Reacting to interesting Yankees-Mets proposed trade involving Gleyber Torres

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees have plenty of moves left to make this off-season once the lockout comes to an end. Their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets, took a far more aggressive approach toward bolstering their squad prior to the lockout, bringing in big names like Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar.

Brian Cashman sat and watched the Mets execute a flurry of moves, but the Yankees’ GM still has his eyes down the line on potential targets.

However, one reporter constructed a trade scenario that would send the Yankees’ failed experiment at shortstop to the Mets in exchange for a solid utility man who could contribute at multiple positions.

Joe Giglio of NJ.com proposed the idea of trading Gleyber Torres for Jeff McNeil, utility man for the Mets.

The Yankees did their best to inject Torres into the shortstop spot, spending 108 games at the position this past season, recording 18 errors and a .952 fielding percentage, far below the league average. His -10 defensive runs saved above average forced management to make a transition, moving Gio Urshela away from the hot corner to help supplement Gleyber’s defensive deficiencies.

Torres will likely move back to second base if he isn’t traded, but if the Yankees somehow managed to construct a deal with the Mets regarding Jeff McNeil, things could get a bit more interesting.

McNeil has experience playing at second base and in the outfield, hosting a career .278 average and 1.5 WAR. This past season, he hit .251 with seven homers and 35 RBIs, with his last double-digit home run season coming in 2019 when he hit 23.

One thing to like about McNeil is that he strikes out only 14% of his at-bats on average and offers far superior defense compared to Torres.

McNeil posted a .976 fielding percentage at second base over 605.2 innings this past season but also has 1133 innings of experience in the outfield, recording a .971 average with six errors.

You can make the argument that McNeil would provide more value than Torres moving forward, despite being four years older. The Yankees would have team control over McNeil until 2025, and he’s arbitration-eligible in 2022.

Would you execute a deal involving Torres and McNeil if you were Brian Cashman? Comment below!

3 Mets players who could be traded after the lockout

The New York Mets brought several offensive pieces prior to the lockout, including outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar. Their lineup seems set, but more additions can’t be ruled out.

As a results of the Mets’ spending spree, these three players don’t have a clear path towards regular at-bats and could be used as trade pieces to bring more pitching.

Jeff McNeil

With the arrival of Eduardo Escobar and the potential return of suspended second baseman Robinson Cano in 2022, the Mets could look to trade Jeff McNeil if they find a taker. In fact, multiple sources told Inside the Mets (link to SI.com’s article here) that the intention after the lockout is making him available.

McNeil can play second and third base and carries a plus hit tool, evidenced by his career .319/.383/.501 line with a .884 OPS. The 2021 season, however, wasn’t kind to him, as he only slashed .251/.319/.360 with a .679 OPS in 120 games.

Dominic Smith

After his breakout 2019 and his consolidation in 2020, Smith entered 2021 as one of the top young pieces in the Mets’ roster. Fast forward several months, and now the Mets have a player who struggled mightily with the bat (.244/.304/.363 in 493 plate appearances) and without a clear path towards consistent playing time. He was among the Mets’ least valuable players with -0.5 WAR.

The Mets can use his first-round pedigree and great performances in 2019-20 to shop him around. After all, he is blocked in first base by Pete Alonso and several outfielders are higher than him in the depth chart.

JD Davis

Right now, Escobar, Francisco Lindor, Cano, and Alonso should be the starting infield for the Mets in 2022, barring post-lockout acquisitions. The team is said to be pursuing Kris Bryant, and that could further complicate things for JD Davis.

Davis is very bad with the glove at third base and the outfield, but carries trade value because of his offensive potential. He hit .285/.384/.436 with a 130 wRC+ in the 2021 campaign.

Could Yankees made unlikely trade with Mets for solid utility man?

yankees, mets, jeff mcneil

The New York Yankees obviously have priorities once the lockout ends for which positions they need to fill immediately. With a ton of talent going off the board before the lockout commenced, general manager Brian Cashman realized that he will have to be aggressive with his second opportunity, especially since the team needs another starting pitcher.

They also desperately need an upgraded shortstop, with Carlos Correa and Trevor Story representing the two best targets for Cashman. However, he allowed several players to walk this off-season, including Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, and Tyler Wade. With most of their depth now hitting the streets and signing elsewhere, the Yankees will have to find serviceable replacements.

