Mets sign Eduardo Escobar

The New York Mets and Eduardo Escobar have agreed to a two year deal worth $20M. The news comes from Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Escobar spent 2021 with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers as he slugged 28 homers with 90 RBI’s. The infielder can play either third or short and has a career slash of .256/.309/.436/.745 in 11 seasons.

Baseball Savant

It’ll be interesting to see what the Mets will now do with J.D. Davis and even Jeff McNeil, as well as how the team finishes off negotiations with Javy Baez.

Also Read: Mets Claim Antonio Santos

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets split twin bill with Brewers

The Mets once again played another doubleheader, this one coming against the Milwaukee Brewers back at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom took the hill in the first bout against the Brewers and immediately fell in the hole as he would give up a lead off home run to Luis Urias. The infielder would finish the game going 2-3 and now has a .238 batting average to go alongside a .746 OPS.

The Mets struck back almost immediately as Brandon Nimmo would cross the plate on a Francisco Lindor single. Lindor, although has been cold throughout most of the season, has been batting .300 with a .500 OBP in his last seven contests.

Jose Peraza appeared in the seventh inning as pinch hitter for Jacob deGrom and would take on of the elite relievers in the game yard. The game tying home run would come off of Milwaukee’s closer Josh Hader.

After Dom Smith and James McCann would set the table in the bottom half of the eighth, Jeff McNeil would single up the middle to bring in Dom Smith for the game winning walk-off run. This would count as McNeil’s very first career walk-off, which is almost surprising considering how well he’s hit throughout his career.

Edwin Diaz would collect the win in the Mets 4-3 victory, while deGrom now has an ERA of 1.08 after his 7 inning, 10 K outing against the Brewers.

The second game featured the newly acquired Robert Stock and right-hander didn’t fare all that bad. In four innings on the hill, Stock would strikeout five as he gave up just two earned runs on the evening.

Although the Mets would lose the contest, Stock could have and likely did earn himself another look down the line. The hard throwing right-hander now has an unimpressive ERA of 7.88 after making his first appearance for the Mets.

Nothing to write about on the offensive front as the boys in Orange and Blue were shut out by Brian Anderson and the Brewers bullpen in the 5-0 loss.

The Mets will host the Pirates tomorrow to kick off the series with Taijuan Walker on the hill against JT Brubaker.

Mets Trade for Outfielder

The New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers have struck a deal that would send outfielder Billy McKinney to the Mets.

The Mets have sent back left-handed minor league pitcher Pedro Quintana.

McKinney is a former first-round pick and has 21 home runs in 511 Major League plate appearances. This year, the outfielder had a .207/.260/.359 before being designated for assignment by the Brewers.

Photo from MLBTR

No Hand? No Springer? No Problem!

There are a lot of Mets fans that are feeling bummed out because the Mets were not able to sign either of the free agents target of CF George Springer or LHP Brad Hand. Despite all of the other moves that the Mets have done this offseason to improve the team, missing out on those two guys makes the offseason feel like a failure to these fans. When the news broke out that the Nationals signed Hand to a 1 year deal worth $10.5 mil, hearts were broken and some faith was lost in the Mets organization. It was reported that the Mets did try to get Hand and their lack of ability to acquiring him is not due to the Mets failure, but that the Mets could not guarantee Brad Hand a closer role. In DC, Hand looks like clear lock for the closer role, so the decision is a no brainer for him. It is no use to cry over spilt milk, there are plenty of other options that they can explore to fill in the teams needs.

One idea that I’ve been playing around with is that the Mets can trade for CF Lorenzo Cain and LHP Josh Hader from the Brewers by trading 3B/LF JD Davis and RHP Jeurys Familia.

Cain (right handed hitter) maybe an older player, but he still has some wheels and can get those outs at CF while being a productive bat. In 2019 he ranked in the 99th percentile in Outs Above Average and 80ths in Outfielder Jump. He did so with putting up some impressive numbers with his bat for a CF. He ranked 90th in expected batting average, 68th in Hard hit percentage, 75th in K% and 71st in Sprint Speed. Not bad for a 34 year old! He also puts the ball all over the field as evident in his 2019 spray chart.

