New York Mets Rumors

New York Mets trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Mets Release Cesar Puello

The Mets have released former outfield prospect Cesar Puello, tweets Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.

Now 24 years old, Puello ranked as highly as third among Mets prospects at one point, per Baseball America, who also ranked him 77th among all prospects prior to the 2010 season. Puello, however, provided little in the way of offense from 2010-12 at the Class-A level. Hie numbers ticked upward in 2013 at Double-A, but he was also suspended for PED use that season in connection with the Biogenesis clinic. Puello hit just .252/.355/.393 in a very hitter-friendly environment at Triple-A Las Vegas the following season upon his return.

The Mets placed Puello on outright waivers prior to the season, and the out-of-options outfielder cleared, though the team had to rescind the outright assigmnent and place him on the big league 60-day disabled list after an x-ray revealed a stress fracture in his back. He’s accrued Major League service time while on the 60-day DL this year.


Latest On Bobby Parnell

2:21pm: The team has announced the DL stint, saying that Parnell is dealing with shoulder tendinitis, per Matt Ehalt of the Record (via Twitter).

12:36pm: The Mets have placed right-handed reliever Bobby Parnell on the 15-day DL, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (Twitter links). While that is not terribly interesting in its own right, Puma adds that the team first gave Parnell the choice of being designated for assignment or accepting an optional assignment to Triple-A.

Parnell, 30, still seems to be working his way to full strength after Tommy John surgery, and Puma notes that he’ll likely hit the DL with some kind of elbow fatigue cited as the reason. But the real cause of the move is the lackluster performance of the club’s former closer. Over 19 1/3 innings on the season, he’s permitted 12 earned runs, 24 hits, and 12 walks while registering only ten strikeouts.

Needless to say, the road back from his TJ procedure last spring has not been a smooth one for Parnell. His progress was slower than hoped at times, and his average fastball velocity is down nearly two miles per hour from the 95.1 mph it registered in his last full season (2013).

With the move to the DL, Parnell won’t be capable of returning to the active roster for two weeks. And it remains to be seen what the Mets intend to do thereafter. While rosters will have expanded in the interim, the club’s apparent willingness to designate him does not seem to bode well for his chances at opportunities down the stretch (and into the postseason). Parnell will be a free agent after the season, and as things stand he’ll be looking at a one-year deal to rebuild his value.


Mets Notes: Bullpen, Montero, Wright

Here’s the latest on the Mets, who currently enjoy a healthy 4.5-game cushion over the fading Nationals in the NL East:

  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson says that he does not “foresee” the team pulling off a deal to bolster its bullpen, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (Twitter links). While New York has had some uneven results out of its pen, Alderson said that the players who have cleared waivers would not seem to offer much of an upgrade. He did indicate that righty Vic Black could be brought back up to add another arm.
  • One player who won’t be able to provide support from inside the organization is righty Rafael Montero. Alderson said that Montero has suffered a setback that may well see him shelved the rest of the season, as Puma reports (Twitter links). The New York GM said that the promising 24-year-old, who has dealt with shoulder issues for much of the year, is now back to “square one” in the recovery process.
  • In more promising injury news, the Mets seem to be lining up a big league return next week for third baseman David Wright, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. Wright, who has been out for an extended stretch with potentially serious back problems, could be activated for the team’s series at the Phillies. The Mets are obviously eager to welcome back their highest-paid player and will hope that he can provide a boost at the plate. While trade deadline infield additions Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson have boosted the club’s depth, neither has hit particularly well since coming to New York.


NL East Notes: Ozuna, Marlins, Collins, Utley

Marcell Ozuna‘s 33-game stint in Triple-A was “like a jail” to the outfielder, as he tells Adam Zuvanich of the Miami Herald.  The Marlins demoted Ozuna in July ostensibly due to his early-season struggles, though agent Scott Boras believed the Fish were keeping Ozuna in the minors to deny his client MLB service time and prevent his arbitration eligibility.  “I know what happened when they sent me down. I knew that’s coming,” Ozuna said.  “I don’t go there for work, because they know me. I don’t need the work. One for 36, 1 for 100, every big-league player has it. I have it and everybody has it.”  Ozuna rejoined the Marlins this weekend after Christian Yelich went on the disabled list.

