Sandy Alderson has totally revamped the Mets scouting system

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In the Rotoworld Draft Guide — which you should totally buy now — I wrote an article ranking the top transactions of the offseason. I included the Mets hiring of Sandy Alderson in the top 10. It was the only non-player signing I mentioned. I mentioned it for good reason. Stuff like what the Daily News is reporting about how he has totally revamped the scouting department:

In contrast to Omar Minaya’s method of assigning pro scouts to a large number of major league teams (special assistant Bryan Lambe, for example, covered the entire National League last year), Alderson’s Mets will charge each pro scout with covering just three organizations, but far more comprehensively than before – from the low minor leagues to the major league club. J.P. Ricciardi will oversee their work.

“I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to do it, but this gives you a little more continuity,” Ricciardi said. “Getting guys on a system, from A-ball to Double-A to Triple-A, gives you a better understanding of what the organization is doing.”

I don’t believe for a second that anyone as famously, um, confident as J.P. Ricciardi believes that there isn’t a right way and a wrong way and that he isn’t now in charge of the right way.

And I can’t help but think that giving guys less breadth of responsibility but greater depth will help improve the Mets’ scouting operation.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.