The Mets hire Paul DePodesta

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The New York Mets announced today that Paul DePodesta has been named Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson.  He joins J.P. Ricciardi in the “Former GMs Who Made Their Bones While Working for the Alderson/Beane ‘Moneyball’ Atheltics Teams Club.”

DePodesta’s tenure as Dodgers’ GM was kind of a pain for him. He only got two seasons — and only one offseason — as the Dodgers GM. Hired just as spring training was getting underway in 2004, he was let go right after the 2005 season ended.  Not all of his moves worked out, but he was hounded by the media — Bill Paschke and T.J. Simers called him “Google Boy” in ignorant disdain of his sabermetric background — and ultimately cut loose by Frank McCourt.One wonders what would have happened had he actually been given a chance to breathe. Oh well, a lack of respect for DePodesta seems to be a common theme, sadly. In the upcoming “Moneyball” movie he’s being replaced by a fictitious character played by Jonah Hill, who probably could not be a more polar opposite from DePodesta physically speaking. I’d think that would bug me more than getting canned by McCourt.

The important fact here, though, is that DePodesta is bright. As is J.P. Ricciardi. As is Sandy Alderson.  And in them, the Mets have a sharp-as-a-tack front office team working for them now.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.