Hot Stove Update

Not much going on in Flushing, so let’s do a roundup of what’s been happening throughout the rest of MLB thus far this winter.

Marlins trade the Marlins to Toronto
Was it a storm surge from Sandy that sent so many fish upstream and across the border? No, it was Larry Beinfest and Jeffrey Loria, who in a matter of five months turned the team in Miami from a collection of win-now stars to a double-A squad with sights on 2015. The purge may not yet be complete; there’s still plenty of winter left, as well as tradeable veterans like Ricky Nolasco, Mike Dunn, Jeff Mathis, Yunel Escobar, and Greg Dobbs still on the roster. The only one safe is Giancarlo Stanton — he ain’t going nowhere anytime soon.

Jonny Gomes signs with Red Sox for two years, $10M.
The Mets could have used a righthanded, homerun-hitting corner outfielder like Gomes — but of course, they can’t afford that kind of price tag. Guess what? Scott Hairston had as good a year as Gomes, and is about the same age.

Melky Cabrera signs with Blue Jays.
We covered this one already.

Hiroki Kuroda signs with Yankees.
Got this one too.

Jeremy Guthrie signs with Royals.
Guthrie inked a three-year, $25M deal after turning his career around in 14 starts with the Royals. Not for nuthin’, but Guthrie reminds me a lot of Mike Pelfrey. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Big Pelf make a similar rebound in ’13, and earn himself a lucrative payday.

Royals acquire Ervin Santana in trade with Angels.
Santana had a down year in ’12, is expensive, and turns 30 in a few weeks. KC sent minor league lefty Brandon Sisk to the Angels; Sisk is a reliever who strikes out many, and walks many, and is not related to Doug. Quite a rich decision for small-market Kansas City, who will have to pay Santana $13M in 2013; makes you think maybe it’s not fair to KC to compare the skinflint Mets to them.

Jeremy Affeldt signs with Giants.

Not really a move, since Affeldt was already in San Francisco. However, his three-year, $18M contract set a new standard for non-closing relievers.

Indians trade Esmil Rogers to Blue Jays for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes.
One of those under-the-radar trades that may easily be forgotten. Cleveland gets a capable middle infielder who can give Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera occasional breathers, and a young slugging catcher / corner infielder who may very well be a AAAA player. Gomes (no relation to Jonny) is a dark horse who never received much attention in a Blue Jays organization that also included stud backstops such as J.P. Arencibia, Travis D’Arnaud, and Carlos Perez. He’s a free-swinging hacker who may very well develop into a Gene Tenace kind of backup catcher. Getting Aviles also enables the Indians to shop Cabrera. Meanwhile, Rogers could be a valuable middle reliever for the Jays; a mid-season switch to the Adulterated League turned his career around.

Torii Hunter signs with Tigers.
Nice deal for both sides. Yes, another outfielder that the Mets could have used, but couldn’t afford. Further, Hunter had no desire to play for the Mets.

David Ross signs with Red Sox.

A somewhat curious move by the Bosox, who already are knee-deep in men who squat behind the plate. If nothing else, the signing establishes that Boston is reloading, rather than rebuilding. For the Braves, it would seem to be a significant and surprising blow, as Ross was happy in Atlanta, seemed a sure bet to re-sign with the Braves, and would have been starting most of the time in the first few months of 2013 while Brian McCann mends from labrum surgery.

Marlins sign Juan Pierre
Why? No one’s sure. Pierre had a nice bounceback year in Philly, but the Marlins appear to be rebuilding; how does one rebuild with a 35-year-old?

Gerald Laird signs with Braves.
If there is another David Ross in MLB, his name is Gerald Laird. Though, Laird doesn’t quite have the pop in his bat, so perhaps he’s a “poor man’s Ross.” Laird has always been one of the most solid backstops and game callers in baseball, but his only experience in the NL was 37 games of action with the Cardinals in 2011.

Scott Baker signs with Cubs.
This was a quiet, unheralded signing by the Cubs that could prove to be one of the smarter moves of the winter. Baker was a poor man’s Brad Radke in seven years with the Twins, before missing all of 2012 after elbow reconstruction surgery. The Cubs are rolling the dice that a healthy elbow and move to the NL will allow the 31-year-old to flourish again — perhaps, to become a trade piece for prospects next July.

Mariners release Chone Figgins
The deal Seattle gave Figgins a few years back was about as much a bust as the Mets’ signing of Jason Bay. Figgins was absolutely awful in three years with the Mariners, getting worse with each passing year. The Ms released him with $8M left on his contract. He turns 35 in January, and no, I don’t think he’s worth a flyer for the Mets.

Bartolo Colon signs with Athletics.
Ho-hum. We’ll see how well he does without the help of PEDs.

Nick Evans signs with Dodgers.
Remember Nick Evans? He missed most of 2012 with a broken hand. I don’t see him getting much playing time unless something really bad happens to Adrian Gonzalez. But, thought you’d like to know where Nick has landed.


Oliver Perez signs with Mariners.

One year, $1.5M for the reinvented lefthanded specialist. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

I think that’s all for now; if I missed something mildly significant, post it in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Andy November 25, 2012 at 9:27 am
    Joe,
    The Royals are dangling Wil Myers for starting pitching. If Dickey gets that done, the Mets need to do it, no?
    • Joe Janish November 25, 2012 at 10:38 am
      From what I hear about Myers, I think the Mets have to consider it. Still, he’s unproven, while R.A. is, so KC would have to include a few other young players as well — an arm especially.
  2. Dan B November 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm
    I feel ill. I just realized the Mets are too poor to sign Mr. Oliver Perez even if they wanted to.
    • DaveSchneck November 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm
      Sandy had a shot but lost out to Seattle. Boy, that would have been fun.
  3. Andrew November 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm
    If Will Myers is truly the best hitting prospect in the minors and is expected to hit the majors early next season, then yes the Mets absolutely must make that trade if available. Yes, it should also include another piece or two, less developed but with a high ceiling.

    If KC is willing, and assuming Myers is really all that, then that’s exactly what the Mets should be doing.

  4. Metstheory22 November 26, 2012 at 10:06 am
    Begs to ask why KC would give up their best prospect for a 38 year old pitcher? I am the Mets, I would do it in a heartbeat and we have our RF for the next 6 plus years, if he is what they say he will be.
  5. Joe November 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    Nick Evans. Was it you or someone else who repeatedly was on his side on this blog?
    • NormE November 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm
      I remember writing in that I thought the Mets missed the boat with Evans. I thought they should have repositioned him to catching given that they felt he wasn’t showing enough as a hitter to play 3B or 1B or the corner outfield positions. As a catcher the team could have carried his .250 to .270 average along with is gap power. It seemed that the Mets were never really enamored of Evans and yo-yoed him without giving him a real shot. Too bad.