Sandy Alderson has totally revamped the Mets scouting system

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In the Rotoworld Draft Guide — which you should totally buy now — I wrote an article ranking the top transactions of the offseason. I included the Mets hiring of Sandy Alderson in the top 10. It was the only non-player signing I mentioned. I mentioned it for good reason. Stuff like what the Daily News is reporting about how he has totally revamped the scouting department:

In contrast to Omar Minaya’s method of assigning pro scouts to a large number of major league teams (special assistant Bryan Lambe, for example, covered the entire National League last year), Alderson’s Mets will charge each pro scout with covering just three organizations, but far more comprehensively than before – from the low minor leagues to the major league club. J.P. Ricciardi will oversee their work.

“I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to do it, but this gives you a little more continuity,” Ricciardi said. “Getting guys on a system, from A-ball to Double-A to Triple-A, gives you a better understanding of what the organization is doing.”

I don’t believe for a second that anyone as famously, um, confident as J.P. Ricciardi believes that there isn’t a right way and a wrong way and that he isn’t now in charge of the right way.

And I can’t help but think that giving guys less breadth of responsibility but greater depth will help improve the Mets’ scouting operation.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.