Good morning, Mets fans, and happy Saturday! Although no major transactions took place yesterday, there are still a few noteworthy developments to take a look at:
Matheny Hired as Special Advisor for Royals
Just a few months removed from an embarrassing dismissal from the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, former big-league catcher Mike Matheny is back in a chair, albeit in a less hands-on role. Per a team announcement, the Kansas City Royals have brought Matheny aboard to work as a special advisor for player development beneath general manager Dayton Moore.
Matheny had been signed to manage the Cardinals through 2020, but a dysfunctional clubhouse that translated to shoddy fundamental play ultimately moved the organization to pull the plug in July. The team was 47-46 prior to his firing, and finished 14 games above .500 thanks to interim skipper Mike Shildt.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports has hinted that the 2019 season will most likely be Ned Yost‘s final go-around at the helm for the Royals, and hiring Matheny could easily provide the Kansas City front office with an in-house option who, with a 591-474 lifetime record, could stand out among candidates.
Padres Release Spangenberg
Meanwhile, in San Diego, a former first-round pick and trusted utilityman has been shown the door. After being designated for assignment late last week, Cory Spangenberg has been released by the Padres. The 27-year old functions primarily as a second baseman, though he’s seen time at the hot corner as well as left field, even if his defensive metrics are questionable.
Spangenberg appeared in 116 games off the bench last season for the Friars, hitting .235/.298/.362 with seven home runs, 25 RBI, and six stolen bases while whiffing at a career-high rate of 32.8%. His best offensive season came in 2017, where he hit .264/.322/.401 in 486 plate appearances with 13 homers, 46 RBI, and 11 steals. Even then, however, his 13 errors at third were the fourth-most in the National League, and his -14 DRS was tied with Nicholas Castellanos for the worst among third basemen.
Dodgers Cut Ties with Familiar Face
Alongside left-hander Zac Rosscup, who hasn’t cracked 20 relief appearances in a season since 2015, middle reliever and former Met Erik Goeddel was granted his unconditional release yesterday as the Los Angeles Dodgers scrambled to make room on the 40-man roster for potential Rule 5 Draft picks (first reported by MLB.com‘s Ken Gurnick).
In 31 games between the Dodgers and Seattle Mariners this past season, Goeddel silently impressed, posting a 2.95 ERA and averaging 10.8 K/9. Granted, his 4.9 BB/9 rate remains a wrinkle to be ironed out, and undoubtedly contributed to his less intriguing 4.18 FIP in a Dodger uniform. Goeddel’s days in a Met uniform spanned from 2014 to 2017, with his latter two years marked by a 4.87 ERA and 1.8 HR/9 in 69 games split up by trips to and from Triple-A Las Vegas. However, Goeddel once showed potential in a mop-up role in 2015, where he boasted a 2.43 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 35 games to earn a spot on the Mets’ postseason roster.
Rosscup pitched to a 4.76 ERA in 11.1 innings as a specialist with the Dodgers, striking out 20 but also allowing three home runs. For his career, the 30-year old journeyman has held lefties to an empty .138/.266/.275 slash line with 46 strikeouts. A high walk and homer total (4.9 and 2.4 per nine innings, respectively) have hindered Rosscup’s chances at securing regular time out of the bullpen.