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

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

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

Mets Junkies Game Recap: Bullpen Blows 4-run Lead

The New York Mets opened the game with Taijuan Walker taking the mound, and while he only pitched two innings, it was a very good two innings.

I’m not sure if Walker was supposed to exit early, however he looked to call the trainer to the clubhouse after the second inning, before being replaced by David Peterson.

Walker tossed just two frames and struck out four batters without giving up a hit or walking a batter, unfortunately, it would be the Mets back end of the bullpen that would falter.

Mark Canha is still hitting. The right-handed bat went 1-4 and is currently hitting .571 with 3 RBI’s on the very young season.

David Peterson pitched well out of the pen following Walker’s departure. The lefty threw four innings, striking out three while walking two and allowing three hits.

Brandon Nimmo picked up a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with a run scored while raising his batting average to .333 while manning center.

Trevor May also looked to tweak something as Showalter and Hefner, alongside a trainer, came to the mound before removing May.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor picked up a base hit, an RBI single. The perennial All-Star is now batting .250 with 3 RBI’s on the year.

The Mets and Phillies will play the second game of the series, as Philadelphia plays host. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 PM with Tylor Megill squaring up against former Met Zack Wheeler.

Photo Credit: NYPost

Mets Junkies Game Recap: A Good Look by Cookie; Mets fall to Nats.

New York Mets starter Carlos Cookie Carrasco took the hill for the first time of the 2022 campaign and pitched really well. Unfortunately, the outing did not result in a team victory as the Mets picked up their first loss of the season.

However, back to Carrasco. The right-hander tossed 5.2 innings while allowing a run on two base hits. One of the hits came off of the bat of Nelson Cruz and resulted in a solo home run in the bottom half of the first.

Catcher Tomas Nido picked up a hit but also came up with a big defensive play in the bottom of the seventh. Nido would throw out Josh Bell as he attempted to steal second base with two outs, at which point the Mets still had a 2-1 lead over the Nationals.

Mark Canha is here to hit and that’s being shown as the newly acquired outfielder went 3-4, upping his BA to .700 after 10 AB’s.

Jeff McNeil picked up another hit today, as the super utility man went 1-3 on the afternoon as he also started in left field. McNeil now has a .438 BA as Buck Showalter continues to utilize McNeil’s versatility across the diamond.

McNeil, nicknamed The Flying Squirrel, even took a hit away from Josh Bell in left field as he made a sliding catch to rob the slugger of a cheap hit.

However, it would end up being the Mets defense that would cost them the game. An errant throw by Pete Alonso would eventually give Nelson Cruz and the Nationals the opportunity to take the game, and they did.

The Nationals would take the last game as the Mets take the four-game series.

The Mets will be in Philadelphia for a three game set with the Phillies as Taijuan Walker kicks it off against Ranger Suarez.

How Can a Trade with the Padres Work?

Earlier today there was a report with the Mets and Padres involved in trade talks. While my initial reaction was: Nooooooo, and its still a no for me, it made me wonder how the Padres and Mets could lineup for a trade?

Some might not be aware, but Eric Hosmer holds a lot of negative value for a team. A 32 year old first baseman with a .732 OPS? That’s not good. On top of that, Hosmer is owned 59 million for the next 4 years. But still it could work for both sides?

The Padres want to get ride of Hosmer and they should pay up in talent to do so. Paddack alone wouldn’t be enough, especially with giving up Dominic Smith. Yes, I am aware that Smith value has dropped, but he holds way more value then Hosmer. Paddack alone doesn’t clear that gap. So what would?

MLB Trade Values

As you can see, this trade is valued negative for the Mets. However, getting both Paddack and McKenzie Gore, makes it worth it for me. Gore and Paddack both have options but provide much needed depth for this year and the future. The 23 year old lefty Gore struggled last year in the minors, but has been great in the majors so far. He could also be used like the Brewers do, as a reliever first and starter later.

I believe Gore has more value then MLB Trade Values calculated, but it could be close to even value all things considered. This trade (although Hosmer could be a pain in the *ss), is worth it IMO. Both Paddack and Gore are blocked and it gives the Padres some payroll flexibility.

Point is, that the Padres and Mets could be trade partners in getting Hosmer and much needed pitching depth, with the deGrom injury. There is a way for the Mets and Padres to make it worth it for both sides?

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Mets Have Discussed Trade with Padres

According to Dennis Lin from the Athletic, the Mets and Padres have discussed a trade to acquire Chris Paddack and Eric Hosmer. In return they discussed Dom Smith heading over to San Diego.

This comes the morning after the Mets received the deGrom news. It could be a trade talked about earlier in the offseason, but with the deGrom news, it makes you wonder if the Mets will resume talks to get Paddack.

Right after the deGrom news, Billy Eppler said in an interview that the news won’t affect the Mets from looking outside the organization to fill that spot. However, that’s what every GM would say, so take it with a grain of salt.

If the Mets will try to get Paddack and Hosmer, they get an arm under control but coming off a horrendous year. The 26 year old righty pitched to a 5.07 ERA in 108.1 innings pitched. He did have a 3.78 FIP and 4.73 XERA, so he is expected to be better than his 2021 year.

Main plus with Paddack is his ability to limit walks. However, he does allow a lot of hard hit contact. That wasn’t the case in his great rookie year, where he pitched to a 3.33 ERA. After that great 2019, the Texas Native has struggled.

Even with the struggles, Chris Paddack is a young and under controlled starting pitcher. A hot commodity in the game, which will cost you. To degrees the talent in the deal, the Mets could add Eric Hosmer to relief payroll for the Padres.

Hosmer is coming off a year where he hit .269/.337/.395 over 151 games. The left handed hitting first baseman played a solid first base (69th percentile in OAA) but didn’t provide a lot of power. Hosmer does provide solid hard hit rates and doesn’t strikeout a lot. However he owned a .732 OPS and is owned 21 million dollar next year, with an opt out. If he decides to stay, he is owned 13 mil for the three years after 2022.

To give up Dom and that type of money for Hosmer and Paddack is a no go for me. Paddack has struggled and Hosmer just isn’t a good player. Both aren’t good enough to justify trading a talented player in Dom Smith and pay the contract for Hosmer. Please Mets, Don’t do this even with deGrom out.

Photo Credit: Amazin Army on Twitter

Mets Junkies Game Recap: Cookie Crumb’s

New York Mets starter Carlos Carrasco had another tough outing in Orange & Blue. The former Cleveland Indians pitcher made his first appearance of the spring, while giving up three runs in four innings pitched.

So far this spring, Carrasco sports an ERA of 6.75 after his first go-around against the Houston Astros.

Slugger Pete Alonso displayed his mammoth like power as the first baseman hit a three-run shot in the 6th, counting for his first long-ball of the spring.

Also Read: Mets Junkies Projections: Polar Bear Pete

So far during the spring, the Mets pitching staff has looked pretty. Relievers Adam Ottavino, Miguel Castro, Alex Claudio, Drew Smith, and Colin Holderman have all been on point as they haven’t allowed any runs during Spring Training.

The 6-4 Mets will square off against the 1-10 Washington Nationals on Thursday evening as Erick Fedde will take on Taijuan Walker.

Photo Credit: Anthony DiComo