Mets Merized Online » Rob Piersall Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Statcast: Mets Pitching Staff Projected To Throw Hardest In MLB Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:38:16 +0000 harvey-degrom-syndergaard-matz-e1446430110764

It doesn’t come as a surprise when you have guys like Noah Syndergaard throwing 100 MPH gas with regularity, but the Mets as a whole possess the hardest fastballs in the MLB, according to Statcast.

Last season, the Mets averaged 93.6 MPH on their fastballs which ranked third in the MLB. They go into this year as the projected kings of the hill.

While Noah Syndergaard averaged 98.2 MPH on his fastballs last year, Jeurys Familia (97), Josh Smoker (95.7), Hansel Robles (95.5), Matt Harvey (95), Robert Gsellman (94.1), Jacob deGrom (93.4) each came in above the league average of 93.1 MPH, and Steven Matz‘s two-seamer (93.9) put the Mets ahead of the pack with flamethrowers for the upcoming season.

This bodes well for Mets pitchers, especially Noah Syndergaard, considering opposing batters hit a meager .180 when making contact on fastballs over 100 MPH, and hit .290 with fastballs at or just under 90 MPH.

With Zack Wheeler also returning, and Matt Harvey hopefully assuming a healthier form, the Mets are well oft to overpower the best of the best hitters. Very intimidating :)

The Yankees and the Pirates are tied for second with a projected average four seam fastball velocity of 94.2 MPH.

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Sandy Alderson On Expectations, Terry Collins, NL East Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:00:46 +0000 sandy-alderson-2

Mets GM Sandy Alderson did an exclusive Q&A with the New York Post‘s Steve Serby recently, and talked about his expectations for the 2017 season, manager Terry Collins and the National League East (specifically the Nationals) among other things relevant to the state of the Mets.

Alderson said that he thinks the team will perform at a level similar to what we saw from the 2015 team because everyone will be healthy, despite not adding any fresh blood from last season.

“Over the last couple of years, the team has performed at a much higher level, and I think we can do that again,” Alderson said. “I think that while we haven’t seen a lot of new faces or won’t see a lot of new faces in spring training, other than some young players that we have coming through our system, we’re gonna have players coming back who weren’t able to perform, mostly for health reasons last season, and as a result I think we’ve got the potential to be better than we were last year and comparable to what we were in 2015.”

With a healthy roster, Alderson believes that manager Terry Collins is the right guy to lead the team because he was able to do so in the face of adversity last year and still make it to the playoffs.

“We had some success in 2015, and in spite of injuries last year we made a big run at the end of the season and ended up in a wild-card spot, so players continue to respond to him,” Alderson said. “So if that continues to happen, he continues to happen, he continues to be the right guy.”

Despite the fact that the Nationals haven’t made tremendous upgrades this offseason, the talent level they possess still make them a feared rival and one the Mets will have to compete with throughout the 2017 season.

Alderson said that the Nationals are a good team and should be “deemed favorably,” but he also talks about how the rest of the division stacks up as well.

“Philadelphia’s getting better, Atlanta’s getting better, the Nationals will still be very good, and Miami was very good last year, and suffered that terrible tragedy losing Jose Fernandez, and from their standpoint, hopefully that will not be a hangover from that loss,” Alderson said.

Lastly, Alderson said it would be gratifying to bring a championship home to New York, and that the sting of the loss in 2015 at the hands of the Royals still hasn’t gone away.

“It would be gratifying for all of us in the organization, especially to be able to do it here in New York City largely because I know how much it would mean to Mets fans here in New York, ’cause I know how much they cherish their memories of 1986, and in some cases 1969,” Alderson said. “It would be great to make that a trifecta.”

You can read the rest of this insightful and interesting interview conducted by Serby here.

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Alderson: “Harvey Has Been Working Hard And Throwing” Sun, 12 Feb 2017 22:30:17 +0000 matt harvey

Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently spoke with Steve Serby of the New York Post, and talked about the state of the Mets and its players going into the 2017 season, including thoughts on right-hander Matt Harvey.

Harvey, 28 in March, is coming off a shortened season in which he pitched to a 4-10 record with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts before going under the knife in July to resolve thoracic outlet syndrome which was causing shoulder discomfort.

Alderson says that while he has only seen Harvey pitch on video recently, he notes that he is in excellent condition and in good spirits.

