New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has been named Major League Baseball's executive of the year by Baseball America.
In his fifth season at the helm, Alderson's team produced a 90-72 record and won the National League pennant.
“Sandy is the best leader I’ve ever been around,” Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said. “He lets you do your job. He respects you. And he wants your input. In the world today, his ‘yes’ means yes and his ‘no’ means no. That’s one of the best things about him. He’s always in the forefront. He’s not afraid to take arrows. He’s just a great leader.
“He brought a whole different mindset to the game. Being a baseball guy, he really educated me a lot. He really forced me to stop and think, ‘Why does this work? Why does that work?’ He’s made me a better baseball guy. He’s shaped a lot of people. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the way analytics has come into the game. But he’s not just an analytics guy. He really values the scouting and the thought process behind how things are put together. He’s probably the most well-rounded guy who is in the game today. I love the guy.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates were named the organization of the year by Baseball America.
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NEW YORK -- Reliever Jenrry Mejia greatly disappointed the New York Mets when he twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015. Still, team officials plan to have the arbitration-eligible Mejia remain a part of the organization for next season rather than non-tender him at Wednesday's deadline.
Mejia, 26, was due to earn $2.595 million this past season. He received only a prorated portion for the three weeks he was active in July between suspensions.
By rule, arbitration-eligible players who are tendered contracts must receive at least 80 percent of their previous year's salary -- or a minimum of $2.076 million in Mejia's case. Mejia could even receive the identical $2.595 million salary in 2016, depending on how the sides settle or what an arbitrator decides.
Still, Mejia will collect salary for only the prorated portion of time after his suspension is served.
He was handed a 162-game suspension on July 28. That suspension came with 63 games remaining in the Mets season, so Mejia still has 99 games to serve in 2016. As a result, the Mets will have to pay Mejia less than 40 percent of his actual salary next season -- no more than about $1 million.
Apparently, the club deems that expenditure worthwhile for the potential Mejia provides, despite the former closer's transgressions.
Mejia will be eligible for the 2016 postseason.
He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season provided the Mets continue to tender contracts each December.
Mejia is working as a starting pitcher for Licey in the Dominican winter league. He is 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA in seven starts. Opponents are hitting .287 against him. He has 20 strikeouts, eight walks and four wild pitches in 33 innings.
The Mets in recent weeks have been leaning strongly toward non-tendering Ruben Tejada, who otherwise could earn in excess of $3 million as a backup middle infielder (coming off a fractured fibula in his right leg for the second time). A final verdict will be known Wednesday.
Each Mets player who was voted a full share will receive $300,757.78. That's a record for a runner-up, according to Major League Baseball.
Mets players voted to award 44 full shares, the equivalent of 11.05 partial shares and made 25 other cash awards. Who was voted each type of award generally is not made public.
The Royals, by the way, will receive full shares valued at $370,069.03.
The Mets primarily would use Zobrist as a second baseman. But because David Wright particularly will get time off again in 2016 as a preventive measure to avoid back flareups, Zobrist's versatility would lead to him getting time at third base as well as other positions, too.
If the Mets' pursuit of Zobrist comes up short -- and that's the expectation if he is going to get a four-year offer at, say, $14 million a year -- the Mets still would like to upgrade in the middle infield. They have not ruled out re-signing Daniel Murphy if he is open to a hometown discount, and one Venezuelan report suggests they have shown interest in free agent Asdrubal Cabrera.
The trade front for a shortstop no longer appears a viable route to upgrade at that position.
If the Mets whiff in upgrading the middle infield with a bona fide starter, they alternatively would be more active in pursuing a lefty-hitting complement to Juan Lagares in center field. They then would sign a backup infielder -- whether that's Kelly Johnson or someone else of that stature.
Lagares started in center field in both games. He went 1-for-6 with one RBI, one walk, two strikeouts, a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt.
Doctors determined that Lagares did not require offseason surgery for a ligament issue in his right elbow. Manager Terry Collins had suggested during the season that Tommy John surgery might be needed for the center fielder.
