The Mets made a run at James Paxton, but they were outbid by the Mariners, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman suggests the Mets will now turn their attention to Taijuan Walker or Jake Odorizzi. Frankly, it seems unlikely they would find the right price point on Odorizzi coming off a very similar season to Paxton (but with a longer track record of good health). Besides, the list of players the Mets “were in on” includes Jake Arrieta, Rich Hill, George Springer and others, notes Andy Martino of the SNY Network (via Twitter). That’s not a knock on the Mets, of course, who have been one of the more active teams this winter. Let’s check in some other free agent pitchers…
- Free agent reliever David Robertson threw for a handful of teams yesterday, but the price on his long-term future remains unclear. His old pals from New York were in attendance, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter), but the Yankees are far from the only team who might have interest. Despite the dumb-luck turn of his Philly tenure, Robertson is an intriguing buy-low candidate. Injuries limited the right-hander to seven appearances over the past two seasons, but in the ten years prior, Robertson should be proud of a 2.67 ERA/2.77 FIP while striking out an excellent-for-the-era 32.6 percent of hitters and walking a near-average 9.5 percent of challengers. The Yankees probably remember better than most just how good Robertson was in his prime. Approaching his age-36 season, Robertson is decidedly on the downslope of his career – but he has a long way to fall before losing his utility.
- Aaron Sanchez also headed back to the hill to throw for scouts on Saturday, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). The Mets were among those present, as they continue to keep their hand in the starting pitching market. Sanchez is on record as wanting a spot in the rotation, which could limit his potential landing spots. It now seems like ages ago that Sanchez led the American League with a 3.00 ERA over 30 starts for the Blue Jays in 2016. Since that All-Star campaign, Sanchez has compiled a 5.29 ERA/5.12 FIP across 55 starts totaling 272 1/3 innings with a worm-killing 47.8 percent groundball rate. An 18.1 percent strikeout rate and 11.7 percent walk rate are less than inspiring figures, however.
Phillies should take a look at Sanchez.
Just make sure he doesn’t open his own luggage
For the win…
I heard that Aaron Sanchez is really cooking, but who am I to judge?
I agree 100%. Sanchez could be a solid buy low
I would use him in the bullpen though. I doubt he ever makes it as a starter again.
Randy Red Sox
Red Sox need starters. They should 100% be in on Sanchez.
Did not expect the Mariners to outbid anyone after hearing how ownership wasn’t allowing Dipoto to spend. Good for them.
Exactly! After reading Ryan Divish’s article on Dipoto’s frustration with ownership I didn’t expect any signing never mind one of the offseasons top FA’s!
Might as well get them to pick up Rosenthal and B Gardner while you’re at it JD
Would love those moves. Can’t wait for Ryan’s next podcast to hear what’s changed.
Gardner would make so much sense. Wouldn’t take a long term commitment, can still play CF, shouldn’t cost too much, is probably still serviceable and won’t block anyone if they take a step forward.
I think getting Lewis into LF more is good way to reduce risk of injuring himself given how bad his injury was, so someone who can play CF and LF without blocking prospects is exactly what they need. Someone like Gardner or Pillar could take pressure off the outfield and allow Haniger some time at DH, which could allow France more time at 1B, which is something I would like to see in case White can’t figure things out. I do like White though, if he can cut down on strikeouts, well at least compared to his 2020 season line, and elevate the ball a little more he could surprise given he has decent bat speed.
@ayrbhoy, I mentioned Rosenthal early in the offseason. Rosenthal and Gardner sound good. I’d like to see a LH slugger though.
Right, I read this and nearly spit my coffee at the screen, Mets out bid by the non competitive Mariners???
I guess he said screw the Big Apple, I’m going home
@Hippyripper- yeah the Big Maple really blew it not signing with the Mets or the Blue Jays. If he is healthy he really could of helped both teams in 2021. The Mariners seem to have a bright future though and as you mentioned he probably missed his time out there which is close to Canada where he is from.
you know the Mets, nor any other competitive team, is going to outbid for every player, right?
The comp of James Paxton and Jake Odorizzi since the start of the 2019 season:
JP 34 GS, 171.0 IP, 4.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.92 FIP, 4.02 xFIP,
3.8 fWAR, 2.1 bWAR
JO 34 GS, 172.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.58 FIP, 4.36 xFIP,
4.2 fWAR, 3.4 bWAR
Paxton is about 17 months older than Odorizzi.
