Mike Pelfrey Rumors
As expected, the Mets will non-tender right-hander Mike Pelfrey, a person with the team told Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). The Mets still want to sign Pelfrey as a free agent, Puma reports.
Pelfrey, 28, earned $5.68MM this past season though he underwent Tommy John surgery after just three starts. For the Mets to retain him through the arbitration process they'd have to offer him a salary in the $5-6MM range -- a considerable amount for a pitcher recovering from a serious injury.
The future of non-tender candidate Andres Torres remains “up in the air,” according to Puma. Torres, 34, posted a .230/.327/.337 batting line in 434 plate appearances this past season. He earned $2.7MM in 2012 and could also be cut loose this offseason.
The Mets will “turn over” the roster this coming offseason, team sources tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Here are the details, starting with the team’s franchise player...
- Team officials remain optimistic that they’ll be able to retain David Wright long-term, Rubin reports. Mets executives hope the third baseman will succeed Tom Seaver as the unofficial ambassador for the organization once he retires as a player, according to Rubin. Wright told Rubin over the weekend that he hopes his next contract will cover the remainder of his playing career.
- Relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are expected to leave as free agents after the season, Rubin reports.
- Rubin hears from Mets sources that Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey will likely be non-tendered this winter.
- R.A. Dickey’s contract includes a club option for 2013 that will surely be exercised, but his long-term future with the organization is not entirely secure, according to Rubin. Mets executives seem wary of making a “sizable commitment” to the Cy Young candidate.
- One Mets person said the team would require “a boatload” to part with Ike Davis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox had two scouts in attendance at last night’s Mets-Marlins game and could have interest in trading for the first time arbitration eligible first baseman, Heyman reports.
The Mets' season has been highlighted by the surprising emergence of R.A. Dickey as a National League Cy Young contender, but by and large it's been a disappointing season for the Amazins, who entered play tonight with a 73-86 record. Here are some links pertaining to the NL East's fourth-place team...
- The Mets are happy with manager Terry Collins but don't want to publicly discuss an extension at this time, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
- ESPN's Adam Rubin writes that both Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen would like to see Mike Pelfrey return to the Mets in 2013. The duo is open to the possibility of Pelfrey pitching out of the bullpen. Pelfrey is unlikely to be ready for the season's opener, as he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1 this season. That, along with his salary, essentially guarantees that he will be non-tendered this season. Pelfrey and agent Scott Boras would then be able to seek a contract with any team.
- Despite the club's struggles in 2012, the entire Major League coaching staff will return in 2013, writes MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Warthen, the team's longest-tenured coach, appeared most in danger of losing his job, according to DiComo.
Before the season, we identified 11 players who were entering "make or break" years. These guys had experienced ups and downs in their respective careers and were positioned to re-establish themselves as difference makers at the Major League level and set themselves up for nice paydays in the future. Now that we're into August, let's take a second to check in each player (all links go to MLBTR posts)...
- Scott Baker, Twins -- Baker, 30, had elbow surgery in April and will miss the entire season. Minnesota will likely decline his $9.25MM option for 2013 (no buyout).
- Phil Hughes, Yankees -- The 26-year-old right-hander owns a 4.10 ERA in 131 2/3 innings this year, including a 3.40 ERA since mid-May. He's a safe bet to be tendered a contract for 2014, his final year as a arbitration-eligible player.
- Jair Jurrjens, Braves -- Jurrjens, 26, pitched so poorly earlier in the season that he had to be sent to the minors. He's since resurfaced and owns 6.89 ERA in 48 1/3 innings, cementing his status as a non-tender candidate.
- Adam Lind, Blue Jays -- Lind has battled back problems and also been demoted to Triple-A this season, and he's hit .227/.298/.394 while with the big league team. The 29-year-old continues to disappoint since signing his four-year, $18MM extension prior to 2010.
