Jerry Blevins earned $4 million last season from the Mets, one in which he posted a 2.79 ERA and struck out 52 hitters in 42 innings over 73 games.
Considering the Mets are seeking relief help in the wake of Jeurys Familia’s anticipated suspension, what seems to be the hold up other than he’s 33 years old and they are prone to play hardball with their free agents?
Actually, that’s about it.
In today’s market, $4 million isn’t a lot of money, and the Toronto Blue Jays – who are interested in Blevins – won’t break the bank for him.
If the Mets want to keep Blevins, which they claim – and there are no reports to they are close to signing anybody else – they should have wrapped this up weeks ago. Could it be the Mets aren’t moving because they don’t want him back, contrary to what they’ve said?
The Mets did sign minor league relievers Ben Rowen, 28, and Cory Burns, 29, to minor league contracts. Burns was invited to spring training, but not Rowen.
What this means is the Mets still have a lot of work to do fixing their bullpen.
The Washington Nationals won 95 games last year and had a plus-151 run differential. While it is hard to project how many victories they’ll have this summer, they realistically should be good for at least 90 victories based on the following:
Bryce Harper had a miserable dropoff is batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Assuming he stays healthy his numbers should improve, at least enough to off-set any drop from Daniel Murphy.
The acquisition of outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox is expected to improve the offense, which also should be aided by a full season from Trea Turner. Together that should make up for the declines of Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth.
However – and there’s always a however – the Nationals have issues.
Washington couldn’t keep closer Mark Melancon, which puts them on a par with the Mets, who are expecting to be without closer Jeurys Familia for at least the first month. Both teams need to patch their bullpens.
In comparing the Nationals and Mets, Washington added to a 95-win team while New York basically kept the status quo and is banking heavily on their injured pitchers bouncing back.
There’s been some talk about playing Jose Reyes in center field at times this summer to take advantage of his speed. It’s a thought best left for a 17-degree night in January with a foot of snow on the ground. Seriously, what’s the purpose?
With the guy they re-signed last winter to play center not wanting to – that being, of course, Yoenis Cespedes – the Mets have a muddled outfield and tinkering with Reyes in center just complicates things further.
Reyes needs to stay on the left side of the infield, backing up David Wright and Asdrubal Cabrera, where he’ll do the most good. Center field is something to talk about when it’s too cold outside to do anything but think about baseball in an effort to keep yourself warm.
The Baltimore Orioles have a deep bullpen and are in need of a DH and/or a corner outfielder. Meanwhile, the Mets need relievers and it is no secret they are trying to trade Jay Bruce and/or Curtis Granderson.
So, why can’t these teams get together on a trade? They seem like logical trade partners.
Reportedly, the Orioles would like to trim from their 2016 payroll of $147 million, so it’s not difficult to conclude if a deal is worked out the Mets would have to pick up some of Bruce’s ($13.1 million) or Granderson’s ($15 million) salary.
If Alfonzo someday wants to manage on the major league level – even if not with the Mets – this is the best way to go about it.
I’ve always said the Mets should embrace their history, and Alfonzo goes down as one of the best. He played from 1995 to 2002, and hit .324 with 25 homers in 2000 when the Mets reached the World Series.
At 43, he’s young enough to relate to today’s player, especially those that are Latin American.
Alfonzo knows the game well, and has the first-hand knowledge of what it is like to play in New York.
I can’t tell you whether Alfonzo will be a good major league manager and someday lead the Mets. However, if he does, this is the best first step.