Here’s more from Miami and elsewhere around the NL East…

  • Some in the Marlins front office want to keep Ozuna rather than explore trades for him this offseason, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports, though “at least one prominent Marlins person is open” to moving the outfielder.  Ozuna drew trade interest from several teams (including the Indians) prior to the deadline.
  • Also from Jackson’s column, he writes that the Marlins want to wait until after the season to make their intended managerial change so that they know the full pool of candidates before making a decision.  This will allow the team to include any current managers in their search should those skippers be fired; Jackson cites the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly as an example.  Jackson adds that there’s no front-runner for the job, though previous managing experience will be an important criteria.
  • Mets manager Terry Collins isn’t concerned about his contract status, telling Newsday’s Steven Marcus that he has “no idea” if the club will discuss an extension with him while the season is still going.  “I’m telling you, I don’t think about it. I think about playing golf in November. That’s the only thing on my mind right now,” Collins said.  Collins’ deal expires at the end of the season though the Mets hold an option on his services for 2016.  A team spokesman tells Marcus that the Mets will “address [a possible extension] at the proper time,” which I would presume refers to after the season is over.
  • Assuming the Mets make the postseason or fall just short, Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com suspects the team will exercise their 2016 option on Collins and extend his deal through the 2017 season.  It would “border on disrespectful,” Cerrone feels, if the Mets didn’t have Collins extended before next Spring Training given how the skipper has exceeded expectations since being hired as somewhat of a transitional manager.
  • The Mets need to acquire yet another bullpen arm to address their still-struggling relief corps, Joel Sherman of the New York Post opines.
  • Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin admitted that it’s difficult to find playing time for trade candidate Chase Utley, as Andrew Gruman of MLB.com writes.  “I mean, yeah, we like ‘Ut’. It is an issue for me, because I have to try to play everybody, and the guys that deserve to play, like [Cesar] Hernandez and so forth, I want them to play. But I want Utley to play, too. It is not an easy task for me, but we’ll do what we can,” Mackanin said.
  • Nationals assistant GM Doug Harris is profiled by James Wagner of the Washington Post.  Harris oversees the club’s farm system and manages the Nats’ pro scouting department in addition to other duties, and is seen as a potential future general manager by many around baseball; just earlier today, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tabbed Harris as a contender to be the Brewers’ next GM.

Jose Reyes Clears Waivers

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes has cleared waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, making him eligible to be traded to any team. Heyman hears that “at least a couple of teams” have been “poking around” regarding Reyes, but the Rockies aren’t necessarily shopping him around.

There’s been at least some contact with the Yankees about a possible Reyes matchup, Heyman reports, though it’s not known how serious their interest is. Didi Gregorius has been outstanding for much of the summer, hitting .290/.329/.383 dating back to June 1 to go along with his strong defensive work. Reyes could be viewed as a second base option by the Yankees, who have received little from their primary option at the position, Stephen Drew.

Reyes, 32, was hitting reasonably well at the time of the stunner that sent him and three pitching prospects from Toronto to Denver in exchange for Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins, but he’s struggled greatly in his new environs. Reyes is hitting just .216/.241/.275 with the Rox — a sharp decline from the .285/.322/.385 he was slashing with the Blue Jays. From a defensive standpoint, Reyes has declined over the past two seasons, so it’s possible that some clubs would think of him more as a second base option than a shortstop anyhow. (Although, getting off the turf in Toronto could revitalize his legs and back to some extent.)

Given the substantial financial commitment still remaining on Reyes contract, it’s unsurprising to see him go unclaimed. He’s still owed about $6.37MM of this year’s $22MM salary, and he’ll earn $22MM in both 2016 and 2017, plus a $4MM buyout of a $22MM option for the 2018 season. All told, that’s about $54.37MM owed to Reyes through the 2017 season.

For what it’s worth, Heyman hears that while Reyes spoke highly of the Mets this weekend and seems to be amenable to a return to New York City, the Mets did not show any interest in reacquiring him following his move to Colorado.

Reyes becomes the third known player to have cleared revocable waivers. We’ll be keeping an update-to-date list of players that have cleared waivers, and you can always find a link to that list on the MLBTR Features sidebar on the right-hand side of the desktop version of MLBTR. (Mobile users may want to bookmark the post for easy reference.)


Mets Links: Harvey, Cuddyer, Plawecki

The Mets shut out the Rockies last night by a 4-0 score, while the Nationals got shut out themselves, dropping a 5-0 result to Zack Greinke and the Dodgers.  Thanks to that pair of blankings, the Mets now hold a 2.5-game lead over Washington for first place in the NL East.  Here’s the latest from Citi Field…

