Free Agent Target: Chris Archer

Recently on The Mets Junkies Podcast, we messed around with $50M of Uncle Steve’s money and acquired a few Free Agents on the behalf of brand new GM Jared Porter. While Archer didn’t make the cut, I wonder if I made a mistake in leaving him out.

The eight-year veteran owns a 60-80 lifetime record with both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In that eight years, the right hander has posted a completely respectable 3.86 ERA, however, since 2016 he’s consistently put up an ERA above four.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Garrett Richards

Archer did not pitch in 2020 due to a very familiar thoracic outlet syndrome. While many pitchers like Matt Harvey have not been able to return to previous form, Archer will come at a cheap price and his upside is high.

At his best, Archer pitched to a 3.23 ERA in 34 starts during the 2015 campaign. He put in 212 innings and averaged 10.7 strikeouts per nine, racking up 252 K’s that year. So while he only had a 12-13 record, he did have a solid 2.90 FIP alongside nasty stuff that was clearly missing a ton of bats.

Also read: Hello, is it me (NL CY Young finalist) you’re looking for?

Fangraphs has Archer bouncing back in 2021 with a 7-7 record while accumulating 147 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched. While he’s also projected to have a 4.22 ERA, that’s not bad for an end of the rotation type arm. However, ideally he’d eat a minimum of 20-30 more innings but for $4M, I’ll take it.

Photo from Cincinnati.com

Mets hire bench coach

The New York Mets aren’t done adding on to their staff as they’ve hired Dave Jauss to assume the role of bench coach.

Jauss worked for the Montreal Expos under the leadership of Felipe Alou in the past. Also in 1997, he served as the Red Sox first base coach. He’s even had served as a bench coach with the Dodgers in 2007 before taking a job with the Orioles in the same capacity.

Jauss has experience with working with managers like the legendary Felipe Alou, Grady Little, and even Clint Hurdle. So Jauss has been amongst some great company.

Source: Jon Heyman

Photo from John McCoy/Getty Images

Mets acquire an Outfielder

The New York Mets have just claimed outfielder Guillermo Heredia off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and have optioned him to their Brooklyn training facility.

Heredia, a right handed hitter, has a career slash line of .239/.317/.339/.656 in 990 at-bats. He only has 17 home runs and 77 RBI’s throughout his career as well as only swiping seven bags and got caught stealing 12 times.

Brodie Van Wagenen on Mets current outfield

The New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen says he can’t envision making a deal at this point in the offseason that would significantly disrupt the Mets’ current outfield mix.

So while rumors have been swirling and heating up on the “Hot Stove”, it looks like the Mets don’t intend on perusing Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte. However, since when are GM’s really transparent with the media and the fanbase?

But as of now, it looks like Brodie Van Wagenen likes the outfield he has and has no quarrels with starting the season with the current 26-man roster and depth chart.

Also read:Brodie Van Wagenen on Luis Rojas

Update: A Starling flies to Flushing

Jon Heyman is reporting via Twitter that the Mets and Pirates held conversations in pertains to a Starling Marte trade and while Nimmo’s name definitely came up, Pittsburgh might prefer to go in the direction of a package deal for younger prospects.

“No evidence anything is close but at some point Mets and Pirates exchanged names on proposed Starling Marte trade. Brandon Nimmo’s name came up but Pirates may prefer prospects. Other teams known to have checked on Marte: Padres, D-Backs, Rangers, others.” ~ Jon Heyman

If true, this gives the Mets the opportunity to trade for Marte while keeping the on-base machine Brandon Nimmo on board.

Also read: Mets’ McNeil is the start for Cleveland deal

Joey Cora emerges as bench coach candidate

Jon Heyman is reporting that Joey Cora, brother of Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, is being considered for the New York Mets bench coach position. Cora is known to have ties to both Omar Minaya as well as the newly anointed manager, Carlos Beltrán.

This is quite definitely an interesting name to have pop up next to Beltrán’s, considering MLB is holding an investigation on both managers with the potential involvement in the electronic sign stealing and cheating as part of the Houston Astros championship 2017 season. However, Beltrán firmly stated that he had no participation in any cheating or even was aware that it was taking place.

Cora served as the Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach during the 2019 campaign and even had an interview for Pittsburgh’s managerial vacancy during this current offseason.

While Heyman is suggesting that Joey Cora is now a strong candidate for the open position, other potential candidates include Jerry Narron and Fredi Gonzalez.

Trading Block: A Starling flies to Flushing

Starling Marte is an interesting option in Joel Sherman’s list of potential trade targets . Marte, 31, has had a fine 8-year career so far and is projected to put up another pretty damn good season, Baseball-Reference is projecting the centerfielder’s slash line at .277/.330/.462/.793 with 26 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs and 69 RBI’s while swiping 23 bags during the 2020 campaign.

Analysts at SNY have even come up with a potential trade proposal that could land the centerfielder in Flushing, Queens till the end of 2021. Jim Duquette proposed that without touching any of their top three prospects (Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty, Matthew Allan), that the Mets could possibly land Marte by dealing Andres Gimenez, Franklyn Kilome, and Mark Vientos or David Peterson.

He’s already currently coming off of a 2.9 2019 WAR season in which he hit .295/.342/.503/.845 with 31 doubles, six triples, 23 home runs while driving in 82 RBI’s and stealing 25 bases in 586 at-bats.

