The December 2, 2020 deadline for teams to offer arbitration has come and gone and several interesting names were not offered arbitration and are now free agents. Although most are not popular names, some should have an interest to the Mets Front Office. Besides the big names that were released – Kyle Schwarber, Archie Bradley, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, David Dahl – there were many interesting names that will serve a purpose in the Mets organization. I say ‘the organization’ because other than Bradley, there really isn’t an open spot for most of these players in Flushing at first but they will be useful to have in Syracuse.

We will look through the new free agents and see which one would interest the Mets and what they bring to the table to make them interesting. Note, all must have at least one option remaining which is important to stashing and allowing them to work on things that need improvement without the pressure on immediate success in MLB. Any player that does not have an option will need to be reassigned if they do not make the team.

This is Bradley’s line since 2017:
234.2 INN, 28 Svs, 201 H, 259 K, 80 BB, 1.197 WHIP, 2.95 ERA 3.19 FIP

Why did the Reds cut this player? Weren’t other teams interested in him in a trade? Probably for the same reason Hand wasn’t picked up: the reliever market is expected to be loaded. In a Zoom meeting the G.M. of the Reds, Nick Krall, explained that the decision was to keep one or the other, Raisel Inglesias or Bradley, because they couldn’t keep both. The Reds made a decision to keep Inglesias, who has been a bit better than Bradley.

Inglesias since 2017:
238.0 INN, 100 Svs, 186 H, 292 K, 78 BB, 1.109 WHIP, 2.95 ERA, 3.42 FIP
Their stats are close, but Inglesias is a bit better in the Reds’ opinion.

To provide some context on Bradley’s numbers the last four years, I will show you Seth Lugo’s numbers for 2016-2019, his four successful years before last year’s mid-year switch to the rotation:
346.2 INN, 9 Svs, 300 H, 337 K, 90 BB, 1.125 WHIP, 3.27 ERA, 3.50 FIP

As a Mets fan, I want Bradley on my team. Bradley would become one of the top three or four relievers on the team and a definite asset to navigating the season and preserving leads.

The other non-tender names we will spotlight may not make a on next year’s roster unless injuries decimate the roster. However, seeing how teams like the Dodgers and Yankees seem to always find success no matter their injuries, it would be great to sign as many of these players as possible. Too, the Mets may be able to unlock something that can make one of these players the next Chris Taylor, Luke Voit, Gio Urshela or Max Munci; players that were given up on by other teams but found success on their present teams. These players had the talent, but it had not developed yet and smart organizations saw this. We will use FanGraphs scouting grades as well as a blend of their major and minor league stats to see what players we’d like to get and try our luck with. Remember, these aren’t perfect players, we just want something to work with.

Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe has two minor league options remaining. His success with the long ball and against lefty pitchers has given him something to build on, but… he strikes out too much. As we know, Alderson calls a strikeout “just another out” and was never averse to the windmills such as Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, Todd Frazier or Jay Bruce. All of these players were sought and brought to the Mets during Alderson’s previous tenure due to their power expectation and the strikeout was a mere consequence of this. However, when Chili Davis became the Mets hitting instructor his first message was that results will come only when we hit the ball. What a concept! So, back to Renfroe… Here are his scouting grades in FanGraphs:
Hit: 40/50; Game Power: 45/60; Raw Power: 70/70; Speed: 50/40; Field: 50/50; Throws: 60/60. That’s the good news, now the bad news: Career 28.0% K/9, 8.4% BB/9, .228 BA, 102 RC+, -15.4 Def WAR rating, even with one of the best arms in baseball. In 2019, he had 33 HR’s for the Rays in 494 plate appearances and only had 64 RBI. Love the power and the arm in right field, but needs to refine his batting plan. I mentioned that success against lefties: .258 BA and home run per 11.97 plate appearances as opposed to .216 against righties and 17.93 HR/PA. Unsurprisingly, his strikeout rate is also lower against lefties.

Jonathan Holder

One of the Yankees best prospects two years ago, now their roster crunch has forced him off the team. His numbers for AAA: 60.1 INN, 44 H, 15 BB, 83 K, 0.978 WHIP, 2.24 ERA. I don’t know how you let these numbers go. His grades on FanGraphs:
Fastball: 60/60; Curveball: 55/55; Cutter: 60/60; Command: 50/55

Frank Cashen used to say that a pitcher needs to pitch at least 300 innings in the minors before he should be brought up. Holder has pitched only 254, but only having 60 AAA innings and 41 AA innings means this player may have been rushed. He has an option remaining, so I’d take a chance on him.