  • Matt Harvey‘s eight shutout innings fueled Tuesday’s victory, though now that the ace righty has 148 IP for the season, his innings limit is beginning to loom large.  The Mets have frequently stated that Harvey will be capped at around 185-190 innings this season, his first since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013.  “I will tell you this: We are going to do everything in our power to keep from shutting this guy down — any of those guys down,” Mets manager Terry Collins said, told reporters, including MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.  “He’s on pace to get to his [limit] fast….If we get into September to where we’ve got to have the game Matt Harvey pitches, he’s going to pitch it. But that’s why we’ve got to make sure he’s OK to do that.”  The Mets will revisit a six-man rotation once Steven Matz returns from the DL in September.
  • Michael Cuddyer has gone from key offseason acquisition to only a part-time player, Newsday’s David Lennon writes, as the Mets are committed to giving Michael Conforto regular at-bats.  Cuddyer’s season-long struggles at the plate and his recent DL stint have opened the door for Conforto to take playing time, at least against right-handed pitching.
  • The Mets optioned catcher Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A, calling up Anthony Recker in a corresponding move.  Now that Travis d’Arnaud is fully healthy, Plawecki is going back to the minors to receive everyday playing time until the rosters expand on September 1.  As ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin calculates, Plawecki should amass 147 days of Major League service time for 2015 (his rookie season).  Assuming Plawecki is back on the roster in 2016 and beyond, he could receive an extra year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two player in two seasons’ time, given how two years and 147 days is beyond any of the last seven Super Two cutoffs.
  • Jose Reyes tells Tim Rohan of the New York Times that he would like to eventually return to the Mets to wind up his career.  “I’d love to — not now, because I have two more years on my deal. But I’d love to finish my career here in New York. I have some great memories here,” Reyes said.  The Rockies shortstop makes his offseason home in Long Island.

NL East Notes: Utley, Marlins, Mets, Fister

The Giants, Yankees and Cubs — three potential Chase Utley suitors — all had scouts in attendance at last night’s Phillies game, reports CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. According to Salisbury, that’s the fourth straight game in which the Giants have kept tabs on Utley, who was in the game at first base as a possible means of showcasing him to trade partners. He also lists the Dodgers as a potential trade partner in the wake of Howie Kendrick‘s injury, although L.A. has called up top prospect Jose Peraza for the time being. Salisbury also notes that Utley has been hitting leadoff since returning to the lineup, possibly as a means to maximize his plate appearances in front of interested scouts.

Here’s more from the NL East…

  • The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote urges the Marlins to end the Dan Jennings experiment in the dugout and allow the former GM to return to the front office role for which he is better suited. Cote opines that if the goal is to bring in an experienced manager to command respect in the clubhouse and signal a commitment to winning — as others have written — then the Marlins should act now rather than wait until the offseason, when other teams are offering competition for such types. If the Marlins are to hire someone like Ron Gardenhire or Bud Black, doing so now would allow the new manager time to assess his team and what he feels is needed this winter while also affording Jennings more time to prepare for the offseason alongside president of baseball ops Michael Hill.
  • The Mets opted to keep Michael Conforto on the 25-man roster upon Michael Cuddyer‘s return from the DL (Eric Campbell was instead optioned to Triple-A), and as ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin writes, GM Sandy Alderson foreshadowed that decision to some extent in stressing the team’s current win-at-all-costs mentality. “Our mindset is we want the best 25 players we can put on the field,” said Alderson prior to the official announcement of the Conforto/Campbell decision. “Issues of development, etc., are secondary to whether anybody can help us now. That’s all relative based on who’s doing what and comparisons among players.”
  • GammonsDaily.com’s David Golebiewski breaks down the reasons for Doug Fister‘s ill-timed and rapid decline. As Golebiweski notes, Fister’s gone from one of the game’s most underrated starting pitchers to a long reliever in short order and isn’t likely to receive another chance to start this season unless the Nationals incur an injury in the rotation. The timing couldn’t be worse, of course, as he’s now a few short months from free agency. Fister’s robust ground-ball rate has fallen below the league average, he’s throwing significantly slower and getting crushed up in the zone as a result of it, and his command of his secondary pitches has deteriorated, Golebiewski points out.

East Notes: Marlins, Matz, Blue Jays

The Marlins are looking hard at the upcoming pitching market, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami has already penciled in three names to its 2016 staff — Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Jarred Cosart — but feels like it needs two additional arms. While the club is said to have some interest in Johnny Cueto, it’s far from clear as yet whether he’ll actually be a reasonable target. As Jackson notes, though, it’s shaping up to be a deep market.

