Morning Briefing: Mets Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

Good morning Mets fans! Did you enjoy the Manny Machado/Bryce Harper free agent saga? Well now you do not have to hear about either of their free agent suitors as the second domino has fallen and Harper now has a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Harper stays in the National League East and barring a trade, will stay in Philadelphia for 13 years as his $330 million contract will contain no opt-outs. The New York Mets surely have the work cut out for them as they face the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Phillies for a total of 57 games in 2019.

Latest Mets News

The Mets edged out the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3-2 on Thursday. Pete Alonso continued his strong spring with two more hits and two more RBIs.

The Mets will start off March by playing the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm. EST.

Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Daniel Zamora, Eric Hanhold, P.J. Conlon and Corey Taylor are all listed pitchers for today’s game as noted by Michael Mayer of MMO.

Mayer and Jacob Resnick of MMN reported that the Mets are bringing back Rafael Perez and Luis Marquez who were two former members of their international operations staff. Perez will reclaim his position as the Director, International Operations and Marquez will be the new Director, International Scouting.

Mets minor league performance coach Michael Main tweeted about an opening in the Mets minor league performance department for their Dominican Academy and DSL teams.

Michael Conforto spoke to the media about the Harper signing and downplayed its effect on the Mets as a team since he was already in the division.

“He was in the division last year,” said Conforto per Matt Ehalt of NorthJersey.com. “I don’t really see anything changing. I mean it’s a tough division. It was tough before he was coming back and it’s going to be tougher now, but we’re worried about what we got here.”

Latest MLB News

The San Francisco Giants reportedly offered Harper a 12-year, $310 million deal according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. However, due to California’s high taxes, they would have had to offered north of $330 million over that time period for the deal to be more valuable for Harper.

Pedro Moura of The Athletic wrote a piece on Joe Kelly‘s triumph and the childhood pain he has overcome.

Blake Swihart played in the Boston Red Sox’s Thursday game, one day removed from his brother’s death.

“We did our normal routine, I bet that’s what he wants for how different his life is — he wants it to be as normal as possible,” said Alex Cora in regards to how Swihart is coping with the loss, per Mike Nabors of MLB.com.

Latest NL East News

Harper will make $10 million in 2019 (with a $20 million signing bonus), $26 million per year from 2020-2028 and $22 million per year from 2029-2031 as reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated argued that Harper’s deal with the Phillies is probably not what he expected when he entered into free agency.

Jayson Stark of The Athletic wrote about the late Jose Fernandez who would have been a free agent this season and whom Scott Boras believed he would have negotiated an 11-year, $400 million contract for.

Latest on MMO/MMN

Joseph Hill interviewed Conner O’Neil, the Mets’ seventh round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.

Matt Musico tackled the question of “how important is a strong April for the Mets?” by taking a look at the Mets’ record in March/April over the last 19 seasons and their overall records at the ends of those seasons.

Rob Piersall analyzed the Mets’ 2019 Rule 5 selection Kyle Dowdy, and his uptick in velocity so far this spring.

Piersall also wrote about how Amed Rosario‘s return to his old approach at the plate has paid off for him in his first few spring training at-bats.

Piersall then did a piece on Jason Vargas‘ day on the mound. The southpaw allowed a homer on the second pitch of the game, but followed that up by retiring six of his next seven batters faced, while punching out three of them.

Finally, Piersall capped off his busy day on the site by proposing that the Mets respond to the Phillies’ move of signing Harper by signing a starter like Gio Gonzalez or Dallas Keuchel.

This Day in Mets History

1999: The 1969 Mets-themed “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode “Big Shots” (Season 3, Episode 19) aired. The episode involved Ray and Robert Barone getting kicked out of a Hall-of-Fame event honoring the 1969 Mets team.

Birthdays: Conforto turns 26, Ramon Castro turns 43, Rich Rodriguez turns 56 and Tony Castillo turns 56.

About John Jackson 227 Articles
John is a communication major (with a concentration in broadcasting/telecommunications) and a minor in English at Manhattan College. He aspires to make a career out of his passion for sports. John was formerly a production intern at The Dr. Oz Show and a newsroom intern at SNY. He is currently a student associate in the production and programming department of MSG Networks during his final semester. He has served as the sports editor for Manhattan College's newspaper (The Quadrangle), a managing editor for Last Word On Baseball, and an editor here at MetsMerized Online. He now serves as a senior writer for both The Quadrangle and MMO. You can follow John on Twitter @John97Jackson.