All right everyone, let’s get caught up before the winter meetings start and the big names start to arrive.
I can’t think they fired Buck Showalter only to wind up with a Yankee coach nobody’s ever heard of, so it seems like someone miscalculated the ease with which they’d gather in Craig Counsell. I was no fans of Counsell anyway so I’m glad he’s not here but in the end I’d have stayed with Buck all along.
Carlos Mendoza will wear No. 28, and said all the right things at his press conference, but we’ve heard plenty of good press conferences before.
Mendoza’s staff will include returning hero John Gibbons as bench coach, Jeremy Hefner remains as pitching coach and Eric Chavez mercifully becomes the hitting coach again. New to the staff is first-base coach Antoan Richardson and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh. None of these new guys have been assigned numbers yet; Gibbons wore 8 for the Mets until Gary Carter came along, then took 43 and 45.
There’s been the beginnings of moves for a bullpen and bench. Tyler Heineman, claimed off waivers from Toronto, is a defensive catcher who can’t hit. There’s Cooper Hummel, a multiposition player claimed on waivers from Seattle. Joey Wendle is another versatile player and could serve in the same role as Luis Guillorme did last year, hopefully minus the getting the hurt and not contributing upon his return.
Pitchers include a few relievers I’ve never heard of: Kyle Crick and Cole Sulser each signed to a minor league deal from Tampa Bay; Carlos Guzman, signed to a minor league deal from the Cubs; and Austin Adams, signed from Arizona. Then there’s Luis Severino, the one-time Yankee ace who was one of the worst pitchers in the league last year. Severino wore No. 40 in the Bronx; that currently belongs to Drew Smith.
In addition to Guillorme, Daniel Vogelbach, Trevor Gott, Sam Coonrod and Jeff Brigham we not tendered contracts and became free agents.
I don’t pretend to know what awaits the Mets on the free agent and trading markets but reports that the Yankees somehow have a leg up in the Yamamoto sweepstakes by reserving his No. 18 seems worth a thought here. The Mets could play that game too if they weren’t suddenly retiring every number. They in fact used 18–a number traditionally reserved for aces in Japan–for Takashi Kashiwada and Ryota Igarashi, though safe to say, neither was an ace. But both came years after Darryl Strawberry left Flushing in 1990 and nobody seemed to care.