One option that could be intriguing is New York Mets utility man Jeff McNeil. The Mets have placed McNeil on the trade block prior to the 2021–22 season.

McNeil is an intriguing player that can play multiple spots, including in the outfield and infield. The former 12th round pick in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft has played four seasons in the MLB with the Mets in Queens.

He featured in 120 games this past season, posting a .251 average with seven homers and 35 RBIs.

McNeil’s best season came back in 2019 when he hit .318 with 23 homers, 75 RBIs, and 75 strikeouts over 567 plate appearances. With a 13.6% strikeout rate last year, he showed patience at the plate and solid contact, recording 70 singles and 19 doubles.

However, his defensive attributes also stand out as attractive, having experience at second, third, and all three outfield spots. In 2021, he featured predominantly at second base and left field. He would be a perfect replacement for Tyler Wade, offering more power given his double-digit homers in 2019 and a bit more diversity with his bat as a lefty.

The Yankees and Mets don’t usually connect on trades, but McNeil might be a perfect solution for the Bombers, giving them what they seek in a utility man.

2021 New York Mets Player Evaluations: Second Baseman Jeff McNeil

Jeff McNeil‘s 2021 season for the New York Mets featured plenty more frustration than success as it was his first rough season in the big leagues. From helmet slams to Francisco Lindor wrapping his hands around McNeil’s throat, it was indeed a year to forget for the former all-star.

McNeil had a very streaky season and started very slow out of the gate. In April, he batted .203 with only four extra-base hits. He followed the theme of a majority of Mets hitters who dragged their way through the opening month. McNeil’s shining moment was an early April game-tying home run in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins. It was his first hit of the season and helped lead the Mets to a walk-off victory.

Despite the home run, McNeil never got into a consistent groove at the plate. McNeil and Francisco Lindor got into their infamous “rat-coon” debate in the clubhouse in the middle of May. The “debate” was a building conflict from their disagreement on their fielding alignment. Lindor ended up choking McNeil and pinning him up against the wall in the clubhouse. The details of the altercation did not come out until the offseason, but it was clear that both players struggled to get along.

Hot and Cold

Even with the clubhouse distraction, McNeil batted over .300 in May but suffered a hamstring injury which halted his momentum. Once McNeil returned in June, he hit .206 and failed to record a walk. After his rough stretch of games, he got going once the calendar flipped to July. McNeil hit .351 with 27 hits which were his most in any month. The terrific July was not enough to convince the front office that they did not need another second baseman. The Mets acquired Javier Baez at the trade deadline, who took McNeil’s position and was Lindor’s best friend.

McNeil’s offense went into a tailspin for the final two months of the season. He batted just .220 and started only one game at second base once Lindor returned from the injured list on August 24. McNeil transitioned to left field and did not bat above sixth once in the order at any point in September. The combination of his .360 slugging percentage and .170 batting average with runners in scoring position exemplified his ineffectiveness at the plate.

Defensive Strength

McNeil had an excellent defensive season despite his reluctance to the Mets increased defensive shifting. In late April, he was benched for his stubbornness to follow directions from the coaching staff. Through it all, McNeil had an OAA and DRS of 4 at second base. His solid defense also showed in his small sample size in left field. The combination of his fearlessness and baseball IQ makes him an outstanding defensive player at most positions.

McNeil’s role in 2021 is a mystery because of the uncertainty of what new GM Billy Eppler wants to do. With money invested in Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and Eduardo Escobar, it guarantees he will not have a chance to play left or right field. The colossal contract of Max Scherzer can give him hope that Robinson Cano will be his second base competition instead of Baez.

2021 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2022 Projection)

Hitting: 45 (55), The average decrease is hard to overlook, but the decreased strikeout rate gives hope he can return to the .300 range.

Power: 35 (45), Exit velocity remains typical to his career and should return into double digits.

Run: 50 (50)

Arm: 65 (65), Always very accurate no matter where he plays.

Field: 60 (60)

Overall: 45 (50), McNeil has the track record to show he will bounce back, but he has to prove it big time in 2022.

Mets: Details of the ‘rat-raccoon’ May altercation between Lindor and McNeil emerge

During early May, the New York Mets made the news for an apparent altercation between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil in the tunnel that connects the clubhouse with the dugout. The incident got famous when the players involved told the media that they were arguing about whether they just saw a rat or a raccoon.

