- Bartolo Colon feels he can play “just one” more season. A return in 2018 would make it 21 seasons in the big leagues for Colon, who turns 45 in May. The veteran has become a fan favorite around baseball thanks to his unlikely late-career revival, though Colon finally started to look his age in 2017, posting a 6.48 ERA over 143 innings with the Twins and Braves. Despite his recent struggles, Colon seems to be a likely candidate to land a low-cost MLB contract with a team next year, given his lengthy track record.
- The Rangers are considering issuing a qualifying offer to Andrew Cashner. This would ensure that Texas received some draft pick compensation if Cashner rejected the QO, though given the Rangers’ need for pitching, they could welcome the chance to bring back Cashner on a one-year deal. Still, since the QO carries a hefty cost of $18.1MM, it is still a little surprising that Texas is considering issuing one to Cashner, who is a decent candidate to accept. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently covered Cashner’s interesting offseason case in a Free Agent Stock Watch piece, outlining the many pros and cons suitors face in weighing a Cashner this winter.
- In less-surprising qualifying offer news, the Royals are a virtual lock to extend the QO to Lorenzo Cain but aren’t planning to issue one to Jason Vargas. Tommy John surgery sidelined Vargas for much of his three-year stint in Kansas City, though he was mostly effective (4.16 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 2.31 K/BB rate) over 179 2/3 IP in 2017. Given that TJ surgery and the fact that Vargas turns 35 in February, he’d seem to be a good candidate to accept a qualifying offer, and the Royals probably don’t want an $18.1MM salary on the books as they embark on a possible rebuild.
- There apparently haven’t been any talks between the Angels and Justin Upton about his opt-out clause, which Heyman finds “interesting.” There isn’t any immediate rush, of course, as Upton doesn’t need to make his decision until three days after the World Series is over. “Most see it as a very close call” as to whether Upton will actually opt out of the four years and $88.5MM remaining on his deal given the mutual interest between he and the Angels. The possibility exists that the two sides could work out an extension to tack another year or two beyond the current end of Upton’s deal, though the lack of talks indicates that scenario has yet to be explored.
- The Angels initially tried to acquire Parker Bridwell from the Orioles last year before finally landing the right-hander in April for what Heyman describes as “just a small amount of cash.” This minor deal at the time ended up being a steal for the Halos, as Bridwell delivered a 3.64 ERA over 121 innings, starting 20 of his 21 appearances for Los Angeles.
- According to one Marlins player, the Cardinals reportedly expressed interest in Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Brad Ziegler this summer, with Ziegler’s name surfacing after Trevor Rosenthal was lost to Tommy John surgery in late August. The Cards’ interest in Ozuna (and other Miami outfielders) is known, though this is the first time Gordon and Ziegler have been linked to St. Louis. It makes sense that the Cards would’ve checked in on Ziegler given their sudden need for relief help after Rosenthal went down, though it remains to be seen if Ziegler would be a trade target this winter as the team looks to bolster its pen. Ziegler has a hefty $9MM salary in 2018, though the Marlins could eat some of that money to make a deal happen. Gordon would be an even pricier addition at $38MM owed through the 2020 season, plus a $14MM vesting option for 2021.
A players-only meeting in the aftermath of the trade deadline may have been the turning point in the Twins’ season, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes. A July slump led the club’s front office to deal Brandon Kintzler and Jaime Garcia at the deadline, leaving the clubhouse feeling “angry,” in the words of Byron Buxton. The meeting, led by Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, lasted only 10-15 minutes and “I think the biggest thing in the meeting was to direct that anger or whatever feeling in a positive way,” Mauer said. The message certainly seemed to sink in, as the Twins turned things around in a big way and are now headed to the AL Wild Card game.
Here’s more from Target Field…
- Miguel Sano is “still having discomfort” in his ailing left shin, manager Paul Molitor told Berardino and other reporters today. The slugger felt some soreness while lightly running out a grounder in the fifth inning today and didn’t return to the game. It is still very much up in the air as to whether or not Sano will be activated for the Wild Card game, as GM Thad Levine said that the club may use every minute until the 9am CT deadline on Tuesday to finalize their roster for the game against the Yankees. Sano has gone 1-for-8 since returning from the DL, and as Berardino notes, “has yet to hit a ball in the air.”
