Count me among the majority for once: I was very much behind the Mets’ pursuit of Buck Showalter as manager and was pleased if not terribly surprised to hear the club reeled him in. One thing these recent Mets clubs have been missing is a presence as a manager; we last experienced it in Terry. Plus you can be assured Buck won’t go around many losing games by being out-strategized by the other guy. And if he can light a fire beneath underachievers like McNeil and Smith, that’ll be a bonus.
Buck managed the Yankees and Diamondbacks and Rangers while wearing No. 11; and the Orioles with No. 26, which he wore as a tribute to late predecessor Johnny Oates. No word yet on what Buck will wear under his jacket.
As relayed a few weeks ago, the arrivals of Mark Cahna, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte and Max Scherzer shook things up a little. McNeil is now listed in No. 1, his third issue since 68 and 6. Escobar takes 10, which has gone more than a decade without a player occupant. Marte is taking over No. 6, Cahna gets 19. That belonged most recently to Showalter’s inexperienced predecessor. Scherzer gets 21, which I’ve always kind of liked for a pitcher.
Hello from the most active offseason since Omar Minaya reeled in Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez.
You are no doubt in receipt of reports today that the Mets have reached a massive 3-year deal with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer after making successful bids late last week for veterans Starling Marte, Mark Cahna and Eduardo Escobar. And with trades, relief-pitching, depth deals and a new manager still ahead, that’s a mighty heavy workload for newly arrived GM, Billy Eppler.
Scherzer has worn 31 in Washington and in LA, but with Mike Piazza having taken that out of the Mets’ rotation, we’re tentatively anticipating he’ll take it up a notch the 32. That figure belonged most recently to Aaron Loup, who departed to Anaheim on a free-agent deal following Noah Syndergaard, who made the very same move.
Syndergaard’s departure marks the final end to a durable, multipronged trade chain dating back to Tim Bogar, who debuted with the Mets in 1993, was traded to Houston for Luis Lopez, who went to Milwaukee for Bill Pulsipher, who went to Arizona for Lenny Harris, who went to Milwaukee for Jeromy Burnitz, whose trade to Los Angeles yielded Victor Diaz, who was traded to Texas for catcher Mike Nickeas, who was sent to Toronto in the Syndergaard trade.
Noah departs as the Mets’ all-time leader in winning-percentage and strikeouts among Guys Who Wore 34. He was three wins short of Mike Pelfrey for the victory title.
Marte is a sports-car enthusiast (true story: I met his car-dealer at a convention in Las Vegas) who looks to take over center field duties as Brandon Nimmo slides over to left field and Canha takes over in right. Marte has worn No. 6 with Pittsburgh and Miami and No. 2 with Oakland and Arizona. One or both could be available depending on whether change-ofscenery trade candidates Dom Smith and Jeff McNeil survive Eppler’s dealmaking in the weeks ahead. Cahna has worn 20 with Oakland and will need a new issue. Escobar, a switch-hitting infielder who looks likely to take a role similar to Jonathan Villar last season, has worn 5 most often in his career and so encounters a retired number in New York. Scientists project he could wind up in 7 here.
More to come!!