He’s been working hard and has been throwing. And so from all of those indications, it appears that he’s right on track,” Alderson said. “I always caution and remind myself that we’ll know a lot more in spring training as Harvey and others progress through their throwing programs. But right now everything looks very good.”

Harvey will look to get back into 2015 form, where the pitcher recorded a 13-8 record, with a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.

“He has gone through some health issues that obviously have been some disagreements over how to address those health issues and so forth, but I think that’s largely in the past,” Alderson said. “I think he’s in a very good frame of mind.”

Harvey is arbitration eligible in 2018 and can become a free agent after the 2019 season, but Alderson says that the relationship with Harvey is very positive.

“We’re very high on him. So I think the relationship, probably better than people perceived it to be a couple of years ago, and it’s just as good now,” Alderson said.

The entirety of the fantastic Q&A between Serby and Alderson can be found here.

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Alderson On Cespedes: “He Has a Flair That People Have Come To Appreciate” Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:02:32 +0000 yoenis cespedes

In an exclusive interview with Mets GM Sandy Alderson conducted by Steve Serby of the New York Post, Alderson touched base on a variety of topics surrounding the Mets going into the new season, including his thoughts on freshly-signed slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

“I think just the way in which he approaches each game. He has a flair that people have come to appreciate,” Alderson said in the interview. “That flair comes with outstanding ability as well. You can tell he’s super confident, he’s an outstanding athlete and a bigger-than-life aspect to his game with his power and his arm.”

Cespedes, 31, inked a four-year, $110 million deal with the Mets this past November after hitting .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI’s in 132 games in his all-star 2016 campaign.

“Fans enjoy winning games, but I think that in New York, personalities stand out as well,” Alderson said. “He hasn’t heretofore communicated all that much, but there’s that quiet, mysterious aura of power and speed and strength, it’s manifested quite often at the plate.”

According to Alderson, Cespedes is already down in Port St. Lucie working out and gearing up for the season, saying that he thinks Cespedes is motivated to stay healthy and play well this season.

The plan as of right now is to have Cespedes play everyday in left field, with Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares splitting time in center, and Jay Bruce holding down the fort in right, Alderson also said.

“Cespedes is an excellent left fielder, Granderson did a nice job for us in center last year, Lagares is excellent, and Jay Bruce I would say he’s league average at least,” Alderson said. “He’s got a good arm and he makes the routine plays. He’s not gonna save 100 runs for us out there, but we’re not unhappy with our outfield defense.”

Lastly, Alderson said that there is no correlation between Cespedes’ golfing and his leg injury last season, and that he has no problem with Cespedes playing golf off the field.

“Last year there was an unfortunate juxtaposition between the golf and the leg injury that didn’t sit well with some fans, and wasn’t looked on favorably by the media,” Alderson said. “I don’t think there was any real connection between the two.”

If you would like to read the rest of the article, it can be found here, and please do give it a read, because it is a fantastic interview by Serby about all things Mets. 

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Mets Designate Ty Kelly For Assignment Thu, 09 Feb 2017 20:32:49 +0000 ty kelly

The Mets announced on Thursday that infielder Ty Kelly has been designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for lefty Jerry Blevins, whose one-year deal became official today.

Kelly, 28, was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 first-year player draft, but didn’t break into the big leagues until he made his MLB debut with the Mets in 2016.

In 39 games and 71 plate appearances for the Mets this past season, Kelly hit .241/.352/.345 with one homer and seven runs batted in.

Kelly is a career .280/.381/.380 hitter across eight minor league seasons spending a majority of time at second and third base, with over 1,000 innings spent in left field as well.

Kelly could be appealing to a team that is looking for a utility man, as he appeared at every position minus shortstop, catcher and pitcher in 2016 for the Mets.

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Wilmer Flores Will Earn $2.2 Million After Winning Arbitration Case Sat, 04 Feb 2017 19:07:52 +0000 wilmer flores hr

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag on Twitter, Wilmer Flores won his arbitration case against the Mets on Saturday, and will earn $2.2 million this season, $400K more than the Mets’ offer of $1.8 million dollars.

Flores, 25, is the first Met since Oliver Perez in 2008 to go before an arbitration hearing, and he will receive a big pay raise in return, as the infielder earned $526,014 last year.

