How The Mets Landed Khalil Lee

TC Zencka from MLBtraderumors.com wrote an article describing how the three team trade developed last week that sent Benitendi to the Royals, Cordero to Red Sox, and the Mets newly aquired prospect Khalil Lee.

Apparently the Royals had no idea of the Mets involvement until 90 minutes before the trade was executed. They knew there was another team involved but it was actually the Red Sox (Zack Scott’s former organization) who did all the foot work to send Lee over to the Mets. Scott has been with the Red Sox for over 16 years so they knew just how high Scott was on Lee and so they reached out to him to have the Mets involved.

“We didn’t have direct conversations with Kansas City on that,” he said. “With my connections to Boston, quite frankly, they know that I liked Khalil Lee. They reached out and asked if there would be interest here. We were excited. Our pro scouts here really liked the player. A lot of tools and athleticism. We liked a lot of things about his performance as well.” -Zack Scott (NYPost.com Mets GM Zack Scott says team ‘not done’ with offseason moves)

I thought it was interesting to see how the Mets were involved on landing their now number 7 top prospect. Also this deal reminds me of why it’s important to not burn your bridges, I suspect that despite leaving the Red Sox organization that Scott still maintains a friendly relationship with his former organization. Do we see more Mets-Redsox trades in the future? I think so.

Photo by Milb.com

Mets Involved in Benintendi Trade

The Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, and New York Mets have worked out a deal that would send Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Royals.

Kansas City will send prospect Franchy Cordero to the Red Sox in return for Benintendi.

Kansas City Royals Outfield Prospect Khalil Lee is expected to go to the New York Mets as part of this trade.

Lee is ranked as the Royals eighth best prospect and has a ton of speed to go along with some pop. The outfielder was actually also scouted as a pitcher, as well. So his outfield arm should be on point. This is a great acquisition, considering all the details haven’t been revealed yet.

With a lot of the Mets prospects being pitchers and players that are slotted elsewhere, this give the Mets the opportunity to strengthen their outfield prospects.

The Mets will send Josh Winchowski to the Red Sox and the Mets will also send out a PTBNL.

Status of JBJ negotiations

Mike Puma of the NY Post added this on Twitter in regards to Jackie Bradley jr and the Mets.

Jackie Bradley Jr has been on Mets fans radar for quite a while now, and going into the 2021 season, it’s actually a realistic possibility that this could come to fruition. While it’s not ideal for an outfield to have three lefties, if spread throughout the lineup, it shouldn’t matter.

In 2020, Bradley actually had better numbers against left handed pitching which should automatically give him the green light to be an everyday starter over a platoon player. But if that doesn’t hold up, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to nab a right handed hitting centerfielder.

Unfortunately, his offense hasn’t always been there to match up with his excellent defense, and it’s evident in his numbers. In his eight year career, Bradley owns a slash line of .239/.321/.412/.732 while averaging 30 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs and 70 RBI’s per 162 games.

I’d imagine the Mets would want Bradley to lead off due to his speed, but his OBP doesn’t warrant the spot. That would drop him to the bottom third of the lineup and that’s an excellent spot for him to still be productive on hopefully what would be a winning club.

MLBTR has Bradley going to the Houston Astros on a two year deal worth $16MM, which seems a little low to me. Now it looks like the Boras client is looking for a deal beyond $40M at at least three years. Even if used as a platoon just against right handed pitchers, he’d still be seeing roughly 75% of action with league leading defensive abilities.

I imagine Boras is just trying to maximize Bradley’s income in this deal but that’s just too high for me. But if they can come back down to two years with an option for a third, that would fit PCA’s arrival.

Photo from The Athletic

Poll: The Outfield Conundrum

Earlier on in the week, I had created a poll on Twitter and here it is:

@MetsJunkies on Twitter

So assuming that the D.H. will not be apart of the National League and that the Mets acquire a natural centerfielder, what should the front office do with the abundance of corners.

Whether it be George Springer or Jackie Bradley, either acquisition will cause Nimmo to be bumped from center. The Mets have the option to put him and his amazing OBP in left field while providing better defense.

This move would bump Dom Smith to the bench. With Smith’s popularity spreading like a wildfire, it’s no surprise that only 4% would opt to trade Dom.

If the Mets decide to use Smith in left, this will push Nimmo to the bench and that would probably make him one of the best fourth outfielders in the game. And while Corné would choose to trade Nimmo as he stated on The Mets Junkies Podcast, 24% of the voters agree with him.

I was surprised to see that a whopping 72% would actually hold onto both players. This would entail some creative in-game lineup and defensive changes, but with the D.H. potentially coming back to being universal in 2022, this would make them extremely stacked.