- Francisco Liriano, White Sox -- It's been another up and down season for the 28-year-old southpaw, who owns a 5.03 ERA in 111 innings. The Twins traded Liriano to the ChiSox at the deadline.
- James Loney, Dodgers -- Loney, now 28, hasn't helped himself at all this season, hitting just .251/.301/.330 in 327 plate appearances. He might have to settle for a minor league contract this coming offseason.
- Kendrys Morales, Angels -- The 29-year-old is hitting .282/.327/.455 with 14 homers on the year, well below the level he established prior to his leg injury in 2010. Morales figures to be both a trade and non-tender candidate after the season.
- Mike Pelfrey, Mets -- Pelfrey pitched to a 2.29 ERA in three starts before needing Tommy John surgery. The Mets are expected to non-tender the 28-year-old after the season.
- Geovany Soto, Rangers -- The 29-year-old backstop has continued to deal with injuries in 2012 and is hitting just .201/.289/.356. Soto is an obvious non-tender candidate.
- Kevin Youkilis, White Sox -- Youkilis lost his starting job with the Red Sox and was traded to the White Sox, who are likely to decline his $13MM option after the season. The 33-year-old has dealt with nagging injuries and is hitting .238/.339/.427 overall.
- Delmon Young, Tigers -- Young, 26, has had a below-average season at the plate (.266/.298/.402) and has dealt with some off-field problems. He hasn't helped his free agent stock any.
5:52pm: A team source told Rubin that the Mets are expected to non-tender Pelfrey after the season. Tommy John rehab usually takes 12 months, but the non-tender deadline is December 2nd this year.
MONDAY, 4:33pm: Assistant GM John Ricco confirmed to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Pelfrey will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow (Twitter link).
THURSDAY: Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey is expected to miss the rest of the 2012 season to undergo and recover from Tommy John surgery. Manager Terry Collins told reporters that Pelfrey will likely have ligament replacement surgery, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (Twitter links). Pelfrey himself says there's a 99% chance he'll have the operation, according to Martino.
This could represent the end of Pelfrey's Mets career. He'll earn $5.68MM in 2012 and the Mets would have to offer a similar salary to retain him for 2013. As Matt Swartz showed earlier today, injured players don't generally take pay cuts in arbitration, so the Mets might prefer to non-tender their 2005 first round selection instead. The 28-year-old had pitched well in three 2012 starts and owns a 4.36 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in parts of seven MLB seasons. Scott Boras represents Pelfrey, who is under team control through 2013.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Jose Reyes played his first game at CitiField as a Marlin tonight after leaving New York for Miami and $106MM this offseason. Here's the latest on the Amazin's...
- Right-hander Mike Pelfrey was placed on the DL with an elbow injury today, and ESPN New York's Adam Rubin hears he suffered a partial tear of his UCL and could be out for the season. Pelfrey is headed for a second opinion and was a non-tender candidate even before the injury.
- Jason Bay was also placed on the DL today, and Rubin points out that the outfielder's 2014 option vests if one of two conditions are met: 500 plate appearances this year and next or 600 plate appearances in 2013. Bay currently has 57 plate appearances and the injury could impact the first condition.
- Earlier today we had some notes about the left side of the Mets' infield, shortstop Ruben Tejada and third baseman David Wright.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson told Bruce Beck on WNBC in New York that he expects to retain David Wright long-term (via MetsBlog). The GM intends to let Wright play out at least part of the season, but said he "cannot foresee David playing elsewhere.” Here are some more Mets-related links...
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com suggests it’s obvious that Wright’s next contract will exceed $100MM (Twitter link). The Mets have a $16MM club option for Wright in 2013 ($1MM buyout).
- The Mets may have a better rotation than the Yankees, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes. Mets starters have out-pitched their cross-town counterparts three turns through the rotation, but the Yankees can be expected to pitch better over the course of the season.
- Scouts have been impressed with Dillon Gee's command, Madden writes.
