It was another week filled with news, rumors, and opinion here at Rising Apple. Like last week, I think it’s best to put all of the solid articles written by our staff in one space. Were you gone on business all week or just didn’t have time to keep up with the latest news on the Hot Stove as it relates to our beloved Metsies? Don’t worry, we got you covered, all in one post.
Let’s start with the signings this week. First, Shaun Marcum passed his physical in New York, finalizing his one-year/$4 million contract to help round out the starting rotation for 2013. The right-hander can also earn up to another $4 million via incentives, and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York breaks it down nicely for us. Sandy Alderson continued to sign relievers to minor league deals, creating what will be quite the competition in Port St. Lucie. Former Red Sox Scott Atchison agreed to a deal that included an invite to Big League camp, followed by veteran LaTroy Hawkins also getting a similar deal. While discussing the Hawkins signing, I took a look at some of the other potential relievers still available, as Alderson said the Mets are still interested in adding to the ‘pen, particularly in the back-end since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of confidence in Frank Francisco. Brian Wilson has still been mentioned, but as recently as yesterday, both Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez (gasp!) are on New York’s radar.
Alderson made a couple of public appearances this week, leaving plenty of opportunity for us to analyze exactly what he said to see if he gave any inkling as to what we can expect for 2013 and beyond. Rich Sparago gave us a nice rundown last Sunday after Sandy made an appearance on Sirius XM Radio with both Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette. One of the things he talked about? The possibility of going to watch Brian Wilson throw off the mound again, hoping he’d show more velocity than the first time they watched him. Michael Lecolant provides his opinion on the topic, as he gives us the shrug of the shoulders and a good, old fashioned, “why not?” Alderson also made an appearance on Wednesday night at Citi Field with a handful of his front office executives to chat with season ticket holders, and he was forthwright and honest in his answers to the fans, which we really appreciated. Danny Abriano provides a couple of memorable quotes from that night, as well as a comparison to the same type of Q&A Alderson held with the fans back in August, which he was in attendance for.
So, what’s up with the outfield these days? A lot, but nothing at the same time. MLB Trade Rumors reported last night the Amazins signed Marlon Byrd to a minor league deal, as he’ll compete with Andrew Brown for the fifth outfielder roster spot. Early on in the week, I decided we all need to come to terms with what the outfield looks like, as at that time, it didn’t seem like Michael Bourn landing in Flushing was very likely. The fifth episode of The Rising Apple Report also chatted about Bourn and the Mets trying to get their first round pick protected.
Meanwhile, as the week dragged on, some optimism emerged for those in favor of the Mets signing Bourn, as Danny Abriano provided quotes from Peter Gammons after he appeared on MLB Network yesterday morning, as he gets a sense the MLB may rule in the favor of New York to protect the pick. Then, there were two of our most popular posts this week by both of our Dans; first Danny touched upon the potential free agent targets the Mets could target next winter for the 2014 season, while Dan Haefeli couldn’t sleep, and used the time to figure out why people are underrating Lucas Duda.
Michael Lecolant gave us a nice overview of players on the Big League roster and in the Mets’ farm system who played winter ball down in the Carribbean, while I chatted about the rumor surrounding Bobby Valentine‘s desire to be the next Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University. Also, if you like video games, be sure to sign up free for email alerts from FanSided, as you’ll automatically be entered to possibly win a copy of NBA 2K13 or Need For Speed Most Wanted.
Finally, we took our weekly trip back in time to salute Mets history, as I reflected on the Johan Santana deal, five years later, and put the spotlight on Lee Mazzilli as yesterday’s off-season player of the week.
So, there you have it; everything you need to catch up on this week’s Mets related news and rumors. Enjoy it and the rest of the weekend; another week closer to seeing pitchers and catchers report…