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Chris Young Has Been the New York Mets’ Best Free-Agent Signing so Far

The New York Mets were very active in the free-agent market this past winter, especially compared to the types of acquisitions they made in previous years.

There are varying opinions as to whether general manager Sandy Alderson did enough to make the “Amazins” a playoff contender in 2014.

The first move he made was signing outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract. This signing puzzled some while looking at his recent statistics and a high propensity to strike out.

Those moves were followed with inking Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million deal, along with Bartolo Colon’s two-year, $20 million pact.

Granderson looks to be breaking out of his early-season slump but still has work to do with the .175/.280/.289 line he owns in 114 at-bats.

Two of Colon’s seven starts are why his season statistics don’t look great, but the Mets were hoping for better than a 2-5 record with a 5.36 ERA and 1.37 WHIP through his first 43.2 innings.

Once Young’s deal was official, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs said this would be one of the best bargains of the entire winter. So far, he’s been producing.

Young’s season was delayed because of a quad injury, landing him on the disabled list for the first two weeks. Through 61 at-bats, he’s hitting .246/.313/.410 with two home runs and nine RBI.

Prior to going hitless in his last six at-bats, Young’s average was as high as .273, and he could easily have two or three more home runs, but he’s been robbed by opposing outfielders.

Signing Granderson garnered more attention. There are multiple reasons for this, but mostly because he’s expected to be the main protection in the lineup for David Wright.

Getting close to the middle of May, the Mets are one of the worst in baseball with regard to power, posting a .332 slugging percentage, including 20 home runs.

Young’s still striking out 19.4 percent of the time, but that’s the lowest it’s been since he posted a 21.1 percent K-rate in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He’s hitting line drives at a rate of 18.8 percent, which isn’t much different than his career mark (18.6 percent). However, he’s cut down on the amount of fly balls he’s hitting. The 0.86 ground ball/fly ball ratio is the highest it’s been since it was 0.89 in 2008.

These improvements are part of the reason his .283 BABIP is the best it’s been since he was an All-Star for Arizona in 2010.

With a desire to be more consistent, Young received hands-on training from Hall of Famer Rod Carew. His changes in approach and selectivity at the plate look to be direct causes for this production.

Comparing to his 2013 season with the Oakland A’s, he’s swinging considerably less at pitches outside of the strike zone (28.3 percent in ’13 to 23.4 percent in ’14). He’s also pursuing more balls inside the strike zone (61.2 percent in ’13 to 63.6 percent in ’14).

Swinging at better pitches more frequently is leading to an increase in consistent and solid contact, likely why he’s keeping the ball out of the air better than in recent years.

The pitching staff will clearly need to carry the Mets if they plan on being successful this year. There’s hope the offense will end up improving from 2013, but that’s no guarantee. If the pitching—specifically the starting rotation—continues performing at its current level, situational hitting will become crucial.

Wright and Granderson have slowly started regaining their respective power strokes. Daniel Murphy is also on a hot streak, hitting .349 over his last 10 games. If Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda can find some kind of consistency, Young becomes the X-factor.

His production in the middle of the lineup would instantly make it much deeper and more intimidating. If Wilmer Flores brings offense to the shortstop position, then they may not be as bad as we currently think they’ll be over the course of the entire year.

The front office was criticized for signing Young, but of the three major acquisitions made this past winter, he’s actually been the most consistent.

If New York hopes to be in playoff contention by the end of the summer, every player on the roster must produce at their career norms.

However, the overall success of the offense may very well lie in the hands of Young. Acquiring Granderson will hopefully replace the production lost from Marlon Byrd. If C.Y. can add more on top of that, it could be enough to put New York in the conversation for the final wild-card spot.


Team statistics sourced from Contract information sourced from Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Advanced player statistics sourced from FanGraphs.

Matt’s baseball opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin‘ Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.

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2014 Boston Red Sox: Biggest Winners and Losers of Spring Training

The Boston Red Sox are getting closer to starting the defense of their World Series title when they begin regular season play on March 31 against the Baltimore Orioles.

Some questions about the roster have been answered during their time in Fort Myers, Fla. However, new ones have appeared due to certain performances, and others still need to be figured out.

A few players have taken full advantage of their opportunity this spring, while others aren’t getting the results they were hoping for. Unfortunately, strong performances from some in Red Sox camp won’t end with a spot on the Opening Day roster.

