The Mets can't walk and chew gum at the same time

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That’s not just some jerky Braves fan saying that, according to Murray Chass, the people that try to deal with them are saying it:

But more than one agent cited the Mets’ inability to deal with more
than one free agent at a time as the primary reason they lost out on
free agents. “We’re interested in your guy,” more than one agent
recalled the Mets saying, “but we have to deal with this other guy
first.”

In one instance, the Mets were a player’s first choice, an agent
said, but he was one or two down on the Mets’ pecking order – a phrase
used by another agent – and the player and the agent weren’t going to
wait for the Mets to deal with them. They went elsewhere.

Another agent said that Omar Minaya, the Mets’ general manager, told
him at the winter meetings in December that the Mets would address
their catching need in January. “How can they wait and be sure what
will be there?” the agent asked.

All of this squares with Ken Rosenthal’s report from last week that the team hasn’t approached the offseason with a coherent plan.  Indeed, Rosenthal suggested that everything is being micromanaged by Jeff Wilpon and that Omar is being bypassed. Chass notes that none of the agents he spoke to negotiated directly with Wilpon, but even if he’s not handling the actual negotiations doesn’t mean that he’s not running the show. Indeed, the worst micromanagers I’ve ever dealt with came up with the stupid plans themselves but made me carry them out so that they wouldn’t take the heat.

But regardless of who’s calling the shots here, it seems pretty clear that the Mets’ basic approach is totally screwed up. Too linear. It’s like Khan getting pwned by Kirk in the final battle because he thinks of space in two-dimensional terms. And Omar and the Wilpons don’t even have a Genesis Device they can activate to at least make their competitor’s victory a costly one.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.