Josh Hader is a guy that I have been dreaming about the Mets adding to their roster. Maybe it’s the hair or maybe it is the fact that he’s one of the games most dominant relief pitchers. Adding him to the mix to go along with Diaz and May, and the Mets will have a meanest back-end bullpen that would dominate all of the MLB stats! By now you’re probably tired of hearing me on the Metsjunkies podcast talking about Hader, but I will just drop his 2020 Baseball Savant percentiles.

If JD played in Milwaukee, watch out NLC. He would be one mean HR hitting machine. I would expect him to take over Daniel Vogelbach starting role at 1B while serving as a depth piece for Luis Urias at 3B and LF for Yelich if necessary. In terms of contract commitment for the players involved, it is as follows:

MIL Lorenzo Cain has 2 years left and $ 35 mil left on his contract.

NYM Jeurys Familia has 1 year left and $11 mil left on his contract.

MIL Josh Hader is under team control for 3 more seasons.

NYM JD Davis is under team control for 4 more seasons.

So in a nut shell, the contract obligations would work out pretty evenly for both clubs.

The move would also allow the Mets to start Brandon Nimmo in more games at LF where he isn’t too bad defensively. If the DH does make its way to the NL (which the MLBPA and Owners are currently negotiating) this move would allow Alonso to DH, Smith at 1B, Nimmo at LF, Cain at CF, and Guillorme at 3B… which got the making for a great defensive and offensive lineup. The Brewers would likely slip Rookie of the Year winner RHP Devin Williams into the closer role with Hader gone.

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)

Free Agent Reliever options: Jeremy Jeffress

Right handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress caught a pink slip by the Milwaukee Brewers on the first of September during the 2019 campaign. Jeffress was in the midst of having one of his worst career years after posting an ERA of 5.02 in 48 games and struck out 46 batters in 52.0 innings pitched.

The Mets may be able to capitalize from the reliever’s down year and potentially buy-in at a cheap cost and make it a low-risk/high-reward situation. After all, Jeffress isn’t a complete wash by any stretch of the imagination. The righty is coming off of a 2018 season in which he made the National League All-Star team and pitched to a 1.29 ERA in 73 games while striking out 89 batters in 76.2 innings pitched.

Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers as the 16th overall pick in the 2006 June Amateur Draft, Jeffress would find himself pitching for the Brewers in three separate occasions throughout his 10-year career. The Virginia native was finishing out a contract at the end of 2019 before being designated for assignment, a two-year pact that was worth $4.9MM.

While mid-season acquisition Brad Brach did decently when wearing the Orange & Blue, with the potential departure of the relief pitcher Brach, Jeremy Jeffress would surely fill an obvious and gaping hole in the pen.

The 32 year old owns a career 28-11 record with a 3.16 ERA in 392 games and has struck out 370 batters in 401.0 innings. With his days of closing games far behind him, Jeffress has racked up 44 saves in his current 10-year career.

Also read: Free Agent Reliever options: Will Smith

Free Agent Reliever options: Will Smith

Left hander Will Smith had an absolutely solid season during the 2019 campaign while pitching by the bay for the San Francisco Giants. As a matter of fact, Smith has been nothing short of great since joining the Giants in the middle of the 2016 season after being dealt from the Milwaukee Brewers for catcher Andrew Susac and Minor Leaguer Phil Bickford.

During just this past season, Smith appeared in 63 games while pitching 65.1 innings to a 2.76 ERA and struck out a whopping 96 batters and owning a 6-0 record. In 2018, he pitched 53.0 innings in 54 games and struck out 71 while maintaining a career best 2.55 ERA during that season.

With Luis Avilan coming off of the books and likely to depart, the Mets will absolutely need a second left hander to pair off with Justin Wilson. While the soft tossing Daniel Zamora has shown flashes of good pitching, the team could use better assurance and more consistency in the bullpen.

Will Smith is going into just his age 30 season and the eighth year of his career. While Smith has a few miles on that left arm, he should prove to be a valuable addition to any team. I assume the Mets aren’t the only team in the hunt for a reliever, especially a left hander with Smith’s credentials.

In his seven years of pitching in the Majors, Will Smith owns a 26-22 record in his 359 games played. He’s pitched 410.2 innings and has an ERA of 3.53 while having struck out 494 batters and has even made 17 starts, 16 of which came in his rookie season while with the Kansas City Royals.