With the 2014 season-opener less than a week away, let’s take a look at some of Boston’s biggest winners and losers from this spring.


All player statistics sourced from, unless otherwise noted.

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Will the Boston Red Sox Be Baseball’s Next Dynasty?

The Boston Red Sox posted a 69-93 record in 2012, their first 90-loss season since 1966. That was followed by a 97-65 showing last season, resulting in their third World Series title since 2004.

Looking ahead to this year and beyond, can Boston become baseball’s next dynasty, similar to the New York Yankees in the late-90s?

Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald thinks the Red Sox are two important moves away.

Those moves include locking up Jon Lester to a long-term deal, as well as giving David Ortiz the one-year contract extension he’s in search of.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia told Silverman why the last Yankees dynasty is the model to follow:

When you think about the Yankees’ great teams in the ’90s, they had a center fielder, a shortstop, a left-handed starting pitcher, closer and great catcher. There were always those core guys who were playing together for a long time, and you could just tell by the way they played together. It was kind of weird. They were always on the same page.

The Red Sox don’t have core players at each of those positions, but have their own version of a core. Silverman notes that Pedroia starts it, as he’s locked up for the rest of the decade. Signing Lester and Ortiz will officially keep them in this group, as well.

He’s only played 18 regular season games in the big leagues, but Silverman feels Xander Bogaerts’ performance in the postseason and his ceiling is good enough to be included.

Repeating as World Series champions is hard. Building a dynasty is obviously harder. However, Silverman is right—the Red Sox have the ingredients to make this happen. While keeping a core group intact is important, there are other reasons why Boston has a chance to become baseball’s latest dynasty.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has done a fantastic job at creating roster and financial flexibility for the organization. It started with dumping a lot of salary in the Aug. 2012 blockbuster trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Over the last two winters, the front office hasn’t handed out a free-agent contract lasting longer than three years.

Pedroia is currently the only Red Sox player with a guaranteed contract past 2015. If Cherington inks Lester to an extension, he will join the second baseman in that category.

After ridding the organization of over $200 million in future salary commitments, the front office could have been aggressive in the free-agent market leading up to the 2013 season. Instead of once again weighing down the team with long-term contracts, Cherington went in a different direction.

Players like Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, Shane Victorino and David Ross were all brought in on manageable, short-term deals. They each had a positive impact on the field and in the clubhouse during the team’s World Series run.

The longest and most lucrative deal handed out to those players was to Victorino, who signed a three-year, $39 million contract. For a team with a payroll just shy of $155 million in 2013, the production received for the overall price paid to these players was nothing short of a steal.

This strategy yields three distinct benefits:

  • It allows the opportunity to aggressively pursue future high-priced free agents or trade targets, if it’s the right fit for the organization.
  • Paths to the majors for top prospects are not blocked by huge contracts for aging players.
  • These team-friendly deals also make players easier to trade, if it’s in the best interest of the organization.

That’s not to say questions don’t remain. Boston must prove that 2013 wasn’t a fluke before legitimate talk about a dynasty starts.

Injury-prone pitchers Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy need to stay healthy. Bogaerts must produce at the levels he’s expected to. Will Middlebrooks needs to bounce back from the .227/.271/.425 line he posted in 94 games last year.

The starting center fielder also needs to be determined. Is it time for Jackie Bradley Jr. to get a chance? Will Grady Sizemore complete his comeback, or does Victorino shift back there from right field?

Manager John Farrell must find answers for these uncertainties, but many teams are being faced with similar questions. Injuries and other unfortunate occurrences happen every year. Those teams that come together and rise above them are the ones that become champions.

It was a big blow for Boston’s bullpen when Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan went down with season-ending injuries last season. However, there was enough depth for the bullpen to still be a strength and compile 30 relief wins—fourth-best in the American League.

To be baseball’s next dynasty, Boston needs a core group to stick together, similar to the Yankees.

However, the financial and roster flexibility plus the amount of top prospects getting ready to make landfall in the majors is probably more important to future championship runs.

Cherington and the front office have done a great job by putting a quality product on the field, while balancing expectations for the future, as well.

The stage is set for an extended run of consistent success at Fenway. It’s now up to the veterans to lead the way, with the young players having to live up to the hype on the field.