“He was checked out again,” assistant GM John Ricco said during last month's GM Meetings. “Once again, there hasn’t really been a change in a long time in it. So the recommendation is not to have surgery.”
Lagares’ throwing clearly was compromised during the 2015 season. To address that, the Mets may have Lagares more active in a throwing program during spring training. This past year, the Mets had Lagares back off throwing because they did not want him to waste bullets and worsen the injury.
“I know Terry has said throughout the year that maybe we needed to be a little more aggressive with him in spring training in terms of a throwing program, as opposed to this year when we kind of backed off him and didn’t have him throw as much,” Ricco said. “We’re going to talk to the doctors and the trainers and figure out: Is there a different approach maybe for next year, in terms of building up his arm strength heading into the season?”
Meanwhile, Wilmer Flores appeared in a game on Thursday with Bravos de Margarita in his native Venezuela. Flores went 1-for-4 and departed after getting hit by a pitch. According to Venezuelan media reports, Flores was struck in the left ankle and is day to day. He started at second base.
NEW YORK -- Catcher Anthony Recker has signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians that includes an invitation to major league camp during spring training.
Recker, 32, hit .125 with two homers and five RBIs in 80 at-bats with the Mets in 2015.
Recker had cleared waivers and was removed from the 40-man roster on Nov. 6, making him a minor league free agent.
Reyes wasn't present for the arraignment, as his defense attorney, David Sereno, waived his presence. The next court date is a Jan. 14 pretrial hearing.
Reyes was arrested after an argument with his wife that police said turned physical at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii on Oct. 31. He was jailed on $1,000 bond and issued a citation to stay away from his wife for three days after the arrest.
Reyes' wife was treated by medics at the scene, then transported to a hospital for additional treatment after the incident. According to a recording of the 911 call released by police, a hotel security guard reported that Reyes' wife had injuries to her left leg and scratches on her neck.
MLB has been investigating the "facts and circumstances" of Reyes' arrest.
Pimentel originally was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2006 out of the Dominican Republic.
Pimentel is the second player added by the Mets to a minor league deal with spring-training invite this offseason. Ty Kelly was signed by the Mets on Nov. 13.
NEW YORK -- Here is the Grapefruit League schedule for the New York Mets:
3 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
4 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.
5 at Houston, 1:05 p.m.
6 vs. Atlanta, 1:10 p.m.
7 vs. Detroit, 1:10 p.m. (ss)
7 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m. (ss)
8 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.
9 vs. Yankees, 1:10 p.m.
10 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.
11 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
12 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.
13 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.
14 at Detroit, 1:05 p.m.
15 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.
17 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.
18 vs. Washington, 6:10 p.m.
19 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
20 vs. Boston, 1:10 p.m.
21 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.
22 at Yankees, 6:35 p.m.
23 at Toronto, 1:07 p.m.
24 vs. Houston, 1:10 p.m. (ss)
24 at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (ss)
25 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.
26 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.
27 vs. Washington, 1:10 p.m.
28 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.
29 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.
30 vs. Washington, 12:10 p.m.
The Mets are still working to add at least a pair of exhibition games, perhaps outside of Florida, for March 31 through April 2. The Amazin's open the season on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball on April 3 at Kansas City.
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets added outfielder Brandon Nimmo and right-handers Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Jeff Walters to the 40-man roster on Friday to shield them from Rule 5 draft eligibility.
Among the players left unprotected for the Dec. 10 draft include Class A outfielder Wuilmer Becerra as well as upper-level right-handers Matt Bowman and Paul Sewald, first baseman/outfielder Jayce Boyd and infielder T.J. Rivera.
The Mets currently have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
Nimmo, 22, hit a combined .269 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 376 at-bats in 2015 while primarily playing for Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. He had a .362 on-base percentage. Nimmo, a first-round pick in 2011, missed a month with a sprained left knee.
