NL East Notes: Nitkowski, Lannan, Nickeas, Harper

Earlier today, we learned that the Mets may look into dealing righty reliever D.J. Carrasco. Here are a couple more notes on the Amazin's within this batch of NL East links …

  • The Mets like what they saw out of C.J. Nitkowski's audition on Thursday and are working to sign him to a minor league deal, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday.  An agreement seems likely between the club and the 39-year-old.
  • The Nationals are taking offers on lefty John Lannan, but they're not desperate to trade him, as his $5MM salary for this season is manageable, tweets Jim Bowden of The Red Sox have made an offer for Lannan, but it wasn't close, Bowden adds.
  • Mets catcher Mike Nickeas may not necessarily be a lock to nab the team's backup catcher role despite already being on the 40-man roster, writes Adam Rubin of The Mets may instead go with Rob Johnson, in which case Nickeas would be placed on waivers and be expected to clear.
  • Nats prized prospect Byrce Harper will likely begin the season in the minor leagues despite manager Davey Johnson's desire to have the right fielder break camp with the big club, tweets Jon Heyman of However, a midseason callup is possible for Harper, Heyman adds. Harper turned 19 in October and has a full season of minor league experience under his belt after being the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010.
  • Mets skipper Terry Collins acknowledged to Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he may in fact be only a transitional manager for the club, perhaps being replaced when the team is ready to compete again: “I realize the possibilities,” Collins said. The Mets have already exercised Collins' 2013 option, however.

26 Responses to NL East Notes: Nitkowski, Lannan, Nickeas, Harper Leave a Reply

  1. LiveFastCyYoung 3 years ago

    Bryce Harper’s name is misspelled.

  2. NatsTown 3 years ago

    Red Sox offered Ellsbury for Lannan but Rizzo wanted Lester also

    • Redsox33 3 years ago

      Just like the twins?

    • that would be the worst trade in red sox history, there’s no way that’s true

      • MetsMagic 3 years ago

        Even if he wasn’t being sarcastic, I’d still put the Ruth and Bagwell trades ahead of that. 

      • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

        Thats not true? REALLY!!!???

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      You just know Rizzo is salivating at the thought of having Ells patrol CF..

      There is no way for it to happen though, or not unless he reaches after 2013. Not trying to start some yahoo comment war here, but you have to admit that a talent like Ells would demand a Strasburg in return. There just isn’t anyone else the Nationals have who would compare to him.

      Before the hammers fly.. I should add Boston could need/use and they have Youk and Middlebrooks as a future 3b.. If Ells was moved, it would be for a dominant pitcher.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        it will never even be discussed, but i’m pretty sure i would give up a completely obscene group of players to get strasburg. the nats need to savor every season they have with that guy

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Oh I agree with you there. Was going over the type of player (pitcher) ability required to get Ells right now with 2 years left of control.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            If the Red Sox kept Fuentes instead of trading him to the Pads I would have bet on the Sox selling Ells the second they thought Fuentes was ready. However the simple fact is the player with the best potential on our farm to replace Ells has a grand total of 36 pro ball at bats.

            My point is don’t expect the Sox to trade Ells. I think making sure he stick around is a more likely scenario.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            I wasn’t implying Ells would be traded at all there, just the type of player it would take for boston to even listen.. remember, Boston refused to move him several seasons ago for Santana before ells had 3 months in the bigs and had even proved himself and Santana (at that time) was one of the top 5 pitchers in the game.

            I couldn’t see Boston, with Ells still having 2 years left and him as of 2011 being a superb combination of speed, power and glove selling him short of what Santana was at that time if someone inquired on him..**IF** Cherrington even then decided to move him over still trying to lock him up beyond 2013.

            Do I ever agree on Fuentes also.. he was expected to be the replacement when Ells reached FA and still looks to be on that same path with the Pad’s.. looked him up a couple weeks back and he had a decent season for their High A ball team last year.

  3. jeffmaz 3 years ago

    Rob johnson?
    the mets have already given up

  4. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Keep Lannan.. For those keeping tabs on Matsuzaka? he is back throwing and feeling great. They don’t need a rubbish throwing lefty.. not at fenway who is not named Bill Lee.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      i would not normally have any enthusiasm about matsuzaka’s return; i was borderline delighted when he went down last year. but under valentine, it appears he may be given a chance to do whatever he wants for once when he comes back. hopefully that will lead to something interesting

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        “i was borderline delighted when he went down last year.”

        Makes 2 of us and hard thing to say about someone getting hurt isn’t it? think we just wanted him gone.. Like for any reason.

        What it is, is that Bobby V actually understands him we think (hope) and that Matsuzaka has faith in HIM, which may be what Matsuzaka needs more than anything else.. confidence that Valentine will use going forward and the contract year etc..

        if Matsuzaka does well, there could maybe be another couple of year deal with the team.. i see the possibility at least. Matsuzaka being comfortable with a manager over ruling Boras and basic monetary assets.

  5. Backup_Slider 3 years ago

    C. J. Nitkowski? Someone please tell the Mets that they were supposed to set their clocks forward one hour this morning, not backward 10 years.

    •  He last played in 2005. Here are his most recent transactions:

      October 15, 2001: Granted Free Agency.
      December 21, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
      March 25, 2002: Released by the Houston Astros.
      March 28, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
      June 6, 2002: Released by the Houston Astros.
      June 6, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.
      July 21, 2002: Released by the St. Louis Cardinals.
      July 29, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.
      September 30, 2002: Released by the Texas Rangers.
      November 15, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.
      September 29, 2003: Released by the Texas Rangers.
      November 18, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
      June 29, 2004: Released by the Atlanta Braves.
      July 19, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
      October 29, 2004: Granted Free Agency.
      January 24, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins.
      March 31, 2005: Released by the Minnesota Twins.
      April 6, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.
      May 26, 2005: Released by the Detroit Tigers.
      May 27, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Washington Nationals.
      October 3, 2005: Granted Free Agency.
      January 5, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
      October 15, 2006: Granted Free Agency.

      • He’s actually been pitching in South Korea for most/all of the past several years, and quite well too for what that’s worth.

  6. crashcameron 3 years ago

    Jim Bowden for Michael Bowden? 

  7. Probably offered Bowden or maybe Doubront. Maybe a AA player. I can’t picture the Sox offering say, Ryan Kalish or Lavarnway. Theo would have, but Ben? Nah!

  8. johnsilver 3 years ago

    He actually wasn’t too bad his 1st 2 seasons, but was pitching afraid more than anything. Avoiding hitters, not using his techniques from japan etc.. Valentine has allowed him to go back to what he is familiar with and understands.

    I posted this here before and NSF am sure saw this on WEEI a week or so ago, but when Matsuzaka 1st showed up to camp? Valentine played toss with him, had a long conversation with him in Japanese (which he is fluent in) and went over how he would let him go about getting ready.

  9. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Matsuzaka was pitching at corners and not directly attacking hitters ever since he arrived. I think that might change to some degree when he returns later this summer.. Call it a hunch.

    Okajima’s success was from hitters not being familiar, that pitcher will go along with and his career going down each of his 1st 4 years shows exactly that. his odd delivery, deceptive hiding of the ball and only high 80’s FB should have been dead give aways from the beginning.

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