Two Rays Lefties that have my Attention

With the Mets and Rays rumored in talks about pitching, the names are popping up everywhere. While a lot of fans have the hope its Tyler Glasnow, I think the Mets won’t go in that direction. Mainly, because Glasnow would cost. So I took a look at two lefties the Rays are shopping, who definitely fit the Mets needs.

We already covered Yarbrough in our latest article, but he is definitely on my list. The two I go into are Jalen Beeks and Jeffrey Springs. Never heard of them? That happens a lot with the Rays. But like they always seem to do, happened with these two lefties as well: they performed as Tampa Bay Rays.

Let’s start with Jalen Beeks. The 29 year old is coming off a very solid season with the Rays, pitching to a 2.80 ERA in 61 innings. He has two more years of control, so it’s not just a trade for one year. Beeks is a valuable arm to have in your pen, as he is used to pitching more then an inning. In 42 games, he pitched multiple innings in 24 of them. Another pro is his ability to get righties out as he held righties to a .640 OPS. Main reason is his heavy change usage.

Beeks had very strong K numbers in 2022 with a good average exit velo against, showing his main reason for success. Beeks average exit velo (85th percentile), K% (81th percentile) and Whiff rate (85th percentile) are all in the 80th percentile or higher, with his chase rate just under 80 at 72. His walk rate is a little below average, but we see that more often with relievers.

Like I mentioned before, Beeks relies heavily on his change-up. You could call him a fastball-change pitcher as he throws both close to 50% (change 49.25%/Fastball 48.2%). As expected, both pitches are very good but his change is his best with a -8 run value. He gets that with above average horizontal movement, besides his average velo (90.3) just 5mph lower then his FB (95).

Beeks is a very intriguing arm who fits the Mets need with a lefty. He will cost a bit with his MLB Trade Value at 6.7, which would be a package like Eric Orze, Khalil Lee and Junior Santos.

The other arm is Jeffrey Springs, a 30 year old lefty starter, who like Beeks has two years of control left. Springs, as Beeks, is coming off a strong 2022, pitching to a 2.46 ERA over 135.1 innings. Springs has a strikeout rate of 9.6 per nine with a low whip of 1.07. An overall very solid year for Springs. He started the year in the pen, before he found his spot in the rotation. Springs pitched in the Rays way, so his longest outing was 6 innings. Still, the lefty collected 3.6 Wins Above replacement, showing his value.

His percentiles are very solid across the board. His chase rate (95) is one of the best in the league, with above 70th percentiles in avg exit velo (73), expected ERA (75), barrel % (75), K% (71) and Whiff % (76) with a BB% in the 83th percentile. He gets his most success with his change-up, as he had a -12 Run Value on that pitch with a great 38.1 Whiff % on that pitch. It’s his go to pitch to put hitters away.

His most used pitch is his 4 seamer, which isn’t to shabby as well with a -4 run value. He doesn’t throw hard, but provides one of the best horizontal movement on that pitch in the majors. He also mixes in his slider which doesn’t have the Whiff rate, but is still very useful with a -5 run value.

Springs will logically be more expensive in a trade. MLB Trade Values has Springs with a 17.5 value, which is a package Ronny Mauricio and Calvin Ziegler (just an indication). Still Springs would be a great arm to get for the Mets too, to slot into the rotation. It would save the Mets some financial flexibility to add other pieces.

To me both are intriguing arms to add to this depleted pitching staff. With the Rays having a surplus of arms and the Mets a clear need, I am very curious if they find a trade. And I hope for one of these two.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors on Twitter

Mets Make Some Bullpen Moves

The Mets made a couple of bullpen moves yesterday, declining Mychal Givens Mutual option and claiming lefty Tayler Saucedo from the Blue Jays.

The Givens move was a surprise to me as the Mets didn’t pick up a low cost mutual option. With the Mets current bullpen, keeping Givens was a move I would make. Besides his bad first outing, Givens pitched to a 2.70 as a Met AND has been extremely consistent in his full season numbers in recent years. However, the Mets declining his option, means they have a plan. And I can’t wait to see what!

The Mets also made a minor move to add depth as they claimed Tayler Saucedo. A 29 year old lefty that hasn’t found success in his brief time in the Majors, pitching to a 5.40 Career MLB ERA in 28.1 innings.

In AAA however, Saucedo was pretty good. In 2021 he pitched to a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 innings with 12.3 strikeouts per nine. He followed that up with a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings with a 13.5 strikeout per nine rate between AAA and RK this year.