Player statistics sourced from Salary information sourced from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Matt’s baseball opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin’ Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.


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2014 New York Mets: Why a 90-Win Season Isn’t Totally Crazy

There is plenty of optimism surrounding the New York Mets heading into the 2014 season, but is there too much at this point in the spring?

John Harper of the New York Daily News reported on February 27 that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson set a goal of 90 wins in a meeting with team executives.

This is a lofty goal, considering the “Amazins” haven’t had a winning season since 2008 and haven’t cracked the 90-win plateau since 2006.

Coming off a second-straight 74-88 campaign in 2013, the front office is certainly putting pressure on the coaching staff and team to improve their win total by 16 games.

Before dismissing this goal, looking at two teams who have completed a drastic turnaround in recent years will help. Those include the 2013 Boston Red Sox and the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.


Boston Red Sox

With Bobby Valentine at the helm in 2012, the Red Sox went 69-93—their worst record in a nonstrike season since 1960. Boston scored 4.53 runs per game in 2012, but a team ERA of 4.70 led to a run differential of minus-72.

They cleaned house with a blockbuster trade in August, then fired Bobby V. at the conclusion of the season. That gave the organization the ability to start from scratch and rebuild.

There are many reasons why the Red Sox enjoyed success last season. However, the most fundamental difference is that they hit and pitched better. The offense scored 5.27 runs per game and the pitching staff posted a 3.79 team ERA. That led to a run differential of plus-197 and a record of 97-65.

Oh, and a World Series title.

In addition to outscoring their opponents more often, Boston took care of business when it counted. They improved in head-to-head matchups against other American League East opponents, one-run games, extra inning contests and games at home.

Boston general manager Ben Cherington made significant moves last offseason, bringing in players like Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli (among others). Hope for a step in the right direction was expected, but their end result was something no one saw coming.

Baltimore Orioles

In looking at both of these success stories, the one completed by the Orioles is one Mets fans should pay close attention to. The organization hadn’t experienced a winning season since 1998, and the front office put their faith in Buck Showalter to right the ship as manager.

MLB Trade Rumors highlighted their offseason acquisitions prior to 2012 getting underway. Some moves were made, but it seemed more needed to be done to improve from a 69-93 record in 2011 and become a playoff team.

During their improbable 2012 season, the Orioles saw a major improvement in run differential. They went from a minus-152 showing to plus-seven. Historically speaking, teams with that kind of number hover around the .500 mark. However, Baltimore rode that to a 93-69 record and a playoff berth.

While their offensive output virtually remained the same (4.37 runs per game in 2011, 4.40 runs per game in 2012), their pitching improved greatly—especially the bullpen.

The Baltimore pitching staff lowered the team ERA by nearly a full run in just a year’s time (4.89 in 2011 to 3.90 in 2012). Matt Snyder of CBS Sports reported that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently said the 2012 success of the Orioles was an “anomaly” based off their run differential.

Even if this was an anomaly, this didn’t magically happen. Baltimore’s bullpen was a major reason for the team’s success.

In 2011, Showalter’s relievers resided in the lower half of the American League with regard to team wins (23), ERA (4.18), WHIP (1.35) and saves (32). The following season, they posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.21 ERA. They also led the AL in bullpen wins (32) and saves (55).

An improved bullpen meant better performances in close games. The Orioles went from a 22-22 record in one-run games during 2011 to a staggering 29-9 mark in 2012. They also went from an 8-8 record in extra innings to 16-2 over that same span of time.

Comparing the 2014 Mets to the 2012 Orioles provides hope that a 90-win season actually isn’t so crazy to imagine. Baltimore’s pitching is what catapulted them into the playoffs, while its offense virtually remained the same.

New York is hoping Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Travis d’Arnaud help revive a struggling offense. However, if the Mets want to have a winning season, their pitching must carry them.

The areas of improvement for the Mets are clear. They posted a minus-65 run differential last season thanks to averaging 3.82 runs per game, but the team 3.77 ERA saved them from a bigger deficit.

If Terry Collins’ squad is going to get better this season, it must beat division opponents with more regularity (34-42 record against the National League East in 2013). The Mets will also have to win more at Citi Field, as they went 33-48 at home last season.

Why would Sandy Alderson create such a lofty goal for the organization? If this team gets to the .500 mark, that would be considered a success.

