Meet the Mets
Joel Sherman of the Post reviews the Mets’ internal options for the designated hitter role, which include Robinson Canó, Pete Alonso, and J.D. Davis, among others.
Darryl Strawberry chatted with Bob Klapisch of NJ.com about his time with the Mets and the Yankees.
The Mets will have to decide whether they can still count on James McCann as their everyday catcher. If not, a move at catcher wouldn’t be all that far-fetched (according to MLB Trade Rumors), especially given the work the Mets have done to bolster their starting rotation.
Around the National League East
Bobby Blanco of MASN takes a look at the state of the Nationals’ farm system on the position player side of things, where most of the big names are in the low levels of the minor leagues.
The Miami Herald ran a feature on Marlins 22-year-old pitching prospect Zach McCambley and his approach to his development.
Around Major League Baseball
A lawyer for Major League Baseball argued in court on Friday that minor league players should remain unpaid during spring training because they should be considered trainees, not employees. “It is the players that obtain the greater benefit from the training opportunities that they are afforded than the clubs, who actually just incur the cost of having to provide that training,” said Elise Bloom of Proskauer Rose, according to reporting by Evan Drellich of The Athletic. “During the training season, the players are not employees, and would not be subject to either the Fair Labor Standards Act or any state minimum wage act.”
The competitive balance tax remains a contentious issue in labor talks. The league marginally increased the CBT threshold and eliminated the loss-of-draft-pick punishment. However, tax rates remain high for exceeding the tiered thresholds and players argue that regardless of what that threshold is, the high tax rates are still an impediment to spending.
The league has also proposed limiting the number of times a player can be optioned in the course of one season to five. The players have proposed limiting it to four times.
Spring training will “definitely” be delayed, tweeted Bob Nightengale of USA Today yesterday. “And unless there’s an agreement by Feb. 28, Opening Day will be delayed.”
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic share similar sentiments that there is “no reason to believe” that the season will start on time at this point.
Baseball labor relations expert Eugene Freedman pointed out the quick change in tone on the part of the league from Rob Manfred saying he was making a “good offer” and that cancelling games would be “disastrous” to his personal spokesperson saying that the league knew its current proposal had “no hope to facilitate a deal in days,” per a tweet from Jon Heyman.
The White Sox are requiring vaccination for all minor league players before they report to spring training, as they did last year with 100% compliance.
This Date in Mets History
On this date in 2003, a then forty-year-old David Cone signed on with the Mets to try for a comeback, but his final MLB stint was short-lived before being hindered by injury.