Mark Teixeira appeared on the YES Network last night and said that he hopes to be “swinging full-speed” in January. Of course swinging full-speed last March is what got him into this mess in the first place, but let us not dwell on that for the time being.
Teixeira, as you know, suffered a torn tendon sheath while preparing to play in the World Baseball Classic last spring. It did not respond well to treatment and he ended up having surgery over the summer. He now thinks he can be playing in spring training games by March.
Sadly, Teixiera’s timetables have not lived up to expectations, so the Yankees would do well not to count on him as their everyday first baseman.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.