No Qualms for Mets
Oops, spell check doesn’t work on headlines. What I meant to say was “no QUALLS for Mets.”
Chad Qualls agreed to a minor league deal with the Marlins. Good. The more teams don’t sign Jon Rauch, the better chance there is of him returning to the Mets. Rauch isn’t great, and is an injury risk for 2013, but at this late point in the offseason, he’s looking better than the similarly affordable alternatives.
Jeff Baker agrees to a deal with the Rangers. Cross off another righthanded hitter who can stand in the outfield on occasion. Like Mark DeRosa, Baker’s value is in his ability to play several positions adequately, combined with a short span of time many years ago when he was an OK hitter, and GMs can’t seem to forget that span of time.
Jair Jurrjens will reportedly sign with the Orioles. Nice gamble – it’s an MLB deal for $1.5M, with incentives that can raise it to $4M. The Mets might’ve considered such a deal, but likely were looking to offer Jurrjens a minor-league contract instead. His descending velocity has been a huge red flag, along with his chronic injuries. One interesting feature of Jurrjens, though — he still has options remaining. So had the Mets rolled the dice on him, and he didn’t make the club out of spring training, they could have stashed him in AAA until needed. Oh well – he’s in Baltimore instead, and probably about to suffer a major, season-ending arm injury anyway.
Thomas Neal signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. I have no idea who he is, though he is listed as a righthanded-hitting outfielder.
Zach Stewart signed with the White Sox. Like Neal, I have no idea who he is, but I understand he is a pitcher.
Ryan Sweeney signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, after spending 2012 in Boston. He’s a lefthanded-hitting outielder.
George Kottaras has been claimed by the Royals, who in turn DFA’d Tony Abreu. Abreu is a switch-hitting utility infielder who has spent most of the last six years shuffling between the minors and Majors. He’s shown a bit of pop and on-base ability in the minors, but never been able to stick in MLB. In 2006 he was the Dodgers’ #5 prospect. Since he’s still under 30, can hit from both sides, can play above-average defense at 2B, SS, and 3B, and will cost relatively nothing, he might be a good guy to bring into Port St. Lucie. He’d be a cheaper version of Ronny Cedeno.
As for the Mets, there are still reports that they are interested in Michael Bourn (BTW, I’m interested in driving a Lamborghini), and the latest rumor is that they are kicking the tires on Roy Oswalt. I’ve always been a huge fan of Oswalt, and though I doubt he’s healthy enough to make 30 starts, it would be fun to see him pitch a few times for the Mets — in a Randy Jones kind of way.