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 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

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 Rays Lefties that have my Attention

With the Mets and Rays rumored in talks about pitching, the names are popping up everywhere. While a lot of fans have the hope its Tyler Glasnow, I think the Mets won’t go in that direction. Mainly, because Glasnow would cost. So I took a look at two lefties the Rays are shopping, who definitely fit the Mets needs.

We already covered Yarbrough in our latest article, but he is definitely on my list. The two I go into are Jalen Beeks and Jeffrey Springs. Never heard of them? That happens a lot with the Rays. But like they always seem to do, happened with these two lefties as well: they performed as Tampa Bay Rays.

Let’s start with Jalen Beeks. The 29 year old is coming off a very solid season with the Rays, pitching to a 2.80 ERA in 61 innings. He has two more years of control, so it’s not just a trade for one year. Beeks is a valuable arm to have in your pen, as he is used to pitching more then an inning. In 42 games, he pitched multiple innings in 24 of them. Another pro is his ability to get righties out as he held righties to a .640 OPS. Main reason is his heavy change usage.

Beeks had very strong K numbers in 2022 with a good average exit velo against, showing his main reason for success. Beeks average exit velo (85th percentile), K% (81th percentile) and Whiff rate (85th percentile) are all in the 80th percentile or higher, with his chase rate just under 80 at 72. His walk rate is a little below average, but we see that more often with relievers.

Like I mentioned before, Beeks relies heavily on his change-up. You could call him a fastball-change pitcher as he throws both close to 50% (change 49.25%/Fastball 48.2%). As expected, both pitches are very good but his change is his best with a -8 run value. He gets that with above average horizontal movement, besides his average velo (90.3) just 5mph lower then his FB (95).

Beeks is a very intriguing arm who fits the Mets need with a lefty. He will cost a bit with his MLB Trade Value at 6.7, which would be a package like Eric Orze, Khalil Lee and Junior Santos.

The other arm is Jeffrey Springs, a 30 year old lefty starter, who like Beeks has two years of control left. Springs, as Beeks, is coming off a strong 2022, pitching to a 2.46 ERA over 135.1 innings. Springs has a strikeout rate of 9.6 per nine with a low whip of 1.07. An overall very solid year for Springs. He started the year in the pen, before he found his spot in the rotation. Springs pitched in the Rays way, so his longest outing was 6 innings. Still, the lefty collected 3.6 Wins Above replacement, showing his value.

His percentiles are very solid across the board. His chase rate (95) is one of the best in the league, with above 70th percentiles in avg exit velo (73), expected ERA (75), barrel % (75), K% (71) and Whiff % (76) with a BB% in the 83th percentile. He gets his most success with his change-up, as he had a -12 Run Value on that pitch with a great 38.1 Whiff % on that pitch. It’s his go to pitch to put hitters away.

His most used pitch is his 4 seamer, which isn’t to shabby as well with a -4 run value. He doesn’t throw hard, but provides one of the best horizontal movement on that pitch in the majors. He also mixes in his slider which doesn’t have the Whiff rate, but is still very useful with a -5 run value.

Springs will logically be more expensive in a trade. MLB Trade Values has Springs with a 17.5 value, which is a package Ronny Mauricio and Calvin Ziegler (just an indication). Still Springs would be a great arm to get for the Mets too, to slot into the rotation. It would save the Mets some financial flexibility to add other pieces.

To me both are intriguing arms to add to this depleted pitching staff. With the Rays having a surplus of arms and the Mets a clear need, I am very curious if they find a trade. And I hope for one of these two.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors on Twitter

Mets Make Some Bullpen Moves

The Mets made a couple of bullpen moves yesterday, declining Mychal Givens Mutual option and claiming lefty Tayler Saucedo from the Blue Jays.

The Givens move was a surprise to me as the Mets didn’t pick up a low cost mutual option. With the Mets current bullpen, keeping Givens was a move I would make. Besides his bad first outing, Givens pitched to a 2.70 as a Met AND has been extremely consistent in his full season numbers in recent years. However, the Mets declining his option, means they have a plan. And I can’t wait to see what!

The Mets also made a minor move to add depth as they claimed Tayler Saucedo. A 29 year old lefty that hasn’t found success in his brief time in the Majors, pitching to a 5.40 Career MLB ERA in 28.1 innings.

In AAA however, Saucedo was pretty good. In 2021 he pitched to a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 innings with 12.3 strikeouts per nine. He followed that up with a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings with a 13.5 strikeout per nine rate between AAA and RK this year.

In the majors Saucedo is more of a ground ball machine then a strikeout guy. Over his brief mlb time, he got a very good 58.7 ground ball %. He also held lefties to a .182/.280/.295 slash line.

Saucedo throws mostly sinker/slider but he throws an occasional change, curve and 4 seamer. His Sinker averages at 92.6 with his slider at 83.9.