A fan favorite, Flores appeared in 103 games for the Mets in 2016, playing all four infield positions, while belting 16 home runs, driving in 49 runs, and hitting at a .267/.319/.469 clip in 335 at-bats with a career best 112 wRC+.

However, it was against left-handed pitching that Flores did most of his damage, becoming baseball’s premier weapon against them with a 1.093 OPS, 190 OPS+ and .710 SLG in 107 plate appearances versus southpaws.

Flores was interviewed last month on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, and said that he expects the team to return to the postseason in 2017.

“When we got to the World Series in 2015, it’s no secret that our pitching took us to the World Series,” Flores said. “We’re built on pitching and it’s going to be healthy, so it’s going to be an interesting year.”

Flores will also be arbitration eligible in 2018 and 2019, after which he will become a free agent. He said this offseason that he enjoys playing at second base most, but with Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera holding down the middle infield, look for Flores to spend the majority of his playing time platooning at first base with Lucas Duda.

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Mets Willing To Do Two Years For Blevins Sun, 29 Jan 2017 16:25:54 +0000 Jerry Blevins

According to MLB Insider Andy Martino on Twitter, the Mets are comfortable with giving free agent LHP Jerry Blevins a two-year deal.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays are also said to have interest in the reliever, whose price tag is something along the lines of two-years and $12 million overall.

As well as Blevins, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Mets also have interest in Joe Smith and Sergio Romo.

Blevins, 33, appeared in 73 games out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2016, pitching to a 4-2 record with a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP.

If the Mets could bring back Blevins and someone like Fernando Salas or one of the aforementioned relief pitchers, it will do wonders to sure up their bullpen.

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Boras Believes Conforto Should Start Season In Majors Sat, 28 Jan 2017 20:02:38 +0000 michael conforto

The Mets have a glut of outfielders and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon with the news from earlier this week that the team intends to start the season with Jay Bruce as their starting right fielder.

Scott Boras, Michael Conforto‘s agent, disagrees with the notion that his client could potentially start the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.

“Michael has shown he has the talent level and is ready to establish himself in the major leagues,” Boras told the New York Post. “He’s conquered the minors, and now it’s time to let experience take its course.”

Conforto, 24 in March, broke into the majors with the Mets in July, 2015, shortly before the acquisitions of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe from Atlanta, and stud outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit, in what was the major turning point of the season that saw New York appear in their first World Series since 2000.

In 56 games that year, Conforto hit to a .270/.335/.506 clip with nine homers and 26 RBI’s as well as clubbing two long balls in the World Series.

After picking up where he left off in 2016, Conforto hit the skids in early May and was eventually demoted to the minor leagues. He would earn a call-up later in the season, but still finished the year with a .220/.310/.414 batting line in 109 games.

2017 will be a telling year for Conforto, but with the outfield jam packed and Conforto still holding minor league options, he might be the odd man out to begin the campaign.

“I think we all know Michael is going to be a quality major league player,” Boras said. “When you’re productive, they’ll find a place for you. Nothing is set in January or February. The economics of the game place barriers often times that have to be exhausted. He’s a very good player and will be a principal part of the organization for some period of time.”

It remains to be seen what will happen between now and Opening Day. The likely starting point seems to be Triple-A Las Vegas, but I don’t think anyone doubts Conforto will be a quality player. Still, this is an awkward situation that can still be remedied if the Mets find a way to deal Bruce before the start of the season.

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Mets Inform Bruce He Will Be Everyday Right Fielder Tue, 24 Jan 2017 23:30:27 +0000 jay-bruce

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post on Twitter, the Mets now plan to keep Jay Bruce and have informed him he will be their everyday right fielder.

Bruce, 30 in April, was acquired by the Mets from the Reds in exchange for infielder Dilson Herrera at this past season’s non-waiver trade deadline to help bolster the team’s offense for the stretch run.

After getting off to a very slow start to his Mets career, Bruce picked it up the last couple weeks of the season, but still finished batting only .219/.294/.391 with eight homers and 19 runs batted in over 50 games played.

The plan this offseason had long been to trade Bruce for a quality bullpen piece or a couple prospects, but with the market slow to develop and a market for the long time Reds outfielder never taking off, the team finds themselves still with the outfielder and reporting to St. Lucie in approximately three weeks.

The negative side to keeping Bruce is the cramped outfield the Mets are now left with.

With Bruce securing right field duties, Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares will fill up the other three outfield spots, leaving Michael Conforto, the Mets 2014 first round pick without a big league job.

