The Mets have made a move that wouldn’t help them in 2022, as they signed John Curtiss to a major league deal. Curtiss is currently rehabbing from his TJS and will miss the entire 2022 season. The Mets made this move for his cheap team option in 2023. He is signed for 770.000 this year with a 775.000 team option.
In 2022 Curtiss pitched to a 3.45 ERA after a 2.48 ERA with the Marlins, before he got hurt. In 44.1 innings, he pitched to a 3.82FIP and 1.23 WHIP. The 29 year old righty has a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 innings since 2019.
This is a very smart move by the Mets. Worst case scenario is losing close to 1.5 mil, but if the rehab goes well they added a solid reliever without spending a lot. With some prime Mets relievers in their last season before hitting free agency, this could be a very important move.
The Mets also made some other moves as they put Chasen Shreve and Travis Jankowski on the 40 man roster. Both will make the team out of spring training. To make room, the Mets DFA’d Travis Blankenhorn and Jordan Yamamoto
The Mets have claimed right handed reliever Yoan López from the Marlins. The Mets moved Joey Lucchesi to the 60 day IL to make room for López on the 40 man roster.
Since 2021, López has been part of 4 of the 5 NL East teams. The Braves traded for López during the 2021 season and DFA’d him after the season ended. The Phillies, Marlins and now Mets all claimed him of waivers from one another. The Mets have reassigned him to Syracuse right after the claim.
The 29 year old has been in the majors with the Diamondbacks every year from 2018 till 2021. He still have options left for the Mets to stack him as depth in the minors. He owns a 4.25 Career Major League ERA and had his best season in 2019, with a 3.41 ERA over 60.1 innings.
The main reason the Mets claimed him is probably his increase of strikeouts in AAA. In 2019 (6.2 K/9) and 2020 (7.3 K/9), his K/9 wasn’t way below average. He increased his strikeout rate to 10.1 in 35.1 innings in AAA last year.
López is a fastball/Slider pitcher with an average fastball velo of 95.7mph. He tends to get above average ground ball rates.
López will add some depth and if needed he is likely a guy that could lose his 40 man roster spot. With Lucchesi to the 60 day IL, no player is lost to make this move.
The Mets announced on their transaction page that they have added five players on Minor League deals. Three (Chasen Shreve/Johneswhy Fargas/Travis Jankowski) were already known, the other two weren’t known until now.
Taiwan Native Tzu-Wei Lin was added to add some middle infield depth. The 28 year old has been on a major league roster at some point in every year since 2017. He has played for Boston (101 games) and Minnesota (1 game in 2021). He doesn’t provide much at the plate, hitting just .223/.298/.316 over those 102 games in the bigs.
What Lin does provide is versatility. In his 4 years in Boston he played SS, 2B, 3B, CF, LF and RF. He even pitched one inning and played behind the plate for 0.2 inning. He only needs to play first to get playing time at every spot. That’s quite an accomplishment on its own.
The Mets also Tim Adleman to a minor league contract. The 34 year old right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2017 for the Reds. In those two years he pitched in 43 games, making 33 starts with a 4.97 ERA. He pitched 192 total innings for the Reds between 2016 and 2017.
After a year in the KBO, Aldeman returned to America and pitched in the Tigers and Reds organizations. Last year he pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 45 innings for the AAA Reds.
In 2019, he was solid in the Tigers organization, pitching to a 3.23 ERA between AA and AAA. He pitched to a 1.10 WHIP with 123 strikeouts over 117 innings.
Both won’t likely make it to the majors this year and if all goes well, they will be fill in Players for the minor league roster.
The Mets added outfield depth with the signing of Travis Jankowski to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.
The 30 year old former Philly played in 76 games with the Phillies, hitting .252/.364/.351 with 1 homerun and 10 RBI’s. The left handed hitter plays Center most of the time but also saw some time in the corner spots. He had a positive 2 OAA in center field last year, showing he can still play that spot.
If needed Jankowski can fill in, be a tough out and play solid defense with speed (88th percentile in sprint speed 2021). He will provide depth behind the starting three and Nick Plummer/Khalil Lee.
The Mets have added some much needed depth from the left side, adding Alex Claudio to a minor league deal. The 29 year old lefty is coming off a bad year in the Angels pen, where he pitched to a 5.51 ERA in 32.2 innings. He struck out 30 , but walked 15 over that span. His 4.1 walks per nine was the highest in any season. He also allowed a career high 1.7 homeruns per nine in 2021.
However, if you exclude 2021, Claudio has been a mainstay in bullpens as a lefty. After 5 successfull seasons (first 2 combined just 28 innings) with the Rangers, he pitched two seasons for the Brewers. Before the 2021 season, Claudio pitched to a 3.34 ERA, holding lefties to a .596 OPS against.
