Asdrubal Cabrera, the rarest kind of Met free agent signing who turned out to be better than anyone bargained for, is off to the Phillies for a minor league pitcher. Oh yeah, and Juerys Familia has been traded to Oakland.
Sell, sell, sell.
For a guy I never really wanted to have on the team in the first place, and was certain would explode any second, Cabrera surprised me as much as any Mets player I can remember in recent times. I wonder if there’s time for Jerry Blevins to take back the No. 13 he surrendered to Cabrera upon his signing a few years back (Blevins as also testing free-agent waters at that time).
This may not matter in the end if any contenders can be convinced Blevins had anything left. That’s a guy they stuck with too long.
Meantime everyone’s all excited that Jeff McNeil is here finally but what the heck, 68? They had lots of time to think about this. Get the man a dignified number already, what is he a bullpen catcher? He’s an infielder! Give him No. 6! Give it up, Roessler! You’re interfering with history, man!
What else? Jason Vargas is back, Corey Oswalt is back down. That’s no bueno, and not really in line with the idea of the future teams that cough up their closer and best hitter in July are supposed to be doing. Austin Jackson was signed as a free agent, they gave him the same No. 16 that belonged to Kevin Kaczmarski earlier this year, and send Mat den Dekker down. It was a crime to see den Dekker in 23.
There have been an awful lot of Mets this year. The addition of Jackson (the 1,063rd Met of all time, doncha know) makes it 51 so far, and the trade deadline (Mesoraco, Blevins, Wheeler?) is still three days away. The team record of 54, set in 1967, is in real danger.
Inevitably, three consecutive nights of staying up way too late only to see the Mets get destroyed by the Dodgers caught up to me and I was unable to respond to commands to update, but you might know by now that Chasen Bradford was recalled from Las Vegas in time for last night’s Mets game but the box score tells me he didn’t get in so that Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins (who ought to be traded) could make their respective 35th and 36th appearances of the season.
If and when Bradford gets in, he’ll wear No. 46. He’s up to replace Tyler Pill, who resurfaced to replace Matt Harvey (who ought to be traded), or Zack Wheeler, both of whom went to the disabled list since the last time we updated. Also returning over the last week are Gavin Checchini and Brandon Nimmo, finally, the latter too late to sub for a struggling Curtis Granderson who is suddenly a hot Curtis Granderson (and ought to be traded); Matt Reynolds is back down; Yoenis Cespedes is back up; Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera are on the disabled list but ought to be traded.
Hansel Robles is still down.
The Mets in addition to the injuries haven’t executed plays in the field or with men on base as hitters or pitchers, and you don’t need to tell me it looks pretty bleak. The National League in addition resembles one of those seasons in the NBA where I could tell you the playoff teams a third of the way in and so despite a strain of hope that the Mets and Terry will find a way to play better eventually it looks essentially pointless to try and so we’re likely to confront a bunch of big moves earlier than we may have expected.
Bradford by the way will be the first Mets 46 since Tyler Clippard who to my delight is getting lit up as a member of the Yankees, so you know, it’s not all bad.
Glad to see the Mets get off the schneid just once before we go to war Sunday night in Kansas City. As noted below this was hardly the most encouraging warmup I’ve ever experienced but I’m thankful we’ll be answering the bell with relatively good health and a ton of promise. Hopefully, we kick the shit out of Kansas City.
The opening roster, announced yesterday, indicates we’ll soon be welcoming the following men to the All-time roster:
13 Asdrubal Cabrera
16 Alejando De Aza
20 Neil Walker
51 Jim Henderson
59 Anotnio Bastardo
They would bring the scrolls through
Joining the field staff for the first time is bench coach Dick Scott, wearing No. 23, while Kevin Plawecki and coach Tom Goodwin pulled an offseason trade, with Plawecki taking 26 and Goodwin 22. Reliever Jerry Blevins is in a new number, 39, and coach Dan Warthen in 38.
Ruben Tejada’s departure in the meantime opened up No. 11 should third-base coach Tim Teufel want to return to the number he wore as a Mets player: The roster posted at Mets.com indicates that’s the case but I thought I spied him ont he televised game from Vegas the other day still in 18. Any help?
Don’t look now but Jerry Blevins may be wearing No. 13 after all.
An article in Sunday’s NY Post says as much, which would conflict with some published rosters (listing the lefty wearing 39) and Blevins own tweets, which suggested Asdrubal Cabrera — a 13 for most his career with the Indians and Rays who signed ahead of the free agent Blevins — had the right to the number before him. In fact, the only time Cabrera hasn’t worn 13 was in 2014: When he was teammates with Blevins in Washington.
This also is another reminder why we shouldn’t put too much stock in what’s said and done in the offseason.
The same paper by the way has a terrific Q&A with Sandy Alderson in which the GM confesses to a taste for the dramatic, in the context of good timing. One of the many things I admire about Alderson is that so often there’s a undercurrent of orchestration to the things the club does. Without putting too fine a point on it, he’s really a storyteller.
Neil Walker on Tuesday crashed the Mets’ annual holiday party at Citi Field, showing off what appears to be his new uni number, 20. Walker would be the first second baseman to wear 20 since 2000 Mets legend Kurt Abbott. Uh, yeah. Anthony Recker wore 20 last but as you may have heard the handsome backup catcher signed a deal with the Indians following the season.
Walker by the way said he wore 20 to honor his dad, Tom Walker, who as you can see here wore the same for the Montreal Expos. Neil reached the big leagues with the Pirates only to learn 20 had been retired for Pie Traynor.