My question is, why not shoot for 90 wins? If a team aims for mediocrity—like a .500 record—it’s destined for just that.

The Major League Baseball regular-season schedule is six months long. If the Mets are seen as an 80-win team, fewer than two more wins per month (1.67, to be exact) gets them to 90 wins.

If New York is an 85-win team in the eyes of analysts, one more win a month gets them to 91 wins. Playing well and getting a lucky on occasion could have them on the cusp of this crazy number.

Does this goal seem a bit unrealistic? It absolutely does.

However, other teams have been able to turn their fortune around quicker than expected, so why can’t the Mets? Anything can happen in baseball, and the unknown from year to year is what makes this game as wonderful as it is.


Team records and splits via Team statistics via Baseball Reference. Run differential statistics via Sporting Charts.

Matt’s Mets opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin’ Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Nick Franklin Is the New York Mets’ Best Option at Shortstop

The New York Mets’ search for an external solution at shortstop has been centered on free agent Stephen Drew. Now that the Seattle Mariners are dangling middle infielder Nick Franklin in the trade market, there is plenty of reason to shift their focus.

Seattle has two capable shortstops on its roster in Franklin and Brad Miller. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York speculated that Franklin is more likely to be dealt prior to Opening Day. One of their sources confirmed the team’s interest.

While playing out of position, Franklin put up a .225/.303/.382 line with 12 home runs, 20 doubles and 45 RBI in 102 games played last season. Those numbers trump New York’s 2013 shortstop production, led by Omar Quintanilla.

“Q” hit .222/.306/.283 with two home runs, nine doubles and 21 RBI in 95 games played last season—underwhelming, to say the least.

With the Drew negotiations seemingly going nowhere, the Mets are putting their faith behind Ruben Tejada getting his career back on track. In hopes to create some kind of depth at the position, prospect Wilmer Flores is getting reps there this spring.

Whether or not Tejada shows he can produce like he did in 2011 and 2012, there is still a lack of shortstop depth in the higher levels of the minor leagues. Signing Drew for one or two years at the price Sandy Alderson wants would improve the team, but it would only be a short-term solution for a long-term problem.

This season is supposed to be the beginning of consistently competitive Mets baseball, yet one of the most crucial positions on the field is still a huge question mark. Furthermore, New York’s two top shortstop prospects, Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario, probably won’t be ready for the big leagues for at least another three years.

Acquiring Franklin from the Mariners would fix the immediate issue, but also provide stability and upside into the future. If New York was truly confident in moving forward with Tejada or another internal candidate at shortstop, it wouldn’t be monitoring the trade and free-agent markets.

In 124 games played for the Boston Red Sox last season, Drew hit .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles and 67 RBI. When putting Franklin’s statistics next to Drew’s (.225/.303/.382, 12 home runs, 20 doubles and 45 RBI), their 2013 production isn’t drastically different.

He posted a similar walk rate (10.8 percent) and strikeout rate (24.8 percent) as Franklin (10.2 percent, 27.4 percent, respectively), as well. Drew’s .190 isolated power (ISO) is greater than Franklin’s .157, but it should be since he played half his games at Fenway Park instead of the spacious Safeco Field.

Considering he played out of position for all but 20 innings in 2013, Franklin’s rookie campaign was quite successful. Unfortunately for him, the emergence of Miller at shortstop and the signing of Robinson Cano leave him without a starting job in Seattle.

That could end up being a fortunate turn of events for the Mets, though.

Instead of tying up anywhere between $20 and $25 million over the next two seasons for Drew, the Mets could possibly get similar production from Franklin, at a fraction of the cost. Entering his age-23 season, there is potential for him to progress and actually outproduce Drew.

Franklin is not due to become arbitration-eligible until 2017, giving the Mets options and flexibility moving forward, which Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog cites as important to the front office. It allows New York to have what could be a productive shortstop under team control while Cecchini and Rosario move through the minor leagues.

The biggest obstacle would be offering a package attractive enough to persuade Seattle to send Franklin packing. MetsBlog speculates the price must be high since the team had nearly all winter to find a trade partner.

Cerrone reported that the Mariners are looking for a young pitcher under team control. Lucky for the Mets, that’s the kind of prospect they have plenty of.

Will DeBoer of Rising Apple would offer up pitchers such as Jacob deGrom, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia or Dillon Gee as trade bait.

