It’s was a productive four days for Sandy Alderson and the Mets at Lake Buena Vista, home of the Baseball Winter Meetings. This past week has rejuvenated the fan base as they saw some signs that the Mets might be back in business again. The Mets were able to do things that they haven’t been able to do in over five years and to date – they have already spent about $90 million in new contracts or more than times more than they did last offseason.
Here is a summary of some of the bigger Mets storylines from Orlando this past week as we head into the weekend with a renewed sense of hope for the upcoming 2014 season.
Granderson, 32, is a three-time All-Star and ranks fifth in the majors with a home run every 15.3 at-bats over the last three seasons. He has scored 100 or more runs four times in his career and hit 20 or more home runs in a season six times.
“We are excited to add Curtis’ power to the middle of the lineup,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. “He is a dynamic offensive player who has had success in New York.”
Granderson will earn earn annual salaries of $13 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015 and 2016, and $15 million in 2017, and additionally he did not receive a no-trade clause.
The Mets have agreed to a Minor League deal with right-hander Jeremy Hefner after non-tendering him last week.
Hefner, who posted a 4.34 ERA in 24 games last season, will spend next season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last August to repair a torn MCL in his right elbow. He will be able to use the Mets’ facilities in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to rehab, and in exchange, the Mets will have him under team control in the hopes that he can help them as soon as September 2014.
Mets manager Terry Collins addressed a myriad of issues surrounding his club while meeting with reporters during day two of the Winter Meetings. Among them are:
- He’s prepared to start the season with Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Collins said Tejada understands, “his career is at stake.’’
- Zack Wheeler should be able to throw 200-plus innings. Collins said he liked Wheeler’s composure and ability to throw strikes when asked if he’s ready to take a Matt Harvey step.
- He’s prepared to have Anthony Recker as the back-up catcher.
- Is not worried about strikeouts from Curtis Granderson and Chris Young because they offset the strikeouts with run production. Collins named Young as the player most poised to be a surprise this season. Collins indicated Granderson will hit fourth behind David Wright.
- Is pleased with Wilmer Flores attending fitness camp in Michigan. Said he’s added quickness and speed and did not rule out playing some shortstop.
- With Eric Young delegated to the bench, said there’s no clear-cut candidate to hit lead off. Collins said Daniel Murphy and Tejada are his possibilities.
- Has not come up with an outfield rotation, but Juan Lagares will be in it.
- Said he’ll wait until what he sees in spring training before deciding if Bobby Parnell will be ready. Vic Black is the presumed closer if he is not. Parnell, he said, is scheduled to be re-examined in New York next week.
General manager Sandy Alderson said the team is still attempting to trade Ike Davis, but cautioned that he will not make a deal just to make a deal.
“Let me emphasize one thing: We’re not in the business of giving players away,” Alderson said. “We don’t expect to get in that business.”
The Mets and Brewers met at least twice to discuss a potential trade including one exchange between Doug Melvin and Sandy Alderson before they departed the Winter Meetings on Thursday. The Mets reportedly asked for one of the Brewers’ top prospects, left-hander Tyler Thornburg, but were rebuffed. ”It’s tough to get anybody’s top prospect,” Alderson said. “Everybody knows that.”
Davis’ days as a Met are numbered, and once James Loney signs with a team, he’ll likely be traded.
Stephen Drew was once considered a top priority for the Mets, but Sandy Alderson severely downplayed the chances of the Mets signing him on Wednesday. Both Alderson and Terry Collins are prepared to start the season with Ruben Tejada as their shortstop.
However the Mets are not done exploring for upgrades. ”I think it’s more likely if we come up with a ‘high-end’ shortstop or someone we like, it’s more likely to come in a trade,” Alderson said.
As he wrapped up things in Orlando, Alderson added: “I wouldn’t say we have traction [on a deal for a shortstop]. But we have more knowledge today than we did before.”
The Mets signed Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million deal, a move that should bolster an otherwise young rotation that has lost ace Matt Harvey for the season. Colon will turn 41 in May, making him the majors’ oldest pitcher.
That said, Colon is coming off two strong seasons with the A’s and helped them win back-to-back AL West titles. The veteran right-hander turned in his best season since his 2005 AL Cy Young campaign, finishing second in the league with a 2.65 ERA over 190 1/3 innings.
Sandy Alderson was satisfied with his efforts this week in what turned out to be one of the most productive Winter Meetings for the Mets in over five years.
“We’re very happy,” Alderson said before leaving. ”We’re going to go home, reassess what’s available, and – as we get into the last part of December, and even into January – I’m sure we’ll do some things. They may not be spectacular, but we hope, additive to what we’ve already done.”
We still have about two months to go in the Hot Stove Season, but oh what a nice start for the Amazins…