Later on Tuesday, the Mets and erstwhile lefty stopper Jerry Blevins agreed on a new deal for 2016. Blevins you may recall arrived at the eve of the ’15 season and did an all-around super job getting the Bryce Harpers and Freddie Freemans of the league out before fracturing an arm the same day that Travis d’Arnaud went down with an injury. Only Blevins never made it back to the team by suspiciously re-breaking the same arm shortly before his expected return.
If that’s not enough reason by itself to surrendered No. 13 the rule requiring all Venezuelan shortstops wear No. 13 trumped it.
What will Blevins return in? Only a guess but 15 is available now that Bob Geren is going.
In other news the Mets have invited Buddy Carlyle to go after a third assignment with the team and possibly, a third uni number. He’s been 44 then 43 so far.
Interesting day out in Nashville, no?
No sooner had Ben Zobrist left the Mets at the altar they turn around and score with a lookalike in Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker, then go out and buy another infielder, Asdrubal Cabrera.
Interestingly enough, Walker, like Zobrist, is a longtime wearer of the No. 18 jersey so little changes with regard to the prediction that coach Tim Teufel needs to find another number. The Cabrera signing in the meantime would seem to portend an end to Ruben Tejada‘s Mets career — a moment I mentally prepared for at least two years ago — which would free up Teufel’s playing-career No. 11 should he want it.
Walker as you know cost the Mets their all-time No. 49, Jon Niese, in a deal that also essentially ends the Mets lifetime for their all-time No. 28, Daniel Murphy. I strongly associate the two of them (and Bobby Parnell, also a likely goner) as the best remainders of the Omar Minaya Era, all three adequate major league players jettisoned before they got too expensive.
In their defense, that also describes Walker and Cabrera, a new middle infield combination likely to outhit their predecessors, and maybe out-field them too. I say “maybe” because I haven’t found much supporting Cabrera’s D even though I can’t recall ever having watched him closely myself, while there’s been rumblings from Pirates fans over Walker’s limited range at second base. If so, the Mets are giving me something less than I’d hoped while patching up the team: that is, give themselves a better chance through better fundamental play at key spots. At least they’ll hit more.
Cabrera you won’t be surprised to learn is a Venezuelan shortstop who favors No. 13: That jersey is technically available while Jerry “I broke my arm twice” Blevins tests the free agent market.
The Mets are leading the world in costly victories. This is a weird thing to get used to, but that’s twice now this season — really thrice if you count Jenrry Mejia’s disappearing act on opening day — where the Mets came away with a big win at a big cost. Today it was Jerry Blevins and Travis d’Arnaud going down with broken bones within 15 minutes of one another.
I’m sure the Mets will miss both of them; I feel like personally sending d’Arnaud a get-well card; he was looking like a legitimate All-Star and certainly one of the chief reasons the loss of David Wright to injury hasn’t been the blow I feared it could be. Suddenly though, we’ve got a lineup without him and Wright, and before long using Eric Campbell as your cleanup hitter is going to show.
I’m confident Kevin Plawecki is a nice hitter but as we saw with d’Arnaud, the ascension is rarely steady. Anyway, Plawecki will be a Met on Tuesday. They’re holding No. 22 for him.
Blevins was great too, but relief pitching is such a crapshoot. I suppose the Mets now turn to Alex Torres to get out Freddy Freeman next week. Alex and his giant hat might inspire a giggle but the way he’s handled Christian Yelich this weekend was the kind of thing that can make a good impression on a guy like Terry). The guy they’ve recalled in the meantime, Hansel Robles, is a righthander and off to a very good start in Las Vegas (reportedly throws 98 MPH gas). He wore No. 67 in Spring Training: He’d be the first 67 in regular-season history if he retains it but with numbers as common as 30, 32 and 34 sitting around unissued I suppose its anyone’s guess.
Eh, screw it. I say he becomes the first 67 ever.
Speaking of milestones I was reminded by Gordon in the comments section that we’re approaching the 1,000th Met ever, faster than we would have guessed even. Danny Muno., by our and Gordon’s count, was No. 990; Plawecki and Robles should take us to 992 and form there…?
Who’s your guess? And when?
New lefties Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres have been issued jerseys No. 13 and 53, respectively, the Mets said Tuesday.
Blevins’ assignment was no surprise as he’s worn that number in previous stos in Oakland and Washington, while Torres takes a vacant number that follows his righthanded namesake’s 52. Bobby Abreu was the last guy to wear 53 for the Mets; before that it was Jeremy Hefner. Josh Satin was the last guy to wear 13 for the Mets.
It was only an hour or so after the news that the Mets had swapped for Alex Torres that it was announced they’d traded Matt den Dekker to Washington for a true lefty specialist, Jerry Blevins. This appeared to put the Torres acquisition in perspective as a more general bullpen depth addition which given the shaky health of Bobby Parnell and Vic Black — not to mention the performance of Jennry Mejia over the last six months (you could look it up, but don’t) — seemed to make sense.
Despite it reminding me more of Billy Wagner than I want to be reminded, Blevins can step right into the No. 13 jersey which has been unissued since Josh Satin took it off a year ago. Just as significantly, the trade reopens No. 6, to which den Dekker brought relative stability, having held it down since July of 2013. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see No. 6 next on the back of Daniel Muno, the presumptive middle infielder if Daniel Murphy can’t make the squad.
From a baseball point of view I liked den Dekker but it was obvious his opportunity to be significant in New York was receding as Juan Lagares’s star was rising and other than the luxury of a decent reserve in AAA, he’s better off getting a chance to play. As for Blevins, the numbers suggest he’s a terrific lefty-killer and will be called to demonstrate as much vs. Bryce Harper and Freddy Freeman. His arrival makes me wonder how the Nats will manage to retire Granderson or Duda when they need to.