Mets Release Valentin, Spivey, And Armas

Sadly, the Mets have released Jose Valentin as well as Tony Armas, Jr. and Junior Spivey. At 39, Valentin doesn’t have too many options available to him to continue his MLB playing career. He may be able to catch on with a lower-level team looking for a utility man/veteran leader type of player.

I’m sure that Valentin asked to be released so he could look for a big league job elsewhere. He had a great season in 2006 for the Mets but has been slowed by neck problems over the past two seasons.

Tony Armas, Jr. and Junior Spivey have also been released. I don’t think that either player would have been a factor for the big-league club. But both of them could have filled out the roster at Triple-A Buffalo if they were needed.

Armas did get into three games with the Mets last season but certainly isn’t a critical loss at the big league level. Spivey hasn’t played in the majors since 2005 and was brought in just a few weeks ago on a minor-league contract.

Mets Cut Seven Players; Roster Taking Shape

Jose ValentinYesterday the Mets announced that they were releasing Ron Villone. As I wrote when they signed him at the end of February, it hasn’t looked like Villone has had much left for a few years now. His 10.80 ERA in 5 innings of work just solidifed that opinion for me.

Nelson Figueroa, Jose Valentin, Rene Rivera, and Andy Green were reassigned to the minor league camp. Carlos Muniz and Cory Sullivan were optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

It looks like Jeremy Reed will be the fifth outfielder and Pedro Feliciano will be the only lefty in the bullpen. Bobby Parnell will likely make the major league roster to start the season. Its always nice to see some homegrown talent make it to the majors. But Parnell will need to prove that he belongs on the major league team by getting off to a good start in April.

I still believe that its going to become a problem with only one lefty in the bullpen. If you look at the Phillies’ heavy left-handed hitting lineup, the Mets need to match up against that lineup in the bullpen. If Feliciano is having an off-day, which he is prone to occasionally, the Mets need a backup plan to get lefties out. Will Ohman is still out there as a free agent. He’s rumored to be looking for a 1-year/$2 million deal which is far too much money for the Mets to spend on a reliever at this point. As the season starts, Ohman may reduce his demands as Joe Beimel did just to get back to playing again.

Mets Players Begin Arriving In Florida

David Wright

It’s great to start reading the columns and stories about the Mets that arrive early to camp in Port St. Lucie. Not only do I start to think of how this ugly winter will soon be over but how the ghosts of the last two Mets seasons may disappear. Like they never happened.

27 blown saves. 1 blown managerial firing. The 2009 season will wash that away with a roar into the playoffs. I hope.

The first few days this week we’ve learned a few things. Johan Santana feels fine after his minor offseason knee surgery. But he likely won’t be representing Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Classic… what a ridiculous name.

Brian Schneider won’t be representing the U.S. in the WBC. Jose Valentin will be back on a minor league contract. I have a feeling that it won’t be long until he’s managing a team in the Mets organization. He seems like a solid leader.

Maybe most importantly Scott Schoenweiss, Aaron Heilman, and Joe Smith won’t be in Port St. Lucie this year. Heilman and Schoenweiss couldn’t come back after last season. 27 blown saves and now the bullpen has been blown up.

J.J. Putz and K-Rod will be here. Get ready for some “Gasolina” and some “Thunderstruck“. It’s a mostly new bullpen expecting all-new results.

Oh, by the way we haven’t learned of any Mets testing positive for anything yet. Maybe we can have a quiet spring training and get ready to take down the World Series champion Phillies.

Photo courtesy of alpineinc

Jose Valentin Shuts It Down

New York Mets second baseman José Valentín during a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Image via Wikipedia

Mets infielder Jose Valentin decided to shut his season down for 2008. He’s been playing at Triple-A New Orleans but has been hampered by neck, ankle, and elbow injuries this season. He has said that he wants to give it another shot next year but there are reports that the Mets expect him to retire.

Don’t be surprised to see Valentin coaching somewhere in the Mets organization next season. He’s held in very high regard by the Mets front office and is projected as having big league coaching and managing ability.

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Mets Roster Move: June 11- Nunez

After the loss to the D-Backs last night the Mets announced that Abraham Nunez was designated for assignment. There wasn’t a corresponding addition to the roster but Omar Minaya told reporters that it would probably be a position player.

There’s been some speculation that the player added to the roster may be Jose Valentin. He went to Triple-A New Orleans a few days ago to continue his rehab from a neck injury.

No Options Left For Ruben Gotay

Ruben Gotay will either make the major league team or have to clear waivers to be sent down. I doubt that he would clear waivers. The Baseball Analysts report on the biggest names in baseball that are on the bubble to make their teams and are without options.

I think that Gotay will make the team. Jose Valentin doesn’t bring that much to the table anymore and he has a neck injury that may require surgery. The surgery is potentially career ending.

Comparison: Gotay vs. Valentin

Gotay [25 years old]- 98 games .295/.351/.421    3 SB 3 CS    4 HR 24 RBI    25 Runs 190 AB 42 SO

Valentin-  [38 years old]- 51 games .241/.302/.373   2 SB 1 CS   3 HR 18 RBI   18 Runs 166 AB 28 SO

Gotay is marginally the better offensive player. Valentin has been in decline since he left the White Sox after the 2004 season. I don’t give much credence to Valentin being a veteran/coach on the team. The Mets are a veteran team that really don’t need that. If we were talking about the Marlins, I think the veteran/coach role would have more value.

Valentin should start the season on the DL with his neck injury. So the Mets won’t be forced to make a decision immediately. The decision to keep Gotay on the roster is obvious to me.