After the Mets traded eight minor-league pitchers in July and August, the 22-year-old Gsellman arguably became the organization's top pitching prospect. The club named him the organization's pitcher of the year. He went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 24 starts between Binghamton and Class A St. Lucie this past season. He was drafted in the 13th round in 2011.
Lugo, 26, went 8-7 with a 3.84 ERA as a starting pitcher with Las Vegas and Binghamton. He was drafted in the 34th round in 2011 out of Centenary College in Louisiana.
Walters, 28, actually had been on the 40-man roster before, and is now back on. After returning from Tommy John surgery on June 22, Walters went a combined 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and two saves in 29 relief appearances with Binghamton, St. Lucie and in the Gulf Coast League. Walters set Binghamton's single-season and career records when he amassed 38 saves in 2013.
Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, won the sixth annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans in 2013. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14), Steven Stieglitz (Pace ’16), W. Paul Alvarez (Pace ’16) and Bryan Kelly (Pace ’17) offer their salary projections for the New York Mets‘ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Matt Harvey, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.
The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.
On the fifth and final day, here is a roundup of other arbitration-eligible Mets.
Ruben Tejada -- previous salary: $1.88 million
The shortstop was enjoying another season of improved output in 2015 before suffering a fractured fibula in his right leg on a late slide from Chase Utley during the National League Division Series. Still shy of his 2011-12 production, Tejada batted .261 with three homers and 28 RBIs in 116 games. Using Emilio Bonifacio in 2013 and Cliff Pennington in 2014 as comps, he would be expected to earn a raise of about $700,000 on his 2015 salary, to a total of $2.58 million. However, the total salary would most likely exceed his value on the open market. Contributing a WAR of only 1.0, he is too expensive compared to the value he brings. Prediction: Non-tender
Jenrry Mejia -- previous salary: $2.595 million
The right-hander twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015 and, if tendered, should receive the same salary as the previous year based on minimal stats. (He would only receive a prorated portion for the time he is active, with his 162-game suspension due to run into late July.) The Mets will have to decide whether to keep Mejia on the roster. However, retaining the team's best reliever from the 2014 season on a relatively cheap salary could be an easy boost to the bullpen. Prediction: $2.595 million
Carlos Torres -- previous salary: $582,125
Torres provided adequate cover in the Mets bullpen in 2015. Entering his first year of salary arbitration, the right-hander will see a modest raise. Appearing in 59 games, Torres pitched to a 4.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. However, his advanced metrics suggest he actually performed much better. Contributing a 0.4 WAR, he is only slightly better than the fictional replacement player. Look to Chris Resop in 2011 ($850,000) as a comparable player. Prediction: $875,000
Josh Edgin -- previous salary: $520,625
Edgin missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in March. Still, he was coming off a 2014 season with a 1.32 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. With a K/9 of 9.2 and BB/9 of 2.0 that season, Edgin held opponents' bats in check. However, his injury, lack of career workload and role as a lefty specialist will suppress his value. Prediction: $600,000
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets on Friday will need to add some prospects to the 40-man roster to shield them from Rule 5 draft eligibility.
One no-brainer is former first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who likely is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open 2016.
Other candidates to be added include right-handers Robert Gsellman, Matt Bowman, Jeff Walters and Paul Sewald as well as outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra.
Becerra, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud in the trade for R.A. Dickey, has not played above low-A Savannah. So it may not make sense to protect him. After all, he would need to stick on another team's major league roster a full season in order for the Mets to officially lose his rights.
Seth Lugo, Jayce Boyd and T.J. Rivera also will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft among upper-level minor leaguers if they are not added to the 40-man roster.
After losing Jack Leathersich off waivers to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, the Mets' 40-man roster currently stands at 35. (Jenrry Mejia, serving a 162-game suspension, does not count against the 40-man roster.)
The Mets used the Rule 5 draft to select Sean Gilmartin from the Minnesota Twins at the winter meetings last December. Gilmartin spent the entire 2015 regular season on the Mets' major league roster and now officially is their property.
The Mets earlier this offseason added reliever Josh Smoker to the 40-man roster.