Mets sign Cheslor Cuthbert

The New York Mets have signed Cheslor Cuthbert to a Minor League deal.

The former Kansas City Royals prospect will be assigned to the AAA Syracuse Mets. In 1076 at-bats, Cuthbert is hitting .250/.300/.378/.678 with 27 home runs and 119 RBI’s.

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.

#MetsCrushMonday: Sam McWilliams

The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at Sam McWilliams is that the right-hander is a big guy, standing tall at 6’7”. The Orlando, Florida native would make his way up to Nashville, Tennessee to play high-school baseball before being drafted by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2014 draft.

While he’s already played for three organizations during his MiLB career, the Mets signed McWilliams to a Major League deal. This may have come as a surprise to some fans, however when you hear that the right-hander had offers from half of the league, not so much of a surprise.

The first thing that jumps out at you after you have a conversation with Sam McWilliams is “Damn, this dude is smart AF!” In a small interview I had with McWilliams on The Mets Junkies Podcast, he gets into how he improved with the Rays organization due to information and analytics.

McWilliams has started in 94 games throughout his MiLB career and in 2019 in 19 starts, the tall righty pitched to a 4.46 ERA as he owned a 2.83 ERA as a reliever that same campaign. Him being able to start games comes of great value to him and the Mets but I think his bread and butter might end up being him working from the bullpen.

He’ll likely start off in Syracuse as he has three of his options remaining, but I’d imagine that we’ll be seeing a lot of McWilliams in the Majors. He very well could be one of the unsung heroes of 2021, if all work outs accordingly.

Sean Connor Flannery:

In 2019, I had the great pleasure of working with the Montgomery Biscuits the AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in a data collection role. During that season McWilliams was named to the Southern League All Star game.

McWilliams is nothing flashy but anytime you can poach an arm from the TBR system and player development is usually a good thing. He doesn’t have an “electric” fastball but uses his 6’7/6’8 height to get pretty good extension and it allows the FB to play up. The slider is his best pitch and he’s got a passable change and fringey curve.

I see him being like the 8th SP on the 40 behind guys like Szapucki/Oswalt/Kilome. While he doesn’t have the upside of the first and last guy on that list he’s got the command and full repertoire like Oswalt. He should be solid depth in Syracuse in ‘21.

Photo from ESPN.com

Mike Minor is off the board

Left handed pitcher Mike Minor and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a mult-year deal. The transaction is still pending due to the completion of the physical, however this will be Minor’s second go-around with Kansas City.

The deal is throughout the 2022 season while the finances are still undisclosed. Minor is coming off of two straight seasons in which he posted an ERA over the five mark. While those numbers aren’t sexy, Minor could’ve served well for the Mets as a potential fifth starter in the rotation, as well as a bullpen swing-man.

If the Mets decide to tender Steven Matz, he could very well serve that same role. So Sandy Alderson and the Mets must not have been too impressed with the likes of Minor.

Minor hasn’t been in the NL since 2017, however when he was, it was with the NL East Atlanta Braves. In his five seasons with Atlanta, Minor put up a 4.10 ERA in 110 starts. He only made one appearance out of the bullpen with the team, however acclimated well to the role in his first stint with the Royals.

In his career, Minor owns a 71-66 win/loss record with an ERA of 3.98 over the span of 9 years and 1152.1 innings pitched. While he averages 8.2 strikeouts in nine innings in his career, in 2020 he averaged an outstanding 11.4 per every nine frames.

Photo from Joe Camporeale/USA Today

Source: Ken Rosenthal

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

#FlashbackFriday: The Time a Met was traded for himself

So I never knew of this story but once I randomly stumbled upon it, I decided to do some more looking into it. In 1962, Cleveland and the Mets struck up a deal that would send the right handed catcher Harry Chiti over to New York.

At the time of the trade, the Mets sent over cash to cover Chiti’s contract. The catcher would appear in 15 games for the Metropolitans and in 41 at-bats, he would own a .195/.233/.220/.452 slash line. He hit just one double with 0 home runs or RBI’s that year, which would also end up being his final year of Baseball.

While I’m not sure if this was literally just a rental for 15 games or the Mets just said “we’re not doing this anymore”, the Mets would end up sending Chiti back to Cleveland however would never make a Major League appearance with the club.

Try to keep in mind that 1962 was the inaugural season for the New York Mets, so I’m sure the team was trying their hand at a ton of players just to keep their head afloat. Of course they lost like a million games, but you know what I mean.

Chiti never had any kind of claim to fame on the diamond but he will forever be known as the first Major League Baseball player to be traded for himself.

Photo: Historic Images Outlet

Is Yadier Molina a fit in Flushing?

The BNNY crew over at SNY came together and spoke about if the Mets should sign catcher Yadier Molina. And while we know that many fans want a player like JT Realmuto, James McCann, or even Salvador Perez, Molina is a clear option for the most obvious of reasons.

Molina is a 9x All-Star as well as a 9x Gold Glove winner and 4x Platinum Glove winner that handles a pitching staff incredibly well. The scrappy Puerto Rican catcher has always been a grinder and is a determined winner, sounds like something the Mets could use as new ownership takes over.

Also read: Just how important is McNeil

It’s not like Molina had a terrible 2020 campaign (.262/.303/.359/.662) but he’s definitely on a steady decline at 38 years old. So if the Mets do decide to make an acquisition, it may be on a platoon basis, or even a mentor role as a back-up catcher.

I’d imagine he’d take a mentor/back-up catcher role with the St. Louis Cardinals before anyone else, however Steve Cohen’s fat wallet may have the veteran reconsidering all of his options.

If he does come to the Mets, the future Hall of Famer would be a perfect mentor for the likes of Ali Sanchez, young phenom Francisco Alvarez, and even Tomas Nido.

Also read: Giving Stroman a qualifying offer, is a no brainer

Photo from the St. Louis Post

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

Saturday Night Matchup: Mets vs Royals

After another tough loss, this time to the lowly Kansas City Royals, the New York Mets look to turn it around tonight at Kauffman Stadium.

The defending N.L. Cy Young Jacob deGrom will take the mound for the Orange & Blue and while he wasn’t exactly great his last time out, the damage was caused by an error which lead to three unearned runs.

Overall, Jacob deGrom is 7-7 with an ERA of 2.68, a 1.07 WHIP, while striking out 189 batters in 148 innings pitched. However, since the start of June, deGrom has been pitching to a 1.20 ERA and has collected three wins in that span.

Jakob Junis is expected to take the mound for the Royals tonight. The right hander has an 8-10 win/loss record and has been pitching to a 4.80 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP while striking out 136 batters in 144.1 innings.

In his last seven starts, Junis owns a 4-2 record with a 3.20 ERA while striking out 44 in 45.0 innings pitched.