New York Mets: Peterson Pitches Well, Bullpen Not So Much in 7-3 Loss

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets have some questions behind their quartet of top-tier relievers, and Robert Gsellman and Stephen Tarpley continued to heighten the need for reliable middle relievers. After a scoreless seventh inning, the Washington Nationals roughed up Gsellman in the eighth inning.

Josh Bell‘s majestic opposite solo home run tied the game at three and almost cleared the scoreboard. Gerardo Parra put the Nats in the lead with an RBI single giving them a 4-3 lead. They added a two-run homer from Luis Garcia and RBI single from Adrian Sanchez to complete the 7-3 victory.

David Peterson was in line for the win before the blown save from Gsellman. Peterson pitched six solid innings with four hits and two runs allowed. The Nats did a bulk of their damage during the fourth inning, with three hits and two runs in their top half. Singles from Josh Harrison and Hernan Perez were the only damage against the slender lefty. Peterson only struck out two but was very effective in the outing. He did not allow a hit for the first half of his start.

Manager Luis Rojas hopes to have a second lefty in the bullpen, but Tarpley squandered one of his final opportunities to make the roster. Tarpley allowed four hits and three runs, including the Garcia homer, and only retired one batter. Due to their rough outings, Gsellman and Tarpley made their route to the Opening Day roster bumpier. Tylor Megill came in and prevented more runs from being charged to Tarpley’s ledger in the ninth.

The Mets offense recorded 12 hits but only pushed 3 runs across. James McCann‘s RBI single provided the first run during the second inning. The other two runs came in the sixth when Dominic Smith lucked into an RBI triple on a dribbler that Bell misplayed at first base and J.D. Davis lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield. McCann and Francisco Lindor were the two Mets with multiple hits on the night.

On Saturday, the Mets play another home game when the Houston Astros visit Clover Park. Bryan Abreu (1-0, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound against opener Jacob Barnes (0-1, 5.40 ERA). Barnes opens up for Joey Lucchesi for the 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY.

 

New York Mets: Carrasco’s Injury Overshadows 3-1 Loss to Nationals

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Jed Lowrie may no longer steal money from the New York Mets, but his ghost still torments the organization. After recovering from an arm injury, Carlos Carrasco strained his right hamstring while conditioning. Carrasco is likely to be out for Opening Day, leaving the fifth starter job wide open.

As for the Mets on the field, their offense went quiet again in a 3-1 loss for the Nationals. Marcus Stroman continued to impress with five terrific innings. Stroman only allowed one run on two hits while striking out six Nats.

The Mets threw all major league ready arms after Stroman left the game. Jeurys Familia did not walk anyone but allowed a home run and a double during his one inning of work. Aaron Loup suffered a similar fate when he allowed a solo homer to Josh Bell in the seventh inning. Edwin Diaz and Trevor May were as good as advertised in their respective innings. Diaz worked out of a second and third jam while May pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with a strikeout.

James McCann drove in the lone run in the first with a double that scored J.D. Davis all the way from first base. Kevin Pillar took advantage of batting second to record two more hits to push his spring average up to .348. Luis Guillorme continued to prove his worth with another stellar defensive play. This one came at shortstop with a sliding stop to his backhand to record the groundout.

On Friday, Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the second time this spring. Walker gets to pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals for another 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY.

Mets catcher James McCann will make building a rapport with Jacob deGrom a priority

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

James McCann was the second high-profile free agent that signed with the New York Mets, when he put pen to paper on a four-year, $40.6 million deal late last year. He is now appointed as the catcher of the future for the team, at least the foreseeable future, that is.

McCann held a press conference this week and offered his thoughts about the Mets’ direction, the season ahead, and the team’s ace.

For him, one of the most important things will be establishing a successful working relationship with the Mets’ ace, Jacob deGrom. For McCann, it is very important to make deGrom feel comfortable pitching to him.

“I think that Jake is a phenomenal pitcher. I think that he’s gonna rank up there with some of the best that I’ve ever caught,” McCann told reporters on Tuesday via Zoom. “And I think that the pressure really for me is to get onto his page.

“He’s a guy that has found success and sustained success at that. It’s my job to come in and figure out how I can make him happy, figure out how to best make him who he is. He’s not a guy that I’m gonna come in and try and change or try and do something different with. It’s a guy that I need to get on his page.”

