The Las Vegas 51s announced on Thursday the Mets and Cubs will play two exhibition games at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on March 31 and April 1 to conclude spring training.
The Mets will have off on April 2, and open the 2016 regular season on April 3 against the Royals in Kansas City.
The additional two games give the Mets a total of 31 spring training games in 2016.
The Mets and Cubs played two exhibition games at Cashman Field during spring training in 2014.
With the value of premier starting pitching only continuing to rise in both the trade and free agent market, the Mets are very fortunate to have five premium starting pitching talents already at the big league level in Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Jacob deGrom.
In addition, all except Harvey will earn the league minimum in 2016, and even Harvey will come at a relatively good discount with his salary projected to be in the $5 million range in his first season of arbitration eligibility.
Including Jon Niese, the six Mets starting pitchers are projected to earn approximately $16 million, with Harvey (projected at $4-5 million) and Niese ($9 million) earning the bulk of that money.
But as the other young Mets starting pitchers continue to accrue service time and either enter or go through the arbitration process, their salaries will only escalate, and exponentially when all five pitchers are considered.
As such, it would be logical for the Mets to consider exploring multi-year deals with their young pitchers now in an effort to buy out either their arbitration years and/or some of their first few seasons of free agency now.
Doing so would help create cost certainty in both the short and long-term, as well as buy those seasons out at a general discount relative to their value on the open market in those years.
But assistant GM John Ricco said on Friday at Citi Field the Mets have yet to engage the agents for their young pitchers on the possibility of a long-term contract extension. (more…)
Sandy Alderson has been battling several health issues over the last couple of months, inclusive of a fainting episode at a media conference following the World Series at Citi Field.
He missed the General Manager’s Meetings in Boca Raton in early November after undergoing an undisclosed procedure, but continued his duties as the club’s General Manager throughout those meetings and through the month of November.
On Friday, the Mets announced Alderson has been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer, and will undergo chemotherapy for 8-12 weeks this winter.
“As you know, Sandy went in for a medical procedure three weeks ago,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Surgery was performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and as a result of that procedure, the doctors confirmed that Sandy has cancer. The doctors believe and have told Sandy that the cancer is very treatable and are optimistic about a full recovery.”
Alderson will not attend the Winter Meetings in Nashville next week, but will continue his duties as the club’s General Manager through the week and while he undergoes treatment. Wilpon will travel with the rest of the front office staff to Nashville.
Assistant GM John Ricco, Terry Collins, J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta will lead the Mets contingent at the Winter Meetings next week.
First off, this is unfortunate news, but thankfully it sounds like Alderson will be fine in time. Health is first, and he has a fantastic staff to help lead the club through a critical week next week as they seek to plug their holes and formulate their 2016 roster.
The international free agent market could soon see an infusion of potentially elite talent from Cuba.
Cuban 2B Jose Miguel Fernandez has departed Cuba, and intends to seek a free agent deal in Major League Baseball, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
Fernandez, 27, missed most of the 2015 season after he was suspended for attempting to defect. He last played in the Cuban National League for Los Cocodrilos de Matanzas in 2014, during which he hit .315/.415/.426 in 15 games prior to his suspension. He hit .326/.482/.456 in 83 games with 16 doubles, five home runs and 42 RBI in 314 plate appearances in 2014.
He’s a lifetime .319/.403/.423 hitter in 608 games in eight seasons in Cuba. (more…)
With the Mets already committed to spend $92-95 million in payroll for 2016, the Mets could consider allowing one or more of their arbitration-eligible players to become free agents by the December 2nd deadline to tender such players contracts for 2016, and clear some extra payroll space ahead of the Winter Meetings next week.
The Mets were reportedly leaning towards non-tendering Ruben Tejada, who is eligible for arbitration for the third time in 2016 and is projected to earn between $2.5-3 million.
There are a few of reasons why this could be a sensible move.
First off, Mets shortstops were 10th in the league with a 2.9 WAR, largely carried by their offense as they were 26th in the league with a -9.0 ultimate zone rating and dead last with -26 defensive runs saved. That just needs to get better, and it’s hard to see that improving if they continue with what they have.
Second, Tejada will earn anywhere between $2-3 million through the arbitration process in 2015. Paying a below average defensive player with a .653 career OPS is hardly a value-oriented decision. They might be able to get similar, if not greater value out of Matt Reynolds as a utility infielder at the league minimum, saving the club upwards of $2.5 million and giving them an opportunity to allocate those funds in a more meaningful way.
Third, Tejada is coming off a second broken leg, and that could further impact his defense at a premium position and lowering his value in the process.
In addition to Tejada, it seemed logical the Mets might part ways with Jenrry Mejia after his second PED violation in 2015, resulting in a 162 game suspension and making him ineligible to return until late July, 2016.
The Mets could also consider non-tendering Carlos Torres, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and was underwhelming and inconsistent throughout the 2015 season.
But the Mets now seem inclined to tender all of their arbitration-eligible players contracts for 2016, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.
In addition to Tejada, Mejia, and Torres, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Matt Harvey, Addison Reed, and Lucas Duda are all eligible for arbitration this winter, and could earn between $25-30 million between them.
They will also have to take into account contractural raises to Juan Lagares, Jon Niese, and Michael Cuddyer, who will earn a combined $24 million in 2016, the $36 million which is owed to both David Wright and Curtis Granderson next season, plus the contracts for players who will earn the league minimum or slightly higher, plus salaries for players called up from the minor leagues, which pays them a prorated sum of the league minimum.