Here’s the latest from Citi Field…
- Pitching coach Dan Warthen had intended to retire after the season but now would like to return in 2018, he tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Despite Warthen’s plans, “after this year, I want one more year. I don’t want to leave them [the pitching staff] like this.” Warthen, who has been the Mets’ pitching coach since June 2008, is respected around the game and is popular with his pitchers and Mets owner Fred Wilpon, though he does have some critics in the organization. Warthen and the rest of the Mets’ coaching staff (as well as manager Terry Collins) aren’t under contract for 2018, and with wide speculation about Collins’ future, it stands to reason that a coaching shakeup could take place if New York does indeed make a managerial switch.
- The Mets face a difficult offseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, as the team wants to stay competitive but may cut payroll, and planning ahead is difficult since the Mets don’t know how many of their multiple injured stars will rebound in 2018. If the Mets “really a big-market team,” Sherman opines, they’ll bring back Asdrubal Cabrera, Juan Lagares and Matt Harvey next year at a total price tag of roughly $23MM to provide needed roster depth and flexibility. For external help, Sherman feels that the Amazins could add some slightly less-expensive help (he lists such names as free agents Eduardo Nunez, Howie Kendrick, Logan Morrison or possible trade targets Dexter Fowler and Ian Kinsler) rather than aim for a big-ticket free agent like Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer.
- Trades could be difficult, Sherman adds, since the Mets have a thin farm system and (even more troublingly) several of their younger players took hits to their trade value in 2017 due to injury or under-performance. First baseman Dominic Smith, for instance, hasn’t produced much in first taste of MLB action, and despite being a top-50 prospect, still has some doubters who question his fitness and ability to hit for power at the big league level. Given these concerns, as one executive puts it, “that is a hard sell and then (the rival GM) is going to ask, ‘why are the Mets willing to get rid of him?’ ”
- The Mets don’t seem to be planning any changes to their training staff or their affiliation with the Hospital for Special Surgery in the wake of the injury-ruined season, according to Newsday’s David Lennon. In an effort to simplify and improve how the team releases medical information to media and fans, the Mets have been publishing a daily injury report listing the progress, prognosis and forthcoming steps for each injured player.