There hasn’t been anything official yet between the Mets and Brandon Lyon, but Sandy Alderson is still confident a deal will get done, which he says would complete the winter makeover of the bullpen. While it was revealed that southpaw prospect Darin Gorski would get a look this Spring in a relief role, I was more interested to hear about what the organizational plans were for both Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, if everything goes to plan with regard to the starting rotation and bullpen, both Mejia and Familia could be seeing themselves starting the 2013 regular season with Wally Backman and the Las Vegas 51s in Triple-A. Over the past few months, we’ve heard that both young hurlers were being projected as relievers in the Big Leagues, but when pitchers and catchers report next week, Mejia will be working as a starter, while Familia will be in the ‘pen. Even though the rotation is set with Johan Santana, Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and the newly acquired Shaun Marcum, the organization could definitely use some depth in the Triple-A starting rotation beyond Zack Wheeler in case they need to dip down into the system to get some spot starts, especially if they don’t plan on giving a veteran starter a minor league deal.
Similarly with Familia, he may be headed out west if the bullpen shakes out with the incumbent pitchers and veteran acquisitions there, but Alderson also mentioned that since they don’t have a lot invested in their off-season acquisitions for the ‘pen, it would be a lot easier to make a move that would create some room for Juerys. New York has signed a good amount of experience to minor league deals this winter, and I think it’s a good mix of young players and veterans that could actually make the bullpen one of the team’s strengths. I know, crazy talk, right?
It looks like a long shot for Santana to eventually become eligible to participate for Team Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic, but Marc Carig tweets he’s going to do what he can to try and work himself through the system to make it happen. Even if he passes the necessary physicals, the WBC still has to insure the $31 million Johan is due this year (salary plus buyout) in order for him to participate. I understand why Johan wants to represent his country; he’s healthy for the first time since going into the ’08 season, he may not be able to play in the WBC next time the tournament is held, and he wants to show off his Venezuelan pride. However, at the end of the day, he’s being paid top dollar to pitch for the New York Mets, not Venezuela. Alderson said it’s out of their power to influence a decision, but it would be prudent of Johan to not pitch. However, the reasons to play are obvious.
If you’re wondering exactly what Sandy Alderson said to the media yesterday at Citi Field, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Danny Abriano cited each of Alderson’s main comments regarding the 2013 team, while providing his reactions. And yes, not only did he talk about Brandon Lyon, he mentioned the latest on Michael Bourn, and the fact that the Mets are not that far off from contention. You heard that right.
Last spring, Terry Collins was disappointed that Ruben Tejada didn’t report to camp early to start creating some chemistry with his new double play partner, Daniel Murphy. However, Tejada is determined to not repeat what happened last year, as he’s set to report to PSL this Saturday, a whole eight days before his mandatory report date. He’s been in New York since January 24th, and has been working out with Jose Reyes at his Garden City training facility. The focus of their time together? To steal more bases. Tejada is hoping to make the leadoff spot his home in the lineup, and unless Bourn signs with the Amazin’s, I think that’s the best spot for him. I’ll provide more of my opinion on that later today.