Minor leaguers Jeff Walters, Darin Gorski, Logan Verrett and Erik Goeddel could also be brought into the conversation, depending on the kind of pitcher Seattle is searching for.

Signing Drew would still be a solid move for the Mets. However, it doesn’t seem like the two sides will be coming to an agreement. It’s been at least three months of negotiating, and the time to move on is now.

Acquiring Franklin could come at a different cost other than financial, especially if the Mariners are set on getting someone like Rafael Montero in return.

Technically, he’s unproven in the major leagues at shortstop, but Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings would come with their own set of questions due to small sample sizes in the big leagues. Making regular appearances in top-100 prospects lists, Franklin showed his promise with a .287/.360/.459 career minor league line in 394 games played.

Plus, it would be hard to be less productive compared to what Tejada did last season. His defense is a question mark, but if Ruben underwhelms this spring, it’s a risk worth taking.

At this point, he wouldn’t cost New York Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard or Travis d’Arnaud. He’s under team control for six years, and there is upside in his offensive approach.

Franklin is the best and most realistic external solution available to bring stability to the shortstop position in Flushing.


Player statistics sourced from Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.

Matt’s Mets opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin‘ Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.

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Jose Tabata Should Be on the New York Mets’ Radar This Summer

Sandy Alderson has given the New York Mets outfield a makeover this winter, but it’s debatable whether or not all the acquisitions will be helpful.

Given the inflated prices of the free-agent market, taking a risk on Curtis Granderson was one the team had to take. On the other hand, giving Chris Young $7.25 million has some scratching their heads.

He can hit home runs but is prone to a lot of strikeouts and a low on-base percentage. If he’s not productive, there isn’t much depth in the outfield behind Eric Young Jr.

As players begin reporting to spring training and prepare for 2014, Alderson and his staff should keep close tabs on Jose Tabata.

Once considered an important piece of the future for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tabata could be on the outside looking in by midseason when it comes to regular playing time. He broke out in 2010 by hitting .299/.346/.400 with 19 stolen bases, placing eighth in National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Another solid year in 2011 spurred the Pirates to lock him up with a six-year, $15 million deal, including three team-friendly options. The young outfielder hit a bump in his development in 2012. Lack of production and hustle landed him back in Triple-A for a prolonged period of time.

He shared playing time in 2013, but brought his career back to life with his best performance since 2010. Tabata posted career highs in slugging percentage (.429), home runs (six) and triples (five). His .282 batting average and 33 RBI were the best since his rookie year.

MLB Depth Charts has Tabata currently tabbed as Pittsburgh’s starting right fielder, but it may not be that way for long.

Thus far in his career, he’s spent most of his time hitting either first or second in the lineup—1,309 of his 1,538 career plate appearances, to be exact. The emergence of Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer has him occupying the eighth spot.

There is quite a bit of minor league talent waiting to make an impact in the big leagues, as well. Prospects Josh Bell and Barrett Barnes aren‘t projected to debut until 2016 (according to, but Gregory Polanco will make landfall sometime this season.

Across three minor league levels in 2013, Polanco hit .285/.356/.434 with 12 home runs, 71 RBI, 30 doubles and 38 stolen bases. He only played in two games for Triple-A Indianapolis last season, but could be with the Pirates by the summer if he continues to produce.

When Pittsburgh promotes the second-best prospect in its system, he’s going to play. Marte and Andrew McCutchen aren’t going anywhere in left and center field, respectively, meaning Tabata will be most affected.

His contract is still at a manageable price, but it’s doubtful the Pirates will want to pay $11.5 million over the next three seasons for a bench player ($34 million over six years if all three options are exercised).

This is where the Mets could swoop in and benefit greatly. Currently, there isn’t a player in New York’s projected everyday lineup that is a solid leadoff hitter. According to Terry Collins, Eric Young Jr. is the leading candidate (per ESPN New York), but he doesn’t have a regular position to play.

With the one-year commitment to Chris Young, Alderson will need to address the outfield again next winter. The organization has intriguing prospects in Cesar Puello and Dustin Lawley, but neither of them is a sure thing for the future.

If New York’s first baseman (either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda) can provide the power needed from that position, Alderson can feel more comfortable pursuing a player of Tabata’s caliber for right field.

He’s under contract through the 2016 season, but team options can keep him under control through his age-30 season in 2019—likely the prime years of his career.