Steamer and ZiPS project Paxton with 2021 WAR of 2.1 in 26 starts and 2.7 in 23 starts while projecting Odorizzi with 2021 WAR of 1.7 in 28 starts and 1.8 in 24 starts.
I’m taking the under on Paxton starts. He has never thrown more than 160 innings in a season since he got called up in 201.3.
Odorizzi himself has not been an innings eater over his career. He’s also an extreme FB pitcher that definitely needs the right park and OF defense to succeed since his career k rate has been under 8k/9 in 6 out of 9 of the seasons he’s pitched at the MLB level.
The 2021 Marcel projections for James Paxton and Jake Odorizzi:
JP 102 IP, 4.32 EAR, 1.30 WHIP, 3.16 K/BB
JO 94 IP, 4.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 2.72 K/BB
I think it’ll depend on where his fastball sits. He lost 2-3 mph off his fastball. It’s possible some of that rebounds but at 92 mph there’s just as much chance he’s a #4 pitcher who can’t stay healthy. I still like the signing, it was only over 20 innings, so even a 1 mph boost could help.
Sanchezs’ coach has been posting Aaron’s progression over the past Couple of weeks on Instagram. He was throwing 88-90. However, Aaron himself, today posted a video throwing 95-98 with a caption something like “who wants it?”
Behind the fence you can see many on-lookers.
That year he led the AL with a 3.00 ERA, he had a 15-2 record. He barely pitched more than 100 innings in a year and that year he pitches 192 innings. He was never the same after that. I just hope Nate Pearson who only has 120 minor league innings total is being monitored closely.
I feel like for effectiveness and longevity sake, Aaron Sanchez is best suited for the pen. Of course Boras is looking at a rotation spot for his client. I would be very surprised if a contender would sign him as a starter.
I feel like he has unfinished business as a Jay and I would love to see him in a long relief/spot start role.
D Rob come back to New York you belong in Pinstripes
I loved Robertson until he spearheaded a vote to deny playoff shares to some coaches and trainers.
Robertson was the worst FA signing in the history of the Phillies organization. And that’s saying something.
@lukesdad That rumor has beem debunked sort of. There’s a lot more going on.
Not even close. Ryan Howard will forever hold that crown given the circumstances. Still Arb eligible. No reason for that contract.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Someone’s always gotta be mad about something.
Bring D-Rob & his high socks back to The Stadium.
@mlbnyyfan- love Robbie also. But doubt the Yankees are releasing Luis Cessa or Al Abreu to bring him back unless it’s a minor league deal with incentives. My guess Atlanta, Washington, Tampa and Dunedin makes more sense for Robbie. Yanks seem more interested in Justin Wilson so keep an eye on that happening.
Tampa makes the most sense to me.
Aaron Sanchez was babied his entire time with the jays and look what happened, he still blew out. These pitchers are training to blow out. They train to only throw harder. Not longer just more velo.
Nobody knows what the blisters did. They may have impacted his delivery causing arm problems as well. Teams should grind these guys while they have they under control and abuse them. When they reach free agency, QO them and let them go.
When the Mets didn’t sign Trevor Bauer they should of signed Odorizzi and Paxton right away. Not doing so likely gave the NL East to the Braves.
Gave the NL East to the Braves? Are additional moves not allowed during the season?
@John Anderson- Absolutely, I’m talking about right now though not later on.
“…gave the NL East to the Braves.”
“I’m talking about right now though not later on.”
I’m curious to what title you win in February?
IMHO, Paxton not signing with NYM isn’t going to be it – if ATL overtakes NYM for the division. Not signing Brad Hand – or another upper-tier RP (in addition to Trevor May) – will be the difference, especially with Lugo missing some time. Díaz in a full year will be interesting.
Not so sure about that. When Paxton is right and healthy, he becomes an ace or a strong #2.
Atlanta has much better young players than the Mets- Acuna,Albies,Soroka, Waters, Pache and maybe even Riley. Those guys could each take a step forward and then Muts will be looking at their back pockets in a hurry. Atlanta has been a good team getting incrementally better for several seasons. Experience counts. Mets should enjoy the ride and get used to the idea that they are a long shot to get out of the NL East
Mets have become the February Blue Jays with their MLBTR intrest in so many players.
