While awaiting movement on the free agent front, enjoy some lighter fare from around the league…
- New Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo followed a relatively straight path to his first managerial gig, but that doesn’t mean it was easy – or quick. The straight-shootin’, bongo-playin’ skipper was a career minor-leaguer as a player, a Triple-A Hall-of-Famer as a manager, and yet, when he finally got his opportunity as a third-base coach for Kevin Cash’s Rays, the promotions came quickly. Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling charts Montoyo’s career path from the first scholarship he earned as a ballplayer from Puerto Rico through his 18 seasons managing in the Rays minor-league system. It’s a longer profile, but well worth a read for Blue Jays fans who want to get excited about what Charlie Montoyo brings to Toronto: he’s a stern developer of young talent, a keen innovator of fielding shifts and an earnest baseball lifer.
- Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards attempts to estimate the value of entire farm systems in terms of WAR and free-agent dollars. By organizing the top 800 players in the minor leagues into tiers and making one WAR equal to $9MM based on their calculations of free agent values under the current CBA, Edwards has put together a table to show the rough free agent dollar value of each farm system. The Padres’ system, unsurprisingly, tops the charts at 50.9 Present-Day WAR worth $458MM, while the Mariners pull up the rear at 4.8 Present-Day WAR worth $43MM. Their tiering methodology and the prospect grading process is laid out in further detail here.
- The Athletic’s Tim Britton proposes in a four-part hypothetical how the Mets could turn themselves into a contender this winter. Britton’s Plan A includes signing Manny Machado, Yasmani Grandal, a couple of elite relievers and investing in depth. In a purely theoretical context, there’s not much to argue with there. Practically speaking, the subtext suggests that the Mets have holes at both the top and bottom of their roster, with the left side of the infield and bullpen being particular areas of concern that could use an upgrade. Joel Sherman of the New York Post also advocates for a winter spending spree, though he focuses more on the why than Britton, whose focus is the how. The Mets don’t have any payroll commitments beyond 2020, so taking a chance with a megacontract player like Machado isn’t inconceivable, but one player doesn’t usually swing the pendulum. To Britton’s point, there are 520 minor-league free agents available, and the Mets, as well as other teams, should take the opportunity to try and find the next Max Muncy. Other names listed as potential depth targets include Jordy Mercer, Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe, Drew Pomeranz or even a trade target like the Brewers’ Keon Broxton.