Mets sign Starling Marte

The New York Mets have made another big addition today as they’ve agreed to terms with outfielder Starling Marte on a four-year pact worth $78M.

The news comes from MLB Insider, Jon Heyman.

In 2021, Marte hit .310 while getting on base at a .383 clip and slugging a respectable .458 with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics. Not to mention his 27 doubles, 12 home runs, and an amazing 47 stolen bases to go along side those numbers.

Also Read: Could a Smith for Bellinger Trade Work?

Free Agent Target: Starling Marte

Many fans have had their eyes on Marte since the Pittsburgh Pirates had the star centerfielder on the trading block. Eventually, the Pirates would end up sending the right-handed slugger to Arizona. Now a couple of seasons later, Marte is a Free Agent and could find himself in Flushing, Queens before the start of the 2022 season.

There isn’t a ton of top tier talent on the free agent market and it’s no secret that the Mets will be looking to improve defensively in center. With Conforto likely on his way out, this gives the team the opportunity to move Nimmo over to the corner while trying to find a competent enough bat to captain the outfield.

“But Gem, he’s 33 years old, he can’t play center.”

Listen, I get what you’re saying but no. Looking at Marte’s Baseball Savant page, you’ll see that he still ranks around the top of the league when it comes to OAA (Outs Above Average). The same goes for his sprint speed, maximum exit velocity, as well as his xBA.

If all of this is making you want to vomit, I understand, so let’s look at the basics.

In 2021, Marte hit .310 while getting on base at a .383 clip and slugging a respectable .458 with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics. Not to mention his 27 doubles, 12 home runs, and an amazing 47 stolen bases to go along side those numbers.

Throughout the span of his 10-year career, the Dominican born outfielder slashes .289/.346/.451/.797 with 126 home runs and 296 swipes. While the Mets aren’t necessarily a slow footed team, they’re not exactly burners on the paths, either. His addition would bring a huge threat to the top of lineup.

Also read: Could a Smith for Bellinger Trade Work?

MLBTR has Marte getting approximately $80M for 4 years and Tim Dierkes has him signing with the Mets.

However, Jim Bowden of The Athletic thinks that the outfielder is a “great fit” for the Yankees so I believe Marte’s agent will be busy fielding offers this winter. Anything can happen, but if he does see his way on to the Mets, this lineup would have changed drastically.

MetsJunkies Recap: Bucs upset Mets late

Tylor Megill keeps on impressing as he took the mound on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Listen, the Pirates aren’t going to compete for their division this season however, they’ve definitely proven to be quite the scrappy little club.

Megill on the other hand, tossed six shut-out innings while allowing six hits and no walks in the contest. The rookie right-hander has now lowered his ERA 2.63 after making 5th appearance of the season.

The Pirates did make Megill work quite hard right out of the gate as it took 22 pitches to finally end the first inning, stranding Adam Frazier on second. While Megill definitely pitched well enough to earn the win, that wasn’t the case as the rookie didn’t get a decision.

Luis Guillorme is proving that not only is he the best option with the glove when it comes to temporarily replacing Lindor at shortstop, but he’s doing it with the stick, too.

The slick fielding infielder would go 1-3 with a run scored as well as a double in the fourth inning.

The Mets used J.D. Davis as their clean-up batter and it was a great move. Davis ended up hitting two two-run bombs in his 3-4 effort, alongside four RBI’s which at one point (Fourth Inning) were the Mets’ only runs on the board.

Travis Blankenhorn came into the game in the top of the seventh to pinch-hit for Megill and absolutely laced a double off of the right-center field wall. The extra-base hit would plate across Luis Guillorme, giving the Mets the 5-0 lead.

Coming into the game, Blankenhorn was just 1-11 with a .348 OPS while with the Mets.

Brandon Nimmo continues to get on base at an elite level. The Mets centerfielder drew three walks against Pirates pitching and crossed the plate once on his 1-2 game.

It all started to go down hill for the Mets in the 8th inning when Seth Lugo surrendered five runs on three hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings. Lugo now has an inflated ERA of 5.09 after Saturday’s disaster of an outing.

Edwin Diaz failed just as bad as the closer gave up four runs in the ninth, blowing the save as well as picking up the loss. Diaz would give up a grand slam to Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings for the walk off as the Mets suffer from a 9-7 loss.

