Nationals Nail Fister, A’s Snatch Johnson

The headline says it all …

There was a flurry of activity at the non-tender deadline, and we’ll attempt to go through as much as possible as it relates to the New York Mets.

Mets’ NL East rival Washington Nationals acquired starting pitcher Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers in return for utilityman Steve Lombardozzi and pitching prospects Ian Krol and Robbie Ray. On the one hand, the deal immediately upgrades the Nats’ rotation substantially — Fister has been a solid starter in the AL, and figures to pitch even better in the NL. On the other hand, parting with Lombardozzi means there’s a better chance than yesterday that Washington holds on to middle infielder Danny Espinosa, who I suggested should be a target of the Mets. Oh well … I doubt such a deal between the Mets and Nats would ever have materialized, anyway. I have to wonder if dealing Fister also had something to do with the Tigers shedding some salary — perhaps, to make more budget room for a big-name free agent such as Robinson Cano?

In a deal that doesn’t really affect the Mets, and was included in the headline just for kicks, was the trade of closer Jim Johnson from the Orioles to the Athletics. Oakland sent second baseman Jemile Weeks to Baltimore. I hadn’t heard any buzz that the Mets were interested in Johnson or Weeks, but who knows? Maybe the Mets had/have Weeks on their radar as a possible replacement in the event they trade Daniel Murphy or move him to first base. Time will tell.

In other Adulterated League news, the Yankees swapped catcher Chris Stewart to the Pirates for a player to be named later. I don’t believe Stewart was on the Mets’ radar, as he is an older version of Anthony Recker.

However, catcher Tyler Flowers supposedly WAS on the Mets radar, and he agreed to terms — thus avoiding arbitration — with the Chicago White Sox.

There is a slew of interesting players joining the free agent market thanks to being non-tendered, and we’ll take a look at a bunch of them in due course. Let’s give it a few hours for the dust to settle.

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. DaveSchneck December 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    Joe,
    Agree that the Nats deal makes Espinosa a longer long shot than before. The Nats just got better, and obtained a player that could have fit the Mets perfectly.

    How is it that the small market low budget As can afford a $22 million bet on Kazmir and a closer that may cost $10 million in 2014, while the Mets/Alderson hem and haw over the prices and the percentage of payroll committed to one player?

    • NormE December 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm
      DaveS,
      To answer your question, take your choice:
      a) Beane and Rizzo are better than Alderson as a GM.
      b) Alderson’s value approach (dumpster diving) is at odds with the market.
      c) The Wilpons have tied Alderson’s hands due to budgetary reasons.
      d) all of the above.
      • DaveSchneck December 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm
        NormE,
        D. Sadly.
  2. argonbunnies December 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm
    Isn’t Jemile Weeks just Jordany Valdespin with a few more walks and less pop? I assume the PTBNL must be someone good; otherwise the O’s just gave Johnson away, and this is yet another move I wish the Mets had gotten to first.