Bill “Moose” Skowron: 1930-2012

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Bill “Moose” Skowron, a six-time All-Star first baseman who starred for the Yankees from 1954-1962, passed away today at age 81 after a long battle with lung cancer.

Skowron hit .292 with 165 homers and an .842 OPS in 1,087 games spread over nine seasons for the Yankees before being traded to the Dodgers for Stan Williams in November of 1962.

He played another five seasons for the Dodgers, White Sox, Senators, and Angels, but hit just .257 with a .686 OPS in 571 games after leaving the Yankees.

Skowron also experienced a lot of postseason success, batting .293 with eight homers and an .845 OPS in 39 playoff games, including a long ball against his old teammates as the Dodgers swept the Yankees in the 1963 World Series.

The Mets are strongarming Devin Mesoraco into retiring

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The Mets told catcher Devin Mesoraco on Saturday that he will not make the team, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported. Mesoraco, a major league veteran of eight seasons, said he won’t accept a reassignment to Triple-A. According to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, the Mets will place Mesoraco on the restricted list rather than release him. As a result, Mesoraco is expected to retire from baseball.

This is a bad look for the Mets. Most teams release the major league-caliber players they don’t plan to break camp with so they can pursue opportunities elsewhere. The Mets must really be hurting for catching depth.

Mesoraco, 30, was decent as the Mets’ back-up last season after coming over from the Reds in the Matt Harvey deal, batting .222/.306/.409 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 229 plate appearances. Mesoraco is a bit below-average defensively and spent much of the mid-2010’s on the disabled list dealing with hip and shoulder injuries.

On Monday afternoon, the Mets signed free agent catcher René Rivera, per SNY’s Andy Martino. Rivera was recently released by the Giants. He is less potent with the bat than Mesoraco, but a bit better defensively. Rivera will back up Wilson Ramos and Travis d'Arnaud will likely open the season on the injured list. Tomás Nido will be the third-string catcher behind Rivera.