It’s a depth move with some promise. Saucedo has options so the Mets can put him in AAA and they have control until 2027. If this move works out and the Mets pitching coaches can find a way to make him improve, this could be a very solid addition.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Bring Back the Trumpets

The Mets retained one of their big fish right on the start of free agency, inking Closer Edwin Diaz to a 5 year/102 million dollar contract. The contract will reportedly have an opt out after the 3rd year and a full no trade clause.

The Best Closer in Baseball gets the most money ever by a reliever. Yes, it’s a lot of money but to me the Mets needed to retain him to have their lockdown closer at the end of games.

The 28 year old was absolutely dominant in 2022, pitching to a 1.31 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 62 innings. He even had a 0.90 FIP which shows his season wasn’t a fluke. He didn’t allow a lot of hits, and his walk rate was lower then in his earlier Mets tenure.

Let’s forget about the 2019 year. With the juiced balls, Diaz allowed 15 homers in just 53 innings. That isn’t going to happen again. To me it’s save to say that Diaz will likely be one of the best closer in the game for years to come. And he is a Met!

Let’s enjoy this start of a very exciting offseason for Mets fans!

In other news the Mets have exercised Daniel Vogelbach 1.5m option and Chris Bassitt has Declined his 19m option, becoming a free agent.

Photo Credit: B/R Walk-Off

Four in-house Bullpen Options

Bullpen? That will probably look the most different out of any part of the Mets roster. With an off-season where the Mets have 6 of their main 8 bullpen arms from 2022, becoming free agents, there is a lot of questions about the bullpen. In a recent article I mentioned one arm the Mets should accept a mutual option on, but it’s still a question if Givens will accept. Right now the Mets have two arms who are almost certain of a bullpen spot but I believe two other in-house options also have a fair shot.

Drew Smith

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Drew Smith will make the Mets bullpen when healthy and there is every reason to believe he should. Smith had a solid year, pitching to a 3.33 ERA over 46 innings. In that span, he struck out 53 and walked just 15. Main issue with Smith was the long ball, as he allowed 9 homers over those 46 innings. However, even with the long balls and fairly high hard hit percentage, Smith Expected ERA stood at 3.78. That’s mainly because he kept his opponents expected BA and Expected Weighted OBA down (.221/.303).

It’s also worth mentioning that Smith’s worse month was July (7.56ERA), right before the Mets put him on the injured list with an arm issue. He returned with solid numbers at the end of the year. So yes, Drew Smith is obviously in the pen next year.

Stephen Nogosek

Could the Mets pen next year have two 2017 trade deadline additions in their bullpen for 2023? Yes I believe they should. Stephen Nogosek was tremendous in his time in the majors but also did well in AAA. The 27 year old pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings for the Mets. But besides his small samplesize success in the majors, he also pitched to a 2.30 ERA in AAA over 43 innings. In the majors he didn’t strike out as much as in AAA but still had a repectable 8.6K/9. However, it’s worth noting that he didn’t have a consistent role in the majors (mostly getting some multi innings stints when the Mets had a big lead/deficit).

Main reason I trust Nogosek is his added velo and success with his 4 seamer. In a small samplesize, Nogosek got a -3 run value with his 4 seam fastball alone. His expected slash line against his 4 seam fastball was .193/.304/.350. He uses his 4 seamer less and learned a cutter. His cutter is still a work in progress, but it did allow more success with his 4 seamer. Let’s hope he can develop his cutter in a better weapon. I see Nogosek more as a middle relief role instead of the back end off the bullpen.

Joey Lucchesi

The somewhat forgotten man in the Mets depth chart is Joey Lucchesi. A starter that will likely find his way into the Mets bullpen in 2023. With Williams being a free agent, the Mets need an arm that can give you innings and be a spot starter. Joey Lucchesi fits that profile.

After TJS Lucchesi had a year with rehab and ended his season with some rehab outings. Lucchesi looked good in his rehab outings, pitching to a 2.13 ERA over 12.2 innings. Before his injury Lucchesi pitched go a 4.46 ERA over 38.1 innings with the Mets in 2021. He did however, had a 3.40FIP and 1.17WHIP, indicating he could be better. And don’t we all love the churve?

John Curtiss

Who? Yes John Curtiss. The Mets signed Curtiss last offseason with a 770.000 dollar deal with a team option for 775.000 dollars. The Mets made this trade to have him in 2023 as he was recovering from TJS as he signed the deal. The Mets were aware that he would miss the entire 2022 season when he signed, which was smart knowing how many free agents the Mets have.

The 29 year old right has control thru the 2025 season and owns a 3.63 career ERA. He did pitch in just 86.2 innings over his career with his most success in 2021. In that year he pitched to a 3.45 ERA over 44.1 innings with the Marlins and Brewers. Worth mentioning that Curtiss pitched to a 2.43 ERA before the trade, but got into just 4 games with the Brewers, were he struggled. That was followed with him being diagnosed with a torn UCL, which could indicate him pitching hirt

Curtiss gets his most success with his 4 seam fastball. In 2021 hitters hit just .155/.216/.238 against his 4 seamer. His slider however, got hit (.330/.388/.568) but his expected slash line against that pitch was way better (.266/.293/.385). So there is reason to expect him to have better results with his slider, with worse results with his 4 seamer.

