The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 7): Hey mom, I’m the GM!!

The gang kisses their moms on their cheek goodbye as they take on the role of Mets GM… well, kinda. Ok, not really, but listen to what we would do if we were GM’s.

Mets sign Trevor Hildenberger

The Mets have signed another Trevor from the Twins. This time, it’s Trevor Hildenberger. Hildenberger is a sidearm righty, with some succes in the majors. In 2017 he pitched to a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings. However, that’s most of his major league succes.

In 2018 he pitched in 73 games, pitching to a 5.42 ERA over 73 innings. A full seasons in the Twins bullpen. His FIP was at 4.53 in 2018, which could indicate some bad luck. He struck out 8.6 per nine.

He followed it up with some terrible numbers in 2019. He pitched to a 10.47 ERA over just 17.1 innings. His hits per nine was shockingly over 14. In AAA he pitched to a 4.30 ERA in 23 innings with a lower WHIP at 1.17.

Another depth move is never wrong plus I always like pitcher giving a different look. After we traded Villines we needed a new true submarine.

Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Also read: Mets sign Venezuelan flame thrower

Mets show interest in Jake Odorizzi

First of all, let me start with mentioning that in the early stages of the off-season, you will see the Mets interested in a lot of free agents. Rightfully so, mostly in areas the Mets need. In comes the Mets interest in free agent starter Jake Odorizzi.

While this was reported by trusted ESPN reporter Buster Onley, it’s something to take serious. Odorizzi has been on the Mets radar for years now. Last year the righty accepted the Twins QO, after a terrific 2019 season. Odorizzi is now a free agent after a different type of season. The 30 year old pitched just 13.2 inning due to an intercostal strain and a blister issue. In those 13.2 innings, he pitched to a 6.59 ERA. However, IMO we can judge him like Stroman and forget about the meaningless 2020 season.

Also read: Shaping up the Mets bullpen

Before the 2020 season, Odorizzi was one of the most solid and dependable starters in the majors. Between 2015 and 2019 he owned a 3.82 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP in 151 starts. Healthy, dependable and consistenly strong was what Odorizzi was known for.

In 2019 he has arguably his best season of his career. He pitched to a 3.51 ERA and 3.34 FIP over 159 innings pitched. He collected a career high in ERA+ (129) and K/9 (10.1).

The Mets aren’t the only team that reportedly showed interest. His former team the Twins, Blue Jays and Giants are the other teams. Mlbtraderumors predicted Odorizzi to the Blue Jays for 3/39m. I don’t see Odorizzi getting a three year deal and expect him to sign a 2/25-28m deal in this market.

For that type of deal, I would love the Mets to add Odorizzi. I know a lot of people want the Mets to go out and sign everyone but Odorizzi, however when healthy, he’s a very dependable arm to put in the middle of the rotation. Plus it doesn’t break your bank and gives the Mets plenty of oppurtunities to spend elsewhere. Good to mention as well, is that Odorizzi had a good working relationship with Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. A reunion perhaps?

Also read: International Free Agency Preview: A Tale of two Cubans- Part I

Photo from ClutchPoints.com

Mets Trade Target: Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton is an interesting study. The man has all the tools in the world to be one of the most electric outfielders on any current roster in the Majors. Unfortunately, Buxton has yet to put it together on a consistent basis but he does have the luxury of time on his side.

At just 26 years old, Buxton has just enough time to figure his exact role out, whether it be leading off as a centerfielder, hitting towards the end of the lineup, or a fourth outfielder that’ll play all three outfield spots.

Also read: Free Agent Target: Jackie Bradley Jr

While he’d be a nice addition to the squad, he won’t come cheap after coming off of a season where he put together a 1.9 WAR. However, if the centerfielder wants to start at the top of the lineup, he desperately needs to learn how to get on base more… and we mean a lot more.

His slash line in 2020 was .254/.267/.577/.844 with three doubles and a whopping 13 home runs, which is only three short of his career high. So while he’s having difficulties getting on base via the walk, he’s clearly mashing the ball.

Also read: Three Mets that could be dealt away

Also, with 62 career steals in 71 tries under his belt, he’s going to swipes a bunch of bags regardless of where he is hitting in the lineup.