If given the opportunity, Tabata has the potential to hit between 10 and 15 home runs, 30 or more doubles and possibly 10 or more triples in the spacious confines of Citi Field. He doesn’t have blistering speed, but can run well and get on base at a high enough clip to justify him leading off.

Without much organizational depth in the outfield, it would be smart for the Mets to keep tabs on him. Once Polanco is promoted and inserted into the lineup, the Pirates may look to unload his salary. Now that New York has more financial flexibility, his price is something the Wilpons can apparently take on.

New York could entice general manager Neal Huntington with a couple pitching prospects. Jacob deGrom, Darin Gorski and Logan Verrett come to mind as options—they’re all currently starters, but could also end up being relievers in the big leagues. Their asking price in a potential swap is a moving target at this point, considering Tabata’s play from one year to the next.

Considering his affordability, years of control and the skills he can provide, it would be silly for Sandy Alderson to not keep him on his radar throughout the season.


Player statistics sourced from Baseball-Reference. Contract numbers sourced from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Matt’s Mets opinions have been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, Yahoo! Sports, MetsBlog, Amazin‘ Avenue and Mets Merized Online. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on

Odds of New York Mets’ Top 5 Non-Roster Invitees Making the 2014 Roster

Spring training is inching closer and closer for the New York Mets. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie on February 15 to begin their journey through the 2014 MLB season.

Along with the players currently on the major league roster, the Mets also invited more than 20 minor leaguers not on the roster to join the team in big league camp. Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger provided a list of a majority of the non-roster invitees.

This doesn’t include the recent signings of pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lannan, Kyle Farnsworth and infielder/outfielder Matt Clark.

Castillo’s list reveals a number of top prospects to be in attendance. Using the top-20 prospect list from, let’s take a look at the odds of the top five prospects not on the 40-man roster making the team out of camp and heading north with the Mets at the end of March.


All player statistics sourced from Baseball Reference and, unless otherwise noted.

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2014 Scouting Reports and Projections for Each New York Mets Pitcher and Catcher

The February 15 spring training report date for the New York Mets is right around the corner, which will officially kick off their mission of becoming a winning baseball team in 2014.

Unlike recent winters, Sandy Alderson and his staff have been active in the free-agent market, handing out multi-year deals to Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. The organization also inked Chris Young to a one-year deal and handed out a few minor league contracts to free-agent starting pitchers.

As we prepare to watch the Mets take the field for the first time in months, let’s take a look at scouting reports and statistical projections for the pitchers and catchers expected to fight for an Opening Day roster spot in Port St. Lucie.


All player statistics and advanced statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, respectively.

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New York Mets’ Biggest Winners and Losers of the Offseason

The New York Mets have been active during the winter months leading up to the 2014 season, and the light is at the end of the tunnel for those waiting patiently for spring training.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie on February 15, followed by position players on February 20. Most of the work that Sandy Alderson set out to accomplish for the roster has been completed, but there still could be a few tweaks on the way.

Through all the free-agent signings and trade rumors that swirled around Flushing over the past few months, there have been a few people who benefited greatly. On the other hand, there were also a few people who were given a big disadvantage with camp nearing.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest winners and losers of the Mets’ offseason so far.


All player statistics from Baseball Reference. Contract information from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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The Best Remaining Players the New York Mets Could Bring in for Spring Training

The New York Mets have been busier this offseason than in recent ones, but there is still work to be done on the Mets roster before spring training begins next month.

General manager Sandy Alderson has already acquired Curtis Granderson and Chris Young for the outfield while adding Bartolo Colon to the rotation fill in for the absence of Matt Harvey.

Despite these moves, the organization would like to bring in another starting pitcher on a minor league deal to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. They would also like to acquire a veteran reliever to fill the role LaTroy Hawkins occupied in 2013.

Then, there’s the elephant in the room at shortstop. The Stephen Drew sweepstakes are still going on, and it looks like the Mets are the only logical suitor. Hopefully that is the case because potential backup options for Ruben Tejada were erased on Jan. 13 when Cesar Izturis signed with the Houston Astros and Ronny Cedeno inked a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Here are the best free-agent options left for the Mets to consider based on ability, versatility, affordability and fit in the clubhouse.


All player statistics and advanced statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, respectively. Contract information from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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