We haven’t checked in on the bullpen in awhile. Not much has really changed, except that Brad Hand is no longer available and the addition of Carlos Carrasco makes it that much more likely that Seth Lugo is a reliever in 2021. So, that leaves the players vying for a job in the pen at:

Edwin Diaz
Lugo
Trevor May
Miguel Castro
Jeurys Familia
Brad Brach
Dellin Betances
Corey Oswalt
Franklyn Kilome
Drew Smith
Sam McWilliams
Jacob Barnes
Jerry Blevins
Steven Matz and/or Joey Lucchesi
Trevor Hildenberger
Arodys Vizcaino
Robert Gsellman

The Mets could field two separate eight-man bullpens and still leave Gsellman in the minors to work as a SP. Tendering him a contract didn’t make any sense at the time and doesn’t look better here in late January.

A lot of fans are upset that the Mets didn’t get Hand but given that he wanted to be a closer, there’s just about no way the Mets were going to accommodate him. Justin Wilson still makes a lot of sense. As does Chasen Shreve.

17 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (1/27/21)

  • Steve_S.

    A question: If the Mets want to sign Bauer and/or other free agents and still want to avoid the luxury tax this year, how can they reduce payroll sufficiently?

    What would they save by trading and/or releasing Matz, Gsellman, Familia, Betances, and others?

    Would they be able to avoid the tax, if they add, say, Bauer, Pillar, and Wilson?

    • Brian Joura

      According to Cot’s the Mets are a little over $27 million away from the CBT threshold

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1npn_xiAwVyCUkZf6t2ivPtqyM-uF3IEcXcrsDT_BTvc/edit#gid=1520401900

      They wouldn’t save any money by releasing those guys. If they traded them, they would be free from any part of the contract they did not reimburse the club for in the deal. When the Mets acquired Robinson Cano, the Mariners sent them money. The amount that the Mariners sent the Mets counts on the Mariners’ CBT, not the Mets. So, if the Mets somehow found a taker for Jeurys Familia, as long as the Mets sent $8 million — the Mets would have $8 million on their CBT and sucker team would be responsible for the other $2 million on their CBT.

      The CBT is based on the annual value of the contract. Familia signed a 3/$30 deal but some of the money was backloaded. The Mets will pay him $11.7 million this year but his CBT hit is “only” $10 million.

      I guess the Mets could offer Bauer a really, really long contract to try to lower the AAV but that’s purely theoretical. There’s no way they could sign Bauer and others and remain under the CBT without shedding salary in other deals.

      • Steve_S.

        Thanks, Brian. A very helpful and informative reply!

        I can see another team taking on Matz’s full contract in a trade, but not the other players I named.

  • JimO

    FYI: Brodie Van Wagenen has signed up with Roc Nation Sports as Chief Operating Officer. They represent Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith among others.

  • Woodrow

    Kris Bryant? JD for Bryant? Bryant and FA signing Almora or Bauer?

  • TexasGusCC

    Last night, I read an email sent out by Tim Derkies of MLBTR. He made a point of emphasizing trigger words in whispers such as “reported”, “in contact with” or “the latest”. His point is that most times, “reports” come from the player side and MLBTR needs to be mindful of that in their article. While contact usually comes from teams, and has more weight. As for the latest, that’s nothing really new or a source that isn’t as secure. The Bauer rumors have all been “reported” and we know that: 1. Bauer said if all offers are comparable he prefers the Mets (meaning that no one is blowing him out of the water), and 2. The Mets offer was about two weeks ago and Bauer isn’t satisfied enough to sign it. He must be considering it while he waits for one of the LA teams to make him a priority.

    I am surprised the Mets are going down the road of Trevor Bauer so quickly after the Jared Porter fiasco. I would have thought after the Twitter info that came out that they’d want to avoid any backlash…

    • Brian Joura

      My opinion is that if Bauer is waiting on the LA clubs, he’s going to have a long wait. The Angels have fewer dollars before hitting the CBT threshold than the Mets do, while the Dodgers have less than 1/4 the room that the Mets have. Sure, both clubs could go over the CBT – the Dodgers easily so – but just because they can doesn’t mean they will.

