Jason Pridie and Nick Evans Clear Waivers

According to EspnNewYork.com’s Adam RubinMets‘ outfielder Jason Pridie and utility-player Nick Evans cleared waivers on Friday and are officially free agents may opt for free agency. A few days earlier, Pridie and Evans had been outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, which means that now they are off of the Mets’ 40-man roster and are free to sign with any team.

Releasing Pridie and Evans is a puzzling move by Sandy Alderson as the one thing that isn’t present on the Mets’ roster currently is depth at any position. Pridie was mediocre at best last season but played solid defense at all three outfield positions.

Pridie committed only two errors on a total of 124 chances in the outfield in 2011. These numbers amount to a very respectable .984 fielding percentage for Pridie’s 2011 season.

Evans, on the other hand, played well on both sides of the spectrum in 2011. In a total of 408 chances while playing at first base, third base, left field, and right field in 2011, Evans committed at total of three errors. Nick’s stellar fielding led him to a wonderful .993 fielding percentage.

Evans was also crucial to the Mets toward the end of last season as he manned first base very well in Ike Davis’ absence. Davis, the Mets’ starting first baseman, hurt his ankle seriously in May of last season and wound up missing the last four months of the 2011 season.

Evans was able to recoup some of the power the Mets missed due to Davis’ injury by coming through with runners in scoring position. In RISP chances, Nick hit .279 batting average, driving in 22 runs.

Another reason Evans was a questionable release was his versatility. Last season, Nick played a total of four positions (as stated above) and any team, including the Mets, would love to have a homegrown player with Evans’ versatility.

All in all, if the Mets are unable to re-sign Pridie and Evans during this offseason, they are going to have to look around for suitable replacements in the 2011 free-agent pool.

One solid candidate who fits the requirement of versatility the Mets will be looking for is Michael Cuddyer. The former Twin has experience playing at first and second base in addition to the corner outfield positions. Cuddyer would definitely provide some pop for the Mets outfield and is relatively sure-handed in the field. However, Cuddyer is highly coveted by several other clubs, including the Phillies, so signing him could prove challenging.

Another player the Mets could be looking at is former National outfielder Rick Ankiel. Ankiel only plays the outfield (though Mets fans may remember a failed experiment at pitcher) but he could replace Pridie and possibly free-agent Willie Harris, as a fourth or fifth outfielder for the 2012 Mets. Ankiel is a plus fielder and occasionally flashes some power. Ankiel and Cuddyer would be two nice pick-ups for the Mets’ front-office should they go in that direction.

Josh Burton is a student at Lynbrook High School on Long Island in New York. He enjoys writing about his favorite sports teams like the Mets, New Jersey Nets, and others. Josh has been a Mets fan since birth and has stuck with the team through the highs of the Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph managerialships and the lows of the Art Howe and Jerry Manuel managerialships; of course the jury is still out on Terry Collins. His one dream with the New York Mets is to personally witness a World Series Championship in his lifetime. Ya Gotta Believe!
  1. Henry Jasen November 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm
    It’s pretty clear that without Reyes, the Mets are in rebuilding mode. Anyone who isn’t part of the solution, is part of the problem. Evans and Pridie (and Cuddyer for that matter) will not be part of the next good Mets team – looking toward 2013. Better to look at Captain Kirk, give Duda to prove he really is a big league hitter. Sign some fillers who might warrant a trade to a contender in July (not like Harris and Hairston), but otherwise it is looking a kids who might mature into plus major leaguers in a couple of years.
    • Joe Janish November 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm
      I have a funny feeling we’ll see Willie Harris and/or Hairston return in 2012. But are either of them part of the solution?
  2. Paul November 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    I imagine that the Mets needed to clear space on the 40-man roster to get ready for the Rule V draft; either to be able to make selections or shield minor leaguers with higher upsides than Pridie & Evans.

    It’s not going to be fun, but we have to recognize that there’s no way to make this Mets team into a playoff contender in 2012. Roster moves have to be made because they will help in 2013, 2014 & beyond.

  3. Steve November 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    Huh? Apparently you didn’t read the article thoroughly enough. The quote in the Rubin piece you linked to said “because both had been previously outrighted, they have the right to free agency”, meaning that they CAN become free agents but they haven’t chosen to test free agency yet, as far as I’ve seen. Your entire piece is compromised based on the fact that they simply haven’t been released. They’re still in the organization at this point. Apparently, you forgot that the Mets removed Pridie and Evans from the 40 man roster at this point last year, too.

    Not to mention that writing a piece questioning the demotion of AAAA guys like Evans and Pridie is questionable in and of itself. The team has a bunch of prospects to protect in the Rule V draft this offseason and they need to sign some free agents to patch holes. They need every 40 man slot they can get right now. Replacement level guys like Evans and Pridie are, for the most part, a dime a dozen.

    • Joe Janish November 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm
      Technically, you’re right — neither Pridie nor Evans have officially chosen to become free agents.

      I can’t disagree with you re: Pridie. However, in defense of Josh, I’m not certain it makes sense to let Evans go, as I don’t see him as a “AAAA” player just yet. Further, I’m not as up on the service time of Mets minor leaguers as you seem to be, so I’m not aware of all “prospects” they need to protect from the Rule 5 draft. Taking a cursory glance at their minor league organization, I’d be hard-pressed to identify as many as 5 players who another club would consider carrying on the 25-man roster for all of 2012 — and I’m not certain whether those 5 have 4 years’ minor league experience or not. Though, we’ll try to cover that issue in due course.

      Mets.com currently shows 32 players on the 40-man roster, and of those 32, included are Josh Satin, Mike Baxter, Chris Schwinden, Mike Nickeas, DJ Carrasco, and Daniel Herrera; I’ll take Evans over any of those six guys — though, for all we know, those six will be dropped as well before the roster is set.

      • LongTimeFan November 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm
        They actually have a bunch of players they need to protect for Rule 5, something which was topic of discussion by the blogging community earlier this offseason.

        Regarding the six you declare a certainty for dropping, I disagree with 4 of the 6. I think only Carrasco and Baxter are in danger,, the rest are valuable depth and/or could make the team out of spring training. Baxter is depth as well, but is more expendable.

  4. LongTimeFan November 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm
    To Josh Burton,

    Michael Cuddyer isn’t a bench player, nor are the Mets going to sign this player looking for 3 years, 36 mil.

    And regarding Evans, as much as I’m of fan of Nick, your depiction ignored his hitting woes and high K’s once his hot streak ended.

    And while I think those flaws are mechanical and can be fixed, and that you overhyped his defensive versatility, ignoring lack of speed for the outfield and little experience at third, there’s nothing surprising about his removal from the 40.

    Whether he chooses to sign a minor league deal with the team, or is even given the opportunity, remains to be seen, but if he does, he’ll have chance to earn a 25-man roster spot in the spring. This was a move the Mets had to make and were willing to assume the risk of his free agency and signing by another team.

  5. Joe November 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    “Pridie was mediocre at best last season but played solid defense at all three outfield positions.”

    Playing solid defense in three outfield positions and filling in commendably in April when necessary is “mediocre” in what book? He was “mediocre” when he wasn’t playing and came up about as much as a Colts scoring drive, true, but w/i in his role, he was a decent player. Some team would probably be glad to have him as a 4th outfielder.

    Evans repeatedly was not taken off waivers by other teams, certain fans on this blog notwithstanding. He did — if in limited “garbage time” duty — impress at 1st Base. The Mets actually were decent at 1st overall this year, even with much maligned Danny there.

    Both are nice enough players, but replacement level.