In the first high-profile signing of the second Sandy Alderson Era, the Mets have reportedly agreed with free-agent catcher James McCann to a 4-year, $40 million deal, which for whatever reason hasn’t been officially announced yet. McCann wore No. 33 with the White Sox, digits most recently belonging the the returned and since cashiered Todd Frazier late last year.
Perhaps worn most famously by disgraced former All-Star Matt Harvey, 33 has also previously belonged to Met catchers Barry Lyons, Charlie O’Brien, Kelly Stinnett, Tim Spehr and Mike DiFelice. None of these guys were legit first stringers and until recently it looked like McCann would have a career like those guys. Stinnett (along with fellow ex-Met backstops Todd Pratt, Rick Wilkins and Travis d’Arnaud) in fact appear on McCann’s “Similar Batters” scores over at Baseball Reference, so I’m keeping my expectations appropriately in check. Fills a need, hits lefthanders, reportedly solid defensively and presumably saves the big money to gather in other free agents.
So confident were the Mets in McCann they made the deal ahead of the arrival of the actual general manager who we learned yesterday is Jared Porter. Jared is 41, served World Series-winning teams in Boston and Chicago and most recently was an assistant with the Diamondbacks. Sounds good to me.
And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… it’s JAUSS 2.
Jauss was Jerry Manuel’s former top lieutenant in 2010, and will serve the same role for Luis Rojas in 2021, succeeding Hensely Muelens. Jauss wore No. 56 back then; it currently belongs to assistant hitting coach Tom Slater.
Sure, Nelson Figueroa may have completely screwed up the one and only thing he was asked to do tonight, but let’s not be too quick to brand his latest recall a complete failure. After all, this cry for help marked Figueroa’s fifth addition to the Mets’ 40-man roster, tying him for the all-time lead in this category with the illustrious Mike DiFelice, whose late career yo-yoing was so magnificent the Mets finally gave him a permanent job — in the minor leagues. He’s managing the Mets’ Appalacian League club in Kingsport, Tenn.
Yes, it’s a special kind of ballplayer that can be cut loose four times and rehired five times, and Figueroa deserves extra credit for having done so in a single big-league uni number, 27 (DiFelice collected three unis over his five appearances). In fact, notes MBTN Roster Scientist Jason E., only nine men in Met history (including the aformentioned two) have been added to the 40-man roster as many as four times.
For fun, I will provide six of the remaining players. You tell me the seventh!
Pedro Feliciano, Clint Hurdle, Mark Johnson, Terry Leach, Josias Manzanillo and Jorge Velandia have all been added to the Mets 40-man roster on four occasions. Who is the remaining 4-time addition? Winner gets a beer on me.
Figueroa’s addition by the way resulted in Pat Misch being optioned to AAA Buffalo. On Sunday, Gary Sheffield returned and Robinson Cancel was returned to Buffalo.
Got a cool message this morning from Met roster genius Jason:
Mike DiFelice became the first-ever New York Met to be added to the 40-man roster five different times. No other Met has ever been added more than 4 times in Met history.
5/16/05: Purchased from Norfolk (having been signed as free agent, 3/31/05)
6/2/05: Designated for assignment
6/6/05: Outrighted to Norfolk
8/21/05: Purchased from Norfolk (having stayed at Norfolk, 6/6/05-8/21/05)
10/28/05: Announced free agency
8/4/06: Purchased from Norfolk (having been signed as free agent, 5/31/06)
11/8/06: Announced free agency
7/29/07: Purchased from New Orleans (having been signed as free agent, 1/9/07)
8/2/07: Designated for assignment
8/9/07: Outrighted to New Orleans
8/12/07: Purchased from New Orleans (having stayed at New Orleans, 8/9/07-8/12/07)
Forgive me but it was hard to notice until last night that Carlos Beltran 15 was back. He was of course; he returned from the disabled list on Friday, while Marlon Anderson 23 hit the bereavement list. Last night, Anderson was back and David Newhan 17 was again sent to the minors top make room.
Mike DiFelice by now is getting all the playing time you’d think he wouldn’t and so firmly established as the 22nd official member of the Sons of Jeff McKnight, or the three-number club:
Jeff McKnight 5, 7, 15, 17, 18
Kevin Collins 1, 10, 16, 19
Ed Lynch 34, 35, 36, 59
Darrel Sutherland 43, 45, 47
Cleon Jones 34, 12, 21
John Stephenson 12, 19, 49
Jim Hickman 6, 9, 27
Mike Jorgensen 10, 16, 22 (thanks, Chris)
Hank Webb 22, 29, 30
Hubie Brooks 62, 39, 7
Clint Hurdle 7, 13, 33
Chuck Carr 1, 7, 21
Kevin Elster 2, 15, 21
Charlie O’Brien 5, 22, 33
Ron Darling 12, 15, 44
Jason Phillips 7, 23, 26
David Cone 16, 17, 44
Jae Seo 40, 38, 26
Roger Craig 13, 36, 38
Lee Mazzilli 12, 16, 13
Pedro Feliciano 55, 39, 25
Mike DiFelice 33, 6, 9
Mike DiFelice is on his way back to the Mets this morning after Paul LoDuca 16 was sent to the disabled list with hamstring issues. This gives DiFelice a second shot at accruing some playing time while wearing No. 9 — his visit earlier this year ended without seeing any action.
It’s hard to say that another disappearance of LoDuca is actually going to hurt: He sadly has been of little help while he was in the lineups this year. But LoDuca’s not alone in his struggles.
More and more 2007 is resembling 2005, only instead of hanging around the .500 mark all year they’ve futzed around the ten-games-over-.500 mark. Like 2005, they’ve done it while Carlos Beltran secretly hides one or more injuries and players make too many outs on the basepaths. All we need now is for Shingo Takatsu to “bring the funk.”