      It would be curious to know what Bauer’s relationship with Mickey Callaway was like in Cleveland, since Callaway is the pitching coach now for the Angels. His best year came in 2018, Mickey’s first year with the Mets.

      I wonder if the Mets shot themselves in the foot by not coming out and saying they were essentially done adding (big) pieces after the Lindor deal. They should have known by then that Hand wanted to be a closer. Did they really think Springer’s price was going to go down? It almost feels like they’ve been backed into a corner, having to at least put up a good effort to get Bauer or else having the perception that they weren’t committed enough to win this year…

      • Remember1969

        There was a clip maybe two or three weeks back on mlb.com (I think) which was discussing Bauer – one of the guys made a comment that Bauer did not have a great relationship with Callaway and wondered if that might affect the Angels approach. Another guy (wish I could remember who – maybe Heyman?) thought that it would not have much effect and there weren’t bridges burned. He compared that to the situation between Bauer and Cole, stating that a reunion of those two guys could and would not happen.

        It does sound like there is at least some history there that wasn’t perfect.

        Maybe I’ll see if I can dig that clip up tonight .. not sure what kind of search mechanism is possible for older clips.

      • TexasGusCC

        Bauer’s “brand” seems to be very important to his decision making and he has said that he wants a big market to work in. The Meta have everyone beat in that respect.

        The Mets ans most of MLB felt that Springer would end up at Citifield due to the lack of suitors and the economics not being strong in the sport.

  • Remember1969

    Two other lefties on the 40 man roster now are Stephen Tarpley, a recent waiver pick-up from Miami, and Daniel Zamora. Zamora is my ‘break-out’ candidate for the 2021 bullpen.

    Also, I believe I saw something that indicated that Sam McWilliams was actually signed as a potential starter. Not sure about that one, but he did sign a major league contract and suspect he will get a long look in spring training one way or another.

  • Remember1969

    I see they have named Zack Scott as the Acting GM. That has to be a good thing -need somebody in that chair, even if it is only ‘acting’.

  • Mike W

    Mets signed Aaron Loup. There is your lefty. I am sure he is less than half of Hand’s payday. For 2021, I am happy with the team. Just would like one more player, such as Wong. Dont want free agent to be Bryant. We already have big ones in Conforto, Stroman, Syndergaard and Lindor. Wouldnt mind Taijuan Walker either.

    • Brian Joura

      The SNY story about the Loup signing indicated that Tarpley and Zamora were both on the 40-man. Loup is nothing to get excited about but he’s better than those two.

      I’m still curious why they showed no inclination to bring back Wilson.

  • Woodrow

    Nimmo
    Lindor
    McNeil
    Alonso
    Conforto
    Bryant
    Smith
    McCann
    That’s quite a lineup!

  • Metsense

    No Mets starters averaged 6 innings per start last year. In 2019 , deGrom, Syndergaard and Wheeler did, Carrasco and Stroman did not. The Mets bullpen is going be it be relied on for 13+ outs on most games. The recent addition , Loup, throws strikes but they should have signed a better reliever. For this bullpen to be successful then Lugo has to be in it. This bullpen is going to be overworked and Rojas and Heffner have their work cut out for them.

    • Metsense

      Matz was just traded for three nondescript pitchers.

  • Brian Joura

    Cross Masahiro Tanka off the wish list.

    “I have decided to return to Japan and play for the Rakuten Eagles for the 2021 season,” Tanaka wrote on Twitter. “I wanted to make sure and touch base with you, and thank you for all the love and support you have given me for the past 7 seasons.”

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30794174/masahiro-tanaka-returning-japan-7-seasons-new-york-yankees

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