Meet the Mets
The Mets made their first major post-lockout move yesterday, acquiring All-Star starting pitcher Chris Bassitt from the Oakland A’s in exchange for J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller.
With the trade of Ginn, Eric Ozre is now the only player in the Mets system remaining from their 2020 draft class.
But Tim Healey of Newsday notes that turning Adam Oller—a player the Mets acquired from the Giants in the minor league Rule 5 draft—into part of a deal for Chris Bassitt is “a win” for Mets scouting and player development.
Edwin Díaz was reportedly pleased to hear about the Bassitt deal, although Mike Puma of the Post points out that the Mets’ rotation is entirely right-handed.
The Mets aren’t done adding pitching, though. They have their eyes on bullpen help as well, with Josh Hader, Andrew Chafin, and Collin McHugh specifically mentioned as targets.
Max Scherzer threw his first bullpen as a Met at camp yesterday. He threw 45 pitches.
Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner stepped to the plate and played the role of the hitter for Scherzer’s bullpen and was very impressed with what he saw. “He is one of the best pitchers of all time, but considering what he has gone through in the last two weeks with the labor situation, he was so dialed in,” Hefner said. “He knew exactly what he wanted to do.”
“We can be talking about the pros and cons [of the deal] at a later time,” Scherzer said to reporters yesterday. “We’ve got to realize that we’ve got baseball back. The fans want to hear us talk about baseball. I’m out here getting ready for the season.”
In speaking to reporters at Mets camp, Scherzer said that Jacob deGrom is “the reason I’m here.”
Speaking of deGrom, he is due to arrive at camp today.
Brandon Nimmo hasn’t had any extension talks with the Mets yet, but he is interested. “This is all I’ve known, being a New York Met, and I like the direction this team is heading,” he said.
Jordan Yamamoto, whose 2021 season was shortened by injury has also arrived at Mets camp and is throwing. He would normally be out of options, but he is eligible for a fourth option this season because he used all three options before completing five qualified seasons.
Will the new “Cohen tax” actually put a limit on Steve Cohen’s spending? Joel Sherman of the Post explores that question and more.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets would indeed be willing to exceed that $290 million threshold “if the right opportunity came along.”
Speaking of Steve Cohen’s finances, Point72—Cohen’s hedge fund—will soon begin redeeming the $750 million it invested in Melvin Capital Management from when the firm was dealing with the Reddit-inspired short squeeze that led to huge losses.
The Mets rounded out the top 5 in the year’s first Power Rankings from MLB.com.
Around the National League East
An old friend made a deal with a division rival yesterday. The Phillies signed Jeurys Familia to a one-year, $6 million deal.
The A’s have reportedly refused to trade Matt Chapman to the Phillies unless they get one of Philadelphia’s top prospects in return. The Phillies have been reluctant to part with those players.
The Braves remain “aggressive” in trying to bring back Freddie Freeman, but the Dodgers and other clubs also remain in pursuit of the star first baseman. The Braves are interested in Matt Olsen if things do not pan out with Freeman.
The Braves did sign catcher Chadwick Tromp to a minor league deal.
The Nationals signed reliever Steve Cishek to a one-year deal.
The Marlins signed outfielder Roman Quinn—who has spent the last six seasons with the Phillies—to a minor league deal.
Around Major League Baseball
The Blue Jays signed lefty Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year, $36 million contract.
The Texas Rangers traded shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Mitch Garver.
Shortstop Jose Iglesias signed a one-year deal with the Rockies, filling the Trevor Story shaped hole on their roster.
The Rockies also signed reliever Alex Colomé to a one-year deal.
The White Sox signed reliever Joe Kelly to a two-year deal.
The White Sox also inked Josh Harrison to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with a club option for 2023.
The Angels signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.
The Orioles’ deal with Jordan Lyles, which was reported just before the lockout began, became official yesterday. It’s a one-year deal plus a club option for 2023.
The Orioles also signed catcher (and former Met) Robinson Chirinos to a $900,000 deal, plus incentives.
The Astros signed Niko Goodrum to a one-year, $2.1 million deal, plus incentives.
The Guardians signed catcher Luke Maile to a $900,00 contract.
The Tigers signed righty Miguel Diaz to a minor league deal.
Former Marlin Lewis Brinson agreed to a minor league deal with the Astros.
Anibal Sanchez impressed in his showcase yesterday in Miami and reportedly had an offer ten minutes after he finished throwing.
Johnny Cueto is also drawing interest from several teams.
Nelson Cruz could soon have a deal as well, with several NL teams looking to fill the DH spot.
Dennis Young of the New York Daily News wrote about Bob Nightengale’s coverage of MLB’s lockout and labor negotiations.
This Date in Mets History
Happy birthday, Johan Santana!