According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, Edgardo Alfonzo wants one more shot to end his career with the Mets.
“My dream is to retire with the Mets colors,” Alfonzo said. “That’s my
dream. That’s what I’m praying for, maybe it will happen, maybe not,
but dreams sometimes come true, you know.
Alfonzo is a beloved Met, having
spent eight seasons with the club, including their World Series run in
2000. Now 36 years old, he hasn’t played in the majors since 2006 as a
member of the Blue Jays. Since then, he’s had quite the road map, making
stops with the Long Island Ducks, the Mexican League, the Venezuelan
winter league and most recently this season, as a member of the Yomiuri
Giants in Japan. Alfonzo has a .284/.357/.425 line and 1532 career hits in the majors, but hasn’t
had more than 87 at-bats in a season since 2005.
“I’m prepared for anything,” Alfonzo said earlier this week. “Baseball
is the one thing in my life that I know how to do. I don’t expect to
play every day, but I feel I can help anytime. I can say many things
with my mouth, but I have to prove it.”
That Alfonzo wants another shot is
fine. Heck, I’ll root for the guy. Bring him to Port St. Lucie and see
what he can do. The Mets owe him that much. However, Kernan doesn’t just give credence to the idea
of a comeback, he outright endorses it, writing that Alfonzo could
“offer some guidance and wisdom to a team that lacked baseball common
sense” and that “he could toss some helpful advice David Wright’s way.”
What? That he shouldn’t sign with
the Giants? Listen, I’m often guilty of using my heart instead of my
head, that’s what fans do, but the notion that he can flip some sort of switch on this team
is patently ridiculous.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.