Mets general manager Sandy Alderson participated in a Q & A session with season ticket holders earlier today at Citi Field and was asked about speculation on Twitter and blogs regarding Daniel Murphy as a potential trade candidate. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Alderson downplayed the possibility of a trade while offering some words of wisdom about Internet trade speculation:
“Look, we have a real appreciation for Dan Murphy. Murphy is somebody who is an offensive player, who has really done some things this year to improve himself as an offensive player. His on-base percentage is much higher than it has been in recent years. He goes the other way. So there’s no question in terms of this ballpark, he’s been a plus. You know, we talk about all the time: We’re looking for players that are willing to play in New York or can play in New York. He hits in New York. He hits in this ballpark.
“He’s done a nice job getting himself to the point where he plays second base as well as he does. So, you know, I haven’t been on Twitter in a long time. So I know you haven’t been reading my tweets. And I don’t think you’ve been reading them from Terry [Collins] either. So, at this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight.”
This explains why Alderson hasn’t responded to my tweets regarding trade ideas for Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. I see how it is. You are only hurting yourself, dude.
Alderson burst onto the Twitter scene with a series of entertaining jokes about the team’s finances in the spring of 2012, but the tweets have been few and far between since. His last tweet was in February of this year to encourage folks to vote for Mets captain David Wright as the “Face of MLB.”
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.
The Nationals announced on Saturday afternoon that the club acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn.
Melancon, 31, put together another solid season for the Pirates, leaving the club with 30 saves, a 1.51 ERA, and a 38/9 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. He led the majors last season with 51 saves and has a 1.80 ERA since joining the Pirates in 2013. Melancon is earning $9.65 million this season and can become eligible for free agency after the season.
With Melancon out of the picture, the Pirates intend to have Tony Watson take over the closer’s role.
Rivero, 25, has handled the seventh and eighth innings for the Nationals this season, compiling a 4.53 ERA and a 53/15 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He’s just shy of one year of service time, so the Pirates will have control of him for a long time.
Hearn, 21, was rated the Nationals’ 27th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft but he didn’t sign and ended up going back to college. The Nationals took him in the fifth round of last year’s draft. This season, between rookie ball and Single-A Hagerstown, Hearn put up a 2.79 ERA and a 39/13 K/BB ratio in 29 innings. He’s a long way away from the majors, so he’s essentially a lottery ticket for the Pirates.
The Nationals needed an upgrade at closer as Jonathan Papelbon has struggled this season. The right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances, ballooning his ERA up to 4.41 with a 30/13 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see how Papelbon, who has never made a habit of letting his feelings go unspoken, handles a demotion to the eighth inning.