Mets GM Sandy Alderson traded for Yoenis Cespedes because he believed the club needed another hitter, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Alderson originally focused on Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and Reds outfielder Jay Bruce because they came with additional club control. However, the Gomez deal was nixed after the Mets reviewed his physical, and the Reds pulled Bruce off the trade block on July 31. Alderson preferred Justin Upton of the Padres, but they refused to back down from demands for pitcher Michael Fulmer, shortstop Amed Rosario, and others. While Alderson still preferred a higher OBP hitter, Cespedes had the best acquisition cost. Per Alderson, if the Mets didn’t acquire a top bat, “people will point to the fact that we were not all in.”
- The Cubs will be a trendy pick to win the National League next season, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times. However, Theo Epstein and crew have a difficult road ahead of them. Within their own division, they’ll have to compete with the always successful Cardinals and recently excellent Pirates. The Mets formidable pitching staff will return next year, the Giants have a way of appearing every even year, and the Dodgers spend the most money in baseball. Unexpected opponents could also jump to the forefront. As Epstein admits, “We have to put ourselves in a position where we have a chance to be great. So we can win the division and not have to go through the coin flip of being in the wild-card game. I’m not saying you can always get there. Some things are beyond your control.” To be great, the club probably needs to add an ace. A veteran to help stabilize the young lineup could also be useful.
- The Mariners have promoted Tom Allison to head of both professional and amateur scouting, tweets John Manuel of Baseball America. Allison had previously served as Seattle’s head of pro scouting so the promotion is an expansion of duties. Per Manuel, Allison had a strong run as an amateur scout with the Diamondbacks from 2007 through 2010. He also worked with the Mets and Brewers in a scouting capacity from 1996 through 2006.