Mets manager Terry Collins gave some fairly optimistic quotes Monday regarding third baseman David Wright’s return timetable for spinal stenosis, but when general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about it later he downplayed the optimism.
Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there’s been “no change” in Wright’s status and he’s not ready to resume baseball activities yet. Wright has been out since mid-April and will almost surely require a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list, so he may simply run out of time to play again this season.
Daniel Murphy has shifted from second base to third base in Wright’s absence, with Wilmer Flores shifting from shortstop to second base and Ruben Tejada taking over at shortstop. There’s also been some speculation that the Mets could make a trade for a veteran third baseman, with Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers being a possibility.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the Mets and Brewers have had trade discussions lately involving third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura.
It’s no surprise that the Mets are looking for upgrades on the left side of the infield, as David Wright has been out since mid-April with back issues and there is no timetable for his return. The Mets hope to get him back shortly after the All-Star break, but it’s still not known how frequently he would be able to play.
Meanwhile, Mets shortstops Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada have combined to put up a .665 OPS at the position, roughly 30 points below the league average.
Neither Ramirez nor Segura have had good seasons. But Ramirez, 37, has hit better as of late and the 25-year-old Segura would be under team control through 2018. Ramirez plans to retire after the season and is owed the remainder of his $14 million salary.
The Mets began the season at 13-3, but they are just 28-37 since, even if you include Friday’s win over the Dodgers. Missing key pieces like David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, and Daniel Murphy along the way, a lack of offense has been a big reason for the slide. The Mets have scored two runs or fewer in 13 out of their last 15 games. There’s understandably a lot of frustration in the fanbase right now, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com yesterday that Terry Collins doesn’t deserve to be on the hot seat.
“We’re a .500 team,” the GM continued. “We haven’t been moving in the right direction — I understand that. We’ve had a lot of people hurt for a long period of time. We’ve got some young guys in particular that are not hitting. We’ve got some older players that have tried to carry the load. I think to put all of this on Terry would be grossly unfair.”
Alderson added that he doesn’t think there should be a “Terry Collins watch,” but the speculation figures to continue as the Mets go into their toughest stretch of the season. During their current West Coast trip, they have two more games against the Dodgers before going to San Francisco to play the Giants for three. They’ll go into the All-Star break with three against the Diamondbacks at home before beginning the second half with a six-game road trip against the Cardinals and Nationals. They’ll then come home for a four-game series against the Dodgers, just days before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. This stretch could go a long way toward determining whether the Mets have a real shot at contention. And if they continue to fade, it’s not a stretch to think that it could end up costing Collins his job, even if it’s undeserved.
Collins is in his fifth season as Mets manager and owns a 345-384 (.473) record. He’s in the final guaranteed year of his contract.
The Reds sit at 36-41 on the year and are widely-expected to be sellers leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. However, contrary to some speculation, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer today that he has no plans to trade third baseman Todd Frazier.
“No, I wouldn’t trade him,” he said. “I think all that talk is coming from the New York media.”
He’s not wrong. With David Wright’s status in question due to spinal stenosis, some in the New York media have opined that Frazier would be a “perfect fit” for the Mets. He’s second in the majors with 25 home runs, so his production is a big part of that, but he’s also from Toms River, New Jersey and would bring that local flavor to the mix. It makes sense in a hypothetical scenario, but it’s mostly wishful thinking. The 29-year-old Frazier is making $3.75 million this year and $8.25 million in 2016 before one final year of arbitration in 2017, so he could bring a monster haul if the Reds decide to move him, but there’s nothing to indicate that they have considered it. There’s also no rush to make a decision on his future unless they are overwhelmed by an offer.
While Frazier is off the table, impending free agents like Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake are likely to be traded in the next month. Aroldis Chapman, a luxury for a non-contender, could also be dealt.