  • Jackson also addresses the Marlins managerial situation, noting that the team will likely look to add an experienced skipper if Dan Jennings moves back to the front office as now seems to be expected. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro also hears that experience will be a key desire, with a “no-nonsense” personality such as Jim Riggleman possibly making sense.
  • The Mets are hopeful that lefty Steven Matz can work back to the major league rotation by the start of September, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets. Matz impressed in his first two starts before going down with a partial lat tear, but could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. His return is particularly important for the streaking Mets, as they’ll need to manage innings for several starters down the stretch.
  • While they’ve done plenty of roster maneuvering in recent weeks, the Blue Jays are still looking at outfield and starting pitching additions in the August market, GM Alex Anthopoulos told Sportsnet 590 The FAN (via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca). The Toronto GM said that he sees an outfield acquisition as the far likelier outcome of his search. “We have had some discussions, taking a look at fourth outfielder candidates,” Anthopoulos said. “That’s something that we’re currently working on right now and if we can upgrade in the rotation, we’d like to do that as well. But this time of year … very few guys clear [trade waivers] and the ones that do probably have massive contracts which pose their own problems.”

Cafardo On Pierzynski, Cespedes, Torre

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe gives his suggestions for fixing the Red Sox.  One idea is for Boston to take advantage of the Mets, who have offensive needs but might not have the willingness to address them in free agency.  The Mets may be forced to use their pitching depth in order to improve their offense, and one baseball person wondered aloud to Cafardo whether Matt Harvey could be had for Xander Bogaerts.  Cafardo also sees Pablo Sandoval for James Shields as a logical deal as the Red Sox and Padres would be swapping bad contracts.  Here’s more from today’s column..

  • “While it’s not assured yet,” the Braves would like to keep A.J. Pierzynski beyond 2015, Cafardo writes.  The catcher is making $2MM this season and he could be in line for a raise given his play in 2015.  Through 77 games, the catcher owns a .302/.340/.446 slash line with 7 homers.  Pierzynski, who turns 39 in December, has an OPS of .765, his best showing since 2012.
  • A five-year, $100MM deal for Yoenis Cespedes isn’t out of the question, according to one agent who spoke with Cafardo.  The outfielder figures to be one of the few quality bats available on the open market this winter and the agent cites Hanley Ramirez’s deal as reason to believe that Cespedes could hit $100MM.  Ramirez signed a four-year pact worth $88MM that can balloon to $110MM if his fifth-year option is exercised.  The Mets might not be willing to go that high for the slugger.  Tim Dierkes ranked Cespedes No. 6 on his most recent update to the MLBTR Free Agent Power Rankings.
  • Joe Torre, currently MLB’s vice president of baseball operations, told Cafardo that he wouldn’t rule out working for a team again, though it would have to be the right situation.  Cafardo wonders if Torre could be a candidate to join the Red Sox‘s front office with Larry Lucchino stepping down.
  • Speaking of Lucchino, those who know the outgoing president and CEO well say that he wants another challenge.  The Blue Jays and Nationals (Lucchino has D.C. roots) are two teams to watch, Cafardo says.

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/8/15

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment after Toronto acquired Ben Revere at the trade deadline. Carrera has managed a solid .279/.327/.374 line with three home runs and two steals in 164 plate appearances.
  • Lefty Aaron Laffey has accepted the Rockies‘ outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Albuquerque, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Colorado designated Laffey for assignment last week. He has pitched 7 1/3 innings for them this season.
  • The Phillies have released veteran righty Juan Gutierrez, MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweets. Gutierrez’s camp is negotiating with at least two teams, including one with whom it’s deep in talks. The 32-year-old Gutierrez has posted a 3.66 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 51 2/3 innings this season at two Triple-A affiliates. He spent last season in the Giants bullpen.
  • The Orioles have outrighted OF/1B Chris Parmelee, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline. He hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.
  • The Mets have outrighted lefty Alex Torres to Triple-A Las Vegas, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. The Mets designated him for assignment when they acquired Eric O’Flaherty last week. Torres has posted a 3.15 ERA and 9.2 K/9 in 34 1/3 innings with the Mets this year, but with 6.8 BB/9.
  • Catcher Eric Fryer has accepted the Twins‘ outright assignment and will report to Triple-A Rochester, the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino tweets. The Twins designated Fryer for assignment on Thursday. He’s played very sparingly in parts of five seasons with Pittsburgh and Minnesota, batting .235/.316/.324 in 152 plate appearances in his big-league career.
  • The Diamondbacks plan to select the contract of righty-hitting infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak, agent David Sloane tells MLBTR. The 29-year-old Romak hit .289/.373/.554 with 22 home runs in 458 plate appearances for Triple-A Reno after the D-backs signed him to a minor-league deal last offseason. He played briefly for the Dodgers in 2014 but has spent most of the past several years in the high minors. In parts of 13 seasons, Romak has also played in the Braves, Pirates, Royals and Cardinals organizations, and he has a career .255/.344/.463 line in the minors. He has played outfield, first base and third base throughout most of his career, but this year he has also appeared in 24 games at second base.