The Mets’ new backstop wants to get to work

The New York Mets’ catcher said he talked to deGrom in the offseason and then again this week, and he is ready to ask all the questions to him as the two build a strong relationship.

“The best way to do that is to catch him and get know him,” McCann said. “I’m really looking forward to learning from him as well, because he’s obviously mastered a craft that few can master.

“We communicated a little bit in the offseason and we actually had some good conversations today. Just kind of talking about what he likes to do, what his approach is, and really just — me trying to get on his page probably means that I’m gonna ask him a lot of questions, probably to the point where he gets annoyed by it. The little bit that I have dealt with him, I know that he’s kind of a no funny business type guy. So I’m sure my questions will eventually annoy him. But it’s just gonna be me trying to figure him out.”

McCann then spoke about the state of the team, and its strenghts.

“I really like our rotation,” he said. “I think you look from top to bottom, there’s a lot of strengths. Our lineup, there’s a lot of depth there. I don’t want to pick out one particular thing. I think this club, really honestly, is built to do a lot of things really well.”

New York Mets: Ali Sanchez Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals

Ali Sanchez quickly found a new home after the New York Mets designated him for assignment on Thursday. The Mets shipped Sanchez to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations. Yadier Molina is on top of the depth chart, but Sanchez will battle Ivan Herrera and Andrew Knizner for the backup role.

Sanchez joined the organization as a 16-year old international free agent in 2013. He is known for his defensive presence but does not provide any offensive production. Injuries to Rene Rivera and Tomas Nido forced Sanchez to the big leagues in 2020 after six years in the minors.

Sanchez struggled on both sides of the ball in his five big league games. He recorded one hit in nine at-bats and was part of numerous defensive lapses. One of them resulted in Jon Berti stealing three bases in one inning. Sanchez has thrown out 46% of stolen base attempts in the minors but was 0-for-3 with two wild pitches and a passed ball last season.

James McCann, Tomas Nido, and Patrick Mazeika are the only catchers on the Mets 40-man roster. Bruce Maxwell and David Rodriguez are non-roster invites who will also join them in spring training.

Mets’ new catcher James McCann wants to win ‘multiple World Series’ in New York

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

James McCann is perhaps the symbol of the revamped New York Mets. He is proof that the new administration, led by owner Steve Cohen and president Sandy Alderson, isn’t afraid to pounce on an opportunity to improve the team. His four-year, $40 million deal to take over as the starting catcher shows the league that the Mets aren’t messing around.

The newcomer had officially been introduced by the Mets on Thursday in a Zoom conference call. On Friday, though, he addressed the fans on a social media post, and made it clear that the only thing on his mind is winning multiple World Series championships in Queens.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the Mets organization and for the honor to represent the city of New York,” McCann wrote in a statement. “I am thankful for my family’s never-ending support and for all the fans who have rooted me on in my career.

“With that being said, there is one thing on my mind moving forward: NEW YORK METS WORLD SERIES TITLES. That is the goal and will remain the most important goal. You will not find a harder worker of someone who is more prepared. You won’t find a better teammate or someone more proud to wear a Mets uniform.”

The Mets are getting a good one

Some of McCann’s new Mets teammates have written welcome messages on Twitter, including starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. And he has a very strong rapport with Steven Matz and Brad Brach, as they have worked together in the past and, in the case of Matz, this offseason.

McCann has broken out in the last two seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He was a member of the All-Star team in 2019, and the Mets are certainly hoping he can keep the form that made him land such a lucrative deal. In 2019 and 2020, he has batted .276/.334/.474 with 25 home runs and 75 RBI with strong defense behind the plate.

“The day I get to put on that Mets jersey for the first time cannot come soon enough,” said McCann. “Let’s go Mets!”

New York Mets: Yes, J.T. Realmuto is Better But James McCann Fits Right

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

When the New York Mets locked down James McCann on a four-year deal, there were still questions about J.T. Realmuto. Why sign McCann so quickly? Was Realmuto not an option? Why are we settling for a cheaper option? McCann is all they needed as their catcher with the circumstances and the holes on the Mets roster.

