As we all know – injuries happen. And it’s not uncommon for them to happen to the same position. In the past two years, we’ve seen James McCann and Tomas Nido on the IL at the same time, resulting in 159 PA – and a .515 OPS – from Patrick Mazeika. And last year, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill were all on the IL at the same time. Also for a very brief time last year, Mark Canha and Brandon Nimmo were out at the same time, with both being on the Covid IL.

To replace the outfielders, the Mets called up Nick Plummer and Matt Reynolds. Plummer went 4-39 and Reynolds did not get a PA. Neither player is still with the organization today. Reynolds was DFAd when Canha returned to the active roster and wound up in Cincinnati. Plummer was DFAd after the season and elected free agency. He’s yet to sign with a club.

The Mets suffered further hits to their OF depth by non-tendering Dominic Smith, trading Jake Mangum and letting Tyler Naquin leave as a free agent.

To help fill the void, the club signed Tommy Pham as a free agent and added Abraham Almonte and Lorenzo Cedrola on minor league deals. If Almonte’s name sounds familiar, he’s been around for years. From 2013-20, he had a .668 OPS. In 2021, he’s on the Braves and puts up an OPS 62 points higher than his career average. He received roughly the same amount of playing time from 2016-18 and had a 71 OPS+ in 540 PA in the three seasons. After hardly playing in the majors the next two years, he then joins the Braves and puts up a 93 OPS+ in 175 PA. Because, of course.

Cedrola had a nice year in Double-A at age 23 in 2021 but followed it up with a poor season in Triple-A in 2022. In an ideal world, neither of these guys sniff playing time in the majors with the Mets.

All of this outfield talk is about who the Mets cut from their 40-man roster to sign Pham. In my mind, the weakest link was Khalil Lee, who lives up to the initial of his first name, with a 31.5 K% the past two seasons in Triple-A. But because right now the Mets’ other outfield options are so bad, Lee is the best option for emergency duty, at least until Brett Baty or Ronny Mauricio get some outfield reps under their belts.

To make room for Pham, the Mets DFAd Tayler Saucedo, a reliever they picked up in the offseason. Saucedo is a lefty, which under the previous administration would have made him a sacred cow. He seemed interesting to me because he had a sinker that allowed him to face RHB without turning into a pumpkin. Now, we may never know. There’s still a chance he clears waivers and makes it back to the Mets on a minor-league deal. We shall see.

11 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (1/25/23)

  • Woodrow

    ???….Never mind.

  • Name

    Scott Rolen does not belong in the HOF.

    • Mike W

      Neither does Ron Santo. Lou Whitaker has a higher War than both at 75.1 and is not in.

      To me, one of the worst is Harold Baines.

    • Brian Joura

      I used to really care about the HOF. But when the Hall had the giant backload of candidates and did nothing positive to address it – including a definitive statement on how to handle players from the Steroid Era – I essentially stopped caring.

      But since no one has anything to say about the Mets today, I’ll engage with this comment.

      I think there are better candidates than Rolen. But I’m not sure how you can objectively look at his career and say he doesn’t belong. Is he as good as Schmidt and Brett and Chipper? No, he’s not. But those three are way above the line of HOF. Do we not vote for Griffey because he wasn’t as good as Mays or Cobb?

      There are too many players from the early part of the 20th Century – especially in the 1930s – and not enough from the modern era. And to make things worse, some of the guys from the modern era, like Baines, Morris and Rice, don’t belong. But Rolen played at an elite level for any era. I’d be curious to know how many 3B had 7 AS appearances, 8 Gold Glove Awards and 70 WAR. My guess is fewer than 10 in MLB history. Saying he’s not a HOFer is holding the modern athlete to an incredibly unfair standard.

  • Paul

    Rolen had one Top 10 finish in MVP voting. Beltre, who is up next year, had 6. Chipper Jones also 6, with one win. George Brett had 5 with a win. In a shorter career, David Wright had 4 Top 10 MVP finishes.

    If you favor a small Hall, like I do, then Rolen is not worthy.

    • Brian Joura

      The small hall ship sailed years ago.

  • David Groveman

    I have been thinking about the two Top prospects and their projections for the 2023 season.

    Francisco Alvarez – I still think that the Mets somehow break camp with him on their roster and have him splitting catching time and performing as the Vs LHP DH. He’s very good and his defensive liability has been way overblown. He has never been a “Bad” defensive catcher. He’s young and needs more experience but his mechanics are fine. I think there is an extremely low chance that he doesn’t end the season on the major league team.

    Brett Baty – There are two sides to Baty, who will almost assuredly 95% chance (Eduardo Escobar injury) begin the year in AAA. Baty is a very good hitter and his defense does need work. His path to the majors has the most to do with Escobar. If the starting third baseman struggles like he did in most months of 2022, the Mets will bring up Baty to add his bat to the heart of the lineup (where Escobar is supposed to contribute). That being said, it’s a coin flip where he finishes his season and if the Mets choose to extend Escobar (whose option is fairly cheap).

    Ronny Mauricio (The Wild Card) – Everybody who has seen Mauricio develop has shouted from the mountain tops that he needs to move to the outfield. This makes me feel more and more confident that the Mets will continue to trot him out at shortstop. It’s just that I’m used to the Mets being slow to make these shifts and have repeatedly made these mistakes. Afterall, the writing has been on the wall for Mauricio for a few years now. If, somehow, the Mets to shift him and he does seem at home in the outfield (which I fully expect he will) then the Mets may have a way to upgrade from Canha’s offense late in the season. I expect Canha’s option to be less likely to be exercised than Escobar’s.

    • Metsense

      I am also wondering about the Mets prospects and their future in 2023. Eppler’s actions indicate that Alvarez will be at AAA at least until July. He signed Narvaez to a free agent contract and then signed Nido to an extension when he didn’t have to. Then he signed Perez to a minor league contract as insurance in case there is an injury. Perez has an option left so he can be back sent down after the injury heals. He then signed Pham as the fourth outfielder and RHB DH. Ruf is still on the roster also. There are many veterans blocking an Alvarez promotion but I agree with you, David, that he will make the majors sometime in 2023.
      I also agree with your assessment of the Baty situation. In the beginning of the season Escobar will be the starting third baseman backed up with Guillorme. It will depend on Escobar to lose his position. If that happens then Baty will be called up if he is producing at AAA.
      Mauricio should learn all the outfield positions but especially centerfield.
      Vientos has enough experience at AAA and should be promoted in place of Ruf. He hasn’t a clear path to any position they should try him, instead of Pham, at RHB DH and give him a1 chance right from the beginning.
      It is apparent to me that Eppler isn’t going to promote any rookies for the opening roster.

  • BrianJ

    Would Steve Cohen’s fortune allow the Mets to retain Canha and Escobar as bench pieces? I don’t want to see either player starting on the 2024 team but I certainly wouldn’t mind their bats sitting on the bench.

  • DAEngel1969

    Mets extended Jeff McNeil today – 4 yrs/$50M. At first glance, a very team friendly deal.

  • DAEngel1969

    Looks like there is a 5th year team option for another $13.75M.

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