Conforto broke into the majors in July, 2015, just in time for the Mets eventual World Series run.

The young outfielder burst onto the scene that season, helping resuscitate what was a barren Mets offense up to that point.

Conforto appeared in 56 games, hitting to a .270/.335/.506 clip, with nine long balls and 26 RBI’s, while hitting .333/.313/.733 with two homers and four RBI’s in the World Series.

Conforto carried over his successful rookie campaign to the beginning of the 2016 season, but after facing Madison Bumgarner in an early May game at Citi Field, Conforto floundered and was eventually sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The outfielder was called back up later in the season, but still finished with a .220/.310/.414 slash line in 109 total games.

Unless something unforeseen happens between now and Spring Training, Bruce will be your teams starting right fielder, while Conforto is mitigated to a minor league role.

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Half Dozen Teams Interested In Fernando Salas Tue, 24 Jan 2017 02:37:55 +0000 fernando-salas

According to Minnesota Twins beat writer Mike Berardino on Twitter, half a dozen teams are interested in the services of RHP Fernando Salas.

Salas, 32 in May, was acquired by the Mets from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for minor leaguer Erik Manoah this past August.

In 17 games for the Mets, Salas pitched to a 0-1 record, with a 2.08 ERA and 3.20 FIP.

For Salas’ seven year big league career, the pitcher owns a  19-22 record, with a 3.64 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and a 3.53 FIP.

Salas was one of the most reliable relievers out of the bullpen for the Mets the last month of the season, so one has to imagine that one of the teams interested in Salas is the Mets.

At this point in the offseason, the Mets should definitely take a flyer on Salas on a one-year pact, especially if he falls into their laps.

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Dodgers Acquire Logan Forsythe From Rays For De Leon Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:29:11 +0000 logan forsythe

According to both teams on Twitter, the Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired infielder Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for prospect RHP Jose De Leon.

Forsythe, 30, came up in 2011 with the San Diego Padres, but has spent the last three seasons with the Rays.

The last two seasons have been especially good for Forsythe. In 2016, he hit 20 long balls and drove in 52 runs, while hitting at a .264/.333/.444 clip in 127 games while starting 118 games at second base. He has also played some first and third base in his career.

In return, the Rays are getting highly touted pitching prospect Jose De Leon.

De Leon, 24, was the Dodgers No. 2 prospect, and the No. 33 prospect in all of baseball according to at the time of the trade.

De Leon got a cup of coffee for Los Angeles in 2016, appearing in four games, pitching to a 2-0 record and a 6.35 ERA.


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Yordano Ventura, Andy Marte Killed In Separate Car Crashes Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:24:11 +0000 yordano ventura

According to several different sources, including Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash early Sunday morning in the town of Juan Adrian in the Dominican Republic.

Ventura, 25, was a hard-throwing righty with loads of potential.

In a statement issued by the Royals in regards to the death of Ventura, Senior VP of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dayton Moore had the following to say:

“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing. He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”

After signing with the Royals in 2008 as an international free agent, Ventura peaked as the Baseball America’s 26th ranked prospect in baseball in 2013.

2014 saw Ventura pitch in the first and statistically best season of his career.

The young righty started 30 games for the Royals, pitching to a 14-10 record, with a 3.20 ERA, finishing sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

Eerily, Ventura’s stand-out moment came in the 2014 World Series. After learning of fellow Dominican Republic born Oscar Taveras’ death, also in a car crash, Ventura fired seven shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants to force a game seven.

Though the Royals went on to lose, Ventura was able to capture a World Series ring the next year in 2015 against the Mets, despite losing the one game he started.


In a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, former big league infielder Andy Marte was killed.

Marte’s agency, J.M.G. baseball had the following to say on Twitter:

“Words can’t express the emotions from the loss of our client Andy Marte. Gone too soon. A great person on and off the field.”

Marte, 33, broke into baseball with the Atlanta Braves in 2005, before playing for the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2010.

In 2014, Marte returned to the bigs, appearing in six games for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This is the second and third time in five months that the baseball world have lost precious, young lives after Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in September.

Our hearts here at MMO go out to the families of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte during this very tragic and hard time.

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Harvey Has Experienced No Pain When Throwing This Offseason Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:23:26 +0000 matt harvey 2

Mets’ starter Matt Harvey, who underwent surgery in July for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, threw off of a mound at Storm Sports Academy on Long Island on Wednesday.

