The Yoenis Cespedes spring training car show 2017 has begun.
Mets fans know that 2017 is a make or break year for Travis d’Arnaud as the starting catcher. He’s always had a reputation as struggling to stay healthy and he’s never been known as a stellar defender. So if he doesn’t supply offense, he doesn’t have much game at all. His regression in 2016 to only playing 75 games and hitting .247/4 HR/ 15 RBI was startlingly poor. I have a feeling that a bad start to the season will put d’Arnaud on the bench permanently this season.
ESPN’s David Schoenfield takes a great look at the positions that teams have struggled to fill over the last decade. The Mets catchers are included with a frightening -14.2 WAA.
I love to read Mike Ozanian’s column on sports business for Forbes. Ozanian predicted that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz would be forced to sell the Mets after the Madoff mess. But they’ve been able to hold onto the team and even made $25 million last year.
Read the article to find out how Wilpon did it. It’s not a big secret. Cutting payroll and costs did the trick.
The Post got Viggo Mortensen to write a preview of the 2015 Mets. It’s pretty good except for the minor error to mention EY Jr. as a part of the team. He signed a minor league deal with the Braves this week. But otherwise, it’s a pretty solid fan piece.
Mortensen wrote about Matt Harvey and the other pitchers “…Add rookie sensation de Grom, plus rock-solid Colón, Wheeler, Gee, Niese, Torres, Mejia, Familia, Montero, Edgin, Black, Syndergaard… could be an intimidating pitching staff. Don’t count Parnell out either; he could come back with a vengeance as a closer. Sorry if I am leaving anyone out. Bottom line is that the Mets have a lot of talented young pitchers.” I give Mortensen an “A” for effort and optimism.
The Mets and Daniel Murphy avoided arbitration by agreeing to a salary for 2015. Murphy will be paid $8.0 million for the last season with the Mets before reaching free agency for the first time in his career. Lucas Duda and Jenrry Mejia still haven’t reached salary agreements with the Mets. Arbitration hearings will be held in February although the Mets haven’t gone to arbitration with a player since 2008.
The New York Post reports that baseball sources confirmed that Mets co-owner Saul Katz not only wanted to sell his stake in the Mets, he tried to convince Fred Wilpon to sell as well. Apparently, Wilpon is intent on leaving the Mets in Jeff’s hands and has no interest in selling.
Photo credit: Flickr Scott Smith