Mets Sign, Offer, and Restructure Contracts
First up, the Mets did actually sign a free agent: minor league pitcher Clint Everts (according to a tweet by Bob Nightengale).
Everts is NOT related to Chris Evert, and doesn’t even play tennis as far as we know. He was, however, a high school teammate of Scott Kazmir, and at one time was the #1 prospect of the Montreal Expos (they used to be a team in Canada). However, he never quite lived up to the billing that made him the fifth overall pick of the 2002 draft. He was plagued by elbow injuries (yes, he had TJ surgery) and control problems. Supposedly, he has “electric” stuff, but has yet to really put it together. He pitched very well in the minors last year, but most of it was spent in A ball, where he was a bit old for his competition. Still, he’s worth a shot — the Mets need all the young arms they can find.
In other news, the Mets announced that they have restructured Henry Blanco’s contract, which originally was guaranteed for one year and $1.5M. Ken Davidoff breaks down the details at his column, and the gist of it is that Blanco will get a base of $750K, with nearly impossible incentives that could increase that number to $2.25M. According to Davidoff, this decrease in guaranteed money came after a shoulder injury was revealed during his physical — and many of the incentives are designed to protect the team in case that shoulder lands him on the DL.
Just a reminder: Blanco was signed as the backup catcher because of his reputation as a defensive specialist. Arm strength tends to be an important factor in catching defense.
Finally, the Mets tendered formal contract offers to Bengie Molina and Jason Bay.
Bay has already formally rejected the Mets’ offer of 4 years, $65M. He was classy enough not to giggle or make a snarky comment in the process. Steve Popper posted the Mets’ thinking behind the decision to make an offer for Bay at this time rather than, say, John Lackey or Matt Holliday.
OK I was kidding about Bay rejecting the offer — that’s not official (yet). This offer, though, brings back (not so) fond memories of winters past, when the Mets made similar “offers” to Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero.
At this moment I can’t find details on the Molina offer — only that one was made.
In other news, super agent Scott Boras says the Mets are loaded. Thanks Scott.
More news coming soon.