While Smith has been pitching better than his career averages these past few seasons, I believe the Mets would be ecstatic with a second lefty pitching to a 3.50 ERA out of the bullpen. Now let’s see if the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies make a play for the reliever… because I believe they’ll be there.

Also read: Free Agent Reliever options: Héctor Rondón

Kirk Nieuwenhuis retires and that kinda makes me sad

I’m actually a fan of Kirk’s, even before his amazin’ three-home run game, I’ve been a fan and I had high hopes when it came to his potential. I was lucky enough to work with the formerly known Las Vegas 51’s and I would have the privilege to just bump into players often. (Odd fact, their batting cage was on the cusp of the outside of the stadium so it wouldn’t be a rare thing to bump into a Matt Reynolds or Dilson Herrera while heading into work.)

So the first time I’d bumped into him was not as an employee with the 51’s, however I’d often go to games because hey! I live in Las Vegas and I frakkin love my Mets. So, like the mark (obsessive fan) I am, I would wait outside of the clubhouse for 1-2 hours after the games to catch some autographs for me and friends.

I told Kirk, “you’re the ‘poor man’s Jim Edmonds”and he was kind of visibly shocked by my statement and then I continued to explain that I meant that in a great a way, he laughed and said “I know, but I don’t know if I’m that good”. Just a really cool dude, in my honest opinion.

Nieuwenhuis appeared in 263 games while donning the Orange & Blue and slashed at .235/.309/.395/.704 with 83 runs scored, 38 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 71 RBI’s with 12 stolen bases in 595 at-bats, which roughly equates to a full 162 game season. He also has an awesome head of hair.

The Mets Junkies family would love to wish Kirk the best of luck in the next chapter of his life.

Yasmani Grandal on almost joining the Mets

Former Dodgers catcher and current Brewers backstop Yasmani Grandal spoke to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post about his off-season and how he almost signed with the New York Mets.

He tells Davidoff, “I did think [signing with the Mets] was going to happen. We had a really good conversation, Brodie and I. We met. I think the meeting went great. Both sides were on the same page. We just couldn’t come to terms.” Grandal would eventually decline a $60M deal from the Mets and instead signed a one-year deal with the Brewers worth $18.25M.

Grandal is now appearing in his second All-Star Game as one of the representatives of the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s currently slashing at .259/.372/.525/.897 with a 129 OPS+ and 14 doubles, 2 triples, 45 runs scored, 19 home runs and 48 RBI’s in 282 at-bats with Milwaukee.

Grandal also added that anything is possible and that he could end up joining the Mets in 2020.

Sunday’s lineup vs Brewers

Steven Matz will hit the bump and try and at least get 1 win during this series vs the Brewers. Milwaukee will send the recently signed Gio Gonzalez to the mound. As most Mets fans are aware, the team has showed interest in Gonzalez before he opted to sign with he “Brew Crew”.

  1. LF – Jeff McNeil
  2. 1B – Pete Alonso
  3. 2B – Robinson Cano
  4. 3B – Todd Frazier
  5. C – Wilson Ramos
  6. CF – Brandon Nimmo
  7. SS – Amed Rosario
  8. RF – Keon Broxton
  9. P – Steven Matz

Friday’s lineup vs Brewers

All eyes will be on Jacob deGrom after dealing with a “barking” elbow, however he’s coming off of two bullpen sessions without any discomfort or issues in general. Jacob is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA and will need to be an essential part of getting this Mets team to the playoffs and beyond.

The Brewers are dealing with issues of their own, as they’re 3-7 in their last 10 games. Obviously, this is a point in time the Mets can potentially continue a great home stand, after taking 2 out of 3 from the Phillies.

Milwaukee will send right handed pitcher Chase Anderson to the mound, he’s coming off of a season where he started 30 games and was 9-8 with a 3.93 ERA in 2018. Currently, he’s 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and has mostly worked out of the bullpen except for one spot start.

  1. LF – McNeil
  2. 1B – Alonso
  3. 2B – Cano
  4. RF – Conforto
  5. C – Ramos
  6. CF – Nimmo
  7. 3B – Frazier
  8. SS – Rosario
  9. SP – deGrom