With prospect Akil Baddoo slated to take over centerfield for the Twins, sometime in the near future (2021 ETA). This makes Buxton a bit more expendable and the Mets are a decent match.

Even though Buxton is a career .238/.289/.430/.719 hitter, he should provide top notch defense in centerfield as well as both of the corner spots and a tremendous amount of speed on the base paths. He just needs to get on more.

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Trevor Story

Photo by Andy Witchger / Bring Me The News

Free Agent Target: Brandon Kintzler

As the list of free agents continue to grow, we’ll take a look at several players that may fit into a role within the Mets roster. Now of course we know the team can’t sign every one of these players, but it is fun to take a look at what the team could look like.

On Friday afternoon, the Miami Marlins declined their $4M option of veteran right handed reliever Brandon Kintzler.

Also read: Free agent target: James McCann

The Las Vegas, Nevada native had a great year in 2020 with the Marlins as he pitched 24.1 innings while going 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA, and in 2019 with the Cubs he went 3-3 with a 2.68 ERA 57.0 innings pitched.

While Kintzler isn’t blowing batters away on the hill, he did induce a 57.3 ground ball rate against the opposition, which is something every team wants. But with both Brad Brach and Dellin Betances returning to the club in 2021 (barring any trades or transactions), Kintzler probably doesn’t fit within this pen.

But if new management decides to part with any of the right handers in the bullpen, Kintzler would absolutely be one of the first pitchers I’d inquire about.

Also read: Free agent target: Charlie Morton

Photo from Yard Barker

Pitching Coach Update

Andy Martino of SNY is reporting that Oakland A’s Minor League pitching coordinator Gil Patterson is no longer being considered for the vacant pitching coach position.

Former Mets pitcher and Minnesota Twins assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is said to be the lead candidate and a decision will likely be reached this week.

Hefner spent parts of two seasons with the Mets while owning a 8-15 record and an ERA of 4.65 in 224.1 innings pitched.

Also read: Trading Block: Jeff McNeil and the Rays

Mets sign a starting pitcher

The Mets and Ervin Santana had agreed to terms on a Minor League deal, pending a physical.

Santana nearly missed the whole 2018 season due to tendon damage to the middle finger of his right hand. After signing with the White Sox this off season, the team released him after 3 poor starts.

From 2015-2017, Santana pitched to a 3.47 ERA with a 7.2 K/9 and was named to the 2017 American League All-Star team. The veteran righty will likely take Wilmer Font’s spot in the rotation.

Santana owns a career record of 149-127 with a 4.09 ERA over the span of 2421.1 innings and 387 games pitched.

Tuesday’s Mets lineup vs Twins

  1. Brandon Nimmo CF
  2. Pete Alonso 1B
  3. Robinson Canó 2B
  4. Michael Conforto RF
  5. J.D. Davis 3B
  6. Jeff McNeil LF
  7. Amed Rosario SS
  8. Travis d’Arnaud C
  9. Jacob deGrom SP

deGrom will be chasing history as usual in just his third start of the young season. He’s pitched 26 straight scoreless innings as well as 26 straight quality starts. The game begins at 7:10 EST.

Mets sign Zack Jones

The Mets have come to terms with former Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Zack Jones on a Minor League deal. The pitcher will likely be used as MiLB depth as he pitched with the Milwaukee Brewers AA team in St. Paul last season however only tossed 25.1 innings after returning from surgery to repair his torn labrum.

First reported my Michael Mayer via Twitter.

Former Mets starter announces his retirement

Former Mets starter Dillon Gee has announced his retirement on Monday after 8 seasons in Major League Baseball. Gee went 51-48 throughout his career and owns a 4.09 ERA.

I always liked Gee and in my opinion, he was overlooked quite often. Both by the organization and the fan base as well, Gee pitched for the Mets from the 2010 season to the 2015 season and went 40-37 in his time he spent in Flushing.

I definitely wish Dillon Gee good luck and want to thank him for his time throughout the years. If you ask me, I’d tell you he was always a underrated and under appreciated player and clubhouse guy.