John Brebbia

MLB Career: 3 years, 175 INN, 139 H, 198 K, 54 BB, 3.14 ERA, 1.103 WHIP, 3.13 FIP, two minor league options.

Why did the Cardinals non-tender him? He had TJ surgery last May. The Cardinals didn’t want to give him a MLB salary and not have him pitch most of this year. Fortunately, Jeff Wilpon isn’t around here anymore, so stashing a good player for a few bucks gets rewarded later. Type of player you sign and see how his arm responds, at 30 years old, a commitment from a MLB team would most likely be appreciated for a pitcher that is first year arbitration eligible and not going to break the bank after making the minimum every year.

Ryne Stanek

A previous member of a group Kevin Cash described as “a whole damn stable of guys who throw 98,” Ryne Stanek was traded two years ago to the Marlins along with minor league outfielder Jesus Sanchez for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards. You may have heard of Nick Anderson, the lights-out closer for the Rays. Now Stanek is a free agent and Sanchez hit .040 in his first go around on the Marlins. Nice job Derek Jeter. Stenek’s grades on FanGraphs:
Fastball: 60/60; Slider: 50/50; Changeup: 55/55; Command: 45/45

As Stanek has an option remaining, it would be good to have Mets coaches work with Stanek in the minors to see if he can building up his consistency without the pressures of MLB results.

I’d love to see Bradley and at least two of these four other players signed by the Mets. That would give a little juice to the system with a couple of high upside players in AAA and some depth.

16 comments on “Potential Mets signings among the recent non-tendered players

  • Mike W

    I like Stanek. He is a good 40 man roster pickup. I watched him pitch multiple times in Durham. He has a rocket for an arm. Could have a big upside.

  • Name

    I think almost every team this year had a non-tender that made their fanbase scratch their head.
    Conspiracy theory alert : Are the owners colluding to make it seem like they are in worse financial shape than they actually are?

    I thought Atlanta non-tendering Duvall was the most interesting. They clearly overpaid on 1 year deals Morton and even more so for Smyly, yet they decided that they didn’t want to risk overpaying Duvall for one year, who was a monster for them in September and on top of that they don’t have Ozuna or Markakis under contract for next year.

    • TexasGusCC

      Name, from Jayson Stark in today’s Athletic:

      “It was still morning on Non-tender Day in America when a longtime baseball executive delivered this important alert:
      “You’re going to see a lot of teams, particularly in the middle of the country, that are going to pare payroll dramatically,” he said. “Which is a big problem.”

      NON-TENDERS BY DIVISION

      NL Central 16
      AL Central 13
      NL West 9
      AL West 8
      NL East 8
      Or, to put this another way…
      Central divisions: 29
      All other divisions: 30

      NON-TENDER SAVINGS BY DIVISION*
      NL Central: $33 million
      AL Central: $28 million
      All other divisions combined: $22 million.

      Finally, here’s one more way to look at this. Eight players were non-tendered Wednesday who were projected to earn $4 million or more via arbitration. Here is the breakdown of who cut those eight players loose:
      NL and AL Central: 6
      All other divisions combined: 2”
      ————————-
      Stark goes on the say some of the reasons for such a need, but without gate receipts the middle of the country suffers from not having as big a tv deal due to their population size difference.

  • Dan Capwell

    Agree on Bradley. I would pursue both he and Brad Hand and take the one that accepts the offer first. Hunter Renfoe makes some sense as a 4th/5th OF type.

    One name I didn’t see on the list and it is perhaps because of the option qualifier is Maikel Franco. This guy absolutely pulverized Mets pitching during his time in Philly. This is the type of guy Atlanta or Washington will pick up who will torture us for years. While I am pretty certain he will get an MLB contract, perhaps he would take an unguaranteed deal to come to ST to try to win the 3B job from JDD.

    Somewhat off topic, but am I the only guy out here intrigued by the signings of Mallex Smith and Arodys Vizcaino? Not as mainstay pieces mind you, but great for depth and selected roles. A bench that includes Renfroe, Franco, and Smith, along with Nido and LG looks pretty decent.