Harvey, 28 in March, said he felt no pain when throwing this offseason, when talking to reporters at a team charity event earlier this month.

The Mets and Harvey agreed to a one-year, $5.1 million deal to avoid salary arbitration this offseason. The pitcher can also earn up to $100,000 in performance bonuses.

Harvey pitched in only 17 games for the Mets in 2016 before going down in July and missing the remainder of the season.

However, Harvey says that the symptoms he was experiencing during 2016 are all gone.

“My hand was really cold all the time,” Harvey said. “I’ve got some warmth back. No more tingling and the ball’s really coming out really good right now.”

For his career, Harvey holds a 29-28 record, with a 2.94 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 9.1 K/9 in 519.2 innings pitched.


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Athletics Sign Alejandro De Aza To Minor League Deal Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:43:37 +0000 alejandro de aza

The Oakland Athletics have signed free agent OF Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the team announced on Friday.

De Aza, 33 in April, spent 2016 with the Mets appearing in 130 games, and hitting a meager .205/.297/.321 in a semi-reserve role.

Before the Mets were able to sign Yoenis Cespedes, the plan was to have De Aza and Juan Lagares split time in center field, but after New York inked the stud outfielder, De Aza was mitigated to a lesser role.

The nine-year veteran has bounced around in his career, also spending time with the Marlins, White Sox, Orioles, Giants and Red Sox.

However, his best years came in Chicago, and more specifically in 2013 when the outfielder appeared in 153 games, clubbing 17 homers, driving in 62 runs and hitting at a .264/.323/.405 clip.

With the Mets resigning Cespedes and not yet having traded Jay Bruce, the outfield is beyond crowded, so De Aza’s fate with New York was sealed long ago.

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Orioles, Mark Trumbo Agree On Three-Year Deal Thu, 19 Jan 2017 22:37:31 +0000 mark-trumbo

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag on Twitter, the Baltimore Orioles and free agent Mark Trumbo have agreed on a deal. The deal is for three years, $37.5 million, pending physical.

Trumbo, 31, was the MLB home run leader in 2016, clubbing 47 long balls and driving in 108 runs, while hitting at a .256/.316/.533 clip, as well as winning a Silver Slugger award and appearing in his second all-star game.

The powerful outfielder/DH broke into the bigs in 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, made stops in Arizona and Seattle and ended up in Baltimore for the 2016 campaign.

The Rangers and Rockies had said to have interest in Trumbo, but nothing substantial had come to fruition, hence why Baltimore picked up conversations with Trumbo again.

The deal, on the surface, doesn’t seem like much for a slugger who hit 47 homers, but with his low batting average and on-base percentage, combined with his subpar fielding, he is limited in his abilities.


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Could Jerry Blevins Return To Mets After All? Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:06:33 +0000 jerry blevins

Earlier this offseason, the Mets were preparing themselves to lose LHP Jerry Blevins to a multi-year deal elsewhere.

Today, Jan. 19, Blevins is still a free agent, and will most likely settle on a shorter term deal, which the Mets should explore.

Blevins was acquired by the Mets right before the 2015 season in exchange for OF Matt den Dekker. The lefty only appeared in seven games for New York before having his arm broken by a comeback line drive.

Blevins re-injured himself late in the 2015 season and missed the remainder of the season. He resigned with the Mets for 2016 and was very effective, pitching to a 4-2 record, with a 2.79 ERA.

The Toronto Blue Jays had expressed interest in Blevins after Brett Cecil left via free agency to play with St. Louis Cardinals, but there has been no buzz since November as talks have seemed to grow stagnant.

Now 33-years-old, Blevins could make sense on a one-year deal for the Mets, and has proven to be a reliable and effective lefty out of the ‘pen for New York since he’s joined the team.

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Brewers Sign Neftali Feliz To One-Year Deal Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:43:19 +0000 Pittsburgh+Pirates+v+Milwaukee+Brewers+qmJvQL7r6rZl

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed RHP Neftali Feliz to a one-year deal. Passan also adds that the deal is worth $5.35 million and can reach $6.85 if incentives are hit.

Feliz, 28, broke into MLB with the Texas Rangers when the righty was a 21-year-old.

A year later, Feliz appeared in his first all-star game and won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, locking down 40 games for Texas, while holding a 4-3 record and a 2.73 ERA.