In the majors Saucedo is more of a ground ball machine then a strikeout guy. Over his brief mlb time, he got a very good 58.7 ground ball %. He also held lefties to a .182/.280/.295 slash line.

Saucedo throws mostly sinker/slider but he throws an occasional change, curve and 4 seamer. His Sinker averages at 92.6 with his slider at 83.9.

It’s a depth move with some promise. Saucedo has options so the Mets can put him in AAA and they have control until 2027. If this move works out and the Mets pitching coaches can find a way to make him improve, this could be a very solid addition.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Bring Back the Trumpets

The Mets retained one of their big fish right on the start of free agency, inking Closer Edwin Diaz to a 5 year/102 million dollar contract. The contract will reportedly have an opt out after the 3rd year and a full no trade clause.

The Best Closer in Baseball gets the most money ever by a reliever. Yes, it’s a lot of money but to me the Mets needed to retain him to have their lockdown closer at the end of games.

The 28 year old was absolutely dominant in 2022, pitching to a 1.31 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 62 innings. He even had a 0.90 FIP which shows his season wasn’t a fluke. He didn’t allow a lot of hits, and his walk rate was lower then in his earlier Mets tenure.

Let’s forget about the 2019 year. With the juiced balls, Diaz allowed 15 homers in just 53 innings. That isn’t going to happen again. To me it’s save to say that Diaz will likely be one of the best closer in the game for years to come. And he is a Met!

Let’s enjoy this start of a very exciting offseason for Mets fans!

In other news the Mets have exercised Daniel Vogelbach 1.5m option and Chris Bassitt has Declined his 19m option, becoming a free agent.

Photo Credit: B/R Walk-Off

Should Givens Stay?

To answer this question, we have to explain Givens situation first. The Mets and Givens have a mutual option for $3.5M for next season. This means both have to accept the option for him to stay with the Mets. So this is more a question of: Should the Mets accept the mutual option for 1/3.5M?

To me the clear answer is yes! I know the overall Mets numbers aren’t great for Givens as he had a 4.79 ERA in 20.2 innings as a Met. But if you exclude his first outing (5ER in 0.2), Givens would have owned a 2.70 ERA with the Mets. This shows once again that a small samplesize shouldn’t keep him out of a Mets uniform next year.

Another big plus for Givens is his consistency. How often do we see such different results on a yearly bases when it comes to middle relievers. Over his career, he has been extremely consistent (Only his 2019 season has an ERA over 4). Givens is just 32, coming off back to back seasons with a ERA just below 3.40. To me no reason to expect a decline.

Baseball Savant

If you look at Givens’ Baseball Savant page, you still see solid expected numbers, with a solid K rate and elite fastball spin, which is a big part of his success (Run Value -1 on 4 seamer). He did lose a little bit of zip on the 4 seamer but to me no reason for much concern as he never counted on high velo. Also good to see him having three above average pitches in run value (4 seamer, slider, changeup).

Thinking about Givens to me the words come to mind is consistent and durable. Two things I think the Mets need. The Mets also aren’t in position to not retain solid arms for $3.5M as they have a lot of questions going into this offseason. With Drew Smith as the only main man left, the Mets shouldn’t waste the opportunity to retain such a solid arm.

Photo Credit: Geny Mets Report on Twitter

MetsJunkies Recap: Cookie Retires 18 in a Row in Mets Win

The Mets beat the Giants 6-2 to win their fourth series of the year. With the 6-2 win the Mets improved to 10-4, being the first MLB team to reach 10 wins.

Carlos Carrasco was the star of the show, going 7.2 innings of 2 run ball. At some point Cookie retired 18 Giants in a row, before Yastrzemski broke that streak with a solo shot. Carrasco allowed just 4 hits without allowing a walk, while striking out 7.

Joely Rodriguez got the final out in the eight before Edwin Diaz shut the door in the ninth.

The Mets offense scored runs in different ways today. Lindor and Escobar provided the power. Lindor hit his 4th in a 3 for 5 day. The star shortstop is now hitting. 308 with a .1034 OPS.

Escobar hit his first as a Met as he improved his stats to a .318 average with a .1055OPS. Escobar has been walking a lot, as he added another walk in a 1 for 3 day.

Arguably the biggest hit came of the bat from Mark Canha. After Alonso and Escobar couldn’t come thru with 2nd and 3rd, Canha hit a huge 2 out, 2 rbi single to make it 5-1. McNeil and Nimmo both had a RBI Double in the win.

The Mets will fly to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks tomorrow at 9.40pm. David Peterson will get his second start as he tries to keep his solid start of the year going.

Photo Credit: New York Post