Red Sox Sign Jenrry Mejia To Minor League Deal

31 Jan

Jenrry Mejia

We’ve reached the point of the baseball offseason where Jenrry Mejía has a job with a major-league team and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado do not.

This time last year, Mejía was “banned for life” by Major League Baseball after three failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs. Turns out the “for life” part wasn’t as definitive as it sounded, because Mejía was reinstated for the 2019 season by the league and Tuesday agreed to a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox.

On the field, Mejía, 29, most notably saved 28 games for the New York Mets in 2014. Otherwise, his big-league career has been a mess. He was suspended in February 2015 for PEDs, then again in July. In February 2016, he was suspended for a third and final time — making him the first player ever “banned for life” under the league’s drug rules and three strikes approach. That made him one of only four living people banned for life by MLB. The other three are Pete Rose, Chris Correa (the ex-Cardinals exec who hacked the Astros) and John Coppolella (the ex-Braves GM who broke international signing rules).

At one point, the Mejía saga got so ugly that his lawyer was threatening to sue MLB, alleging that he would uncover years of corruption inside the league. That never happened and eventually, Mejía applied for reinstatement as MLB’s policy allows. He was granted that last summer, allowed to return for the 2019 season, but he was released by the Mets.

Considering how the ludicrous amount of $$$ they’re each seeking on the market, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are bad comparisons. How about any other still unsigned major leaguer who played regularly last year? All of them have a right to be upset about Mejia getting yet another chance.

Mets Are Done With Gavin Cecchini

29 Jan

Gavin Cecchini

Three weeks after trading one 2012 first-round pick, the Mets have gotten rid of another.

First it was Kevin Plawecki being shipped to Cleveland, and now it is Gavin Cecchini being designated for assignment to make room for reliever Justin Wilson on the 40-man roster.

Cecchini, the 12th-overall pick out of high school, played in just 36 games in his Mets career, batting .217 in stints in 2016 and 2017. He missed most of last season, which began in Triple-A, with a foot injury. Before going down on May 9, the righty infielder slashed .294/.342/.468 in 30 Las Vegas games.

“4 months of rehab and hard work to get myself back healthy and back on the field,” he wrote on Instagram in August, before playing the season finale with Single-A St. Lucie. “It’s been a grind physically and mentally. But it’s only made me stronger. Can’t wait to get back out there soon and finish the season strong with my boys! #GC2 #godstiming.”

Cecchini is the victim of a Mets roster stuffed with infielders, as they have added Robinson Cano, J.D. Davis and Jed Lowrie this offseason.

Getting rid of two 1st-round picks in 3 weeks doesn’t speak well to your scouting department, much less Sandy Alderson.

Keith Hernandez To Undergo Back Surgery

28 Jan

Keith Hernandez
With his unique wit and at times brutal honesty, it’s funny how the 1979 co-MVP and 2-time World champ’s broadcasting career has become as noteworthy as his playing days:

Mets legend and SNY announcer Keith Hernandez will undergo back surgery during the latter part of next week. Hernandez made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday.

“I’ve blown out my back once again,” he wrote. “This time I ruptured a disc, T11-12, which is my mid back. Surgery is scheduled latter part of next week. I have a terrific surgeon. Arthroscopic entry, which means no cutting through tissue & muscle. He will cut a small portion of bone away on both vertebrae which will enlarge my nerve passageway & relieve my discomfort there. I’m very positive about this. I’ve lived with back pain everyday going back to 1990.”

Though Hernandez is tired of his back issues, he said he is remaining positive and is confident the surgery will heal this long-term problem.

“Micro-laser procedure,” he wrote. “He will zap the protruding disc and that will eradicate the pressure on my nerve which has been giving me hell. He will also repair my old, lower back injury. I have severe stenosis there (L4-5).”

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado Will Not Be Part of 2019 Mets

25 Jan

Bryce Harper Manny Machado

We’ve got less than a month to go until spring training starts, and the two best free agents — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — on the market this winter still don’t know where they’ll be playing in 2019. We do have some hints as to who some of the final teams might be in both players’ sweepstakes, but you can now definitely count the New York Mets out for both.

On Thursday, Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff WIlpon and first-year General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen confirmed to the media that they will not be pursuing either of the two superstars.

“I don’t know how many teams have two $30 million players,” Wilpon said when asked why the team won’t pursue Harper or Machado. Wilpon is referring to Robinson Cano, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a blockbuster trade this past December and Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, whose 2018 season was cut short by surgery on both of his heels.

Did anyone really think Bryce Harper or Manny Machado was going to be in the 2019 Mets Opening Day lineup? Certainly not me.

Wilmer Flores, Diamondbacks Finalize $4.25M, 1-Year Contract

21 Jan

Wilmer Flores

This time, Wilmer Flores is actually leaving.

The infielder, who has spent his entire career, dating back to 2008, with the Mets, agreed Wednesday to a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks with a team option, according to ESPN.

Since 2013, Flores had been a Mets fan favorite, posting a .262 batting average and being a reliable right-handed bat, oftentimes off the bench.

The 27-year-old famously cried on the field during a 2015 game when he believed he had been traded. The deal fell through, and it only endeared him more to the fanbase.

This time around, it might not be just Flores’ tears flowing.

I’m happy Wilmer got a new deal, but I still think we could’ve found some way to keep him here.

Tim Tebow Will Report To Major League Camp in February

17 Jan

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow will be back at the New York Mets major league camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in February.

The Mets’ most famous minor leaguer returns for this third season with the team.

Last year, the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback hit .273 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 84 Double-A games before a broken hand ended his season in July.

Because he is not on the 40-man roster, Tebow needed an invite to big league camp, which opens Feb. 16. He was with the Mets at big league camp last season as well and drew big crowds everywhere he went.

RELATED: Tim Tebow engaged to former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

Jeff McNeil In The Outfield???

15 Jan

Jeff McNeil

The Mets acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie on a two-year, $20 million deal that is still pending a physical crowds their infield, and has the potential to squeeze Jeff McNeil’s playing time.

As a solution, the Mets plan to use McNeil in the outfield in 2019, according to a person familiar with the plans.

At the beginning of the offseason, McNeil was pencilled in as the starting second baseman. He was nearly shipped to Seattle in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade, but the Mets pulled him out of that deal at the last minute, and replaced him with reliever Gerson Bautista.

At that point, the team saw McNeil as a super-utility type, Wilmer Flores with better defense. But Lowrie will now play that role. The team still sees great potential in McNeil’s bat, however, so it plans to use him both in the infield and outfield next year. With that additional option, Mickey Callaway should be able to find more playing time for McNeil.

McNeil played nine games in the outfield in his minor league career, for a total of 65 ½ innings. But the team believes that he has the speed and athleticism to adapt.

Gotta admit, when the Mets penciled in McNeil for the starting 2nd baseman spot in 2019, I was excited. The guy can flat-out hit, he’s gutsy and I thought that he’d make up for Daniel Murphy, who I never wanted to see leave. Then the Mets went after and got Robinson Cano, still have Todd Frazier at 3rd, Amed Rosario at SS, Peter Alonso most likely playing 1st and now Jed Lowrie is on the team as a ‘super-utility’ guy. Oh and let’s not forget TJ Rivera coming back. Would love to pick McNeil’s brain to see what he really thinks about all this, much less now getting ready to play in the outfield.