In 2011, Feliz saved 32 games for the Rangers, but after Texas tried to transition the hard throwing righty into a starter, he missed almost all of 2012 and 2013.

Feliz came back in 2014 in a non-closer relief role and pitched to a 1.99 ERA in 30 games, but in 2015, Feliz split time between the Rangers and the Detroit Tigers, where his ERA inflated to 6.38 in 48 games between the two teams.

Feliz bounced back in 2016 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 62 games, the righty pitched to a 4-2 record with a 3.52 ERA.

Milwaukee intends to use Feliz in a closer capacity, and with Feliz having closing experience earlier in his career and now being in his prime years, this could be a smart and effective signing for the Brew Crew.

On a side note, Feliz is one more domino that has fallen, and the Nationals still don’t have a closer.

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Raines, Bagwell, Pudge Are Your 2017 Hall of Famers Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:03:56 +0000 Griffey and Piazza_1994 SI Cover Reshoot

2016 saw one of the all-time Met greats in Mike Piazza get into the baseball Hall of Fame in his fourth year on the ballot, receiving 83 percent of the vote.

In addition to Piazza, Ken Griffey, Jr. received 99.3 percent of the vote, almost unanimously, and got in on his first year on the ballot.

Coming up just short last year, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines as well as Ivan Rodriguez who was appearing in his first ballot, have been voted in to this year’s Hall of Fame class, all polling in over the 75 percent threshold.

Vladimir Guerrero fell just below the 75 percent mark in his first year on the ballot, and Trevor Hoffman just missed for the second year in a row.

Hall of Fame Class of 2017


Jeff Bagwell

Bagwell spent the entirety of his 15-year career with the Houston Astros, rarely getting injured and regularly appearing in all 162 games a season, which he did four times. 

In his seventh time on the ballot, the four time all-star finally prevailed and leapt over the 75 percent threshold that is required to gain entry into the Hall.

Bagwell, the 1991 Rookie of the Year, received the National League MVP award in 1994, as well as earning three Silver Slugger awards and one Gold Glove award.

Bagwell clubbed 449 homers and drove in 1,529 runs in his accomplished career, and hit to a .297/.408/.540 clip.

Bagwell also stole 202 bases, including 31 in 1997 and 30 in 1999.


Tim Raines

Tim Raines, appearing in his 10th ballot for entry into the Hall of Fame, finally got enough votes to be eternally enshrined in Cooperstown. 

Raines bounced around to a few different locations in his 23-year career, but spent a majority of time with the Montreal Expos, as well as making stops with the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Florida Marlins.

Raines appeared in seven straight All-Star Games from 1981-1987, where he lead the league in steals in four of those campaigns.

The three-time World Series champion, Raines was also the National League batting champion and Silver Slugger award winner in 1986, and received the MLB All-Star Game MVP in 1987.

For his career, Raines was a .294/.385/.425 hitter, with 170 homers and 980 RBI’s, while clipping 808 bases and accumulating 2,605 hits.


Ivan Rodriguez

Pudge was one of the best catchers in baseball for over two decades, spending the first half of his career with the Texas Rangers, before making a stop in Florida to win a World Series with the Marlins in 2003, then appearing in four straight all-star games for the Detroit Tigers before finishing his career bouncing around with the Yankees, Astros, Rangers again and the Nationals.

Rodriguez appeared in ten straight all-star games with the Rangers from 1992-2001 and the aforementioned four in a row with the Tigers for a total of a whopping 14 all-star appearances.

Rodriguez was a two-way player, earning 13 career Gold Glove Awards and seven Silver Slugger Awards as well as the American League MVP Award in 1999.

Pudge hit to a .296/.334/.464 clip in his established career, smacking 311 long balls and driving in 1,332 runs while racking up 2,844 hits.

Near Misses

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Vladimir Guerrero

Vlad, the man who never saw a pitch he couldn’t swing it, just narrowly missed getting into this year’s class of Hall of Famers with 71.7 percent.

Guerrero played 16 seasons in MLB, spending a majority of his career with the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while making stops in Baltimore and Texas in the last two seasons of his career.

Guerrero clubbed 449 homers and accumulated 2,590 hits in his career, while hitting at a .318/.379/.553 clip. For someone who swung as freely as Vlad, the slugger never struck out more than 95 times in a single season.