- Mets manager Terry Collins admits he may have put too much pressure on Mike Pelfrey a year ago. The Mets briefly considered releasing the right-hander this spring, but he has pitched well to this point.
It didn’t take Ozzie Guillen long to stir up some controversy in Miami. The Marlins announced a five-game suspension without pay for their new manager following his recent comments about Fidel Castro. Here are the latest links from the NL East...
- Guillen, who addressed the media this morning, faced “the biggest day of his professional life” today according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). Heyman suggested Guillen’s job was "at risk” but said the community reaction will ultimately matter most.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown writes that Guillen "possesses no authority on the subject of Fidel Castro."
- There doesn’t appear to be any traction on a possible John Lannan for Marlon Byrd trade, Heyman tweets. The Nationals appear to have discussed Lannan and Byrd with the Cubs.
- The Mets view Mike Pelfrey as an innings eater who stays in games, even if it's not always pretty, Newsday's David Lennon writes. Pelfrey says he's capable of more, but the Mets have low expectations for the right-hander.
The Mets slashed more than $25MM off their Opening Day payroll from last season, but one player they held onto was Mike Pelfrey. The club's Opening Day starter a year ago was a non-tender candidate this past offseason, and now he has to show that they make the right decision by keeping him around for another year.
Pelfrey, 28, has yet to live up to the expectations of being the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft. He has made at least 31 starts and thrown at least 180 innings in each of the last four seasons, but he's pitched to a 4.27 ERA during that time. Pelfrey's career strikeout (5.1 K/9), walk (3.2 BB/9), and ground ball (48.5%) rates leave an awful lot to be desired, especially for a pitcher making $5.675MM in his second year of arbitration-eligibility.
The Mets were reportedly open to trading Pelfrey last month, and at one point they were even said to be considering releasing him. That didn't happen, and instead the 6-foot-7 right-hander will make his season debut tonight. If the club was thinking about trading him in Spring Training, there's a pretty good chance they're hoping he performs well early in the season so they could flip him for a decent return at midseason. Quality starting pitching is always in high demand at the trade deadline.
At the same time, there's also the chance that Pelfrey does not improve his performance and boost his trade value. Another season like last year (4.74 ERA in 193 2/3 innings) or 2009 (5.03 ERA in 184 1/3 innings) likely means that the Mets are stuck with him, at least until the non-tender deadline in December. At that point he would be a free agent coming off three disappointing seasons in the last four years. A good year could mean a trade to a contender and a hefty salary in 2013, but another typical Pelfrey season means something much less lucrative.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe ranks every manager in the majors, one through 30. Cafardo's top five skippers in the game for 2012 are Joe Maddon (Rays), Jim Leyland (Tigers), Mike Scioscia (Angels), Charlie Manuel (Phillies), and Joe Girardi (Yankees). Here's more from Cafardo..
- While the Mets were considering releasing right-hander Mike Pelfrey, they likely won’t do that because there should be a trade market for the veteran. The 28-year-old makes $5.6MM on a non-guaranteed deal and the Mets may be able to get something from a club looking for a back-end starter.
- White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton is a player who always draws interest, though other clubs wish he didn’t make $12MM over the next two years. With Hector Santiago and Will Ohman on the team, the closer could again be trade bait.
- The Cubs may eat some money to move outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is scheduled to earn $6.5MM this season. They may have suitors in the Braves, Phillies, and others. A National League scout indicated that Byrd’s name is being mentioned more and more as the end of spring training approaches.
- Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg is available as the O's try to rid themselves of extraneous players and save money. Gregg makes $5.6MM this year, and the Orioles don’t want his 2013 contract to kick in at $6MM if he finishes 50 games in 2012.
- Cafardo expects long-term extension talks between Cole Hamels and the Phillies to move slowly.
- One American League owner said of the Padres, "They’re probably a half-billion to $700MM purchase. And I don’t believe that many, or any, of the finalists for the Dodgers would be interested."