In some ways that was a more radical teardown than even I anticipated. For a time I was hoping to keep Justin Verlander in the hopes that he, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana could be the start of a decent rotation for 2024. He got us two promising hitters instead. And how about that Dominic Leone trade? This was a guy we got off the trash heap in May and he brought back the Angels’ No. 9 prospect.
The problem with all this in-season wheeling and dealing is we’re left with a club that can’t beat the Royals. Thanks the the depletions of Tommy Pham and Mark Canha we’re running out palookas like Rafael Ortega (30) and Jonathan Arauz (19). We have new dudes in the bullpen I’ve hardly ever heard of like Reed Garrett (75) and Phil Bickford (50).
As uninspiring his outings have tended to be, losing Carlos Carrasco to elbow problems is not what the Mets needed right now, seeing as they’ve already got two dudes in the rotation who might not have been in the blueprint, since Jose Quintana and Justin Verlander have yet to appear. Is Joey Lucchesi the next to appear? I’m not sure.
Last night (I didn’t stay up to watch) Jeff Brigham made his first Met appearance and struck out the only two guys he faced. Brigham came over in a small offseason trade with the Marlins and has some experience with them. He’s the immediate solution for Carrasco till his turn in the rotation comes up.
Also with the big club now are Edwin Uceta, who came up along with Brett Baty, when Tim Locastro went onto the disabled list. Uceta, whom the Mets acquired on a waiver claim from Pittsburgh, has been issued No. 64.
As exciting as it would have been I had a hard time seeing how Brett Baty or Mark Vientos would have fit on the Mets’ veteran-soaked roster. The Mets cut both guys yesterday and sent ’em to the minors where they’ll await injures or inconsistency in the third-base or DH positions.
Both things could happen. While I’m somewhat confident Daniel Vogelbach is capable of keeping up his end of the DH platoon, Darin Ruf and/or Tommy Pham on the right side is a bigger question. Then there’s Eduardo Escobar. We can’t wait 4 months for him to heat up again this time around.
By the way the Mets new Speakeasy in the right field corner, an exclusive club normal people like you and me will never step inside, has made the right field corner some eight and a half feet closer to home plate this year, so that’s good news for Vogelbach, (and possibly bad news for Max Scherzer). The club was named after Joan Payson (actually, it’s named after Cadillac), who was also filthy rich and probably was chauffeured in a Cadillac, but who in real life sat in field level seats among the people.
Catching up on the news, Dennis Santana, who was acquired from Minnesota after Edwin Diaz went down, is wearing No. 65 in camp, taking the number formerly belonging to Rule 5 acquire Zach Greene, who was returned to sender. Former top draft pick Dylan Bundy was signed to a minor league contract the other day, giving depth now that Jose Quintana is out. I think we’d have been better off just resigning Taijuan Walker.
Reports say Tommy Hunter has made the roster, but that’s an easier thing to do now that Diaz is out. Stephen Nogosek has an edge for a bullpen spot due to his veing out of options. John Curtiss has pitched well enough to make the squad, and Brooks Raley could made the opening day roster if his injuries heal in time. Then there’s new closer David Robertson, and from last year’s group Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino.
Thanks to commenter John below we know coach Dom Chiti is wearing 58.
Then oftentimes unreliable winter Mets roster has been updated.
Headlining the data is a change for Drew Smith, who appears to be surrendering No. 62 to new arrival Jose Quintana and moving to No. 40 vacated recently by Chris Bassitt. Quintana we noted has been a 62 for most of his career.
Another controversy appears to have worked out by giving Tommy Pham 28, with Darin Ruf now listed in the 33 made available by James McCann‘s departure.
Then there’s a few guys who hadn’t been listed with numbers now having them. Lefty Brooks Raley is 25; that number belonged most recently to Tyler Naquin. Omar Narvaez is taking the 2 formerly with Dom Smith. (Dom appears to be going back to No. 22 with Washington, if their roster is to be trusted).
Then there’s info on a few guys who appear to be retaining whatever they wore last year and shouldn’t necessarily be trusted. Pitcher Jeff Brigham is 43, same as he was in Florida; the number is vacant so we’ll go with it. But I doubt Danny Mendick keeps to No. 20 he’s listed in, so you gotta take this info with a grain of salt until camp opens.
Here’s a quick exchange with friend of MBTN Dave on Twitter.
I confess to being somewhat ignorant of the 11-year career of Jose Quintana other than his involvement in a big trade between the White Sox (where he was an All-Star in 2016) and the Cubs, who coughed up the then big prospect Eloy Jimenez to get him. He’s a lefty from Columbia who’s worn 62 or 63 throughout his career which included subsequent stops with the Angels, Giants, Pirates and most recently, the 2022 Cardinals where he wore 62 and 63, not certain in which order. Here’s a fun fact: He was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets. Now he’s essentially Taijuan Walker‘s replacement. I liked Walker, now he’s a Philly. Diabolical.
So let’s say Quintana keeps 62, and Drew Smith changes to something he prefers.
The Mets you may have seen made another deal, coughing up a lefty minor leaguer Keyshawn Eskew to the Rays for lefty reliever Brooks Raley. Raley who wore 30 last year with the Rays — but neglected to wear a pride patch and didn’t bother to get vaxxed — looks to be this year’s Joely Rodriguez. Joely wore 30 too.
I gotta say I’m not too excited about this guy.