Looks like we’ll have to wait until tonight’s game in Milwaukee to see what number new second baseman Luis Castillo alights in, though we’d be very surprised if it’s not his familiar No. 1.Castillo was acquired yesterday for two minor leaguers with dubious futures, so we can’t get too excited over Castillo, a chubby slap-hitter, especially while Ruben Gotay 6 iseems to have so much thunder in his bat. That said we’re on board with the upgrade in defense and the stability Castillo ought to bring to the lineup everyday.
Nor is the exciterment too high over the fact that Carlos Beltran 15 will be out of action for another 2 or 3 weeks (maybe 4). (Maybe 5). (Who knows). That the Phillies and Braves have been very aggressive at the deadline so far seem to indicate they’re ready to fight this thing to end. Still waiting to hear how the Mets will work out the roster, and there’s still 4 more hours to make a non-waiver trade, so updates soon.
Paul LoDuca’s Saturday injury and the recent demotion of Sandsy Alomar Jr. meant the Mets on Sunday recalled Mike DiFelice for the umpteenth time in the last three years (Umpteen = 4). The news here is that DiDelice is in his third uniform number (9) after previous stints in 33 (2005) and 6 (2006). Mike Pelfrey 34 was sent down to make room.
The Mets following a rare spring training victory today said Aaron Sele and ‘Bazooka’ Joe Smithwould be added to the big-league roster, a development that threw the Metly future of Chan Ho Park 61 into question. As things shake out it’s come down to Park, Ambiorix Burgos 40and optionless/hapless acquiree Jon Adkins 39 for the seventh and final bullpen slot; The Mets will go with four starters the first few times around before recalling Mike Pelfrey 34 to become the 5th starter. That may prove to reward precocious prospect Lastings Milledge 44 for a strong showing this spring seeing as outfielder Ben Johnson 4 was cut today (along with lesser hopefuls Mike Carp 64, Lino Urdaneta 68, Anderson Hernandez 1, Ruben Gotay 6, Mike DiFelice 30 and Sandy Alomar Jr. 90).
Spring leaders of the Ring-Bell for Adkins-Johnson trade are the Padres, who’ve gotten a 0.90 ERA out of Heath Bell thus far.
Word from the Daily News is the Mets will commemorate Smith’s promotion by slashing his uniform number in half, from 70 to 35. Ironically, that’s the same number they tried to assign to last year’s righthanded submariner, Chad Bradford, before Bradford fled for the quirkier 53.Troublingly, that’s also the number rosters list Sele as wearing, unless Sele switched while I wasn’t looking (entirely possible). Any help? Thanks.
Thanks to Matt for the tip — Mets.com has posted a new roster page, assigning numerals to the 40 men on the 40-man. Though these lists have proven unreliable in the past, they’re usually fun and sometimes surprising. Right off the bat, we’re surprised to see Damion Easley be assigned No. 3 when he’s more often associated with No. 2 (even though the latter belongs to Sandy Alomar); and Scott Schoeneweis listed in 36 rather than his customary 60. We wouldn’t be surprised to see either change before the bell rings on the new season.
Other new guys and their alleged numbers:
Jon Adkins 39
Adam Bostick 72
Ambiorix Burgos 40
Jorge Sosa 29 (goodbye, Steve Trachsel)
Jason Vargas 43
Ruben Gotay 6 (poifict!)
Carlos Gomez 61
Ben Johnson 4
David Newhan 17
Points of interest in Nonroster Inviteeland:
Aaron Sele 35
Mike DiFelice 30 (this would be his 3rd number in 3 calls for the Mets)
Ruben Sierra 19 (yes, Ruben Sierra)
Shawn Green arrived tonight and is in the lineup wearing No. 20, most recently belonging to Victor Diaz,who was sprung to make room for Green on the 40. Disappointing would-be spare part Ricky Ledee 9 was released to make room for him.
The Mets in the meantime had more injury news to share: Ramon Castro 11, who suffered a setback in his rehab assignment earlier this week, was tranferred to the 60-day disabled list making any chance he’ll rejoin the Mets this year a longshot. Telegraphing doubts both in Castro’s return and Mike DiFelice’s usefulness, the Norfolk Tides signed veteran backstop Kelly Stinnett,who played for the Mets 11 years ago wearing No. 33.Prediction, DiFelice bequeaths the No. 6 jersey to Stinnett in no time, or the Mets go fish for another backup and soon.
Also, they said Orlando Hernandez 26 would skip his next turn, giving Brian Bannister a start for the first time since pulling a hammy in San Francisco in April. You should remember him as No. 40.That means lefty project Oliver Perez will likely get Tom Glavine’s scheduled start on Saturday: Perez is currently wearing No. 47 in Norfolk, and was 48 and 59 in Pittsburgh. The Mets following Thursday’s win sent Lastings Milledge 44 down to Norfolk to make room for Bannister. Wow.
Backup catcher Mike DiFelice isn’t much of a player, and isn’t likely here for long, therefore fulfilling the two requirements of the men who wear the No. 6 jersey, Wally Backmannotwithstanding. (Thanks to the several readers who wrote in to point out his uni number today). For the record, DiFelice becomes the 32nd guy to wear No. 6, which is remarkable considering the Mets have had 44 years to find a longtime tenant. It also extends 6’s lead for most frequently issued over 34, which has been given out 30 times already but dealt a potentially hard blow with the recent Mike Pelfrey promotion. Coming on strong, much to the consternation of Met fans and certain of their broadcasters, is 17 (29 issues) continuing to be a questionable destination for bombs like Dae Sung Koo and Jose Lima.