Longtime Mets broadcaster and Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner passed away today at the age of 91. Kiner made his Major League debut with the Pirates in 1946 and proceeded to lead the Majors in home runs in each of his first seven Major League seasons. Injuries limited his outstanding career to just 10 seasons, but in that decade of work he batted .279/.398/.548 and belted 369 homers. Kiner joined the Mets broadcast team in its inaugural season of 1962 and continued working games until 2013. He went into the Hall as a Pirate in 1975.
MLBTR sends its condolonces to his family, friends and all of the people whose lives Kiner touched. Here is a look at some transactional news relating to the Mets …
- Stephen Drew's agent, Scott Boras, is seeking an opt-out clause after the first year of a deal, reports ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. Though the Mets are willing to consider guaranteeing two or even three years to the free agent shortstop, says Rubin, they view the opt-out as a "deal-breaker."
- After watching Fernando Rodney sign with the Mariners, the Mets remain interested in adding a late-inning arm to their pen, reports Rubin. The team hopes it can land a solid option on a minor league deal, Rubin adds.
- The Mets are among the teams that will watch reliever Joel Hanrahan throw in a showcase tomorrow, GM Sandy Alderson said in an appearance today (as reported by Michael Baron of MetsBlog.) We heard earlier today that the Orioles could also be interested in Hanrahan, who figures to appeal to many clubs if he can prove his health.
- In an interview with ESPN.com's Keith Law (audio link), Alderson explained that the club has been prioritizing upside in its player acquisitions. The club has gone after high-ceiling high schoolers in the draft while employing what Alderson terms non-traditional methods of evaluation. Likewise, Alderson said, the team has gone against convention by pursuing relatively older players in the international market. The whole interview is well worth a listen for anyone interested in prospect acquisition and development.
- Meanwhile, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon spoke with Mike Lupica of ESPN New York 98.7 FM (audio link), telling him that he expects the club to be in the mix for a Wild Card this year. Wilpon explained that the club will stick with Alderson's long-term plan, but hopes to stay competitive without Matt Harvey by relying on the organization's wealth of young arms.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.