Thank you to the 344 voters that participated on Twitter and don’t forget to follow us. We look forward to you taking part in the current poll on Joey Lucchesi as well as many more in the future.

Free Agent Target: Jackie Bradley Jr

Jackie Bradley Jr has been on Mets fans radar for quite a while now, and going into the 2021 season, it’s actually a realistic possibility that this could come to fruition. While it’s not ideal for an outfield to have three lefties, if spread throughout the lineup, it shouldn’t matter.

In 2020, Bradley actually had better numbers against left handed pitching which should automatically give him the green light to be an everyday starter over a platoon player. But if that doesn’t hold up, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to nab a right handed hitting centerfielder.

Also read: Are the Mets sleeping well?

Overall in 2020, the outfielder hit .283/.364/.450/.814 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 22 RBI’s to go alongside five stolen bases in seven attempts. Not to also mention that Bradley is a top caliber defensive centerfielder.

Unfortunately, his offense hasn’t always been there to match up with his excellent defense, and it’s evident in his numbers. In his eight year career, Bradley owns a slash line of .239/.321/.412/.732 while averaging 30 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs and 70 RBI’s per 162 games.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Harrison Bader) you’re looking for?

I’d imagine the Mets would want Bradley to lead off due to his speed, but his OBP doesn’t warrant the spot. That would drop him to the bottom third of the lineup and that’s an excellent spot for him to still be productive on hopefully what would be a winning club.

MLBTR has Bradley going to the Houston Astros on a two year deal worth $16MM, which seems a little low to me. Even if used as a platoon just against right handed pitchers, he’d still be seeing roughly 75% of action with league leading defensive abilities.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Alex Colome

Photo from The Athletic

Could Beltran be back in the mix?

The Detroit Tigers have just announced that they’ve hired former manager of the Houston Astros A.J. Hinch to lead and manage the club going forward. Detroit wasn’t the only team in on Hinch either, as the White Sox have publicly acknowledged.

There’s also rumors swirling around that while the Boston Red Sox are interviewing candidates for the managerial position, Alex Cora hasn’t been fully ruled out and could potentially be the front runner.

This leads me to Carlos Beltran. If these other two disgraced managers are reapplying for identical positions from which they were fired and suspended, what’s stopping Beltran?

While Detroit is a great and popular city in the Mid-West region of the states, they seem to be a hockey and football city over baseball. This gives Hinch an opportunity to lay low a bit while trying to help rebuild and mold a bottom of the division type team.

However, Alex Cora might jump right back into the fire as he’s highly being considered to rejoin his old team, the Boston Red Sox. Now it’s no secret that Boston has a lot of similarities with New York, especially in pertains to sports media. Cora will not have the same luxury as Hinch in Detroit.

All this being said, why aren’t the Mets considering bringing back potential Hall of Fame centerfielder Carlos Beltran to take the helms once again. Of course, he never really led the team in the first place, as he was fired before he could ever take the field as the team’s manager.

Beltran did everything to win the job the first time around and there’s no reason on why he wouldn’t be able to do it again. Now, I’m not saying to just immediately sign him up and start the press conference. But with Cohen about to take over ownership and Sandy Alderson set to control the front office, the on-field staff and coaching crew will be heavily reevaluated.

I don’t know where Luis Rojas fits into that equation however since Alderson has worked for the Mets along with Rojas in the past, Rojas may be given another season to prove his coaching abilities.

If he falters for whatever reason, I expect Carlos Beltran to be one of the lead candidates to fill that vacated position. But time will tell and we still have a bit of it left to go.

Rick Porcello signs with Mets

One day after the New York Mets signed former St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, the team has also signed former Boston Red Sox starter Rick Porcello to a one-year deal worth $10M.

Porcello, a native of Morristown, New Jersey finished the 2019 campaign going 14-12 with an ERA of 5.52 while striking out 143 batters in 174.1 innings pitched. In his career, the right hander owns an impressive 149-118 win/loss record while maintaining a 4.36 ERA in 343 games pitched.

The signing gives the Mets a rotation of six arms, which may mean Michael Wacha’s signing may be intended as an addition to the bullpen as opposed to the starting rotation. This would definitely create more depth with veteran players who’ve both achieved success in the past instead potentially calling on AAAA player.

A less likely scenario would be that Brodie Van Wagenen trades one of the other starting pitchers in order to strengthen centerfield or the back end of the bullpen. However, I don’t see Matz or Syndergaard going anywhere and I’d imagine if the team decides to trade Marcus Stroman, that they’d wait till the Trade Deadline if they end up in “sell mode”.

For now, Porcello, a life long Mets fan will likely pitch out of the fifth spot of the rotation.

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.