Mets do seem to get outbid regularly under the new Cohen regime. No issues, but seems to go against what Mets fans insisted was going to happen when the richest owner in MLB showed up.
Yeah, I love it!
I think we all greatly lowered our expectations when he brought Sandy back. It’s cool though. We’re used to not being a contender.
I’m okay if the Mets get out bid. just because we have a wealthy owner DOES not mean we should have to grossly over pay either if we see a player we like for a good price no doubt we should get them but a history of injuries and coming off a shortened season due to one at almost 10 million I can see why they passed. he should of been a buy low bounce back piece
There are a finite number of players and so you do have to over pay in free agency. That is a big part of why only 5-6 teams can afford big name free agents. All park of a broken system.
Some Met fans may have been under the delusion that Cohen= crazy stupid spending, but really it means spending smart. Throwing cash around wantonly on contracts is not the way to build a winning team. They assess what a player is worth and if they get outbid they get outbid… that’s smart business… they’re not drunken sailors.
Great! Until you needed a 3rd basemen and you have playoff aspirations, but the last one was just signed and it was a huge overpay. Now what?
It’s not that hard to understand. Sandy is getting outbid not Cohen. Sandy doesn’t like to overpay but Cohen has no problem doing it.
Who do you think the guy giving Sandy the money is? It’s Cohen getting outbid, plain and simple.
No one is getting outbid. The Mets could have chosen to offer an even larger contract, they chose not to. A free agent signed for more money somewhere else, nobody lost. Mets will just pivot.
Outbidding for every free agent is a good way to have the most expensive non winning team ever assembled
If I’m James Paxton, or any other fringe starter like him, why do I want to come to the Mets? With the acquisition of Luchessi and Syndygaard returning, there are very limited innings. So, in my opinion at least, if I’m looking to resurrect my career (and shoot for a multi year contract) I’d rather go to a place where I’m guaranteed innings, and not somewhere where i might be a spot starter or swingman at best. I think that’s why you see guys like Arrietta choosing elsewhere.
Luchessi is far from a sure thing. And neither is Noah, coming back from TJS. There will be plenty of innings to go around.
Could very well be the case, and the cliche is true that you can never have enough pitching. But my point is if I’m an aging starter vying for my end of my career contract I’d rather not wait on those inning to open up (if they do) with the Mets when I can go to a non contender and guarantee myself a spot
On the other hand, he’s coming into a 6 man rotation. Not the best ideal scenario to max out out you’re number of possible innings. If he really wanted to do that, he would’ve gone somewhere with a 5 man rotation.
However, just before Dipoto traded James there was reportedly a conference between the two for a couple of hours. It is believed that Jerry let James know that when he hit free agency to consider coming back to the Northwest. It all seemed to work out perfectly, didn’t it Jerry.
They’re rich not dumb look @ the Phillies
The Mets are being smart as they know they have important pieces to re-sign the next couple of seasons and will most likely exceed the CBT in 2022 & 2023. They’d be wise to stay under the CBT this year if at all possible. While there will be a new CBA in 2022, the owners will definitely want a similar CBT structure in the CBA if not a true salary cap, but the only way the MLBPA would ever agree to a cap is if they: 1) establish a required minimum salary for every team of at least 50% of the salary cap ($100M+ per team) and 2) owners agree to ‘open their books’ and tie the salary cap value to annual revenues. The more revenue they bring in, the higher the cap would go every year.
Somehow, I don’t see the owners agreeing to do this so they will most likely stay with some iteration of the existing CBT they have in place now. The Mets seem to be banking on this happening and are set up to spend big in 2022 provided that 2021 shows promise of them being close to contention.
And if it doesn’t happen it blows your very first line about the Mets being smart. As good an offseason they’ve had there are a ton of questions relating to payroll and the ability to defend on the field.
Exceeding the threshold somehow makes the Mets smart without actually proving themselves on the field. A premature take. You are going off hypotheticals and that’s never a smart move.
Dorothy Mantooth – stuck at 0
I disagree. Mantooth has some of the best takes on here. We’re always dealing with hypotheticals, especially with a new owner. This whole site is about rumors and hypotheticals.
I agree. Both posters know baseball and both have very different styles. Mr Guest knows the game but gets a little confrontational sometimes and I don’t understand why.
‘Mr. Guest’ doesn’t offer anything other than poor atempts at insults and a lack of understanding. If he was open to friendly debate, he might actually learn something.
But that’s not his ‘style’.