- To honor a promise to his late mother, Bartolo Colon intends to pitch in 2018, the right-hander told reporters, including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger and Michael Clair. “That’s the goal. That’s what I promised my old lady and that’s what I want to do,” Colon said. Colon earned the 240th victory of his 20-year career today, and he received a standing ovation from Twins fans when he was removed from the game in the seventh inning just in case this is the end of the road for the 44-year-old. After several effective years that belied his age, Colon finally showed signs of declining this season, posting a 6.48 ERA over 143 innings with the Twins and Braves.
- Glen Perkins was emotional after what may have been his final big league game on Saturday, as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes that Perkins has said that he’d consider retiring if he can’t return to the Twins next season. The St. Paul-born Perkins has spent his entire career with his hometown team, and only just returned to the mound in August after missing over 16 months due to shoulder surgery. The Twins will surely buy Perkins out for $700K rather than exercise their $6.5MM club option on his services for 2018, though there’s a chance he could return on a minor league contract.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson met with the media yesterday to discuss a host of topics, ranging from next year’s payroll and roster to the health of several key players. Some highlights from his comments and a bit more on the Mets to kick off Wednesday morning…
- Via Mike Puma of the New York Post, Alderson didn’t commit to matching 2017’s Opening Day payroll of roughly $155MM. As Puma notes, the Mets have will see more than $60MM come off the books with Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Addison Reed and Fernando Salas no longer on the roster (plus the potential buyout of Asdrubal Cabrera’s option). Per Alderson, though, the Mets’ payroll was “beyond” expected levels. “So I’m certainly not sitting here and saying, ‘OK, [the payroll] is going to be at least as high this year as it was last year,’” the GM stated, later adding that an “undetermined” portion of the money coming off the books will be reinvested into the on-field product.
- One potential area of need, on paper anyhow, looks to be behind the plate. However, Alderson strongly suggested that Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki are still in good standing with the organization and could be the primary catching tandem in 2018 (link via Peter Botte of the New York Daily News). Alderson indicated that d’Arnaud has improved in terms of some of the “esoteric metrics” that the Mets value, though he didn’t specify in what regards. The 28-year-old d’Arnaud has had a poor season at the plate (.232/.281/.397) and has thrown out just 17 percent of attempted base thieves while turning in slightly above-average framing marks. Perhaps more interesting, though, were his comments on Plawecki. “…I think Plawecki did himself a tremendous service going to (Triple-A) Las Vegas and applying himself and recognizing that he didn’t have to simply accept a backup role going forward as a major-league catcher and that he could work toward the possibility of being an everyday guy.” Plawecki slashed .328/.375/.514 in Las Vegas this year, albeit in a very hitter-friendly environment.
- Via Newsday’s Marc Carig, Alderson also noted that the Mets may be in the market for a veteran starting pitcher to help stabilize the rotation in the wake of another injury-marred campaign for the club’s ballyhooed group of starters. A “Bartolo-type” of starter that can be relied upon for 180-plus innings would indeed seem a logical pursuit for the Mets, and the 2017-18 free agent market will have no shortage of options. Bartolo Colon himself will of course be available, as will innings eaters like John Lackey, Clayton Richard and Doug Fister, among many others.
- Alderson revealed that Michael Conforto’s timeline for a recovery from surgery to repair the posterior capsule in his left shoulder is “roughly six months,” via the Post’s Greg Joyce. That’d put him on track to be ready for Spring Training, although the uncommon nature of his injury makes an exact timeline more difficult to nail down. The GM added that doctors have given no indication that there’s a risk of Conforto needing to alter his swing upon returning: “…[T]he fact that it’s his left shoulder, the fact that it’s his back shoulder when he swings, not his throwing shoulder, according to the doctors, is a positive.”
- David Wright’s status moving forward is “uncertain at best,” Alderson stated, adding that the Mets will have to account for the lack of a definite hot corner option as they enter the offseason (via Carig). Wright, who required surgery to repair his right rotator cuff, is still owed $47MM through the end of the 2020 season. However, 75 percent of that sum is insured while Wright is on the disabled list, so the Mets will receive a sizable amount of compensation from 2018’s $20MM salary if the most recent surgery sidelines Wright for a lengthy period of time. Mike Moustakas will headline a fairly thin crop of free-agent third basemen, and A’s infielder Jed Lowrie figures to be one of several names available on the offseason trade market.
