After waking up to the news that the Mets and David Wright had agreed to an extension, keeping the third baseman in Orange and Blue until 2020, yesterday ended with us learning they’ve also officially non-tendered pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Manny Acosta, and center fielders Andres Torres.
This news does not come as a shock to us, as it was leaked about a week ago that these three would be non-tendered. Pelfrey is the least surprising of all, as the right-hander only took to the hill three times before he was shut down to have Tommy John surgery in May. In 19.2 innings pitched, Big Pelf pitched to a 2.29 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with 13 strikeouts, while earning $5.68 million. We’ve heard Terry Collins and Dan Warthen both say publicly they’d like to see Pelfrey return in 2013 once he’s done rehabbing, and he could end up in Flushing, especially if New York ends up dealing R.A. Dickey or Jonathon Niese, as Michael Baron from MetsBlogpointed out. However, Pelfrey would rather start than relieving, and claims he’ll be ready to pitch by Opening Day. We’ll see who is interested in him on the open market.
On the other hand, Andres Torres had an awful year in his first, and hopefully last, season with the Mets, putting together a .230/.327/.337 line in 374 at-bats. He earned $2.7 million last season, and could have been looking at a $3.2 million deal for 2013 if he was offered arbitration. For someone who would at best be a bench player in Flushing (.195 BA vs. RHP, .286 BA vs. LHP in ’12), that’s way too much money to invest. He’s a great guy in the clubhouse, but that’s not enough to keep him around.
It was a tale of two halves for Manny Acosta, who pitched to an 11.86 ERA, 2.27 WHIP, and .361 opponent batting average before the All-Star game, earning a demotion to the minors. The 31-year-old came back and pitched effectively in 26 appearances, posting a 1.78 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and .148 opponent batting average. However, with the emergence of Josh Edgin and Robert Carson, combined with the upside of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and the signing of Greg Burke, it wasn’t worth re-signing Acosta for over $1 million.
With the Winter Meetings to get going on Monday, we’ll be able to see what route Sandy Alderson and the Mets will take to fill the holes in the roster for 2013. Thankfully, they have the piece of mind knowing that David Wright isn’t going anywhere. Sources have told Adam Rubin they’ll be making more moves within free agency rather than trades, but that remains to be seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Niese is traded for a young and proven bat, while Dickey is inked to an extension.
Three free agent outfielders New York could look into acquiring include Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, and yes, Angel Pagan. We heard earlier that there is enough financial flexibility to sign a free agent to a multi-year deal, and expect it to come in the outfield if they’re able to come to terms with a player. Ludwick or Ross could be good gets for the Amazins, as long as they don’t overspend in the second tier of the market. As for Pagan, he had a great year with the World Champion San Francisco Giants, but that doesn’t mean New York should be giving this a second try, especially when the first try ended up going horribly wrong.
Meanwhile, the Nationals non-tendered two players before last night’s midnight deadline that could be of interest to the Mets; first is catcher Jesus Flores. He was not offered a contract by Washington, making him a free agent. The right-handed hitting 28-year-old backstop hit .213/.248/.329 in 277 at-bats for the NL East champions in 2012. Throughout his career, he’s been more successful against left-handers (.252/.305/.425) than right-handers (.236/.281/.350) and could be a good candidate to split time behind the plate with Josh Thole, if they can’t make a trade for someone like J.P. Arencibia.
Also, southpaw John Lannan was non-tendered by the Nationals, putting him on the open market. The product of Chaminade High School in Nassau County on Long Island could find a home in Flushing, especially if Alderson finds a suitor to take either Niese or Dickey to give back the kind of return he desires. As the odd man out last season, Lannan pitched to a 4-1 record with a 4.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts in only 32.2 innings pitched. We’ll see how the next few days pan out as Alderson starts to implement his plan for 2013 now that he has the “clarity” he wanted before leaving for Nashville.