Please join me in saying a prayer for Jeremy Hefner. The 28-year-old pitcher is scheduled to undergo his second Tommy John surgery today at a Florida hospital. (ESPN New York)
After having his original Tommy John surgery in August 2013, Hefner began a rehab assignment in Port St. Lucie this summer. After re-injuring a ligament in his right elbow, his season came to an end on August 6.
Hefner pitched in 50 games for the New York Mets in 2012 and 2013, including 36 starts. While his 4-8 record and 4.34 ERA in 2013 are not especially impressive, for a stretch in June and July that year Hefner was one of the Mets’ best pitchers.
The Mets officially introduced Curtis Granderson to the media today, and the new Mets’ cleanup hitter did his best to land on tomorrow’s back pages.
“A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said that, ‘True New Yorkers are Mets fans,'” Granderson said. “So I’m excited to get a chance to see them all out there.”
I don’t know anything about “True New Yorkers,” but I do know that the Citi Field crowds are going to be sparse most days unless the team can get fans excited again.
And Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon told reporters today that the magic isn’t back just yet.
“I think we’re still building,” he said. “I mean, we’d like to win next season, of course. But I can’t tell you what other moves Sandy is going to be able to make between now and opening day. We’ve got a long way to go. This is the second day of the winter meetings.”
I can think of one easy move the Mets could make, assuming Wilpon family finances aren’t an issue – sign Stephen Drew and stop pretending that anybody other than Ruben Tejada really wants him to be the team’s shortstop next year.
But of course it’s not a financial issue, according to Wilpon.
“Right now it’s a baseball decision,” Wilpon said, ” because Sandy hasn’t come to say, ‘Gee, we have to go sign Stephen Drew,’ or anybody else for that matter. …
“I haven’t heard him say that that’s the best thing to do with our resources,” Wilpon added. “He hasn’t come to me and said, ‘Gee, if we had X, we would go take somebody like that.’ So there’s still discussion on who we’re looking at in a trade scenario and what else might be out there.”
And you know what? Maybe Alderson is pursuing a better option on the trade market and all this talk about Tejada is intended to help his bargaining position.
Or maybe the Wilpons have created an environment where Alderson knows not to even bother asking for more money to run the baseball team, just like Bob Cratchit learned not to ask Ebeneezer Scrooge for more coal, no matter how cold it got.
Maybe I missed something – I certainly wasn’t focused on the Mets during the second half of the season (for reasons not really related to their performance) – but I did not see anything that made me question Turner’s work ethic. And I’m more than a little bit tired an “unnamed Mets official” being a source for these types of stories.
One bright spot: Jeremy Hefner, another Met who was non-tendered, will likely return to the organization on a minor league deal while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery next year.
Letting Jordany Valdespin and all of his drama go is one of Sandy Alderson‘s best moves of the off-season.
Scott Atchison, Jeremy Hefner, Omar Quintanilla and Justin Turner are all players who contributed to the Mets to the best of their limited abilities, and I’m sad to see them go.
MLB Trade Rumors’ Matt Swartz projected that Atchison would have made $1.3 million through arbitration, while Quintanilla would have earned $900,000 and Turner would have made $800,000. Neither Hefner nor Valdespin had reached arbitration eligibility, so the Mets could have paid each of them around $500,000.
Total gain thus far today: five 40-man roster spots and approximately $4 million.
Despite rumored meetings, I don’t think that’s going to help put Curtis Granderson in blue and orange next year. (And if an aging, one-dimensional player is going to require a three- or four-year deal, that’s not really a bad thing.)
But the 2014 Mets are no better tonight than they were this morning, and they’ve cut loose two players in Turner and Hefner that I did enjoy having on the team.
The next two weeks are probably the swan song for this blog. The domain renewal is coming up, and I don’t really feel the same enthusiasm for baseball that I did when I began.
I could still change my mind, but I’m having a hard time imagining what I might find to say about the 2014 Mets that anyone would want to read and other commitments will keep me from going to more than a handful of minor league games next season.
I do want to thank everyone who stops by to read Random Baseball Stuff, and I appreciate the friends I’ve made because of this blog.