While appearing on WFAN radio in New York today Peter Gammons said that he thinks Bobby Valentine will be the Mets’ next manager. Thanks to Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com, here’s the transcript:
I think there are two things: One, he has a history and a good working relationship with Omar Minaya. And two, he is one guy that, though Jeff Wilpon will not always like what he hears from Bobby, I think they can have a relationship where Bobby could say to Jeff, “No, we’re not doing this, that’s the wrong thing,” and in the end they’ll win out together, because they have a mutual respect. I just think now is the right time to bring Bobby back.
Valentine is at the point now where he’s basically linked to every managerial opening and he was nearly hired by the Marlins earlier this season.
He managed the Mets from 1996 to 2002 and made the playoffs just twice in six full seasons, but one of the playoff appearances was a trip to the World Series and he had a .534 winning percentage overall. Cerrone would be on board with the move, saying that Valentine “is exactly the type of person you mold your team around” and “he embodies everything Mets fans are about.”
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”