The latest from the Amazins….
- Teams have shown trade interest in utilityman Jeff McNeil, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required), though Rosenthal is doubtful the Mets would move the 26-year-old. McNeil’s first MLB season saw him hit an eye-popping .329/.381/.471 over 248 plate appearances for New York, numbers that seemingly had him penciled in as the Mets’ second baseman in 2019. After the acquisitions of Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie, however, McNeil may spend more time in the outfield than the infield next season as the team intends to deploy him as a depth piece all over the diamond. Given his six years of team control and the lengthy injury history of several Mets veterans, it makes sense that New York isn’t looking to deal McNeil, though he would certainly be one of the club’s better trade chips if GM Brodie Van Wagenen wanted to make another bold move.
- The larger focus of Rosenthal’s piece is on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, as Rosenthal opines that the Mets should be pursuing either player as a way to make a final push as a true contender. The Mets haven’t been considered as prime candidates for either superstar free agent since both players seem out of New York’s price range, though Rosenthal notes that the Mets will recoup a lot of money from insurance on David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes. Earlier today on MLBTR, Steve Adams listed the Mets as a reasonable candidate as one of the “mystery teams” who are reportedly in the hunt for Machado.
- Travis d’Arnaud is another player who could be taking on a multi-position role for the Mets next season, which the catcher is eager to assume. “Wherever the team needs me or wants me to play, I’ll play,” d’Arnaud tells Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. More than anything, d’Arnaud just wants to get back on the field in general, after missing almost all of 2018 due to a partial UCL tear in his throwing elbow. This was the latest in a long list of injuries for d’Arnaud, which is why the Mets signed Wilson Ramos and relegated d’Arnaud to backup catcher, or perhaps hybrid bench duty as a catcher or corner infielder. There’s also still a chance d’Arnaud could be traded, though he seems to have a clear path to the backup job after Kevin Plawecki was dealt to Cleveland.
- Speaking of roster versatility, J.D. Davis is open to helping the Mets as a pitcher, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes. “It’s a set skill that I have — a good arm and a good fastball — I can go out there and compete and throw some strikes and get some outs, that’s for sure,” Davis said. The Mets don’t yet have any plans to work Davis out as a pitcher during Spring Training, DiComo reports, though he notes that Van Wagenen has twice referenced Davis’ ability on the mound since acquiring Davis from the Astros earlier this month. Davis pitched in college and owns a 92-mph fastball, which he showed off in three mop-up duty relief outings for Houston over the last two seasons. For now, however, his primary role with the Mets will be as depth at both corner infield and corner outfield spots.