Of course, Realmuto is the ultimate option as a catcher, but his requests would hurt the Mets more than help them. Just because Steve Cohen has the most money does not mean you spend it like a fool. Being smart with loads of money is the difference between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels. Both have tons of money, but one builds winners while the other wastes Mike Trout.

Potent Offense

The Mets already had one of the best offenses in baseball without catcher production. In reality, all the Mets needed was an average hitting catcher who is good behind the plate. McCann gives you that production in a sub-par season. The contract McCann signed also allows the Mets to bring in guys like George Springer and Trevor Bauer.

Of course, Realmuto is a tier above McCann but does he make the Mets better once the season starts? Realmuto will draw out the process and end up signing one of the two largest deals this offseason. If the Mets played the waiting game, they run the risk of losing McCann.

In that scenario, the Mets give Realmuto six years and more money than they expected. If they pass, they will end up with a catcher at a level way below their expectations. With the market where it is, signing McCann shows the Mets will run the offseason how they want. They are forcing agents to follow their terms, not the other way around.

The Extra Years

Whether it is Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, or Buster Posey, all great catchers drop off in production as their push towards their mid-30s. The Mets did not want to give six-years to Realmuto, knowing the last two years he’ll be 34 and 35. With Francisco Alvarez likely to be big-league ready by the time McCann’s contract is nearing its end, it allows the Mets to continue using their farm system.

Outside of on-field production, the best justification of this signing is what happens next. If the Mets strike out on every other big name on the market, it raises questions on why Realmuto was not signed. With the Mets track record this offseason, there is no reason to question any of their methods. As Steve Cohen said, they will not spend like a “drunken sailor.”

New York Mets: James McCann Agrees to 4-Year/$40+ Million Deal

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

The New York Mets have secured their catching position for the next couple of years as James McCann has finally agreed to a four-year deal. The 30-year old veteran joins the team after a couple of strong offensive seasons with the Chicago White Sox.

McCann brings what Wilson Ramos lacked behind the plate. He is an improved pitch framer and is a catcher that the Mets pitching staff will be happy to work with. Offensively, he has found his stride by hitting .276/.334/.474 with 25 home runs and 75 runs batted in over the last two seasons.

McCann vs. Realmuto

The Mets had to choose between an expensive J.T. Realmuto for six years or a more suitable option for two years. With the history of catchers declining as they get older, the Mets’ wiser choice was to bring in McCann before another team swept up both. Though some still prefer Realmuto, the type of contract dictated that McCann was the better option.

McCann joins an offense that was one of the best in 2020 despite getting minimal production from their catchers. The intriguing part of McCann’s offense is his hard-hit percentages and exit velocities steadily increasing over the past four seasons. Despite heading into his age-31 season, the Mets feel like he is coming into his own at the plate.

Tomas Nido will backup McCann behind the plate in 2021. McCann lost time to fellow All-Star Yasmani Grandal behind the plate in 2020, but expect McCann to be out there for 115-120 games like he has throughout his career. Now that the catching situation is solved, the next focus will be between the duo of George Springer and Trevor Bauer.

New York Mets and James McCann are reportedly “at the five-yard line”

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

The New York Mets are very close to securing their starting catcher. After deciding not to trigger Wilson Ramos’ club option for 2021, they went after the big fish in free agency: J.T. Realmuto and James McCann. While the former is said to be looking for $200 million (he probably won’t get that much but is expected to command more than $100 million) the latter is viewed as the second-best catching option in the market.

While it is not a done deal yet, the New York Mets are about to sign McCann to a four-year deal, according to Andy Martino of SNY. If he agrees to go to Queens, he would slide ahead of Tomas Nido as the starting catcher in New York.

Ever since they took over the Mets, new owner Steve Cohen and president Sandy Alderson have made it clear that they want to compete and make the club relevant again. So far, the only major signing has been reliever Trevor May, but they have been connected to other top-tier free agents such as pitchers Trevor Bauer and Liam Hendriks and center fielder George Springer.

If he signs, he will be a quality addition for the Mets

As of the end of Wednesday, a deal remained close between McCann and the Mets, per a Martino report on early Thursday. He says that everything could still fall apart, but that the negotiations were at the five-yard line on Wednesday night and it “won’t take much” to get a deal done “soon.”

The main stumbling block was the four years, but the Mets made it clear that they are willing to go there. A deal could be announced soon despite the reported interest of the Los Angeles Angels.

