The Mets considered releasing Mike Pelfrey

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A couple weeks ago our Matthew Pouliot suggested that maybe the Mets should just release Mike Pelfrey. I’m going to take this morning’s story from Andy Martino as evidence that the Mets brass reads HBT:

In a recent meeting that included the Mets’ executives and coaches, members of the front office suggested releasing Mike Pelfrey before Opening Day, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. None of the uniformed staff was in favor of the idea, and it was downplayed.

How much of that was a financial decision — Pelfrey has a non-guaranteed contract if he were to be cut before Opening Day, which would have the Mets owe him only $1 million — and how much was an actual baseball decision is an interesting question.  Because baseball-wise, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to release him.

Why? Because it’s not like having Pelfrey around, even if he’s at his worst, will prevent the Mets from going to the playoffs.  And when you’re not contending it’s useful to have someone like him around. He could eat some innings. If he figures out how to pitch effectively again he could be trade bait.  Trading him now — which the Mets have considered — would be the ultimate sell-low move.  But releasing him would be a similar kind of thing too. “Release-low” maybe.

In any event, Pelfrey had a nice outing yesterday. And while I wouldn’t bet on him being a truly good pitcher this season, it’s not out of the question that he could be serviceable, and that’s worth taking a chance on.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.