The Mets have a lot of GM irons in the fire

6 Comments

There are a handful of intriguing names in the mix to become the next Mets GM at the moment. Among them:

  • White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn, whom ESPN Chicago is reporting will interview with the team in the near future. Hahn was named as the top GM prospect in the game by Baseball America based on, I presume, his ability to work in the same office as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen and not develop a drinking problem or something;
  • Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes. I tend to think he got an unfair shake in Arizona and has some promise. Plus, Byrnes  is actually still on the Dbacks’ payroll, so it would be a nice costs savings move!
  • Former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart said that he’d be interested, but he’s been out of the GMs chair for a long time in a vague advisor’s position, and it’s not clear that they’d be interested in him; and
  • Former A’s GM and current MLB executive Sandy Alderson who, many believe anyway, was the real brains behind the Athletics’ rise to respectability in the late 90s and early 2000s, not Billy Beane.

So, three guys — Hahn, Byrnes and Alderson — who would be nice pickups are on the Mets’ radar. One guy — Hart — who probably isn’t a smart choice is showing more interest in them than they are in him.  That’s not a bad setup to have as you go into the interviewing process.

Why then do I have this feeling that the Mets will still screw it up?

Yankees sign top two draft picks

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.