McCann is an asset on offense and defense. In the shortened 2020 season, McCann slashed .289/.360/.536 with a .378 wOBA and a 144 wRC+. It’s very likely that his true talent level is closer to what he achieved in 2019 (.273/.328/.460, .333 wOBA, 109 wRC+) but in any case, he’s now an above-average offensive performer in addition to his good glove and framing skills.

New York Mets: Team is in “active talks” with free agent catcher James McCann

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

The New York Mets have been, without a doubt, one of the most active clubs in this offseason. Ever since new owner Steve Cohen came to town, he expressed his desire of putting together a very competitive team, and president Sandy Alderson, who is now in charge of baseball decisions, has said similar things.

This week, the New York Mets added their first free agent signing of the winter, securing the services of right-handed reliever Trevor May on a two-year contract worth $15.5 million. Now, the club could be nearing a second high-profile addition.

According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the Mets are “in active talks” with free agent catcher James McCann. As you can remember, the team decided not to take Wilson Ramos’ club option for 2021, and instead chose to pay him a buyout to make him a free agent. The Mets need a starting catcher, and that way, Tomas Nido, who is currently at the top of the depth chart, would return to his more natural backup duties.

The Mets have long been connected with the best backstop in the market, J.T. Realmuto, but he is supposed to be seeking a $200 million payday. It is possible that Cohen and Alderson find that number excessive, and they have been zeroing in on McCann, who had a very good 2020 (and 2019, to be fair) with the Chicago White Sox.

The Mets are not yet close to a deal, but they are moving forward

To be clear, Murray adds that a “deal is not close” but also that “it is looking increasingly likely he will land a four-year deal.” The assumption, then, is that the ongoing negotiations with the Mets are very serious and they could be on the way of a deal.

A member of the 2019 All-Star team, McCann had a .808 OPS with 25 home runs and 75 RBI in 149 games over the last two years with the Pale Hose. He is 30 years old and is viewed as a strong defensive catcher, as well. He would be a clear upgrade over Ramos.

In the abbreviated 2020 season, McCann had a career-high 90.5 mph of average exit velocity and a 47.8 hard-hit rate, somewhat validating what he has done in the last two years and essentially becoming a two-way player capable of contributing at the plate and behind it.

Yankees news/rumors: James McCann inquiry sparks Gary Sanchez action, back to baseball

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

Yankees‘ catcher Gary Sanchez is doing everything he can to stay at the top of his game, and he’s far from it after a tumultuous 2020 season. He must be feeling the heat as GM Brian Cashman considers alternatives at the position over Sanchez.

The Yankees have been inquiring about several catchers, including future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina and Chicago White Sox’s James McCann. This heat has pressured Sanchez into signing up for the Dominican Republic winter league, alongside Miguel Andujar and Domingo German, two players who are fighting to remain with the Bombers in 2021. El Gary has joined Toros del Este, according to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas.

Gary Sanchez still has supporters within the Yankees:

“I think he’s been unfairly criticized a lot,” Aaron Boone told Meredith Marakovits on YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove. “I think at times it’s over the top and people are blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well.”

“This year was certainly a challenging year for him and a struggle for him in a lot of ways, but that’s okay,” Boone continued.  “That’s part of the game. Sometimes you have a tough season, and this season was tough for so many people across the league for different reasons.”

It is interesting to see Boone defend Sanchez and the things he’s done really well. From my perspective, it is difficult to see exactly where Sanchez excels, aside from the slugger department where he hit 34 homers in 2019.
That is the one massive positive that Gary brings to the table, his ability to spark the offense with the long ball. However, he had a 28% strikeout rate in 2019 and 36% in 2020. He also finished with a .147 batting average and .253 on-base percentage, the lowest in his entire career.
The Yankees have already begun evaluating other players at the position, including James McCann and Yadier Molina. Sanchez is doing everything he can to prove he deserves another chance as a starter for the Yankees, but being replaced late in the season by Kyle Higashioka undoubtedly hurt his chances of a long-term deal in the future.
With Gary hitting arbitration in 2022, I imagine the Yankees will offer him a relatively conservative contract for one year, seeing what he can accomplish in 2021 before making a long-term decision on his future.