Meet the Mets
The Mets made their first two signings of the offseason. They're only minor league deals with spring training invites but the Mets added 30-year old utility man Anthony Seratelli and righty pitcher Joel Carreno. Seratelli is from Old Bridge, NJ. He went undrafted out of Seton Hall and played in the independent Frontier League before signing with the Royals. He has a career .385 OBP in two seasons at AAA. Could he be the new Justin Turner? Carreno, meanwhile, comes from the Blue Jays organization. Here's a scouting report from 2011.
There are more rumors churning out of the rumor mill, as the Mets have shown preliminary interest in free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson. They could certainly do a lot worse than the ex-Yankees slugging outfielder (you saw the Mets' 2013 outfield, right?).
Another option, this time via the trade market, could be Dodgers' veteran Andre Ethier. He's had some injury issues and he's probably a bit overpaid at age 32 in April but at the end of the day, he still put up a solid 120 wRC+ and 2.9 fWAR in 2013. He'd be an upgrade at the right price.
Jon Heyman says the Mets love Shin-Soo Choo but they don't appear to love his price. It's early and this could easily be posturing but it seems a little scary to hear that the Mets don't even consider Jacoby Ellsbury a $100 million player. I get financial prudence but with prices for everybody rising, it's important to be able to adjust to where the market is going.
In the Post, Mike Puma reports that Joe Saunders could be a fallback plan in the rotation for the Mets. He wasn't great in 2013 but was pretty solid in 2012. Certainly not a sexy name but he could give them some steady innings on a short term deal.
Richard Justice writes that the Mets could be headed in the right direction thanks to some financial flexibility and their young pitching.
Around the Majors
This isn't shocking but the Yankees plan to go all in on Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka.
The Red Sox have a bunch of starters but apparently, they really want Tim Hudson. They're also said to be making a strong play for Carlos Beltran.
The Reds signed catcher Brayan Pena, which will likely make veteran backup Ryan Hanigan available. I don't know what he'd cost in a trade but even coming off of a down offensive year, he'd be a nice backup for the Mets and strong insurance in case of a Travis d'Arnaud injury. Hanigan is a fantastic defender and has been a useful hitter prior to 2013.
Peter Gammons writes that while small market teams were incredibly successful in 2013, the draft restrictions swing favor towards the big market teams.
A downtown Tampa stadium for the Rays may be within reach, says Tampa's mayor Bob Buckhorn.
In case you want to waste some time this offseason, Beyond the Box Score has a saber-friendly baseball crossword puzzle that you can play with.
Did you know that for years, MLB's schedule was created by a husband and wife duo? It's true.
Yesterday At AA
We announced the champtions of the AAOP contest! Congrats to all of the winners.
Steve Sypa wrote about Korean reliever Seung-Hwan Oh.
Chris McShane wrote about Travis d'Arnaud's pitch blocking, which was an issue in his brief big league stint.
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