Posted in Baseball, New York Mets

‘Tis the season

Baseball’s annual general managers meetings were held last week in Phoenix, Ariz. and the Winter Meetings will be taking place in Orlando, Fla. in a few weeks.

And until there is actual news, baseball columnists and beat reporters will be reporting on assorted rumors and preliminary discussions.

For example:

Ignore these stories unless you are bored or your job requires you to keep track of such things.

(I don’t really like the idea of Ian Kinsler playing second base for the Mets next year, if you’re curious. Sure, he’d be a defensive upgrade over Wilmer Flores… but Kinsler will be 36 next season and had a comparable on-base percentage and worse slugging percentage than Flores in 2017. Plus Kinsler will cost $11 million plus whatever players and/or prospects are needed to acquire him.)

Tony Phillips (1959-2016)

Tony Phillips, a member of the 1989 World Series champion Oakland Athletics, died of an apparent heart attack according to a report by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 56.

Phillips recorded 2,023 hits during an 18-year major league career. He spent nine years with Oakland over two tours of duty, and five years with the Detroit Tigers. Near the end of his major league career, Phillips appeared in 52 games for the 1998 New York Mets. As recently as last year, he was still playing independent baseball.

Posted in Baseball

Tigers sign Parnell to minor league deal

Bobby Parnell
Bobby Parnell (file photo)

Former Mets closer Bobby Parnell has agreed to sign a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers organization, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

Parnell will have a chance to compete for a role in the Tigers’ major league bullpen this spring. After missing nearly all of the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery, Parnell returned to the major leagues last year with the Mets, but he lacked the fastball velocity and control that had made him successful earlier in his career.

Hopefully now two years removed from the surgery, Parnell will be further along in his recovery and better able to contribute at the major league level.

Source: MLB Trade Rumors

Posted in Baseball

Where will Yo go?

Yoenis Cespedes waits in the on-deck circle (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Yoenis Cespedes waits in the on-deck circle during the final regular season game of the Mets’ 2015 season (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is still a free agent, though it seems he might not be one for much longer.

When Chris Davis re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, it seemed to close the door on the possibility that Cespedes would land a long-term contract this winter.

(The Orioles had been the only team willing to offer Cespedes a five-year deal, albeit for less money than he sought, and it looks to me like it was a negotiating ploy with Davis rather than genuine interest.)

Continue reading “Where will Yo go?”

Posted in Baseball

Mayberry moves on

Former Mets outfielder and first baseman John Mayberry Jr. has signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers organization that includes an invitation to major league spring training camp.

I find that remarkable. Mayberry was awful during his 59 games as a Met in 2015, with a .164 batting average, .227 on-base percentage and .318 slugging percentage. When the Mets finally released Mayberry at the end of July, I thought that would be the end of his baseball career. (Somehow I missed his three weeks in the Chicago White Sox organization last August.)

For his career, Mayberry has decent numbers against lefties… so I guess it makes some sense to give him a shot. But how many 32-year-old players rebound from seasons like Mayberry’s 2015?

Anyway, here’s wishing him the best (except when the Mets head out to Detroit during the first week of August.)

Source: Hardball Talk

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Autograph of the week: Travis Fryman

Signed Travis Fryman 1995 Leaf Signature Series baseball card from my collection
Signed Travis Fryman 1996 Leaf Signature Series baseball card from my collection

Travis Fryman played in the major leagues for 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians between 1990 and 2002. He was a five-time All-Star, and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

The Tigers drafted Fryman out of high school in 1987 as a shortstop, making him their first-round pick. Four years later, he made his major league debut and finished 6th in the American League Rookie of the Year voting despite playing in just 66 games.

Over the course of his career, Fryman played more games at third base than he did at shortstop. His career batting average was .274, and he hit 223 home runs and had 1,022 RBI.

Since retiring after the 2002 season, Fryman has managed the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the New York-Penn League and is currently a minor league hitting instructor for the Cleveland Indians.

In 1996, Leaf Signature Series became the first product licensed by Major League Baseball to include an autograph card in every pack. With more than 250 players signing for the set,  you can imagine that most are not greatly valued by collectors today.

Each player had gold, silver and bronze cards, determined by the color of the foil seal at the center of the card. Bronze are the most common, with 3,500 existing for most players. Silver were limited to 1,000 and gold to 500, except for a handful of short-printed cards. You can probably find a bronze version of the Travis Fryman card like I have here for under $5.

(If you’re seeing rounded corners on the scan, it’s an artifact of my blog theme. The Hot Stove Headlines inserts have standard, 90-degree corners.)