As we get closer to the start of spring training, teams are looking to fill those last few holes and players are trying to make sure they have some place to report.
The Mets signed former Washington Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league contract on Monday and invited him to major league spring training. With four starting outfielders for three spots, plus Alejandro de Aza earning $5.75 million as the team’s fifth outfielder, the Mets seem unlikely to need Bernadina — at least to start the season. But this is a decent depth signing that gives the Las Vegas 51s a more experienced team and gives the Mets an option with major league experience should they need another outfielder.
Reliever Carlos Torres‘ time as a New York Met appears to be over. The 33-year-old elected free agency after clearing waivers today.
Over three seasons, Torres pitched 241 innings for the Mets in 165 games. He made 10 starts and 155 relief appearances. During his first two seasons as a Met, Torres was an above-average pitcher.
Last year, despite posting the lowest Fielding Independent Pitching of his MLB career, Torres struggled and allowed more hits per nine innings and had a higher WHIP than he had in any of his seasons with the Mets.
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.)
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.)