- Right-hander Rafael Montero looks to be pitching his way into the team’s 2018 plans, writes Newsday’s Steven Marcus. Since returning from a demotion to Triple-A, he’s worked to a 4.44 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 46.7 percent ground-ball rate in 77 innings. “We said we either see strikes or, you know,” said manager Terry Collins of the message given to Montero when he was last sent down to the minors. “He went down and threw strikes. And he’s come back and he’s done exactly the same thing. When you have good stuff and you throw it in the strike zone, you’re going to get outs.” Montero will be out of minor league options next season, so he’ll need to break camp with the team or else be exposed to waivers.
Bartolo Colon was the winning pitcher in the Twins’ 12-5 win over the Diamondbacks today, giving the 44-year-old another distinction in the record books. Colon became the 18th pitcher in baseball history to record at least one win against all 30 big league teams. The veteran righty was 0-2 in four previous career starts against the D’Backs, but he finally notched that elusive win in his 20th MLB season. While expansion doesn’t appear to be in the league’s immediate plans, we also probably shouldn’t entirely rule out the ageless Colon’s chances of eventually defeating a 31st team.
Here’s some more from around the American League…
- Justin Upton tells MLB.com’s Jason Beck and other reporters that he hasn’t “really even thought about” whether or not to opt out of his Tigers contract. Upton is focused on finishing the season, and will then take some downtime before discussing the opt-out with his agent and his family “probably a week or two beforehand” when a decision will need to be made. One factor will be whether or not the Tigers will look to contend or rebuild in 2018, and Upton intends to speak to GM Al Avila, who the outfielder feels has “been pretty up front with all the veteran guys here with his plans” to date. Recent reports suggested that Upton wasn’t planning on opting out of the four years and $88MM remaining on his Tigers deal, though given that Upton is enjoying an outstanding season, he could potentially top that guarantee if he re-entered the open market. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently ranked Upton as having the sixth-highest earning power of any potential free agent of the 2017-18 offseason.
- Barring injury, Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen doubts the team will make any significant August waiver trades, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. “We’re still watching the waiver market through the month of August but I’m not anticipating that there’s going to be major changes outside of what’s in this organization,” Hazen said.
- The Cardinals recalled Stephen Piscotty from Triple-A as their 26th man for their special Little League Classic matchup with the Pirates, though Cards president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch and other reporters that Piscotty may stick with the club beyond just today’s action. Piscotty has battled injuries and struggled to the tune of a .232/.340/.362 slash line over 291 PA, which led to his demotion earlier this month. It remains to be see how St. Louis would juggle right field playing time between Piscotty, fellow underachiever Randal Grichuk and promising rookie Jose Martinez.
- The Blue Jays started Josh Donaldson at shortstop and Jose Bautista at third base today, and while the lack of a DH for their interleague series at Wrigley Field played a role in the unusual lineup, manager John Gibbons told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm and other media that “you may see them out there together again.” Bautista has some past experience at the hot corner, while Donaldson’s first three career games at short all came during this three-game series with the Cubs. This lineup shuffle, if more regularly made, would allow Nori Aoki or Ezequiel Carrera (or a September outfield callup) to see more time in Bautista’s usual spot in right field, and the Jays could then bench one of the light-hitting middle infield duo of Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney.
- Brett Anderson is again going through the process of joining a new team and recovering from another injury, though the veteran southpaw tells Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that he is still hopeful of becoming a healthy and productive member of a rotation. “It’s a gift and curse that I like baseball enough to keep doing this,” the 29-year-old Anderson said. “I’m not super old by any stretch, but I’ve been around for a while, and hopefully I’ve pushed a button and I age in reverse, got all that stuff out of the way before I’m 30, and have some healthy years going forward.” Davidi’s piece also notes that the Blue Jays have long been intrigued by the lefty’s potential, nearly acquiring Anderson as part of a three-team deal with the A’s and Rangers in the 2013-14 offseason, though issues with Anderson’s physical scuttled Toronto’s interest.
In the wake of Robbie Grossman’s fractured thumb, the Twins are turning to one of their top organizational prospects. Catcher Mitch Garver, who ranked ninth on Fangraphs’ summer edition of the team’s top prospects, is being called up to the Majors, the club announced. In addition to his work behind the plate, the 26-year-old Garver has played 14 games in left field this season, so he can serve as a third catcher as well as a spare outfielder or first baseman. Garver’s bat also could be a nice addition to the team’s bench. In 372 Triple-A plate appearances, Garver has slashed .291/.387/.541 with 17 homers and 29 doubles.