Taijuan Walker will take the hill for the Mets on Sunday afternoon as the Mets look to at least take one game from these Pirates.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets sunk by Pirates

While I was thinking (or hoping) that the Mets offense would be fresh after the All-Star break, evidently, I was wrong as the Mets would only put a single run on the board.

The team was clearly patient at the plate as they worked out eight walks against Pittsburgh Pirates pitching, five alone off of starter Chad Kuhl. However, they weren’t able to drive in the runners needed as the Mets left a total on nine players on the bags.

Francisco Lindor would end up leaving the game in the fourth inning after clutching for his side during an at-bat.

Once again, Stroman pitched well while only surrendering two runs on eight hits. The righty only pitched five innings, struck out three, and walked none in Friday’s contest.

After making his 19th appearance of the season, Stroman now has a sub-three ERA sitting at 2.79 in 103.1 innings pitched.

The Mets sole run came off of a Jonathan Villar ground out, plating across first baseman Pete Alonso in the 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

The Mets SHOULD be able to snap out of it on Saturday as they face Wil Crowe, a 26-year old righty with an ERA of 6.05 in 55.0 innings pitched so far. Tylor Megill will be on the hill for the 7:05 PM start.

MetsJunkies Recap: Another split Doubleheader

The Mets have played a ton of doubleheaders so far this season and it seems as if they’re splitting a bunch of them. After winning in a blowout yesterday, the Mets were able to split the twin bill with the Pirates on Friday.

While it’s never a bad thing to split, going up against a team like the now 33-56 Pirates probably warrants a sweep.

Marcus Stroman took the mound in the opener and pitched well, just not well enough for the Mets. The Long Island, New York native threw five innings while allowing three runs on five hits. Stroman did give up a home run to Pirates’ John Nogowski but also struck out five in his two times through the lineup.

Pillar put the first runs of the day on the board when he lined a single into left field, platting across Brandon Nimmo.

Jonathan Villar hit another home run on Friday, his 9th, however it wasn’t enough for the Mets to top the Pirates as they would lose 6-3 in the matinee.

The Mets were able to take the latter game as Tylor Megill would be on the hill during the Friday evening outing. Megill would only throw 3.2 innings while allowing an earned run on four hits. The righty also surrendered three walks while striking out seven batters in the 4-2 victory.

Jeff McNeil got it cracking for the Mets offense as the second baseman hit a double in the right-center gap to plate across both Francisco Lindor and Dom Smith. McNeil is now batting .255 after going 2-3 with a throwback McNeil multi-hit game.

In the third, Pete Alonso laced a line drive off of the left field foul pole to widen the lead a bit. Alonso now has 17 home runs on the campaign as well as 49 RBI’s.

Familia picked up his fourth win of the season as he would come in to relieve Megill during Friday’s outing.

Billy McKinney would hit a ground ball single up the middle in the sixth to bring across James McCann to score, giving the Mets the 4-2 lead and win.

Seth Lugo came in to pitch a very pivotal two inning in relief while slightly raising his ERA to 2.65 on the year.

Edwin Diaz picked up his 19th save as the Puerto Rican born right-hander pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth by striking out the side.

The Mets will take on the Pirates on Sunday in efforts to take three of four with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM.

MetsJunkies Recap: Pirates left stranded out at sea

The Mets opened up a can of whoop-ass on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field on Friday. Taijuan Walker took the mound and unfortunately, was not the winning pitcher.

While the Mets would end up beating the Pirates, 13-4, the offense didn’t cement the lead until the bottom of the sixth. That would be a full inning after Walker’s departure.

The Shreveport, Louisiana Native ended up throwing five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks.

Jonathan Villar put the Mets on the board first as he laced a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third. The home run would tie the game 1-1 and counts as Villar’s seventh home run of 2021.

Brandon Nimmo soon after put the Mets up by lining a double in the right-center field gap, plating across catcher James McCann.

Later in the fifth, after Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor set the table for Dom Smith, Smith would take advantage by pushing across Nimmo with an RBI single.

Star slugger Pete Alonso immediately followed with a low line drive that was tall enough to clear the centerfield wall. The Mets first baseman now has 16 home runs on the campaign after Friday’s three run shot, putting the team up over the Pirates, 6-2.

After Pirates pitching forced in two runs on a hit by pitch and walk, Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam, giving the Mets the 12-2 lead.

