Syndergaard is headed Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Angels have added big right-hander Noah Syndergaard to their starting rotation. The Texas-born pitcher had a qualifying offer sitting on the table from the Mets, however was set to expire at 5 P.M. on Wednesday. The news comes from Jon Morosi of MLB Network while the deal is for one year and worth $21M.

The Mets acquired Syndergaard in a monster trade that took place with the Toronto Blue Jays back in December of 2012. The Mets parted with reigning Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. In return did the Mets not only Syndergaard, but also Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck, and prospect Wuilmer Becerra.

Stars are aligning for Bauer/Mets Marriage

By Jeremy M

The romance began shortly after Sandy Anderson’s opening press conference as the new President of the new and improved New York Mets (Steve Cohen’s Mets).

In his very first radio interview with the (also) brand new WFAN drive time tag team of Craig Carton and Evan Roberts, the historically reticent baseball executive, Alderson, gushed about Bauer, catching so many Mets fans in almost a state of disbelief.

“I actually think Bauer would be a great personality in New York. The kind of guy that fans would endorse. We’re in the entertainment business.” Alderson explained.

Trevor Bauer, MLB’s reigning Cy Young winner and social media bad boy, might be courted by the Mets? The same Mets that had reasoned away not pursuing Alex Rodriguez in 2000, as it being unfair to other players (24 and 1 couldn’t work they said), this organization was now throwing out pick-up lines into the social media universe for today’s premiere primadonna…Bauer…can this be true?

But like all high profile figures, its one thing to flirt, it’s another thing to back that up with a hard commitment. Stars need more than a swipe right. So were the Mets for real? Maybe?

While Alderson and his lieutenants might have preferred a more traditional union with the non-controversial George Springer (a trusted source told me they were not able to make a final offer), Bauer has continued to be on their radar as a potential match.

So as we close in on spring training and the number of seats at the free agent table left available to tantalizingly talented Bauer are dwindling, the Mets are still there, with bright orange and blue flowers and a bag of Steve Cohen’s cash, and no one else seems to be bidding.

It seems almost fate-and a matter of time- before these two parties complete their nuptials and say I do.

Photo from NJ.com

Trevor Bauer: Average Pitcher/Major Headcase

Is Trevor Bauer a player you want to have on your team? If you like having a player who cares more about himself and his Social media than the team you play for and your teammates, then he’s perfect. For a team that is young and full of young players who can mesh together, it’s not the right fit and I’ll explain why.

In very recent memory, Trevor Bauer pitched his way to a Cy Young award in 2020 for the Cincinnati Reds. There is however, controversy with him winning the Cy Young and that is him winning the award in a 60 game season, 11 starts against two of the worst divisions in both the American League and National League, while half of his starts were against teams that were awful this year. These awful teams that he pitched half of his games to were the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. For 60 Games, it’s impressive, but the question on everyones mind is “Can he repeat in a 162 game season?”

Personally, I doubt he’ll be able to replicate what he did in 2020. While Bauer did have a very impressive 2018 with the Cleveland Indians pitching to a 2.21 ERA in the regular season and a great 11 starts pitching to a 1.73 ERA with the Cincinnati Reds, the rest of his career however has been nothing but average if not slightly above average. From 2012 till 2017, Bauer’s ERA was always above 4. If I am to be very fair, His first full season was in 2014 and from 2014 till 2017, He was average with an era over 4. In 2019, he was looking good until he threw his Temper Tantrum in clunker against the Kansas City Royals. When Indians manager Terry Francona went to pull him from his start, instead of giving the ball to Francona like a respectable player, he launches the baseball to center field, disrespecting the well known and well respected manager. Shortly after the incident, Bauer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds where he posted an ugly looking 6.39 ERA. Rumors went around at the time that he didn’t adapt to Great American Band Box, I mean Ball Park and another rumor was that he had sour grapes about the Trade to Cincinnati.

If the rumor about Bauer having sour grapes over the trade is true, why would anyone want him? Pitching bad deliberately because he was upset? That’s some nerve on a player. Play the game to win, not because your hurt over a trade. Get over it quickly and move on! Despite the 11 starts in a 60 game season, Bauer isn’t the Ace or the #2 starter everyone has him out to be. I’ve heard claims that “Bauer has figured it out!” 11 starts in a season is figuring it out?

I’ve also seen people trying to compare Trevor Bauer’s career to that of Nationals ace Max Scherzer! Seriously? Comparing Bauer to Scherzer? Only because they won Cy Youngs around the same age. Because that makes them similar, right? Bauer is nowhere near the same camp as Scherzer and most likely never will be!

You’re probably wondering why I think Trevor Bauer is a head case. Well, the answer is simple. It has to do with his behavior. Does he go out and party, drink and do stupid things of that nature? No, it’s other things. He’s concerned with himself than he is the team. A prime example was in 2017 during a playoff game against the Yankees, when he was pulled and instead of going to support his teammates in the dugout, He goes into the clubhouse, whips out his phone and goes on a major twitter blocking spree and blocking a lot of other twitter users who were giving Bauer his “Just deserts” so to speak after he talked trash before he faced the Yankees. Why would a player worry about social media when he should be worrying about his team and supporting his teammates? That shouldn’t be acceptable by any means.