A few more notes out of the Twin Cities…
- Right-hander Bartolo Colon has enjoyed some success with the Twins after a terrible start to the season in Atlanta, and he tells John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he’s open to playing beyond the 2017 season. There was some brief talk of retirement for Colon, but the 44-year-old has turned in a solid 4.21 ERA in 36 1/3 innings with the Twins (albeit with more concerning peripheral metrics). Colon also tells Shipley that a phone call from former Angels teammate Ervin Santana may have been the tipping point in Colon signing with the Twins. The Mets were also pursuing a reunion with Colon, but the veteran righty said some urging from Santana, the Twins superior place in the standings and the opportunity to serve as a mentor for a number of young Twins pitchers all appealed to him. “…I thought it’s not only an opportunity for me to pitch, but an opportunity to teach other young players how to pitch and how to be big-leaguers,” said Colon.
- The Twins placed lefty Dietrich Enns, who was only just acquired from the Yankees as part of the Jaime Garcia swap, on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain yesterday. Enns missed more than two months of the season with a shoulder issue as a member of the Yankees’ Triple-A club, and Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press suggests that the Twins could potentially seek additional compensation from the Yankees if Enns’ shoulder issue proves to be serious.
- The Astros and Mariners have both showed plenty of interest in right-hander Ervin Santana this summer, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports in his latest podcast (audio link, Twins talk starts up around the 45:00 mark). However, Minnesota has never shown any real willingness to deal him, and there’s no reason to expect that they’d change that mentality now with a Wild Card spot still in the crosshairs.
- Minnesota GM Thad Levine joins Wolfson to discuss several Twins topics ranging from outplaying their run differential, to the performance of young players to the fine line between making short-term and long-term moves this time of year. Of surging outfielder Eddie Rosario, Levine notes that he and Twins chief baseball office Derek Falvey received quite a few inquiries from other clubs regarding Rosario. Many teams wanted to gauge whether the new front office duo valued Rosario (and others, though Levine doesn’t get into specific names) as highly as their predecessors. “We made it clear to them that we view this guy as part of the core, part of the future of this franchise,” said Levine of Rosario. The 25-year-old Rosario is hitting .297/.337/.500 with 16 homers, 25 doubles and a pair of triples this season.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon tells ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he’s considered retirement recently. The 44-year-old signed a minor league pact with the Twins and made his debut in Minneapolis last night, surrendering four runs in four innings vs. the Yankees. Colon hasn’t made up his mind yet, and it sounds as if he’s planning to make his next start (which comes against the Dodgers in L.A. on July 24), but Rivera notes that his performance in that outing could directly impact his future.
The 2017 season has been brutal for the affable Colon. Signed to a one-year, $12.5MM contract on the heels of an excellent age-43 season with the Mets, Colon limped to an 8.14 ERA with the Braves before last night’s poor outing with Minnesota. Colon did navigate the Yankees’ lineup rather successfully twice through, allowing just one run in his first four innings of work, but he allowed some hard contact in the fourth before kicking off the fifth with a single and a pair of ringing doubles that ended his night.
Colon’s admission is somewhat reminiscent of 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo’s candor with the media earlier this season, in which the veteran Reds right-hander bluntly acknowledged to the Cincinnati media that if he didn’t soon “see something a little bit crisper and able to keep us in the ballgame a little bit better, maybe you’re at a dead end street.”
Obviously, the Twins and Colon will both hope for better results in his next scheduled outing. If he’s able to soak up some innings for a Minnesota club that finds itself a surprising contender in late July, he’d be a quality asset simply by functioning as a durable innings eater. That, however, hasn’t been the case to this point. There’s no evidence to suggest that the Twins would try Colon in a long relief role, and it’s not known how open he’d be to that at this stage of his career.
If things do go south for Colon once again in his next time out and it does prove to be the end of the line, he’ll have turned in a fairly remarkable career. Colon has spent parts of 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, totaling 3329 1/3 innings while appearing as a member of the Indians, Angels, Mets, Athletics, White Sox, Expos, Twins, Braves, Red Sox and Yankees. In that time he’s worked to a 235-171 record with a 4.02 ERA, 6.7 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 and been named to four All-Star teams in addition to taking home 2005 American League Cy Young honors.
4:54pm: Hughes adds that if he can avoid undergoing a second surgery, the issue may not quite be season-ending (Twitter link via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press).
