It was another day of small moves for the Mets, as they acquired utility infielder Brandon Hicks from the Oakland A’s for cash considerations. The 27-year-old was picked in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft by the Atlanta Braves, and made his debut with the organization in 2010. He’s had limited time in the Majors throughout the last three seasons, with appearing in 22 games and accumulating 64 at-bats for the A’s in 2012 being the most action he’s gotten in the Show to date.
Although Hicks put together a .172/.243/.391 line with 3 homers and 7 RBI for Oakland, he played shorstop, second base, and first base, proving his versatility in the field. While has hasn’t earned much playing time at the MLB level, he’s played at least 90 games in Triple-A the last two years. Hicks didn’t exactly hit the cover off the ball (.252 BA in ’11 and .244 BA in ’12), but he’s displayed his power potential by hitting 18 homers in each of his last two seasons, and has also been able to get on base at about a .340 clip during that time. Michael Baron of MetsBlog said Hicks will likely be brought into Spring Training to create a competition amongst the players for the utility infielder job, one that Ronny Cedeno occupied last year. He does make a good point in the fact that New York should look to bring in a more proven player to add to the competition. They don’t necessarily need to be expensive, but someone like Ryan Theriot or Mike Fontenot are worthy looking into. Maybe we’ll do that later today…
In another small move, the Mets confirmed they’ve agreed to a minor league deal with rehabbing reliever Tim Byrdak. The southpaw is currently recovering from surgery that repaired the torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, the same procedure both Johan Santana and Chris Young had to recently endure. It’s unclear as to how long Byrdak will need to fully recover and contribute at the Major League level; it will likely take him about a calendar year, which would put him in line to return at the end of August or early September. Obviously, the Mets aren’t counting on Byrdak to be healthy for the majority of the season, but this was a nice move to allow him to continue rehabbing with familiar medical staff and at familiar facilities, as the 39-year-old is determined to come back and pitch in the Majors.
The Mets announced southpaw starter Jonathon Niese will be making an appearance around 12:30pm in Long Beach to help the continued efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Sandy; Niese will be at the Ice Arena, which has been designated as a FEMA donation center. He will be helping hand out all types of cleaning supplies with other volunteers.
Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, is in the final stages with New York City to agree upon building a stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, as the league looks to have their 20th team join by 2016. In addition to reaching a deal with NYC, they will also have to talk with the Mets to use the parking lots that would be between Citi Field and the proposed stadium.
Just in case you were wondering, there is nothing new in the David Wright negotiations, despite Evan Longoria agreeing to a six-year/$100 million extension with the Tampa Bay Rays. Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that New York has not seriously looked into trading Wright just yet, as they’re still hopeful for an extension to be agreed upon. Adam Rubin reported that the Mets have finally made an official offer to their third baseman, believed to be sixx-years/$100 million, which will likely be rejected. I mean, seriously guys? I’m so tired of seeing the same news stories written by beat reporters day after day, and the same sound bites from everyone involved in the negotiations for at least two weeks now. Get a deal done already!
Former Mets manager Willie Randolph will be participating in next year’s World Baseball Classic, as he joins the squad to become their third base coach. It’s a star studded staff, as Joe Torre will be leading the way as manager. He’s brought on Larry Bowa as the bench coach, Gerald Perry as the hitting coach, Dale Murphy as first base coach, Greg Maddux as pitching coach, and Marcel Lachemann as the bullpen and pitching coach. Most recently, Willie was the third base coach for the Orioles in 2011. The addition of Randolph shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he worked with Torre during his 11-year tenure as a base and bench coach for the Yankees.