Another incident was back in 2018 when Bauer harassed woman who happened to be an Astros fan. The Astros fan wasn’t a fan of Trevor Bauer and he took exception to her by not responding once, but by harassing the woman for over 12 hours. It was to the point where the Astros fan had to block Bauer on twitter for constant harassment. Bauer did apologize a few days later, but that kind of Behavior by a Professional Athlete no matter what sport you play isn’t acceptable by any means!

Since Bauer won the Cy Young, He’s been trolling fans online by purchasing different hats from different teams since he’s a free agent. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but since he’s using it to troll fans and ranking fan bases, Is this something a team wants to put up with? A player pandering to fan bases and eventually ranking which is the best? If I’m an owner and a Free agent is ranking fan bases, why would I want him to be part of my team, especially if he ranks my teams fan base anything less than #1?

Jon Heyman recently wrote on Twitter that Trevor Bauer is looking for a 5-6 year deal that’s worth 200 Million Dollars (36 Million-40 Million Dollars per). If this is all true, For a player that has been mostly Average and only two good seasons that includes one good full season and a great 11 starts in a 60 game season, He’s definitely not worth that kind of money. 7 average seasons out 9 years in the league doesn’t make him a legitimate stud after a good 11 starts in a shortened season.

In a 162 game season and 30+ starts against whatever league he plays in and interleague games, I doubt Bauer can come close to what he did in 2020. Is it possible to come close? Sure, 2018 was a good year for him, but I highly doubt he’ll come close to that. If he does, I’ll admit i was wrong, but if he doesn’t, we can all say that 2020 was a short season 11 game fluke.

If the Mets were to sign Bauer to a deal of that Caliber and then George Springer to what is most likely to be a 4-5 year deal that hovers around the 25 Million Dollars a year range, Say good-bye to signing guys like Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto long term who are also Free Agents after the 2021 season. For Context, The Mets have about 60 Million Dollars left to spend before hitting the Luxury Tax threshold and I doubt Cohen goes over it.

The Mets are better off signing a Player like Taijuan Walker, Jake Odorizzi and other pieces for much less in where the spending on those kinds of players, will give the Mets more space to sign George Springer as well as giving them the right amount of space to sign 3 key Free Agents in Stroman, Syndergaard and Conforto.

Free Agent Target: Trevor Bauer

With Christmas just a few days away, could Steve Cohen, Sandy Alderson, Jared Porter and the Mets be planning another major signing? I mean, if you’re signing a player close to the holidays, why not announce the deal on Christmas??

While Trevor Bauer has caught a lot of criticism for only having one dominant season under his belt, recently fans within the Mets community seem to be mad about a recent video that’s been circulating.

Baseball Doesn’t Exist on YouTube, has put out a great video in which they explain how Bauer might’ve been able to turn his career around in such a short span. (Spoiler, they label Bauer a Cheater so click the link above to find out more)

In 2020, Bauer struck out exactly 100 batters in 73.0 innings pitched while posting a 1.73 ERA. What’s interesting is that Bauer cut down his usage of his change up drastically from 7.6% in 2019 all the down to 0.3% during the 2020 campaign.

The biggest difference in Bauer’s arsenal has been his curveball, his Whiff% in 2019 was sitting at 32.1% however has taken a jump up to 38.5% in 2020, when using his curve.

Rotochamp has Bauer going 13-8 with a 3.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, while striking out 228 in 190 innings pitched. While these projections aren’t bad, they’re far from worth costing $25M-$30M per year on a long term contract.

But with Bauer “experimenting” on his curveball more often, those projections could be on the lighter side. I’d imagine they’d also look a lot better in the spacious confines of Citi Field.

Photo from El Fildeo

Free Agent Target: Garrett Richards

One name that hasn’t been mentioned a lot as a possible Mets target is free agent Right Hander Garrett Richards. The former Angels ace is coming off a solid and most importantly healthy 2020 season with the Padres. He could be a solid back end of the rotation option for the Mets.

Health is a main issue for Richards who hasn’t made 32 starts since 2015. His most innings in a year after 2015 was 76.1 innings in 2018. In this shortend season, he came to 50.1 innings, pitching to a 4.03 ERA.

Also read: Reaction: Rosario on the move?

Arm issues has been a main issue. He has battled UCL troubles resulting in TJS in 2019. Hopefully the UCL issues are now behind him.

When on the field, Richards has been very good. Over 804.2 innings, he pitched to a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Worth mentioning that his 2020 WHIP was close to his career norm (1.25).

Also read: Free Agent Target: Liam Hendriks

In 2020, Richards has shown great spin rate for his FB and Curve spin. He was in the 99th percentile in curve spin and 97th percentile in fastball spin. That with an 95.1 average fastball, it could be a very good pitch. However, his 4 seamer does get hit so worth taking a look, how that can be improved while the metrics look solid.