4:04pm: Hughes tells reporters that he’s experiencing the same symptoms he felt last year and could undergo another surgery to remove the remaining portion of the rib that was half removed in the first procedure (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger). He’s seeking additional opinions before deciding a course of treatment.
3:50pm: The Twins announced on Tuesday that they’ve placed right-hander Phil Hughes directly onto the 60-day DL — he’d been on the active roster — due to a recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. Hughes’ 2016 season was cut short by surgery to alleviate TOS, but the veteran righty has struggled to stay healthy in 2017 even after the operation.
Hughes, 31, has pitched to a 5.87 ERA through 53 2/3 innings in 2017 as he attempted to reestablish himself following a pair of down seasons (both of which may well have been impacted by the TOS issue). Hughes maintained his excellent control and actually upped his strikeout rate a bit as he tried to reinvent himself as a changeup/curveball artist to compensate for diminished fastball velocity (89.7 mph on average). Upon his return from a DL stint tied to biceps tendinitis, Hughes was placed in the bullpen with the hope that a change in role could keep him healthy and help to bolster a Twins relief corps that has often been problematic in 2017.
Unfortunately for both Hughes and the Twins, the results obviously weren’t favorable, and now a return this season looks to be uncertain. The earliest he can be activated from the disabled list would be mid-September. Hughes is still controlled for another two seasons beyond the 2017 campaign, during which he’s guaranteed a total of $26.4MM.
The placement of Hughes on the 60-day DL seemingly represents a change of course, as last night it was reported that righty Dillon Gee would land on outright waivers today, thus creating a roster spot for Bartolo Colon. The Twins, however, announced that Colon will step into Hughes’ roster spot, so for the time being it looks as though Gee will remain on the 40-man roster.
In related moves, the Twins also announced that lefty Craig Breslow has been activated from the disabled list, with first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas being optioned to Triple-A Rochester to create a vacancy on the 25-man roster for Breslow’s return.
The Twins have prepared their roster moves to accommodate the promotion of recently signed veteran Bartolo Colon. Minnesota will outright fellow righty Dillon Gee, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter), with slugger Kennys Vargas being optioned for an active roster spot.
Once that move is official, the 44-year-old Colon will be ready join his tenth MLB organization. The twenty-year MLB veteran signed on with the Twins on a minors deal after a disappointing start to the year with the Braves, who’ll remain responsible for the vast majority of his $12.5MM salary.
With the Minnesota front office eyeing possible pitching upgrades at the trade deadline — with a focus on controllable arms, per reports — it’ll have a few chances to see Colon pitch again in the majors before making any final decisions. It’s unlikely that the ageless wonder will significantly alter the club’s decisionmaking, but if he shows well the team would obviously have somewhat less incentive to consider giving up talent or taking on salary for a short-term rotation boost.
Though Colon was knocked around with the Braves, coughing up 57 earned runs on 92 hits in his 63 frames, he has been much better in recent years. In 2016, in fact, he spun 191 2/3 innings of 3.43 ERA ball. That kind of productivity isn’t to be expected, of course, but perhaps there’s reason to hope he can still turn in some reliable frames. That’d be a welcome development for the Twins, who hope to stay in the postseason hunt but surely don’t wish to push in too many chips to do so as the organization’s new front office keeps the focus on achieving sustainable contention.
Gee, 31, was briefly called up after joining the Twins on a minors deal. But he did not appear before being optioned back to Triple-A. He made four appearances earlier in the year with the Rangers, but has spent most of the season at Triple-A. Gee has been rather effective in his 66 innings over a dozen starts, working to a 3.00 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. A veteran of eight MLB campaigns, Gee is looking to reestablish himself at the game’s highest level after a pair of rough seasons.
Right-hander Bartolo Colon, whom the Twins signed to a minor league deal July 7, will start Minnesota’s game against the Yankees on Tuesday, reports Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. The 44-year-old spent the first couple months of the season with Atlanta, which signed Colon for a guaranteed $12.5MM over the winter but had to release him after he recorded an 8.14 ERA across 63 innings. Colon has made one minor league start with the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, and even though it didn’t go well (four earned runs on four hits and two walks, with five strikeouts, in 3 2/3 innings), he’ll return to the majors for the upstart playoff contenders. Colon won’t get any defensive help Tuesday from standout center fielder Byron Buxton, whom the Twins placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a left groin strain. His absence will make room for the return of Joe Mauer, who went on the DL earlier this month after straining his lower back.