“It was funny, ’cause I told [McNeil], ‘Hey, I’ve never seen a New York rat,’ ” Lindor said back then. “So we went down sprinting, about to go see a New York rat, and he got mad at me. He’s like, ‘No, it’s not a New York rat, it’s a raccoon.’ I’m like, ‘Hell no! It’s a damn rat.’ Crazy, because we were going back and forth debating if it was a rat or a raccoon. Crazy, man.”

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, we now know what was behind the scuffle. Obviously, it wasn’t a rat or a raccoon.

Puma explained: “The shortstop (Lindor), frustrated by the second baseman’s (McNeil) latest positioning gaffe and their ensuing argument, according to a club source, grabbed McNeil by the throat and pinned him against a wall in the tunnel. Before the situation could escalate, Mets players hearing the commotion arrived to break it up.”

The Mets’ infielders fought over positioning

At that time, Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said he didn’t quite get to the site in time to know what happened first-hand, but that the issue was buried.

“The one thing I ran into was Francisco saying, ‘Let’s go play ball. Let’s go play ball,’ ” Rojas said.

Apparently, the Mets’ $341 million man was very upset at McNeil for his poor positioning, and it was a recurrent issue.

“[Lindor] would always try to get him to move and Jeff would be like, ‘Shut up, I got it,’ ” a source said. “It was building and building.”

So, as you probably figured by now, it wasn’t about a rat or a raccoon.

Mets Make It Four Consecutive Wins With 3-1 Victory Over Marlins

mets, tijuana walker

The New York Mets have quickly turned those thumbs upside down with a doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins. For the first time in a while, they played with a lead and never relinquished it for a 3-1 win and their fourth consecutive victory.

Trevor Williams earned the spot start in the seven-inning game and gave the Mets more than they could have asked. Williams pitched 4.1 innings allowing just one unearned run with four strikeouts. Things got dicey for the Mets in the fifth when Jesus Aguilar‘s RBI double made it a 3-1 game with runners on second and third.

Working Around Danger

Aaron Loup relieved Williams and gave up a walk to load the bases with one out. Like Loup has done all season, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat to get out of the jam unscathed. In the sixth, Seth Lugo danced around danger, striking out two to get out of a first and second, no-out situation. Edwin Diaz continued his dominance with a light, 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the deal.

The Mets offense saved all their scoring for the third inning against MLB The Show legend Edward Cabrera. Michael Conforto followed up his walk-off hit with a two-run homer which flew into the Coca-Cola Corner. Jeff McNeil drove in the third run with a double, scoring Javier Baez all the way from first base just like he did to win game one.

Throughout all of the drama and the fans B.S. from the last 48 hours, the Mets have a four-game winning streak. If the Atlanta Braves lose, they will be 5.5 games out of first place as the calendar flips to September. It may not be an easy deficit to overcome, but it looks way more doable than where they were last week. Wednesday’s game has already been postponed, and both teams will play a single-admission doubleheader on Thursday.

Another Day, Another Loss: Dodgers Beat Mets 3-2

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to use the New York Mets as their punching bags, taking their fifth consecutive game against them this season. This time, Walker Buehler led the way as he held the Mets to just two runs in 7.2 dominant innings to give the Dodgers a 3-2 win.

Despite the quiet offensive night, the Mets had their best chance at tying the game against the fatigued Buehler in the eighth inning. A wild pitch set up the Mets with runners on second and third with only one out. Jeff McNeil thought he drew a walk to load the bases, but home plate umpire Nestor Ceja punched him out on a clear ball. Pete Alonso got one run in with an infield single that grazed his foot, making it a 3-2 game. Alonso also took care of the first run with his half swing, resulting in a solo home run to right-center field.

The hit chased Buehler and set up a matchup between Alex Vesia and Michael Conforto. Their at-bat resulted in a gutsy 10-pitch walk which loaded the bases for J.D. Davis. As usual, Davis saw a heavy dose of fastballs up in the zone, but one at the knees is what struck him out looking to get out of the inning. Kenley Jansen came on to shut the door in the ninth inning to throw a 1-2-3 inning on eight pitches to get the save.

Classic Carrasco

Carlos Carrasco looked like he would have another short outing after allowing three runs and five hits in his first three innings of work. Carrasco managed to get himself into a groove and retired the last eight batters he faced. Overall, Carrasco pitched five innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. It was by far the best outing of his short season so far.

The trio of Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Seth Lugo continued the streak by retiring all three batters in their single innings of work. Each had efficient outings, with Loup and Lugo needing eight pitches while May needed 16 pitches.

