Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has some very important decisions to make about the future of the franchise in the coming weeks and months. Various scenarios have been discussed and speculated in the media, including the possibility of parting with both David Wright and Jose Reyes.
Chipper Jones has been torturing the Mets on a regular basis since the mid-90s, so he has a unique perspective on the well-being of his division rivals. When asked by the New York Daily News yesterday whether the Mets should keep either Wright or Reyes for the long-term, Jones put his support behind his fellow third baseman.
“David is certainly the cornerstone that you would like to build your organization around,” Jones said before hitting a monster homer in Friday night’s 6-3 victory over the Mets. “Unfortunately they have two players that are very dynamic on the left side of the infield that you would like to build your team around. That’s a very tough decision to make if you can only keep one as an organization.”
“I don’t know Jose as well, but I do know that when he’s at the top of his game, he’s the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the game,” Jones said of Reyes, who figures to command big money as a free agent. “And he is also a guy that you would want to build your team on top of.
“It’s something that they are going to have to weigh their options. But, off the top of my head, if you are asking me my opinion, I would want to build my team around David Wright.”
Not a particularly surprising answer, though if Alderson starts taking advice from Jones, the Mets are in worse shape than I thought. The man clearly can’t be trusted.
The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.
As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.
The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.
A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:
I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.
This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.
Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.
Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.
Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.