Mets Have Best Prospect in MLB

Listen, Francisco Alvarez is the real fuckin’ deal (Pardon my language, I’m dealing with a whole heap of depression and must take it out on my writing). The good folks over at MLB.com have updated their Top Prospects List, and yes, our Francisco is topped off at the number one spot.

There’s no telling how great of a career this youngster can have, especially once he’s completely comfortable in handling calling a major league game. That’s probably where the true test lies, knowing your pitchers, knowing your opponents, creating a game plan.

However, it’s so clear that we’re not the only ones aware of this tank sized catcher that’s about to take over a majority of the catcher’s duties going forward (Just my opinion, no official word has been released).

He’s hit at every level, except for his short stint with the actual big league club. However, his MiLB slash line is .274/.384/.526/.910 in 895 at-bats, just about two seasons of MiLB ball.

It’s no surprise to me, it shouldn’t be to any other Mets fans at all. But the cool thing is, now the rest of the league is starting to hear and learn about Alvarez, and I just don’t think they’re ready for this beast.

Mets Acquire Relief from Rays

The New York Mets will send over prospect Keyshawn Askew, a 22 year old left-hander that was drafted in June Amateur Draft in 2021, to the Rays.

In return, the Mets will receive reliever Brooks Raley, a 35 year-old lefty with a career ERA of 4.64 over the course of five years.

The Chicago Cubs drafted Raley in 2009, however, it doesn’t look like the reliever found much success up until the 2022 campaign, where he pitched to a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched.

Raley will join a much depleted bullpen, especially compared to last season. However, it’s likely that Mets are not done making additions, especially to the bullpen.

Please vote below or on Twitter! Who should the Mets add to their rotation?

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 have called Rays in search of Pitching

News has broke over the weekend that the Mets, amongst a few other teams, have called the Rays to inquire about pitching. While no names were mentioned, the Rays have more than a handful of players that could be on the move.

Lefty Ryan Yarborough is most likely the one to fit the criteria with his salary reaching $4.2M next season. The Rays could also shop righties Yonny Chirinos and Shawn Armstrong, however both players salaries combine to just $3M and that could help the penny pinching Ray’s go a long way.

Mark Polishuk of MLBTR has pointed out that the Rays were in a similar roster crunch last year with the deadline for the 40-man roster to be set is this upcoming Tuesday. The Rays would end up trading away away four players, all in separate deals. And while none of these trades helped any of the teams put money in the bank, it shows that’s the Rays aren’t scared to pull the trigger.

If it is Yarborough that the Mets are interested in, the lefty has a lifetime 40-31 record with a 4.33 ERA in parts of five seasons for the Rays.

With the Mets rotation potentially looking like it’ll be a completely different rotation next year, there’s no telling where Yarborough fits in just yet.

Is Freddie Freeman a Good Fit for the Mets?

Major League Baseball is back, bay-bay! After the MLBPA and the owners have come to an agreement, teams are now again allowed to negotiate deals with free agents. One of those free agents that are set to garnish a lot of attention is first baseman Freddie Freeman.

The feeling and perception around the league is that Freeman has played his last games with the Braves and plans to be moving on, as reported by Joel Sherman.

There aren’t too many MLB teams that would refuse Freddie Freeman and what he has to bring to the table, offensively as well as defensively. While Freeman is already at the age of 32, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down just yet.

It’s been rumored that the Tampa Bay Rays have shown interest before the lockout took place, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers even offering Freeman a multi-year deal.

The first baseman hit .300/.393/.503/.893 in 600 AB’s for the Braves in during the 2021 campaign, along side 31 home runs and 25 doubles. Freeman took home the Silver Slugger Award while also leading the league in runs scored in what could be his final season in Atlanta.

The Braves did put an offer of $135M on the table throughout five years, however it’s said that the former MVP has his eyes set on at least a six year pact.

The deal is going to take some serious commitments in the form of cash and the amount of years involved. But with Steve Cohen seemingly willing to go the extra mile, it isn’t completely out of the question.

What if the Mets made a deal? How would it effect them?

It would give the Mets a number three hitter for at least two to three years in the form of a solid defensive glove at first. Former Mets catcher and current analyst on SNY, Anthony Recker has stated in a segment that Freeman is the type of player that still wants to be on the field.

It’s a valid statement considering we’ve heard the same from Pete Alonso, also a first baseman. With the DH set to take over, it does give the Mets the option to have both players in the lineup.

However, this would likely force Dom Smith off of the Mets roster. While he’d be an obviously great bat off the bench, a trade would give the team the chance to acquire a middle of the rotation arm or even replenish the MiLB system.

But the answer is “Duh!”, Freeman is a great fit for the Mets.

Photo: Fox Sports