The could be something there for Richards and with a lot of teams likely worried about his health, he could become a cheap option to put in the back of the rotation. A very good when healthy back end starter if you can get him. Definitely worth to look into IMO, although the Mets rotation can not afford much question mark additions.

Photo from Getty Images/ Jamie Squire

More arms the Mets have shown early interest in

After writing an article about the Mets interest in Jake Odorizzi, it was reported by MMO’s Tim Ryder that the Mets have shown interest in three more arms for their rotation.

Mike Minor: the only arm that didn’t get an article on MetsJunkies is Mike Minor. The 32 year old lefty had a down year in 2020, pitching to a 5.52 ERA over 56.2 innings pitched. Minor was a deadline trade piece for the A’s, where he wasn’t able to improve his year. But, as I mentioned before, we have to look at the bigger picture. Mike Minor was a terrific and dependable starter before 2020. In 2019 he went 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA and a 144 ERA+ over 209 innings for the Rangers. Like Odorizzi, you sign Minor for his numbers before the 2020 season, as a back end guy.

We have mentioned the other two who the Mets expressed interest in and were both already part of an article on Metsjunkies: Charlie Morton and Corey Kluber.

You can read our article about Charlie Morton here:

Free agent target: Charlie Morton & 8-10 teams have shown interest in Morton

You can read our article about Corey Kluber here:

Former CY Young to Queens?

Photo from Nashville Post/Getty Images

Mets Trade Target: Jo Adell

Jo Adell was drafted by the Angels 10th overall in the 2017 draft and was praised for having the athleticism of an elite defensive player. The toolsy outfielder has been described as a potential franchise player. His scouting report has his tool ranked at the following: 45-55 Hit , 60-70 Power, 60-65 Speed, 50-60 Arm, and 50-60 Field. He had a very disappointing freshman year offensively, and made a horrendous defensive play that went viral when he allowed a rare four-base error when Texas Rangers Nick Solak hit a fly ball that popped out of Adell glove and went over the wall for a home run. Maybe a change of scenery may help the youngster unlock his super star potential?

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Byron Buxton

The Angels already have a superstar at CF in Mike Trout, and have two other toolsy OF prospects almost ready (Brandon Marsh ETA 2021 and Jordyn Adams 2022) not named Jo Adell. They also have big money tied up at LF with Justin Upton manning the spot until the end of 2022 and Trout is locked up at CF through 2030 (although towards the end of the contract he might see more times in the OF corners or MAYBE DH). The Angels seem to be interested in putting a contending team as they recently signed Anthony Rendon but never seem to put the pieces together. The Angels have a need at SS, a position where the Mets can afford to move (especially if they are targeting Lindor) and a need for a starting Pitcher. The Mets have a need for a true CF. The two might be able to work out a trade.

Baseball Reference

Also read: Free Agent Target: James Paxton

Adell has slashed a respectable 298/361/518 in his combined minor league career and I expect him to hit in a similar way in the MLB level but with a slightly lower BA (.260-.270) and much more power. Remember that Adell is only 21 years old and is still developing so if he adjusts to the MLB level, he would be one of the top CF in the game. He’s been compared to Melvin Upton Jr and Bryon Buxton because of how athletics he is but he has the ceiling of achieving higher status if his bat comes together. CF has been one of the Mets weakest position defensively for the last few years and since trading Jared Kelenic, the Mets could afford to bring back some excitement in that position. Steve Cohen hinted at looking to improve the team via trades and the farm, so maybe the Mets can tap into Adell and unlock his super star status.

What would it cost? Teams are looking to stay young so acquiring such hyped up youngster under team control through 2027 may be costly. The Angels would want back some MLB ready asset they can control. However, since the Angels need a SS to replace Simmons , I believe that the Mets can negotiate a deal using Andres Gimenez as the key piece to the deal. The Angels have over $118 million committed to Trout, Pujols, Rendon and Upton for the 2021 season so it would make sense for them to attempt to seek out a cheap option at SS. Gimenez + J.T. Ginn or Thomas Szupucki and Junior Santos should be enough to buy low on the potential superstar CFer.

Also read: Top 10 Mets Prospects Entering the 2020 Season (Part 1)

Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

Tyler Skaggs passes away at 27

In absolutely tragic news, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs has passed away today. No details or information has been released on how the pitcher died, however no foul play has been suspected.

The Angels have released this statement.

The MetsJunkies.com staff is saddened by this terrible news and offers condolences to the entire Skaggs family as well as the Angels and their fanbase.

Rest in Paradise, young man.

Mets sign Hector Santiago

The lefty signed a Minor League deal with the Mets per SNY and Andy Martino. Santiago is no number 3 pitcher in the rotation, however he’s had a decent 8 year career with he WhiteSox, Angels, and Twins.

Santiago has a 46-49 record over 887 innings pitched, striking out 786 batters averaging 8 K’s per nine innings. In 2018, Santiago’s record was 6-3 with the WhiteSox appearing in 49 games, 7 of which were starts while sporting a 4.50 ERA.

I expect Santiago to compete for a spot at the end of the rotation, or probably a spot in the bullpen would be more likely and would be great depth piece if he were willing to accept a Minor League assignment if things start out sour.