Guerrero was a nine-time all-star, as well as winning eight Silver Slugger awards, and winning the American League MVP crown in 2004.


Trevor Hoffman

The long-time San Diego Padres Closer, Hoffman was one of the elite closers in baseball for almost two decades, but unfortunately fell just below the threshold with 74 percent of votes.

The seven-time all-star locked down 601 games in his 18-year career, leading the National League in saves twice and taking home the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year two times as well.

Hoffman’s second time on the ballot has him falling just under the 75 percent threshold and will have to try again next year.

Honorable mentions who missed: Edgar Martinez (58.6 percent), Roger Clemens (54.1 percent), Barry Bonds (53.8 percent), and Mike Mussina (51.8 percent).

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Jacob deGrom Hopes Mets Starters Collectively Stay Healthy In 2017 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:50 +0000 jacob degrom

From DeLand, Florida where Jacob deGrom has been throwing for several weeks in his road to recovery from last season’s ulnar nerve surgery in his pitching elbow, the all-star righty said that he hopes 2017 will be the year where all five Mets starters stay healthy.

“We’re all rooting for each other. We’re definitely excited. Hopefully this is the year that happens,” deGrom said.

Degrom, 28, was shut down and subsequently had surgery in September after feeling numbness in his fingers and experiencing elbow pain, but expects to be ready for Spring Training.

“The plan is to be off the mound a couple of times before spring, then I think just a nice and easy introduction to a slope and then be ready to go when spring training is here,’’ deGrom said.

The plan is that 2017 is finally the year in which the Mets have their top five starters in tip top shape and altogether in the rotation at once.

In addition to deGrom, Steven Matz had a “massive” bone spur in his elbow removed this offseason, Matt Harvey is coming back from shoulder surgery, Zack Wheeler has missed the last two seasons after having Tommy John surgery and Noah Syndergaard was also pitching with a bone spur in 2016.

“Harvey going down, Wheeler trying to recover from Tommy John. It’s like, man, can we catch a break?” DeGrom said. “I think everybody wants to stay healthy but we haven’t been able to. Hopefully this is the year that we do.”

DeGrom and the Mets recently agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $4.05 million for the 2017 season.

In his three-year career, deGrom has a 30-22 record, with a 2.74 ERA and 9.2 K/9 as well as a 2.88 FIP.




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Phillies Sign Michael Saunders To One Year Deal With Option Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:25:58 +0000 USP MLB: TORONTO BLUE JAYS AT CLEVELAND INDIANS S BBA USA OH

The Philadelphia Phillies and free-agent outfielder Michael Saunders have agreed to a one-year deal worth $9 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The contract also includes a club option worth $11 million with escalators that can increase the option to as much as $14 million.

Saunders, 30, hit a career-high 24 home runs last season for the Toronto Blue Jays with an .811 OPS, earning himself his first All-Star nod.

With Jose Bautista set to re-sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, that’s two more sluggers off the free agent market which could make it easier for Mets GM to deal Jay Bruce. However, Mark Trumbo, Chris Carter and Mike Napoli are still unsigned.

Original Report – Jan 16

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network on Twitter, the Philadelphia Phillies and free agent OF Michael Saunders are closing in on a deal.

Saunders, 30, spent the early portion of his career with the Seattle Mariners, but has spent the last two with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Appearing in only nine games for Toronto in 2015, Saunders clubbed 24 homers and drove in 57 runs while receiving regular playing time this past season.

2016 also saw the veteran outfielder hit to a .253/.338/.478 clip which was the best of his career.

Altogether Saunders is a career 8.5 oWAR player, but his defense is where his game suffers, holding a career -3.2 dWAR.

Saunders will join a Phillies outfield that also includes Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera and the newly acquired Howie Kendrick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.


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Mets, Familia Settle On $7.4 Million To Avoid Arbitration Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:51:16 +0000 jeurys familia

According to James Wagner of The New York Times on Twitter, the Mets and RHP Jeurys Familia have settled on $7.425 million, avoiding arbitration.

Pace Law School projections had Familia getting $7.37 million.

Familia, 27, led major league baseball with 51 saves this past season which also set a new single season franchise record. He has led MLB with 154 regular season appearances over the past two seasons.

Of course, Familia would lose a portion of this contract if we ends up getting suspended by Major League Baseball following his domestic violence case.

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