Like Givens, Curtiss would be a solid arm to have as depth in your bullpen. And with the cost attached so low, you have to give it a try.

So who do you think will make this pen? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Should Givens Stay?

To answer this question, we have to explain Givens situation first. The Mets and Givens have a mutual option for $3.5M for next season. This means both have to accept the option for him to stay with the Mets. So this is more a question of: Should the Mets accept the mutual option for 1/3.5M?

To me the clear answer is yes! I know the overall Mets numbers aren’t great for Givens as he had a 4.79 ERA in 20.2 innings as a Met. But if you exclude his first outing (5ER in 0.2), Givens would have owned a 2.70 ERA with the Mets. This shows once again that a small samplesize shouldn’t keep him out of a Mets uniform next year.

Another big plus for Givens is his consistency. How often do we see such different results on a yearly bases when it comes to middle relievers. Over his career, he has been extremely consistent (Only his 2019 season has an ERA over 4). Givens is just 32, coming off back to back seasons with a ERA just below 3.40. To me no reason to expect a decline.

Baseball Savant

If you look at Givens’ Baseball Savant page, you still see solid expected numbers, with a solid K rate and elite fastball spin, which is a big part of his success (Run Value -1 on 4 seamer). He did lose a little bit of zip on the 4 seamer but to me no reason for much concern as he never counted on high velo. Also good to see him having three above average pitches in run value (4 seamer, slider, changeup).

Thinking about Givens to me the words come to mind is consistent and durable. Two things I think the Mets need. The Mets also aren’t in position to not retain solid arms for $3.5M as they have a lot of questions going into this offseason. With Drew Smith as the only main man left, the Mets shouldn’t waste the opportunity to retain such a solid arm.

Photo Credit: Geny Mets Report on Twitter

MetsJunkies Recap: Cookie Retires 18 in a Row in Mets Win

The Mets beat the Giants 6-2 to win their fourth series of the year. With the 6-2 win the Mets improved to 10-4, being the first MLB team to reach 10 wins.

Carlos Carrasco was the star of the show, going 7.2 innings of 2 run ball. At some point Cookie retired 18 Giants in a row, before Yastrzemski broke that streak with a solo shot. Carrasco allowed just 4 hits without allowing a walk, while striking out 7.

Joely Rodriguez got the final out in the eight before Edwin Diaz shut the door in the ninth.

The Mets offense scored runs in different ways today. Lindor and Escobar provided the power. Lindor hit his 4th in a 3 for 5 day. The star shortstop is now hitting. 308 with a .1034 OPS.

Escobar hit his first as a Met as he improved his stats to a .318 average with a .1055OPS. Escobar has been walking a lot, as he added another walk in a 1 for 3 day.

Arguably the biggest hit came of the bat from Mark Canha. After Alonso and Escobar couldn’t come thru with 2nd and 3rd, Canha hit a huge 2 out, 2 rbi single to make it 5-1. McNeil and Nimmo both had a RBI Double in the win.

The Mets will fly to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks tomorrow at 9.40pm. David Peterson will get his second start as he tries to keep his solid start of the year going.

Photo Credit: New York Post

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets Shutout D’Backs. Improve to 7-3

The Mets improved to 7-3 on the year after a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon. David Peterson and the Mets bullpen held the Diamondbacks off the board in a stellar performance.

Peterson made the start instead of Taijuan Walker. He didn’t disappoint, as he went 4.1 scoreless frames. The young lefty allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4. He has thrown 8.1 scoreless frames so far this season.

Trevor Williams, Chasen Shreve, Drew Smith and Edwin Diaz combined to throw the other 4.2 scoreless frames. Shreve was outstanding over 2 scoreless to collect the win.

The Mets offense was silent against Diamondbacks starter Castellanos, but woke up against the Diamondbacks bullpen. With some great and smart baserunning in between the Mets scored 3 runs in the sixth. Eduardo Escobar hit a hustle double that led to a Pavin Smith throwing error. This scored Alonso and got Escobar to third for the first run.

JD Davis followed with a clutch pinch hit RBI Single and Smith later scored on a James McCann sac fly. After that play JD Sacrificed himself on the bases, so the Diamondbacks couldn’t appeal Smith leaving to early at third. Davis ended up surprising the Diamondbacks and steal a base. After the Game Davis admitted it was on Buck Showalter. What a great call by the skipper.

A inning later Pete Alonso hit a line drive over the wall for his 3rd homerun of the season, a 2 run shot to left. Pete now has 14 runs batted in in the early season, leading the NL.

After a 7-3 start to the year the Mets will welcome the San Francisco Giants to town. The opening game of the 4 game series starts today at 7.10, with Tylor Megill on the hill vs Alex Cobb.

Photo Credit: SNY