Poll: Who will be in the Mets rotation?

With Jacob deGrom gone, the Mets have a big pair of cleats to fill. So, who should the Mets acquire for their 2023 rotation? Vote below or on Twitter.

Jacob deGrom departs for Texas

The Texas Rangers and Jacob deGrom have reached an agreement that would have deGrom in a Texas Rangers uniform for the next five seasons.

The deal is worth $185M, however, deGrom can up the value as high as $222M.

We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” general manager Chris Young said in the press release. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout Major League pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this off-season is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.

Via MLBTradeRumors.com

Mike Puma is reporting that deGrom and co. did not give the Mets the chance to put in a final offer before signing with the Rangers.

This leaves Max Scherzer as the ace of the Mets, while they also possibly try to retain Chris Bassitt for the middle of the rotation.

While the Mets could never replace the two-time Cy Young award winner, they’ll need to find a strong replacement to slide behind Scherzer in order to contend.

And with deGrom now a Texas Ranger, this gives Steve Cohen and the Mets the opportunity to focus elsewhere, without any major distractions… at least as of now.

Deep Dive: Taking a look at the Trade Additions

Yesterday the Mets made a trade to get Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham from the Marlins for Franklyn Sanchez. This move was mainly made to get the Mets some much needed depth, as both still have options and can be sent to AAA.

Depth is extremely important for every ballclub and the Mets are fixing that issue fairly soon in the offseason. With this move the Mets added a relief arm in Brigham and a starting pitcher in Hernandez. So let’s take a deeper look into these two arms.

Elieser Hernandez

Let’s start with Elieser Hernandez. A 27 year old righty that has been with the Marlins for his whole MLB Career. He made his MLB debut in 2018 but had his best years in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, he helped the Marlins to the Postseason with a 3.16 ERA in 6 starts. His 2021 was solid with a 4.18 ERA in 11 starts. However, his 2022 was dreadful as he pitched to an ugly 6.35 ERA over 62.1 innings.

So what was his main issue in 2022? His slider. After three straight years with a positive run value on his slider (-13 between 2019 and 2022), his run value on that pitch was a negative plus 6 in 2022. So what was the reason for that drop off success with that pitch?

Main difference in his slider is his horizontal movement. After three seasons where his horizontal movement was average or better, he lost his movement with one of the worst inches of break in the league in 2022. That’s after he had one of the better horizontal break in 2020 (video below), in his best season yet. It resulted in a major downgrade in his expected slugging against for Hernandez as he went from .340 expected slugging to .430 from 2021 to 2022.

Even with the lost of his slider, he had an expected ERA of 4.81, which obviously isn’t great but also shows some lack of luck. If the Mets are able to get Hernandez to refind his slider, he could be a serviceable depth starter for this team.

Jeff Brigham

Brigham is a 30 year old reliever who has battled numerous arm injuries over his career. When healthy in 2022, he was solid throwing his slider-fastball combination at hitters. In 2022, Brigham owned a 3.38 ERA over 24 innings, with 28 strikeouts. It was his first true succesfull stint.

2022 was the first season Brigham started to throw his slider more then his fastball. It resulted in a good year with solid numbers across the board. The run value on both his slider (-4) and fastball (-2) were above average for the first time in his career. Throwing his slider more also got his run value on his fastball above average for the first time. So clearly that adjustment paid off even when it was a small sample-size.

His slider is clearly his best pitch with an expected slash against him off .242/.305/.349 with a 22.2% hard hit rate. His fastball still gets hit fairly hard (expected OPS against .747, so pitching that less and less seems like a strong way to go.

In the end, both of these arms are depth. Especially Brigham, he would most likely see time with the big club and will battle for a spot during spring. Hernandez to me is more seen as AAA depth to make a spot start or do some mop up work. That being said, I believe this is solid depth for the big league club.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors on Twitter

Mets non-tender Smith, Reid-Foley.

Dom Smith’s time as a New York Met has finally come to an end, as the first baseman was not tendered a contract.

Smith spent six seasons with the Mets after being drafted by the organization in the first round of the 2013 June Amateur Draft.

Smith has had plenty of opportunity to shine, and actually did so a bit in 2019 as well as during the shortened 2020 season. However, between Pete Alonso winning the hearts of the fans and Smith’s poor play, he’s never been able to hold the job long enough to be consistently productive.

In 1373 plate appearances, Smith slashed .246/.308/.424/.733 in 447 games. He’s hit 46 home runs and drove in 174 RBI’s, averaging 17 home runs and 65 RBI’s every 162 games played.

And while his offense has usually been questionable, he was always spot on at first base defensively.

The Mets have also non-tendered pitcher Sean Reid-Foley.

Mets Claim Pitcher from the Braves

The Mets have claimed Right Handed Pitcher William Woods from the Atlanta Braves. After the Braves DFA’d the 23 year old the Mets picked up the young arm.

The Braves drafted Woods in 2018. After making his organizational debut, he pitched to a 3.35 ERA over 51 innings. In that span, he struck out 10.2 per nine but also walked 5.1 per nine.

After missing the 2020 because their wasn’t a minor league season, he had 2 injury riddled seasons in 2021 and 2022. When healthy he struggled in the minors in this seasons, especially in 20222 with a 6.04 ERA between AAA, AA and RK. He did pitch 2 scoreless in the majors.

Even with his struggles, Woods is still just 23 years old. After back to back seasons in the Baseball America Braves top 25 prospects, scouts do see promise in the young arm. He is reportedly able to reach 100mph in short stint outings with potentially above average slider and change up. Let’s hope the Mets coaches can make his potential click. If so the Mets could end up with a solid arm with lots of control and lots of options.

