Mets Sign Buddy Carlyle
Big news for the New Year! The Mets have signed reliever Buddy Carlyle to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training.
With that, the Mets’ offseason to-do list appears to be done!
In other news, the Phillies have signed Aaron Harang to a one-year, $5M contract. The Braves claim they offered Harang a similar deal. Why would the veteran right-hander — who is a “fly ball” pitcher — opt for a team destined to finish last that plays in a homer-friendly park? Either the Braves’ definition of “similar” was a few million less, or, maybe Harang felt there was a better opportunity to pitch every fifth day for the Phillies.
Also, the White Sox have signed Emilio Bonifacio to a one year, $4M contract that includes an option for a second year. The speedy utility man is a nice addition to a championship team’s bench. As much as I love Bonifacio, and as much as I think he’d be a great fit in a large park like The Field At Shea Bridge, the Mets likely were not a good fit. Based on their management of one-time Gold Glove candidate Eric Young, Jr., my guess is that Bonifacio would have been overused / over-exposed. To me, Bonifacio can be successful when used similarly to the way Tony LaRussa managed Super Joe McEwing, or how Bobby Valentine put Desi Relaford in situations to succeed.
Finally, the Kansas City Royals signed Ryan Madson to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to spring training. This one I don’t understand from either point of view. Madson hasn’t pitched since 2011 due to elbow issues, but his success prior makes him coveted — I get that. What I don’t get is the already-bullpen-rich Royals auditioning yet another reliever, and, Madson auditioning for a team that likely has no room for him at the big-league level. I’m surprised someone in need of relief help, such as the Dodgers, didn’t take a flyer on Madson. But then again, we don’t know what considerations go into these deals, on both sides. Maybe it had something to do with the personal connections; according to Jerry Crasnick, “…Jim Fregosi Jr., now a special assistant to Royals general manager Dayton Moore, was the scout who signed Madson out of the 1998 first-year player draft with the Phillies. Mike Arbuckle, currently a senior advisor in Kansas City, was Philadelphia’s scouting director in 1998 when the Phillies selected Madson in the ninth round of the draft.”