 18 with the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008
The New York Mets are over two days removed from losing their star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins for six years and $106 million. Upon speaking to reporters the following day, general manager Sandy Alderson admitted that the franchise lost $70 million last season and that the team would have around $15 million to spend this offseason.
It's a bit confounding, then, as to why the Mets would be linked to one of the better free-agent -- top-three, at least -- starting pitchers on the market, Mark Buehrle. The southpaw is expected to land a deal that would pay him in in the mid-$10 million range, for at least three or four seasons. Buehrle will also be 33 years old on Opening Day.
Nevertheless, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported earlier Tuesday (citing an industry source) that the Mets "are one of five teams" on Buehrle's "list of finalists." Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman backed up the report, tweeting: "Mets are in on Buehrle. He is a very popular pitcher. Mets do have spending $ now."
Still, it all doesn't add up: the left-hander would conceivably fill the Mets' entire offseason budget.
"We could be, if we decided to pile all our money up and move it to one share. But, I don't think we're going to do that. The other things that's involved here is not just the amount of money involved for 2012; it's the obligation we would incur going forward. For us to say ‘we want payroll flexibility' and then to turn around and sign someone for a three or four year deal would probably not be consistent with what we're trying to achieve."
There's no doubt that Buehrle would be a nice addition to the rotation. You can never go wrong with rotation depth. But, the Mets are not in the position to add mid-rotation fillers. Buehrle does not make them that much better in a very tough division and doesn't seem like money well spent. Besides, half of the league would want a reliable, workhorse like Buehrle. New York could not compete with other teams financially at this point, anyway. Only time will tell if the general manager is bluffing or if the Amazin's were really never in play.
A New York team is reportedly on the list of five finalists for free-agent starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. Surprisingly, reports indicate that team is the New York Mets. not the New York Yankees.
Buehrle, 32, is the sort of dependable, left-handed, innings-eating No. 2 or No. 3 starter that the Yankees would love to add to their rotation. Their has been no indication, though, that Buerhle has any interest in pitching for the Yankees.
Buehrle has pitched at least 200 innings for 11 consecutive seasons, and has a career record of 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA.
Other teams apparently interested in Buehrle include the suddenly free-spending Miami Marlins, the Texas Rangers, the Washington Nationals and possibly the Minnesota Twins are in the running for the veteran left-hander.
It seems a bit surprising that the Mets would be in the mix for Buehrle, but perhaps after losing shortstop Jose Reyes to the Marlins there is a little bit of money in the team’s coffers. They could do worse than use it on a quality starting pitcher.
The New York Mets will have one more hole to fill in the starting rotation next year with the impending loss of lefty Chris Capuano. The 33-year-old has signed a 2-year, $10 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Capuano was 11-12 in 31 starts with a 4.55 ERA in his only season with the Mets. Entering the Winter Meetings, GM Sandy Alderson will have to find a way to replace the 186 innings Capuano provided, good for third highest total on the New York staff.
Despite Capuano saying he enjoyed New York and would like to return with "all things equal", the Mets were never interested in the lefty on a two-year deal, something he more than earned in 2011.
Losing out on a reliable -- albeit hardly exciting -- starter for $5 million per year to a team that has dealt with just as much financial turmoil as the Mets is a sad sign for what is to come this offseason in Queens. If they are unwilling to pay $5 million for nearly 200 innings, where do they intend on finding their starters for 2012?
Certainly not in free agency.
Poor Jorge Posada. After 17 outstanding seasons the New York Yankees no longer want the aging 40-year-old catcher, but Posada apparently still wants to play.
Can he find a team? That’s a good question. We know, however, that he won’t be playing for the New York Mets in 2012.
Posada reportedly reached out to the Mets about becoming their backup catcher, and was rebuffed. WFAN says the Mets are looking for a defensive-minded backup catcher. Defense never was Posada’s strong suit, and he caught only once in 2011.
Also, the Mets continue to scour the market for bullpen help — especially a closer.
Wednesday there were reports that the Mets were in on veteran Octavio Dotel.
Today, reports have surfaced that the Mets are also former Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge, as well as Jon Rauch, a journeyman who has 58 saves in a nin-year-career. He has been used as a closer by the Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays.
The New York Mets struggled to plug the non-stop holes in their bullpen last season and have their eye on a familiar name to help fix that early this offseason. General manager Sandy Alderson is making a strong play for St. Louis Cardinals reliever Octavio Dotel, according to MLB.com.
Dotel was signed by the Mets as an international free agent back in 1993 and made his debut as a 25-year-old starter in 1999. His rookie year in New York the righty had a record of 8-3 with a 5.38 ERA in 85.1 innings pitched. It's sometimes forgotten that he was warming up in the bullpen during Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS when Kenny Rogers was walking in the series-clinching run against the Atlanta Braves.
Throughout his career, Dotel has been all over the league, playing for 11 teams -- including the crosstownNew York Yankees -- and had as many as 36 saves in a season (2004) after making the transition to a reliever.
It's not often a team will look towards a 38-year-old to solve their problems, but Dotel perfectly fits what the Mets need. There are few players from last year's horrendous bullpen that are guaranteed to be back and coming off a season in which he had a 3.58 ERA, 62 strikeouts and three saves in 54 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cardinals, Dotel immediately would become the favorite to step in as the Mets closer.
Per the report, the Mets are joined in their pursuit of Dotel by St. Louis, the team he helped to win the World Series last season.
The New York Mets have released right-handed reliever Ryota Igarashi. He went 5-2 with a 5.74 ERA in 69 innings for the Mets the past two seasons.
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