The Mets suffered a pair of unfortunate injuries on Sunday afternoon, losing reliever Jerry Blevins to a fractured forearm and catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a fractured hand. The club has promoted right-hander Hansel Robles from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Blevins and catching prospect Kevin Plawecki to replace d’Arnaud, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports.
Plawecki, 24, was taken by the Mets in the first round (35th overall) in the 2012 draft out of Purdue University. He entered the 2015 season rated the #63 overall prospect in baseball by both Baseball America and MLB.com, and 80th by Baseball Prospectus. Spending his time between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014, Plawecki combined to hit .309/.365/.460 with 11 home runs and 64 RBI.
Per Rubin, manager Terry Collins said Plawecki will serve as the Mets’ starting catcher, leaving Anthony Recker in the back-up role.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.