All signs are pointing toward Mike Jacobs starting at 1B while Daniel Murphy is on the mend. Is that the way it should be?
Tag: chris carter
So much has happened in the past 24 hours, it’s taken me some time to let it all settle in my head. Let’s go over some of the incidents and decisions made by the Mets since yesterday.
First, Jose Reyes will start the season
Because “The Situation” — meaning the Mets’ conundrum at first base, and not some guido from the Jersey Shore — grows more perplexing every day.
Originally, first base was Daniel Murphy’s job to lose; if it weren’t, the Mets most certainly would have aggressively pursued free agents such as Adam LaRoche, Nick Johnson, Hank Blalock, Troy Glaus, Garrett Atkins, Chad Tracy, and Aubrey Huff (to name a few). Strangely enough, though, GM Omar Minaya brought in Mike Jacobs on a minor league deal, and on February 15th announced that the starting job was an “open competition”.
As is par for the course with the miscommunicating Mets, manager Jerry Manuel followed that up four days later with the assertion that Murphy was “pretty much the guy” at 1B — and that he wasn’t really in competition with Jacobs, nor was he going to platoon with Fernando Tatis.
The Situation at first base has been similarly clear (as mud) ever since, with the Mets changing their tune as quickly, often, and unpredictably as the weather.
For example, in response to Ike Davis’ explosive beginning to the spring, Manuel reaffirmed that Murphy was the first baseman, and that “unforeseen things would have to happen” to unseat him.
Nine days later, however, a different tune was sung by Manuel, as he termed 1B “a competitive situation” between Murphy and Jacobs.
That’s all well and good, except, if Murphy is to lose the first base job, I’m not sure why he’d lose it to Mike Jacobs, since neither player is having a particularly impressive spring — both are hitting FAR below the Mendoza Line (which means they’re under .200, kiddies).
In contrast, Ike Davis and Chris Carter are absolutely blistering the baseball — both hitting well over .400 with long-distance power, and both getting on base more than 50% of the time. The next-best candidate, in fact, is 8th-string catcher Chris Coste, who is 4-for-11 (.364) with 2 doubles.
To put things in more frightening perspective, consider that Frank Catalanotto has an equal number of RBI and walks as Murphy, and he’s hitting .100.
But spring training numbers don’t mean anything, right? Or wait, they must mean something, if Daniel Murphy has gone from owning the starting 1B job to on his way to losing it.
The confusion, of course, is if indeed spring training performance means something, then why is Murphy losing to Jacobs and not Davis, Carter, or Coste?
As if this situation at first isn’t already bordering on insanity, there are reports that the Mets are scouting Mike Lowell — though, they’re also reportedly “not interested”. What’s more perplexing to you? The fact that the Mets are sending scouts to see someone they don’t want, or that they are scouting yet another first baseman to add to an already bewildering mix?
The more I toss this “logic” around in my head, the more I realize that “The Situation” on the Jersey Shore makes as much sense as the first base situation in Port St. Lucie.
I’m not sure what exactly this means, mainly because I don’t own (nor can I find online) an official guide to MLB rules regarding waivers, the “end” of the season, “designated for assignment”, and players to be named later.
What I do know is that once a player is “designated for assignment”, his team has ten days to trade, release, or waive him. I *think* Carter would have to clear waivers before being traded to the Mets — otherwise this move would’ve been made weeks ago. I’m also not sure how the “ten days” figures in, considering that the regular season ends before then. I *think* that the ten days can include the postseason — and run right through the World Series and perhaps a few days after the last game of the WS.
I’m going to take a wild stab and guess that Carter will now be subjected to irrevocable waivers — meaning if he’s claimed, the Bosox can’t pull him back. But since they’re irrevocable, I don’t believe the claiming team has to give up anything in return — so the “trade” part of the DFA doesn’t apply.
Further, if no teams claim Carter before the Mets get their chance, does that mean the deal is complete when/if the Mets do claim him?
If you can find an official link explaining what can happen here, or if you are a licensed MLB agent, please comment below.
Anyone else out there not paying attention to Mets news over this past weekend?
In case you missed it:
On Saturday, the Red Sox sent to the Mets one of the two players to be named later in the Billy Wagner deal:
Yesterday I thought we’d reached a low point when the DFA of a career minor leaguer caused excitement in the Mets blogosphere. Today, I’m seeing we fans sink even lower in this steep abyss of failure and mediocrity we’re calling the 2009 season — because now, we’re mad at the Yankees for preventing the Mets from auditioning another career minor leaguer.
Don’t get me wrong — I was excited as the next guy at the possibility of seeing some new (and healthy) blood come into Flushing, and wow us with his homerun hitting skills. But now, various sources are reporting that Chris Carter will be staying in Boston, because the Yankees claimed him on waivers as a handcuffing strategy (it forced the Red Sox to pull Carter back and keep him on their 40-man roster). Disappointing, yes, the news will hardly ruin my September.
First of all, the Yankees could care less about who the Mets want to audition in meaningless September games, and that consideration likely never entered their minds. The Yankees, after all, are focused on “meaningful games in September” (as Fred Wilpon so aptly describes them). And I can’t blame them — why should the Yankees do the Mets any favors, particularly in the heat of a pennant race? Did the Mets do the Yankees a favor by giving Billy Wagner to the Red Sox? And in return for peanuts, no less? Along with the potentiality of the Bosox getting two extra picks in next year’s June draft? Hmm … LHP who throws mid-90s and has closing experience … draft picks … in return for two non-prospects … yeah, we should be ticked at Brian Cashman for screwing up the Mets’ September, since Omar Minaya was so kind in helping out the Yankees!
Second, the blame is misplaced if it’s on the big bad Yankees. You want to blame someone for screwing up Chris Carter’s audition? How about blaming the Red Sox, who should have pushed Carter through waivers a month ago. It’s standard routine to send all your players through waivers after the trading deadline — no doubt the Bosox passed through people like Mike Lowell, Rocco Baldelli, Takashi Saito, etc. — so why not Carter?
Third, consider the silver lining. The fact that Carter won’t be in New York means there will be opportunities for others. For example, maybe without Carter around, the Mets will consider claiming Matt Murton to try out in left field. Perhaps not having Carter’s means Josh Thole will get some reps at first base. Or it could mean someone like Lucas Duda or Ike Davis gets a surprise promotion. At the very least, it should mean more at-bats for Angel Pagan and Cory Sullivan, and more first base experience for Dan Murphy. Seeing those three players for another 25-30 games will be helpful in determining where (or whether) they fit into the plans for 2010.
But hey, if you want to project your anger toward the Bronx, that’s your prerogative — and if it helps you cope with this sorry excuse for an organization, then go ahead and let it all out. Personally, I’d rather be “mad” at the Yankees for something more worthwhile.
If the Mets had access to stem cell technology, they’d likely have a team of scientists working feverishly in the lab on a Daniel Murphy clone. After all, the businesslike young man has been a fan favorite, is home-grown, and — most importantly — has remained healthy all season.
But of course, there is no stem cell lab at Citi Field, and the Mets’ Latin American scouting syndicate does not extend into Brazil, so cloning is not an option. However, they may have accomplished the next-best thing.
Several reports suggest that one of the two “players to be named later” in the Billy Wagner deal is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder / first baseman named