A team source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Mets have identified Reed Johnson “as a potential fit” for their bench.
Johnson, who turned 34 earlier this week, batted .262/.291/.366 with two home runs and 15 RBI over 202 at-bats with the Dodgers this past season. Alarmingly, he drew only five walks all season and struck out 55 times, or in 24.8 percent of his at-bats. He has a .281/.340/.408 career batting line, including a .312 batting average and 836 OPS against left-handed pitching.
The Mets don’t have much wiggle room with their payroll this winter, but it would be smart to add some insurance for Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay. At the very least, Johnson has the reputation as a fine defender, and would likely come at a lesser cost than some of the alternatives in free agency, including Fred Lewis and Scott Hairston.
By the way, new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson hosted a conference call with a number of prominent Mets’ bloggers earlier this evening. MetsBlog has a number of interesting quotes from the call. Look forward to more of these in the future. And Mr. Alderson, invite me next time!
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.