Woods came into the Mets Pipeline at spot 30 in their prospect rankings.

Photo credit: MLB Pipeline on Twitter

Mets Acquire Pitchers from Marlins

The Mets have traded for a pair of pitchers from the Marlins. Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham, a pair of right-handers that have both been DFA’d earlier this week, will both join the Mets.

In return, the Marlins will receive Franklyn Sanchez. A minor league prospect that can hit up 101MPH with his fastball.

Brigham and Sanchez will offer the Mets depth throughout a long season. Depth has always been important however, with so many players status currently up in the air, it’s hard to tell where both players will start.

I’m sure it’ll be in Syracuse, but I’m also sure we’ll be seeing these two in Queens a whole bunch. It may turn out to be a steal, especially if Hernandez can replicate his 2020-2021 form when he pitched to a 3.84 ERA in 17 combined starts.

Kodai Senga Meeting went well

According to Will Sammon the Mets had their meeting with free agent starter Kodai Senga. And according to the same source, it went well.

The 29 year old Japanese righty has been terrific over his last 4 season in the Japanese League (NPB) with a 2.39 ERA. Last season was his best year with a 1.89 ERA in 148 innings. He had a 9.7 K per nine rate which is really solid in the contact heavy NPB. Over his career he owns a 3.4 walk rate with a 10.0 strikeout rate.

His main pitch is his ghost forkball which is a big downward splitter. He mixes it up with a fastball that can reach up to 102mph on the gun.

Worth mentioning that Senga his agent has mentioned that Senga wants to play in a big market team for a Contender. The Mets obviously fits that and with the meeting going well, it’s possible Senga could become a Met. If that happens, the Mets add a big arm with lots of potential as scouts and executives are in agreement that the righty could be a dominant MLB starter.

Very curious with the Mets being interested how the Senga sweepstakes will end! As an international Free Agent, teams don’t need to do business with his former team as the Softbank Hawk never post their players and let them play out their players contracts.

Photo credit: SNY om Twitter

Two Trades the Mets can pull off with the Blue Jays

Boy, oh boy, do I just absolutely love the off-season. Sure, it sucks that there isn’t baseball on the television but this is the time of year where my imagination is running wild. With the amount of free agents hitting the board and number of trade possibilities about to become available, expect the 2023 Mets to look significantly different.

And speaking of trade possibilities, Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting that the Blue Jays are expected trade one of their three catchers.

And while the Mets and Jays are potentially competing for the services of Brandon Nimmo, they can probably come together and work out a trade.

A player that stands out to me is Danny Jensen, simply because he has the most experience of the three Toronto based backstops, with a little bit of pop. Also, no one’s exactly going to cry when his contract runs out and it’s time to leave town.

BaseballTradeValues.com

By no means is Jensen a slugger and the Mets shouldn’t treat him as such with phenom Francisco Alvarez recovering from ankle surgery. However, he’s a decent sized step up from Tomas Nido that could nicely transition to back-up once Alvarez is ready.

In return, the Blue Jays would get prospect Alex Ramirez, an outfielder that continues to climb the ranks amongst the Mets’ system. With good enough speed to play center and a strong enough arm to warrant him for right, Ramirez’ power and athletic ability, could make him quite the steal as the team’s top prospects are jam packed with talent.

Calvin Ziegler made his professional debut just this year, the 20 year old prospect has a fastball that sits at about 93MPH, however, the 6’0” right-hander can kick it up to 97MPH. He also owns a plus curveball, but does at times struggle to find the zone which in turn may have him destined for the bullpen.

The next trade I would try to pull off would be for some bullpen help, particularly a left-hander the Mets could use late.

BaseballTradeValues.com

If I had to choose from the bunch in Toronto, Tim Mayza would be that pitcher. He’s a lefty that’s going to get other lefties out, alongside the occasional right-hander.

And of course we all know about Dominic Smith by this point. It just didn’t pan out for first baseman, at least not in Orange & Blue. However, I do believe Smith has plenty of opportunity left to turn his career around into a more productive direction.

Leave a comment and let us know who you want on the Mets!!

Brandon Nimmo to the Jays?

Someone please let Brandon Nimmo know that Canadian bacon is just a flavored smoked ham and that weed is practically legal everywhere now. I believe this is important for Brandon to know, especially with teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies emerging as just a couple of teams showing interest in the on-base machine.

All jokes aside, with the Blue Jays making a shocking trade today, of Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners for late inning reliever Erik Swanson as well as pitching prospect Adam Macko. The Jays could be shifting their interest to Nimmo now, according to Jon Morosi.

During his earlier years in New York, fans debated on whether or not if Nimmo was no more than a fourth outfielder. Now headed into free agency for the first time in his career, Nimmo is clearly the best center fielder available on the open market. It’s impressive.

While the Mets are still interested in the Wyoming born player, the rest of the league will not make it easy for Eppler and Anderson. And of course, while owner Steve Cohen has more than enough money to make it happen 10x’s over, there’s still a financial limit the Mets do not want to cross.

This now makes this the second time in three years in which both the Mets and Blue Jays are showing interest in the same outfielder. The first being when the Toronto Blue Jays ended up winning the George Springer contest of 2021.

This will make for another interesting off season, so stay updated with all Mets content on Mets Junkies. Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Mets acquire Pitcher from Yankees

The Mets have claimed right-handed pitcher Stephen Ridings off of waivers from the Yankees.

Ridings appeared in 5 games in 2021 and in five innings pitched, the Huntington, New York native owned 1.80 ERA.