More from the AL:
- In the wake of yet another poor outing from Kevin Gausman on Friday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t rule out demoting the righty to the minors, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. “That’s a matter of, you can get a lot of opinions on the answer to that question,” Showalter said in regards to whether a Triple-A stint would benefit Gausman. “I have my own thoughts and we listen to a lot of people, and if something like that was a possibility we were thinking about, he would hear about it. He wouldn’t read about something I responded to. But that’s always an option.” The 26-year-old Gausman was likely the Orioles’ best starter in 2016, but he has experienced a shocking fall from grace this season. Across 100 innings, Gausman has pitched to a 6.39 ERA (with a better but still-ugly 5.19 FIP), and he has only registered quality starts in five of 20 tries. He surrendered eight earned runs on seven hits, four of which were homers, in a loss to the Cubs on Friday.
- The Red Sox acquiring third baseman Todd Frazier from the White Sox is reportedly “almost inevitable,” and landing the powerful veteran would make plenty of sense for Boston, details Mike Petriello of MLB.com. As a dead-pull hitter, the right-handed Frazier would be able to take advantage of the left field wall at Fenway Park, notes Petriello, who adds that he’d also give the third base-needy Red Sox a competent defender at the hot corner. As an impending free agent, reeling in Frazier wouldn’t require an enormous haul, likely a prospect in the 11-20 range and one in the 21-30 range, posits Petriello.
- While the Red Sox have their own big-time third base prospect in Rafael Devers, they’re not counting on him to contribute in the big leagues at this point, president Dave Dombrowski told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and other reporters Friday (Twitter link). The 20-year-old Devers moved to Triple-A on Friday after dominating Double-A pitching over the first three months of the season.
- Injuries to second baseman Jason Kipnis and hot-hitting outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall have “complicated” the Indians’ approach as the deadline nears, president Chris Antonetti admitted Saturday (Twitter link via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com). Kipnis went on the DL last Sunday with a strained right hamstring, while Chisenhall landed on the shelf Friday with a strained right calf. With those two out, the Indians are casting a wider net in their search for potential upgrades, relays Bastian.
With the 39-46 Mets well out of the playoff picture, Mike Puma of the New York Post looks ahead to what could be an offseason of upheaval for the club. In addition to having a slew of veterans set for free agency over the winter, general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins are also on expiring contracts. Given the way the Mets’ season has gone, it’s possible owner Fred Wilpon will nudge the soon-to-be 70-year-old Alderson toward retirement, per Puma. Regardless of whether Alderson or someone else is their GM, Puma expects the majority of the Mets’ offseason attention to go to their bullpen. Meanwhile, they probably won’t re-up either first baseman Lucas Duda or outfielder Jay Bruce over the winter (if they’re not already gone by the July 31 deadline, of course), relays Puma, who writes that the latter is likely to seek a four-year contract on the open market. It’s certainly debatable whether the 30-year-old Bruce would be worth that type of commitment, but he has made a case for it this season with a .265/.334/.539 line and 23 home runs over 353 plate appearances.
More from New York and two other National League cities:
- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Friday that first basemen Tommy Joseph and Rhys Hoskins “can’t coexist on the same team,” and GM Matt Klentak implied the same on Saturday. Asked if the Phillies have considered using one of the two in left field, Klentak told reporters, including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “We haven’t tried that, so you wouldn’t know until you tried it. But there’s a reason both of them are playing first base right now.” With only one position available for the two of them and Hoskins currently running roughshod over Triple-A pitching, Joseph could be the odd man out by the deadline. The 25-year-old’s trade value likely isn’t high, suggests Gelb, who posits that Philadelphia could package him with a rental in order to extract more value in a deal.
- The Mets believe Bartolo Colon chose to sign with Minnesota over returning to New York because they wouldn’t have been able to guarantee him a rotation spot for the rest of the season, according to Puma. A starting job is particularly important to the 44-year-old right-hander because he’s vying to become the winningest Dominican-born pitcher of all-time, notes Puma. With 235 victories, Colon is eight away from tying Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
- Giants outfielder Austin Slater suffered a torn adductor muscle in his right hip Friday and will miss two to three months, likely keeping him out for the rest of the season, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 24-year-old Slater began his major league career in promising fashion between his early June promotion and the injury, hitting .290/.343/.430 in 108 PAs.