    • TexasGusCC

      Hi Dan. I didn’t add Franco because I focused on players with options to sign them to major league deals and stash them. If Franco would take a minor league deal, then fine. It feels weird though to bring him in. It’s like when the Mets signed Glavine or Abreu, it was hard to like them after so much angst.

      My #1 target after Bradley would be Holder. I think he’s got great numbers and those numbers have to translate at some point. Remember that Giolito looked bad when the ChiSox first got him but the minor league numbers were too strong to ignore.

  • Mike W

    Hiruki Nishikawa was just made available from the Nippon League. Gold glove fleet footed outfielder who can play center field. No power, but can steal bases and give us good defense. Could be a good 4th outfielder.

  • Remember1969

    Other than Bradley, there are only two guys on the non-tender list that raised my eyebrows at all, both former #1 picks. A.J. Cole from Toronto and Carlos Rodon from the White Sox. Cole has had marginally more success than Rodon and wasn’t awful last year. Rodon is left handed, will turn 28 next week and had a lot of potential coming out of college. Injuries have derailed his career up to this point.

    Rodon is my pick to be the ‘find of the year’ for somebody.

    I don’t want any part of Renfroe or Dahl. Let’s get Springer and the outfield is pretty reasonably set.

  • TJ

    Bradley is the most intriguing but after signing May I don’t see a rush to jump on any others at this point. I think that from a standpoint of filling out roster depth, time will be on the Mets’ side. There will very likely be good players available late in the winter, and the Mets have enough financial flexibility to dominate the late market. Now is the time to shift focus to the big boys and the corresponding choices and commitments.

    Until they say yay or nay on the DH I would not commit to a Renfroe type guy. Should the DH get canned they’ll have to find AB for Don and Pete, and the remainder of the roster will need defensive positional flexibility.

  • Herb G

    Bradley would certainly be a quality pickup, although I would like to see us add at least one lefty to the pen. My pick would be Jake McGee. Of the others mentioned, Brebbia and Stanek would both be nice depth pieces.

    I’m all in on Renfroe as a bat off the bench against lefties, and giving Conforto a rest in RF.

    One non-tender not mentioned, who I would grab up, is Edgar Garcia. He was cut loose with only 42.1 IP of big league time, all before the age of 24. His 6 seasons in the minors were impressive: 301.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 1.195 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9. His 2 seasons at AA and AAA were even more impressive. Now 24 years old, we could stash him in the minors this year, bringing him up as needed or waiting for 2022.

    • TexasGusCC

      Herb, I did notice that Garcia had an option left, but when I was doing his write-up and got to the scouting tools, it was hard to add a pitcher with only a 40 “Command” grade. I also started an Albert Almora write-up and erased it at the grading level of the writeup. I don’t know enough about him, but from what you point out, I agree that he should be on the list.

      • Herb G

        Thanks. I think it is hard to square the “40” command rating with his 2.8 BB/9 over his entire minor league career.

        • TexasGusCC

          True… I admit to not being as thorough with him upon seeing the rating at the top of his FanGraphs page.

  • HOF19

    Have you folks on METS360 looked at the Stats Arodys Vizcaíno had before his surgery In his last 100 innings(and that is at the MLB level) pitched before his surgery He averaged a 2.60 ERA……….1.20 Whip…………a .210 batting average against ….That over a 100 innings period. Some articles about the Mets signing him on 11/04/2020 >>>>>> The New York Mets are taking a chance on Arodys Vizcaino that he can rediscover his 2018 form. And this >>>>> “It remains to be seen whether Vizcaino can return to the effective late-inning reliever that the Mets are hoping for in him. Before his shoulder surgery, Vizcaino had three pitches that he threw particularly well: a fourseam fastball, sinker, and slider. When Vizcaino was healthy and productive, Vizcaino displayed one of the best sliders in the game. With his slider, Vizcaino posted a whiff% of 56.4% in 2018, profiling as a high strikeout reliever.”

    • TexasGusCC

      Good find HOF. He’s definitely a pitcher that was a game changer. Let’s hope…

  • Metsense

    This was a great article, very informative and well researched. The parameters set were well thought out. The comments also enhanced the conversation. The Mets are thin in the AAA level and were these non-tender players are an opportunity to get some depth.

    • TexasGusCC

      Thank you Metsense. It’s always fun finding ways to spend other people money, LOL!!

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