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.
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.
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.
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.
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.