Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said before Wednesday’s season finale against the Marlins that his highest priority this offseason is to work out new deals with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. He’s determined to stay true to his word.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, a baseball source said that it’s “conceivable” that the club could have new deals with both players, at least in principle, by the time the World Series begins later this month.
The Mets hold club options on Wright ($16 million) and Dickey ($5 million) for next season, but each intend to test free agency if extensions aren’t worked out by spring training. Alderson has spoken with Wright’s representatives this week and it’s believed that he’ll seek a contract of at least seven years and $125 million. Alderson hasn’t discussed numbers with Dickey’s agent yet, but one “veteran agent” told Puma that the veteran knuckleballer will likely be getting “Oliver Perez dollars.” Painful reference aside, that means three years and $36 million.
It would be great news if the Mets can lock up their two big stars for the long haul, but the club is expected to have a payroll around $100 million in 2013. With Johan Santana ($25.5 million and $5.5 million buyout for 2014) and Jason Bay ($16 million and $3 million buyout for 2014) making up half of that total, you can forget about them doing anything significant in free agency this winter. And this report by Richard Sandomir in the New York Times indicates that ownership is still hard up for cash.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.