UPDATE: Well, we have an update now: Michael S. Schmidt of the New York times reports that Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was suspended — and will likely be fired — because he has been tied to a federal investigation into illegal gambling. The gambling involves football, naturally. And you thought the only crime that happened in that clubhouse was father-in-law assault.
No other details are provided. Including the details of how Schmidt gets so many federal lawyers to talk to him about ongoing investigations. Seriously, he’s The Man when it comes to that stuff.
4:01 P.M.: I’m not sure why this has been picked up by every news outlet out there, but it has:
Longtime Mets equipment/clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels has been suspended by the organization, the Mets confirmed. The organization offered no elaboration beyond the following statement: “Last Wednesday, the Mets suspended Charlie Samuels indefinitely without pay. As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we have no further comment.”
Samuels has held the job for 27 years.
I’m guessing Adam Rubin knows why he was suspended, but doesn’t want to tell anyone.
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.”