We saw 41 players hit free agency this week after they were non-tendered by their former teams. Marc Carig of New York Newsday reports that the Mets have two of them, John Mayberry, Jr. and Kyle Blanks, on their radar.
Both players would fit with several teams in part-time duty or in a bench role. Either could be especially useful for the Mets, as they hit from the right side of the plate and have experience between the outfield and first base. The Mets intend to use Lucas Duda as their everyday first baseman in 2015, but Mayberry or Blanks could offer an alternative against left-handed pitching.
Mayberry batted just .210 with seven homers and a .734 OPS this season between the Phillies and Blue Jays, but he owns an .857 OPS against southpaws during his career. Blanks was limited to just 26 games this past season between the Padres and Athletics due to tendinitis in his left Achilles and has generally had a tough time staying healthy during his career, but he has some serious pop in his bat.
Many have speculated on former Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera as a fit for the Mets, but Carig hears that the club has yet to express any interest.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.