With relievers you never know. Claudio is just 29 and could still have solid years left. Before 2021, he was a master in limiting hard contact. Between 2016-2020 he was in the best 10% in barrel percentage every year. With Milwaukee in 2019 (best 2%) and 2020 (best 1%) he excelled in average exit velo against.
In the end it’s a low risk move which doesn’t hurt. I am sure he won’t be the only lefty the Mets will add, hopefully a MLB deal as well when the lockout ends.
Daniel Palka wasn’t the only minor league deal the Mets announced on their transaction page, they also added right handed pitcher Kevin Gadea.
The 27 year old native of Nicaragua, missed 4 years between 2016 and 2020 due to Tommy John Surgery and Covid. He returned this year with a 2.61ERA between AA and AAA in the Yankees organization. Gadea allowed just 29 hits over 41.1 innings, while striking out 58 in his strong return to action.
In his brief minor league career due to injury, he owns a 2.63 ERA with a 1.18WHIP. He was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Rays in 2017, before they discovered TJS. Gadea is seen as a fastball heavy arm, who relies on his low 90’s fastball. Last year he started to mix in his change-up and curve more.
Below is a clip with highlights from Kevin Gadea in the minors last year.
According to the Mets transactions page, they have added 30 year old outfielder Daniel Palka to a minor league deal. The left handed hitting outfielder has played in the majors for the White Sox, hitting 27 homers in 2018. After a brief time in 2019, he hasn’t been back in the show since.
After playing in the KBO in 2020, he returned to the US in 2021, playing for AAA Rochester in the Nats organization. In 106 games he had a .836 OPS with 18 homers.
Palka will provide some outfield depth as he is mainly a Right Fielder. He will most likely be behind guys like Plummer and Lee, as they are on the 40 man roster.
According to Jacob Resnick, the Mets have signed Jesus Vargas to a minor league deal. The 23 year old pitched to a 8-5 record with a 4.40 ERA in High-A. Over 102.1 innings, he struck out 88 and had a 1.12 WHIP.
Main attraction over his minor league career is his control. The 23 year old has just a 1.6 walk per nine rate over his minor league career, pitching to a 3.65 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP in 274 innings.
Although his ERA was high, Vargas his numbers put into perspective with the league is way more promising (see Below).
In the lockdown, the Mets are allowed to sign minor league deals.
In recent days the Mets have agreed to sign three players to a minor league deal. According to Michael Mayer, the Mets have resigned infielder Matt Reynolds and added catcher Nick Dini and left handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny to minors league contracts.
Matt Reynolds was drafted by the Mets and made his MLB debut in 2016. He was part of the 2015 Postseason roster but did not make his major league debut in the Postseason. With the Mets Reynolds his .228/.300/.351 in 115 games. In that span Reynolds hit 4 homeruns and drove in 18.
Last season Matt Reynolds hit .269/.373/.395 with AAA White Sox, hitting 5 homeruns and driving in 35.
The Mets also added Nick Dini earlier this week. Dini, played in 20 games for the Royals in 2019, hitting .196/.270/.357 with 2 homeruns and 6 RBI’s. This season the 25 year old catcher hit well in AAA in limited time for the Royals, batting .303/.357/.494 in 24 games played. He will provide some depth at the catching position.
On the same as Dini, the Mets also added left hander Rob Zastryzny to a minor league deal. The 29 year old former Cub will provide much needed depth from the left side. After Nick Fisher, he is the second lefty the Mets added on a MILB Deal.
Between 2016 and 2018 the lefty pitcher a total of 34.2 innings in the bigs for the Cubs. Over that span he had a 4.41 ERA with a 3.76 FIP and 1.52WHIP. The lefty pitched in the Marlins system in 2021, pitching 30.1 innings for the AAA Jumbo Shripms. Zastryzny pitched to a solid 3.52 ERA but did walk 15 batters in those 30.1 innings of work. A good note is that he increased his strikeout per nine to 13.1, while his career norm stands at 8. A considerable jump to take a shot with as depth.
During this lockdown, the Mets can sign Players to a minor league deal.
The Mets announced on Twitter that they have signed outfielder Nick Plummer to a major league contract. Plummer was one of the most sought after minor league free agents avaliable and with the Mets lack of outfield depth, it’s a logical fit.
The 2015 first round pick from the Cardinals spend his entire minor league career in the Cardinals organization. The 25 year old had a strong season between AA and AAA, hitting .280/.415/.479 with 15 homeruns and 54 runs batted in. Plummer has a career .363 OBP in the minors, but most promising last year was his increase in slugging percentage.
The Mets will put Plummer on the 40 man roster. In 2021, Plummer played all 3 outfield positions, which is needed in the depth charts. He will join Brandon Nimmo, Dom Smith, Khalil Lee, Jeff McNeil and Mark Payton as the only outfielders on the 40 man roster.