Here’s the Mets lineup against Washington for today’s exhibition opener. The note next to the player’s name is his expected Opening Day role:
Alejandro De Aza, DH: Role player. Mets say they aren’t shopping him.
Juan Lagares, CF: On the bench with playing time severely limited after Yoenis Cespedes resigned.
Michael Conforto, LF: Opening Day starter in left. Batting third might not be a bad spot for him.
Wilmer Flores, 3B: Backup at all four infield positions.
Kevin Plawecki, C: Backup catcher.
Marc Krauss, 1B: Minor leagues.
Eric Campbell, RF: Minor leagues.
Ruben Tejada, SS: Bench player.
Dilson Herrara, 2B: If he makes the team it will be off the bench.
Rafael Montero, RHP: Starter in minor leagues.
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, who was serving his second suspension for PED use, was nailed a third time Friday and with it became the first player to receive a lifetime ban. This time, his drug of poor choice was Boldenone.
MEJIA: Just plain stupid. (AP)
Technically, it’s not lifetime because Mejia can apply for reinstatement in one year. It’s probably a given the Mets aren’t going to give him another chance.
“We were deeply disappointed to hear that Jenrry has again violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the Mets said in a statement. “We fully support MLB’s policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport. As per the Joint Drug Program, we will have no further comment on this suspension.”
Mejia’s first suspension was for 80 games and came last April when he tested positive for Stanozolol, which created the opportunity for Jeurys Familia to become the closer last year. While serving that suspension he tested positive for Stanozolol and Boldenone. That got him 162 games.
Even so, because of their vulnerability in the bullpen the Mets re-signed the 26-year-old Mejia in December. They thought it was a good gamble because he would get a prorated portion of his salary, which would come at less than a $1 million.
Believing they would have Mejia back in July, the Mets opted not to bring back dependable reliever Carlos Torres, who recently signed with Atlanta.
Well, that was quick. With Yoenis Cespedes now in the fold, Alejandro De Aza is suddenly now available. Or, at least that is what is being reported because of the crowded situation in the Mets’ outfield with Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and De Aza.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson said a trade is possible, but not imminent.
Since De Aza, who’ll make $5.75 million this season, isn’t expected to get much playing time, why not deal him? Because trading De Aza is the logical assumption, other teams would think the same thing so his value would appear to be limited.
So, unless De Aza is part of a larger package, I wouldn’t think teams are lining up for him. So, the thought here is De Aza isn’t going anywhere soon.
Sometimes the status quo is a good thing, such as the news Keith Hernandez will return to the SNY broadcast booth with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling. There are a lot of outstanding broadcasting teams, and SNY’s is one of the best.
The trio are insightful, humorous and above all, are objective. They are different in that although they have deep ties to the Mets, they aren’t afraid to call them out when they deserve it.
You can’t ask for more.
ARBITRATION METS: The Mets traditionally sign their arbitration-eligible players to bypass the hearings, which will be in early February in Florida. The eligible Mets are: Neil Walker, Matt Harvey, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Jenrry Famila, Ruben Tejada, Carlos Torres and Josh Edgin.
METS LOOK AT CRICKET PLAYER: Both the Mets and Yankees are looking at West Indies cricket player Kieran Powell, who is not lacking of confidence. He said: “My goal is to get signed. Any team that gives me an opportunity will be rewarded 100 times over.”
TICKETS GO ON SALE: Spring training tickets go on sale Saturday.
Mets manager Terry Collins weighed in on a few items Tuesday at the club’s annual Holiday Party at Citi Field:
* He said it would be “nice” to add a bat to replace the retired Michael Cuddyer. Collins told reporters: “I know that they’re working to try to try to find some back-up pieces that will help us out a little bit.” Dexter Fowler and Denard Span have been linked to the Mets, but both might be too expensive and balk at the idea of platooning with Juan Lagares.
* Lefty reliever Jerry Blevins was signed to a one-year contract. Blevins retired all 15 batters he faced in seven appearances with the Mets last year before a Dee Gordon line drive broke his arm and forced him to miss the season. While rehabbing at Port St. Lucie, fell off a curb and re-broke his arm in early August.
* Collins said Wilmer Flores will get time in spring training at first base. It’s not a bad idea. First base isn’t as easy as it looks, but if he can handle it that gives them a back-up for Lucas Duda. Cuddyer backed up Duda last season. “We’ve certainly got to go into spring training and give Wilmer a chance to play around the infield a little bit more – to put him at some different positions to where we can give guys days off,” Collins said.