“Fangraphs metrics are down on him defensively. But I asked multiple teams for what their proprietorial numbers show and he is more average (especially because of a strong arm) and scouts grade Marte higher than that. He also has a PED-related suspension on his ledger. But that didn’t stop the Mets from acquiring Cano; plus Marte’s stats have stayed consistent since his ban. He offers speed, power and plays hard. Marte is due $11.5 million this year with a $12.5 million 2021 option ($1 million buyout). The Pirates don’t have a GM yet, and the next one, like predecessor Neal Huntington, will always have to worry about payroll. Could the Mets build a deal around Nimmo, with Pittsburgh getting an extra year of control with the lefty swinger at a total cost probably under the $24 million due Marte the next two years?”

While according to Fangraphs and their declining defensive metrics on Marte, his defense would still be an upgrade at the position. In a perfect world, he’d be an amazing fit to split with Nimmo in centerfield, with Marte taking up roughly 65% of the playing time in center.

However, Sherman is suggesting that the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates might want to include Nimmo in a potential package, and for the Pirates that makes a ton of sense.

While Brandon Nimmo is trying to get over an injury plagued 2019 season he’d probably like to forget, Baseball-Reference is projecting Nimmo to hit .252/.379/.457/.836 with 19 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs while driving in 40 runners in 313 at-bats for upcoming 2020 campaign.

The numbers and projections favor Marte for the upcoming season and I genuinely find this to be a tough call. There’s no guarantee with either player, Nimmo is coming off of a season in which he dealt with a serious neck injury and Marte might be at the point in his career where he begins to decline, there’s no telling.

However, Marte definitely has had an impressive eight year run in Pittsburgh as he’s a career 29.1 WAR player. I wouldn’t be mad if a deal was struck, all depending on other moving parts, of course. While that we’ve all feel like we’ve bonded with Nimmo as he grew as both an adult and professional, his character and demeanor would fit in perfectly with the City of Pittsburgh as it is recognized as a “Blue-Collared” demographic.

It’s important to note that the Pittsburgh Pirates may not make any major moves till the newly hired GM Ben Cherington hires a manager.

Also read: Trading Block: Jeff McNeil and the Rays

Saturday Night Lineup: Pirates vs Mets

  1. Jeff McNeil – RF
  2. Michael Conforto – CF
  3. Pete Alonso – 1B
  4. Robinson Canó – 2B
  5. Wilson Ramos – C
  6. Todd Frazier – 3B
  7. J.D. Davis – LF
  8. Amed Rosario – SS
  9. Steven Matz – LHP

The Mets have silently been on a roll, winning 3 out of the last 4 series and taking the opener on Friday night against the Pirates. If the Mets end up taking tonight’s contest as well, it’ll be positive note on 4 of the last 5 series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have right hander Trevor Williams taking the hill. Williams is 3-3 with a 4.96 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and has 68 strikeouts in 81.2 innings pitched. In his last seven games however, Williams is 2-2 with an ERA of 6.34 in 38.1 innings.

The Mets will send someone to the mound that hasn’t actually been rumored to be on the trading block, so far. While there may not be scouts from other teams watching Matz tonight, the Mets staff surely will. The lefty is coming off of two performances where in the first one, he threw 68 pitches and 88 pitches in the second.

If all goes well tonight, I expect Matz to be in around the 95-100 pitch range going into his third start after the All-Star break. Matz is currently 5-6 with an ERA of 4.75, a 1.46 WHIP, to go along with 86 strikeouts in 91.0 innings. The New York native is 0-2 in his last seven games and owns a 7.25 ERA.

It’ll be important for Matz to get ahead on the count and work quick against the Pirates tonight. While Matz hasn’t been great as of recent, this is the perfect time for him to end his slump as well as help the Mets turn around in the second half.

Friday Night Lineup: Pirates vs Mets

  1. McNeil RF
  2. Conforto CF
  3. Alonso 1B
  4. Canó 2B
  5. Ramos C
  6. D. Smith LF
  7. Frazier 3B
  8. Rosario SS
  9. Wheeler RHP

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets will jump off a three-game series a Citi Field and I expect there to be a lot of commotion amongst the fans as the trade deadline looms closer. The Mets will likely be sellers during the process but the question is, who and how much are they selling?

The New York Mets will send Zack Wheeler to the mound which very well may be the last time he does so while donning the Orange & Blue. The right hander has been the topic of many trade discussions as he approaches his contract year and will likely be traded within the next five days.

Wheeler is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, to go alongside 130 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. In his last seven games, he’s 1-3 with an ERA of 4.71, a small stretch which obviously isn’t helping the Mets in making any move easier.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have rookie right hander Dario Agrazal on the hill and while he barely has any experience pitching at the Major League level, what he’s been doing up until this point has been nothing short of impressive.

Tonight Agrazal will be making his sixth appearance in the bigs as he currently sports a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched so for during his rookie campaign.

After winning 3 of the last 4 series, a win against the Pirates tonight would be a great way to kick this series off. Could the Mets be creeping up?

Friday Night Pitching Matchup: Pirates vs Mets

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets will jump off a three-game series a Citi Field and I expect there to be a lot of commotion amongst the fans as the trade deadline looms closer. The Mets will likely be sellers during the process but the question is, who and how much are they selling?

The New York Mets will send Zack Wheeler to the mound which very well may be the last time he does so while donning the Orange & Blue. The right hander has been the topic of many trade discussions as he approaches his contract year and will likely be traded within the next five days.

Wheeler is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, to go alongside 130 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. In his last seven games, he’s 1-3 with an ERA of 4.71, a small stretch which obviously isn’t helping the Mets in making any move easier.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have rookie right hander Dario Agrazal on the hill and while he barely has any experience pitching at the Major League level, what he’s been doing up until this point has been nothing short of impressive.

Tonight Agrazal will be making his sixth appearance in the bigs as he currently sports a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched so for during his rookie campaign.

After winning 3 of the last 4 series, a win against the Pirates tonight would be a great way to kick this series off. Could the Mets be creeping up?