Halo you know full well you debate with people. To judge me on my style is very hypocritical on your part considering your banter with many on this site. If I wanted hypocrisy or combativeness I’d turn to Stevil.
Dorothy contradicted his entire take with the payroll analogy. Also forcing teams to spend to a floor isn’t the way to go. It would flip the market into chaos where guys will be overpaid so teams reach the 100-million mark. It asks for trouble.
Agree fully that all teams should spend 100mil+.
Ownership would never agree but a reverse CBT would be good, try and force teams like the Rays and A’s to open their pocketbooks more.
It could increase over multiple years of being under, just like the CBT does for being over, so teams fresh into a rebuild can shed salary early in the process but keep teams from being perpetually cheap.
Salary floor will send some vets to early retirement.
If they spend big now and fail miserable it’ll give them less flexibility in 2022 and 2023, and possibly give the new ownership a bad taste.
The BlueJays need to sign Odorizzi. I am glad Paxton is gone somewhere else, he is a shadow of the pitcher he once was. Odorizzi can get the job done if a #3.
@Jimmertee- both pitchers were needed to keep up with the Yankees in the AL East. Luis Castillo has to be traded for now. And Odorizzi has to be signed for Dunedin to have any chance this season.
The Yankees are obviously the favorite in the AL East but they have to be healthy to ultimately win the East and that is no guarantee they have a lot of injury prone players. If what has happened the last several seasons happens to the Yankees again they could finish third. They have to find a way to stay healthy since Toronto has definitely improved this year and Tampa is Tampa with literally tons of arms and talent coming. Should be interesting.
I’m so tired of hearing how much $ the Blue Jays have already. They really don’t have a high payroll. They owe it to their fans to compete in the AL East. If they refuse to spend money their cheating their fans. Castillo and Odorizzi would definitely give them that chance. Sounds worth it.
Yea Tor, play a money spending game against a team(s) with NO spending budget. Yea great idea….
The Mets have a long way to go. Cohen has made some visible improvements to the current roster and the team will be more fun to follow in the short term. He has a tremendous amount of additional work to do to build the Franchise into something that can compete for a title. Most of the current moves will be impactful for only a couple years. The team can get to the postseason over the next two years while Carrasco and Degrom front the rotation. Doesn’t look like they have enough upside to beat Atlanta, SD or LAD on a consistent basis. Could they get past all three 2021 or 2022 – sure. Is it likely- no. Give them a 5% chance.
The real issue is that they don’t have a lot of difference making players in the pipeline to build a consistent contending team. Nor the organizational talent to acquire and coach up that talent.
Cohen should take the next two years to see how far this built to win now team can go. Build the FO, analytics etc. that a superior team needs, execute a rebuild after it’s clear how far the 2022 team can go (hint – probably not far enough) including trading off all players that won’t be around for the time when they can be WS Contenders starting in~2026 / 2027.
Bonus take – Cohen still has to learn the business of MLB. He’s not playing with the kids in the street. He doesn’t have FO talent comparable to RSox, LAD or Tampa. He can’t buy a title.
He seems to understand buying prospects and short term assets (e.g Lindor) since it’s akin to the principles of arbitration that he’s familiar with.
He is willing to spend money and so for has not saddled himself with the albatross $300+ million dollar contract(s) or overpriced FA. He’s competed for some (Springer, Bauer), but walked away when they hurt longterm plans. That discipline is what is most encouraging about the current situation.
Let’s play two.
As the Rays and Dodgers have shown, there is more than one way to build a consistent winner.
So tired of hearing about the Mets already. I can’t wait for the season to begin so they can start losing games, everyone can go back to focusing on teams that are actually good.
Exactly, same old Mets. Nothing has changed except it will be a new owner taking the fall this time for their constant failure.
What is this childish hobby Yank fans have irrationally hating on the Mets? It’s both odd and pathetic.
Curious to see the market for Robertson and Cole Hamels; veterans with a long-history of success, but marred by recent injuries that make them a huge risk.
The Mets have a horrible organization. Getting a rich owner and hiring an 70 year old executive ain’t gonna fix it anytime soon.
Old guys lose it and that’s just a fact. Seen it with volunteers I’ve worked with- it’s laughable the stupid stuff the old goats foul up. Had 4 yrs of it in DC and got 4 worse ones coming. Just dumb dealing with over the hill, out of touch pretenders