On Saturday, both teams rematch for an earlier 4:10 p.m. ET start from Dodger Stadium. Rich Hill and Max Scherzer take the mound for their respective teams, combining 31 years of MLB experience.

FOCO Partners with Jeff McNeil on Bat Flip Bobblehead

As the New York Mets get ready for the second half of the season, FOCO is back with another bobblehead for fans. They are partnering with Mets’ second baseman Jeff McNeil on a Bat Flip Bobblehead.

There are 144 pieces of the unique bobblehead, priced at $50 each. It features McNeil in his signature finish to his swing, getting himself ready to launch the bat into orbit after a home run. McNeil is also sporting the full beard that he has been rocking throughout the entire 2021 season. Make sure to get your hands on this amazing bobblehead before they run out!

Mets finally get star infielder back from hamstring injury

After an injury crisis that started on May and extended through June, the New York Mets are starting to get healthy just in time to defend their first place in the second half of the season. At one point they had 17 players on the injured list, but most of them have returned at this point.

One player who will be returning today is infielder/outfielder Jeff McNeil, who has been activated from the 10-day injured list and will be available off the bench for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.

The Mets are mulling the possibility he could start the second game. The 29-year-old had been out of action since May 16 with a left hamstring strain that took over a month to fully heal. He has the talent to provide a huge lift to an improving lineup in need of some offensive thump.

Even if McNeil hasn’t had the season we are all used to seeing to this point, his hitting ability can help set the tone near the top of the Mets’ lineup. Before Monday’s action, he has a .242/.336/.374 batting line with three homers over 31 games.

He proved last year that he can get into a rhythm after a slow start, as he hit .311/.383/.454. The Mets, however, really hope to see him return to his 2019 form, in which he had a .318/.384/.531 with 23 home runs, 75 RBI, and 83 runs scored.

Mets send Robert Gsellman to the injured list

As Jeff McNeil gets of the injured list, another player is sent to it to recover from a physical ailment.

Reliever Robert Gsellman will be on the shelf for a while due to a lat problem, SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Monday.

The last time the Mets’ right-hander pitched was on Saturday against the Washington Nationals, conceding three hits in a couple of frames as the opener.

Mets Game(s) Preview: (6/21/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (33-36)

After a disappointing weekend in Washington D.C., the New York Mets return home for a crucial series against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are five games behind the Mets, and the teams play four games in three days. Monday begins with a twi-night doubleheader, and game one begins at 5:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

The Mets struggling offense will get a massive boost as Jeff McNeil will return off the IL. McNeil has not played since May 16, when he injured his hamstring during the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Before the injury, McNeil was only hitting .242 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. The offense needs the help as they have scored just nine runs in the last five games.

The Braves come off a big series win against the St. Louis Cardinals where they took three out of four games. They have severely underachieved but are still just five games out of first place. Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting up MVP again after a rough month of May. In June, Acuna is hitting .311/.463/.574 and has stolen nine bases as he pushes towards a 40/40 season.

Pitching Matchups

Game One:

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound after leaving his last start with shoulder sorness. In the start against the Chicago Cubs, deGrom faced eight batters and struck out eight of them to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Luckily for the Mets, deGrom’s injury showed no damage which allows him to return to the mound on regular rest.

Kyle Muller makes the first start of his big league career after making one relief outing. The bullpen cameo did not go well as Muller allowed four hits and two runs to the Boston Red Sox. Mullet is just 23 and has a 3.17 ERA during his minor league career.

Game Two:

The Mets have not listed a starter for the second game as they have no idea how game one will play out. Jerad Eickhoff is with the team and is likely to pitch game two if all goes well for deGrom. If Eickhoff has to pitch in game one, the second one will likely be a bullpen game.

Ian Anderson is the definite starter for the Braves and is putting together a solid rookie campaign. Yes, despite getting rookie of the year votes in 2020, Anderson is still in his rookie season. Anderson went over the 50 inning threshold this season and has been a reliable piece of the Braves rotation. After having a 2.82 ERA through nine starts, Anderson has struggled slightly to put up a 5.59 ERA in his last four outings.

Matchups To Lookout For

Jacob deGrom vs. Freddie Freeman: 15-for-58 (.259), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 16 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ronald Acuna Jr.: 8-for-25 (.320), Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ozzie Albies: 5-for-37 (.135), Double, Walk, 9 Strikeouts