Jonathan Villar would continue to be a solid acquisition as he would hit his second home run of the evening, this one, his 8th, coming in the seventh.

Aaron Loup would be the Mets pitcher of record, logging in his third victory of the campaign.

Wednesday’s Pitching Preview 3/17

Wednesday will feature a couple of pitchers that have yet to give up any earned runs so far this spring. The Marlins will host the Mets in this matchup and Miami will send out Sandy Alacantara for the fourth time.

Alcantara has pitch 7.2 innings and has struck out ten batters while maintaining a 1.57 WHIP. In 2020, the right-hander appeared in seven games and posted a 3.00 ERA in 42.0 innings pitched.

The Mets have a scrap going on for the fifth and final spot of the rotation. With Carlos Carrasco experiencing some elbow issues, it may be wise to have someone else ready to go at start of the season.

One of the candidates is Joey Lucchesi and the left-handed is just making his second appearances of the Spring. Also with a 0.00 ERA going into today’s contest, Lucchesi has pitched just two innings and has three strikeouts with a 0.50 WHIP.

The Mets of course acquired Lucchesi during the off-season in a three-team trade that had also sent Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres. Sandy Alderson and crew only had to give up MiLB catcher Endy Rodriguez to the Pirates in this deal and yes, that’s it.

Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 1:05 P.M. EST and will unfortunately not be televised, however radio will be available on Miami’s WINZ AM.

Photo from Call to the Pen

Mets acquire Joey Lucchesi in three-team trade

In the same trade that’s sending Joe Musgrove to the Padres, the Padres will be sending left hander Joey Lucchesi to the Mets.

The Mets will send prospect Endy Rodriguez to the Pirates. Rodriguez was ranked the Mets 14th top prospect and spent time between catcher and the outfield.

Lucchesi is 18-20 and owns a 4.21 ERA in 299.1 career innings pitched. He’s struck out 308 batters giving him a 9.3 K/9 rate with a 1.28 WHIP.

The left hander will give the Mets some competition in the back-end of the rotation with Peterson and Matz.

Photo by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images

Mets Trade Target: Joe Musgrove

On Christmas Eve, the Nationals made a move with the Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire first baseman Josh Bell. While Bell is far from being the best first baseman in a division that has guys like Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, and even Dom Smith, he still has the room to develop.

Why are we here right now, though? Well, if the Pirates are tearing it down and deciding to rebuild the system, the Mets could very well benefit just as much as the Nationals just did.

An interesting name on this Pittsburgh Pirates roster and pitching rotation is right-hander Joe Musgrove. It feels like Mets fans have kept tabs on the righty, but that might’ve just been me while playing “MLB The Show 20”. In all seriousness however, Musgrove is a crafty pitcher with sneaky stuff.

What hurt Musgrove the most was being on a relatively bad team, in the Pittsburgh Pirates. While he pitched to a respectable 3.86 ERA in 8 eight games, it definitely did not translate into his record very well, as he finished off the 2020 campaign going 1-5. However, in 39.2 innings pitched, he’s struck out a whopping 55 batters.

While Musgrove doesn’t own a fastball that’ll leave a batter blown away, his K rate ranks among with the best in the league. And even when batters are making contact, they’re not hard hits as he’s in the 79th percentile in “Hard Hit” percentage.

While I have the Mets also acquiring Polanco in the swap, I have him as a fourth outfielder or possibly even a back-up plan for centerfield. He doesn’t have the best jump, however he still ranked in the 89 percentile in OAA during 2020. He’s pretty fast and he covers a lot of ground.

Pittsburgh in return would receive two minor league prospects as well as former top prospect shortstop Amed Rosario. The Pirates do have a couple of shortstops in Kevin Newman and Erik Gonzalez, however if they’re in rebuild mode, I can see Newman on his way out.

Centerfielder Isiah Greene would be the biggest get in this deal for the Pirates, however Mark Vientos has proven to be a steady third baseman since being drafted into the Mets organization.

Back to the Mets, Musgrove would fit in nicely in the back-end of the rotation. Rotochamp has the righty 11-7 (with the Pirates) in 2021 with a 3.66 ERA in 155 innings pitched. I think it’s important to point out that these projections are aligned with the probability of Musgrove still being with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I see it working out a ton better for him while pitching in the spacious confines of Citi Field.

Photo from Post-Gazette