Matt Diaz Signs with Yankees and Other Updates

According to various reports, outfielder Matt Diaz has accepted a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the New York Yankees.

This shouldn’t be big news, but Diaz was one of the few righthanded-hitting outfielders on the free-agent market who fit into the Mets’ budget. Diaz gets $1.2M plus the opportunity for another $800,000 in incentives. On the bright side, by signing Diaz, the Yankees may no longer have interest in Scott Hairston. Besides Hairston, the only other RH-hitting free-agent outfielder left is Austin Kearns. Though, you could technically refer to Bill Hall, Jeff Baker, and Mark DeRosa as “outfielders” even though they’re really infielders / utility men. There are also a few minor-league free agent OFs who hit from the right side still looking for a job; they include, among others, Jason Michaels, Joe Mather, Shelley Duncan, Brent Lillibridge, and Darnell McDonald. Not exactly a group that takes your breath away.

Also signing a minor-league contract is former Met John Maine, who mention here for no other reason than he is a former Met.

In other news, the trade of Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox has been completed. Hanrahan and Brock Holt go to Boston while Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, Mark Melancon, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. join the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

That’s the latest on the hot stove, which still has a mild simmer going. The Mets have to make a few more moves before spring training, and they have about seven weeks to do so. My guess is we’ll see a few free-agent pitchers signed and at least one more trade for an outfielder. Who is on your shopping list? Sound off 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. NormE December 27, 2012 at 10:36 am
    Since this season is a stepping stone (euphemism) towards the future, I guess you can make the case to go with what you’ve got.
    That means Hefner, Mejia and McHugh are the 5th spot candidates. Is Chris Young any better? The other alternatives out there may cost too much for the Wilpons. The BP is a crap shoot no matter what you do.
    The problem with going with what you’ve got in the outfield is that unless Jason Turner is going out there, you’ve only got one right-handed hitter (Cowgill).
    And you still have no legitimate lead-off hitter.
    And you still have aquestion mark in CF.
    And you still have the defensive hole in whatever place Duda will stand.
    • Izzy December 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm
      If you are filling a team with fake major leaguers, does it really matter if they are lefty or righty? hardly. Just think ahead, Dec 2013, Wilon announcers thru his lackey Alderson that he has once again lost 20 or 50 mil so he once again will not replace all the money saved on finished contracts. It will be the fans’ fault for not paying big league bucks to go to his city dump for a little league team.
  2. wohjr December 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm
    This guy always killed the Mets, glad to see him into the AL
  3. Mike B December 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    Our ship has come in! Aaron Lackey. Wooo like it ought to be. I am renewing my season tickets as we speak.
  4. argonbunnies December 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm
    Shelley Duncan’s a RH OF with pop, but looking up his splits, he hasn’t hit lefties since 87 good ABs in 2010. I recall him being streaky, and he still might be a good pick-up to stash in the minors, call up when he gets hot, and ditch him once he cools off.

    The only better options I see on Joe’s list are Hairston and Kearns. If either can be had for peanuts, cool.

    • Izzy December 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm
      Shelley Duncon. come on…. When are you going to call him up? when we need a DH? Or do you want a guy to make Duda look like a gold glover, so you can pretend duda learned to play the outfield?
  5. Dan B December 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm
    Why does it matter if he is righty or lefty? Let’s just sign the best available outfielders. That is more important then worrying about late inning matchups! Two months to spring training and there is still not an outfielder I respect on the roster.
    • azulnaranja December 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm
      Dan, I would agree with you if any of the lefthanded hitters we have in the OF had showed any signs that they can hit lefthanded pitchers.
  6. DaveSchneck December 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm
    Relax, as Joe said above, 7 weeks to spring training. Plenty of time for the Sandyman to put together a competitive team. As Izzy noted above, if our beloved Wilpons and their lackey GM fail to field a team with MLB-caliber starters, bullpen, and OF, then we should speak with our wallets. Simple economics. Also, as Joe said above, a trade and a few signings and then we can evaluate. Regardless, they will be a longshot in 2013, and it will depend on the core, along with Santana, to give us a good 162 game performance.