The Mets continued their franchise tradition of winning on Opening Day… here’s hoping they can do it again on Wednesday when I go to my first game of the 2017 season.
I’m whittling away the list of current and former Mets players who are not represented in my autographed baseball card collection. Recent additions to my collection have brought it down to 99.
Jerry Blevins – relief pitcher, 2015-present
To play to baseball’s fetish for filling bullpens with left-handed specialists, Mets GM Sandy Alderson traded outfield prospect Matt den Dekker to the Washington Nationals at the end of spring training in 2015 to get Jerry Blevins. He pitched just five innings in the major leagues that year, thanks to suffering a broken bone in his seventh appearance of the the season and then re-fracturing it when he slipped and fell in August. He was effective last season, but seemed miscast – given the opportunity, Blevins was generally effective against right-handed hitters as well as lefties. Time will tell how Terry Collins chooses to use Blevins in 2017. I purchased this rookie signature card for $2.15 from COMC.com.
Pretty much everyone who blogs about baseball cards is offering his or her opinion about the newly-released 2017 Topps Series One set this week.
I’m not there yet. In fact, I just got my 2016 Topps Update Mets team set today.
The New York Mets completed an infield makeover this week, trading Jonathon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Neil Walker and signing free agent Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Baltimore Orioles have re-signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year, $40 million deal that also includes a fourth year vesting option based on plate appearances. (MLB Trade Rumors)
I viewed Hardy as the best available shortstop on the free agent market this winter. With him gone, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie now head a relatively lackluster group. (Hanley Ramirez, of course, is one of the premier players available this winter, but I don’t really see him as a shortstop at this stage of his career – a position change is coming soon for him.)
Cabrera, currently the second baseman for the Washington Nationals, may not be a shortstop for much longer either. He told reporters that he’s willing to remain at second to stay with the Nats as long as they make the right offer. (NatsInsider)
I don’t think Hardy was coming to the Mets — it’s tough to imagine another eight-figure salary fitting into Sandy Alderson‘s budget. I did think Hardy might be a good fit for the Yankees, who still need someone to replace Derek Jeter.
It’s a good time to be a team that has a shortstop or a major league-ready shortstop prospect to deal. It’s a bad time to be a team that needs one.