Melky Cabrera Signs With Blue Jays; Mets Ink Brian Bixler
There was plenty of news coming out yesterday regarding the Mets as we continue to inch closer to the Winter Meetings. First off, one of their potential free agent outfield targets is off the market, as Melky Cabrera inked a two-year/$16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, continuing their busy week. Earlier this off-season, Mike Puma said that some baseball executives felt Cabrera could get around $8 million per season, but I’m surprised he found a team willing to give him a two-year deal.
With the type of reputation Cabrera has made for himself over the duration of his career, I didn’t think any team would be gambling with more than a one-year pact. That kind of contract would keep him motivated to perform, helping both parties in the end. However, the Blue Jays feel he’s worth it. To the Mets, one year would have been the perfect scenario if they were interested in Cabrera, but they were never linked to him, as they shouldn’t be. Now that he’s off the market, I’m glad we don’t have to speculate about the possibility of him coming to Flushing anymore.
June 26, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros infielder Brian Bixler (12) throws out a runner in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
In regards to the owners, David Lennon of Newsday reported that Bud Selig still supports how the Mets are going about their business, and has confidence in the direction they’re going. Although I’d rather see New York without the Wilpons heading the operations, I do believe in Sandy’s plan and think he’s moving this organization in the right direction. The most frustrating part is that rebuilding takes time, and when we’ve been waiting for another winner since Carlos Beltran struck out to end the 2006 NLCS, it seems like an eternity. However, MetsBlog displayed a tweet from Lennon saying that Zack Wheeler could be in the Big League rotation before the 2013 All-Star break. So, that’s exciting to think about and can make us wonder about who may be gone from the rotation by then.
One person associated with the Mets feels that offering up Jonathon Niese would be enough to acquire outfield Alex Gordon from the Kansas City Royals, but he wouldn’t make the trade because he’d rather hold onto young arms and spend wisely on offense next winter. Well, I got news for this guy; we need offense this year. Gordon would be a great pickup because he comes at a bargain, entering the second season of a four-year/$37.5 million deal, and hit .294 with 14 homers, 72 RBI, and 51 doubles last season. The fact of the matter is that starting pitching is the biggest strength of this team, and that’s what Alderson will have to deal away in order to improve the team. Whether that pitcher will be Niese, R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, or someone else remains to be seen.
Marc Craig from Newsday reported Sandy Alderson would like some “clarity” from the David Wright and Dickey negotiations before he leaves for the Winter Meetings. This doesn’t necessarily mean he wants agreements to extensions (although that would be nice), but he wants to have some assurance as to where their talks are headed. This makes sense, as he still needs to pursue other things to make the roster competitive for next season (i.e. another bullpen, an outfield, and a catcher). However, these two are still his top priority, and he wants to get these objectives crossed his to-do list before he moves on to the next one. With Thanksgiving less than a week away, he’s likely looking at the week and a half between the holiday and the Winter Meetings to really make some headway.
In what was a very small move yesterday, the Mets signed utility player Brian Bixler to a minor league contract, including an invite to MLB spring training. Although the 30-year-old didn’t impress much with his .193/.253/.330 line in 96 plate appearances, he did play second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field for the Astros in 36 games played. So, it’s clear that Alderson is looking to take a chance on Bixler to see if he can be productive enough to be a supersub, or at the very least, take Ronny Cedeno‘s spot on the bench from last year. Bixler has spent six years in Triple-A, posting a .279/.356/.401 line. I like this signing because it’s another very low risk, but high reward situation, like the Greg Burke sigining. If he doesn’t perform in the spring, then it’s not a huge financial commitment to either cut him or send him to Las Vegas.