George A. King III of the New York Post relays the tragic news that Yankees prospect Alexander Figueredo, a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher, was shot to death in his native Venezuela. Figueredo missed the 2016 season on the suspended/restricted list for unknown reasons, though the circumstances that led to his suspension seem wholly unimportant in the wake of King’s report. We at MLBTR would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and teammates of Figueredo as well as the entire Yankees organization in light of the talented youngster’s untimely passing.
As we all keep Figueredo’s family and friends in our thoughts, a few items pertaining to New York’s two teams…
- Both the Yankees and Mets are telling agents that they need to move some veteran pieces in trades before they can sign additional talent this winter, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees have been fielding calls on both Chase Headley and Brett Gardner, while the Mets have been listening on Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson (with a strong preference to deal the former rather than the latter). The Mets and Yankees both have interest in relievers Boone Logan and Brad Ziegler, but neither is likely to head to the Big Apple barring a preceding trade of a notable veteran.
- Trading Headley is likely more difficult for the Yankees than many realize, and not solely due to the remaining $26MM on his contract, writes Sherman in a second piece. While it’s true that Headley is a roughly average player earning $13MM annually, the Yankees are also short on MLB-ready replacements, Sherman notes. Ronald Torreyes is more of a utility option than a candidate to replace Headley as an everyday option. Trading for someone like Todd Frazier would fill the void, but only for one year, and Frazier comes with a similar salary plus the loss of minor league talent that would need to be sent to the White Sox. The free-agent market presents options like Luis Valbuena and Trevor Plouffe, which could leave the Yankees enough money to add a setup man in free agency, but each of those scenarios is contingent on multiple moves coming together, making it difficult to bank on them.
- Mets right-hander Matt Harvey started up a throwing program last month and is progressing well in his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, he tells Newsday’s Marc Carig. “That’s all gone,” Harvey said of the tingling and numbness he was experiencing in his fingertips due to the nerve issue near his shoulder that necessitated the operation. “My hand was really cold all the time. So, I’ve got some warmth back. No more tingling. And the ball’s really coming out really good right now, especially for December.” Harvey was brilliant in his 2015 return from Tommy John surgery, but TOS limited him to 92 2/3 innings in 2016. In that time, he logged a highly uncharacteristic 4.86 ERA with a diminished strikeout rate and increased walk rate. A healthy Harvey would go a long way toward helping the Mets back to the postseason for the third straight year, though he’s one of many arms that will enter 2017 with some injury question marks. Steven Matz had surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow and also battled shoulder problems this year, while Jacob deGrom underwent ulnar nerve surgery a few months back and Zack Wheeler never pitched in the Majors due to lingering problems in his recovery from 2015 Tommy John surgery.