The move didn’t officially come today, but that’s only because the Mets were rained out. David Wright will be placed on the DL Wednesday after a CT scan confirmed the diagnosis of a stress fracture in his lower back.
In all, the Mets are making six roster moves. Going are Wright, reliever Ryota Igarashi and infielder Chin-Lung Hu. Joining the roster are infielder Ruben Tejada, first baseman-outfielder Nick Evans, and reliever Pedro Beato, who is returning from the DL.
The plan is for Wright to cease baseball activies for 10 days. If he recovers well, he could rejoin the team in early June. However, a stress fracture is no minor injury and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he doesn’t make it back until after the All-Star break.
Tejada had been serving as Triple-A Buffalo’s shortstop after purposely being left out of the Mets’ second base competition this spring, but he figures to see most of the starts at second until Ike Davis returns. The Mets will primarily use Daniel Murphy at first and Justin Turner at third.
Tejada, who is still just 21 years old, was hitting .268/.337/.407 with three homers in 150 at-bats for the Bisons.
Evans should play only against lefties, probably at first base. He was off to a poor start for Buffalo, having hit .248/.285/.383 in 141 at-bats. However, he pummeled lefties to the tune of a .322/.379/.512 average in 121 at-bats for the Mets from 2008-10.
Beato will rejoin the pen. The Rule 5 selection from the Orioles didn’t allow an earned run in 17 innings before going down with a sore elbow.
Igarashi is being optioned out after giving up six runs in 11 2/3 innings. Hu, who was out of options, cleared waivers after going 1-for-20 with 11 strikeouts as a utilityman.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.