From Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
“We will listen on [David] Wright for sure,” a Mets official told me during the week. “We know we are not going to win it all in 2012. We have to hope the Phillies get old and we are in position to take advantage of that in 2013-14, and we have to figure out ways to speed the process to get there.”
The honesty is refreshing. And the quote is no joke. According to Sherman, the Mets have already begun “focusing upon” the Angels’ roster, which boasts two young center fielders in Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout.
Trout, with his rare combination of power and speed, is thought to be untouchable — even for a five-time All-Star like Wright. But Bourjos could be thrown into a package with a couple of young, cost-controlled pitchers. Sherman names Tyler Chatwood, Garrett Richards and John Hellweg as possibilities.
It’s not known if negotiations are taking place at the moment, but, as Sherman notes, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is “unafraid to make unpopular decisions” and has been given license to do so. If the Mets are actually going to rebuild correctly, stocking the roster with young talent is a correct first step. But if they’re open to shopping Wright, we can probably already rule them out of the Jose Reyes sweepstakes as well.
These next few seasons could be a little rough for fans of New York’s National League team.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.