Feldman, McLouth, Jones, Arencibia, Morneau Off the Table

There has been a flurry of activity just prior to the opening of the annual winter meetings.

Here is a quick synopsis of the most recent non-Granderson developments:

Scott Feldman signed a three-year, $30M deal with the Houston Astros. The innings-eating Feldman would have been a nice addition to the Mets rotation, but maybe not on those terms. I imagine Houston had to overpay a bit to convince someone to join the worst team in MLB.

Two slugging first baseman that might have been considered for Flushing have agreed to terms elsehwere: Justin Morneau with the Rockies for two years, $12.5M, and Garrett Jones with the Marlins for two years, $7.5M. The Marlins have been busy so far this offseason, and this latest move would suggest that they’ll shop first baseman Logan Morrison at the meetings next week. We explored the possibility of the Mets picking up Jones a few weeks back, but if that is the price necessary to convince him to play for a non-playoff-contender, it’s probably best that the Mets passed. The cost of Morneau doesn’t seem so steep in comparison, but then, my image of him is as the beast he was five years ago; he’s been a shell of himself since entering his thirties.

J.P. Arencibia agreed to join the Texas Rangers, where he presumably will back up Geovany Soto. The slugging backstop gets $1.8M guaranteed, another $300K possible in incentives. I know many people are down on Arencibia, but he can put the ball over the fence, and costs a heckuva lot less than John Buck did (about one-third, in fact). Considering Sandy Alderson’s infatuation with homeruns, I’m mildly surprised there wasn’t more of a push for him by the Mets. In Texas, I see him developing into Mike Napoli Lite. Anywhere else, he’s a modern version of Gene Tenace.

Finally, Nate McLouth has agreed to join the Washington Nationals outfield, which already consists of Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth (not to mention the heavy-hitting Tyler Moore). McLouth reportedly will receive $10.75M over two years. It’s a good match for both sides, as McLouth seems to do his best as something more than a part-time player. However, since he’s a lefthanded hitter, one has to wonder if the Nats will shop Span (who is also a lefty hitter). I can see Werth, McLouth, and Harper all splitting time in center field, while also mixing Moore’s big bat in the lineup. Washington could use Span as bait for whatever it is the Nats still need — more bullpen help? An extra starter?

What do you think? Were any of these players fits for the Mets? 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. Reese December 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm
    Tyler Moore (whose parents obviously hated him) would be my target and I’d pony up a big pitcher to get him (such as Montero). He’d be a great addition at 1B or in the OF when Chris Young leaves.
    • izzy December 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm
      At least give Tyler’s parents credit for not naming him completely after MTM. And johnny Cash would have had a much harder time writing a song “A Boy named Mary”. But I disagree about giving up a lot for this guy. A little illusion his rookie year, last year he looked more like a righty Duda or Davis.
  2. argonbunnies December 7, 2013 at 12:16 am
    For the final 3/4 of 2013, Arencibia had a .216 OBP. That’s not a typo. I’m not crying over this one.

    Jones is probably overpaid, but if he can play the OF okay he could have been half of a decent platoon. Morneau is no longer a good enough hitter to be an asset at 1B. Feldman has rarely been effective. *shrug*

    • Joe Janish December 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm
      Perhaps the Gene Tenace comparison is a poor one, then, since Gino was always one of the best at taking a walk (back in the old days when they said “a walk was as good as a hit”).

      I don’t know about dismissing him so quickly, though. One doesn’t expect much from a backup catcher — you hope to get at least one useful tool, and his is power. In the NL, that’s useful in the late innings for pinch-hitting. Though, Anthony Recker did smack some dingers in the first half (when his OBP was .229).

      As for Feldman, he was pretty effective in 2013, and won 17 games in 2009. Last year he made 30 starts, pitched 180 innings, and had an ERA under 4 — only one Mets pitcher accomplished those three basics (Dillon Gee). Though, again, 3 years and $30M was an overpay.

  3. DaveSchneck December 7, 2013 at 12:42 am
    Joe,
    I’m not shedding any tears over the Mets missing out on any of these players. Sandy and his posse are headed to the winter meetings, and there are still enough players on the board or available via trade to fill the remaining holes. The need to come back from the winter meetings with at least one more legit acquisition to fill either the SP3 or SS holes. If so, then they can afford to wait the market a little to meet the other needs. I still see no reason why they can’t field a 2014 squad that has a shot at the playoffs and is poised for subsequent seasons.
    • argonbunnies December 7, 2013 at 2:58 am
      Sounds like you’re more optimistic than you were last week!
      • DaveSchneck December 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm
        AB,
        Still skeptical but at least there is a slight pulse in Queens.
  4. argonbunnies December 7, 2013 at 2:57 am
    After being a roughly average player for 146 games last year, I’m surprised McLouth took a deal that might make him a part-timer.

    Perhaps he set down roots in Baltimore and wanted to stay in the area. Otherwise, weird. There are definitely teams with everyday OFs who are worse. Heck, the Mets probably just signed one for a higher annual value!

    • izzy December 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm
      McClouth move seems surprising but if were smart he took the most $$ offered,