ORLANDO – The Mets pitchers are still drawing interest from other teams, Sandy Alderson said Wednesday. Despite a year in which every starter but Jacob deGrom went on the disabled list and the bullpen was horrific, the Mets young power arms are still an asset they could draw on if they needed to make a trade.
But, the Mets GM cautioned that they would be very wary of giving up their depth of pitchers.
Jacob deGrom was the lone Mets starting pitcher to remain healthy for the full 2017 season.
(John Amis/Getty Images)
“It’s a possibility. We have essentially the same depth we had going into last season and we ran through it,” Alderson said. “Certainly 2018 is going to be predicated on our pitching staff. If we presume a majority of those pitchers are going to be healthy and we are doing everything we can in the offseason to insure that, but if we’re able to, it’s possible we could trade somebody out of that group.
“I want to emphasize we thought we had quite a bit of depth last year and ended up with none,” Alderson said Wednesday morning just before he left MLB’s annual GM Meetings.
The Mets farm system is very thin and they have received limited interest in their higher-level prospects, including first baseman Dominic Smith. Their pitching reserves may be where they have to dig in if they are going to fill their needs via a trade.
The stash of young relievers that Alderson brought back in last fall’s salary dump, or a Rafael Montero and Robert Gsellman, seem more likely to be pitchers that could be part of discussions this winter.
“There is an assumption on the part of most clubs that we are going to trade Jacob deGrom or a Noah Syndergaard,” Alderson said. “On the other hand we do have a number of young guys who haven’t exactly dominated on the major league level, but who have demonstrated some ability and potential for growth and so I think that interest is roughly as strong as it was last year. I don’t think anybody has done anything to grossly diminish their value.”
Matt Harvey looks to recover his command with a full offseason to work on his arm.
HARVEY’S HIGH CEILING
Matt Harvey’s ability to have a normal offseason will get him back on track, his agent said Wednesday. Scott Boras said that they were happy with Harvey’s velocity at the end of the year and having a whole winter where he feels healthy will allow him to throw a lot and recover his command.
Harvey has had two major surgeries over the last four years. He was coming off Thoracic Outlet Surgery this season and struggled regaining strength in his shoulder.
“Great talent has great capacity,” Boras said when asked if Harvey could ever be expected to get back to his 2013 All-Star level.
Boras, who holds a media scrum at the GM Meetings and Winter Meetings, also took his annual swipe at the Mets’ thrifty payroll.
They have “all the materials to live in a palatial estate in Playoffville,” the uber agent said, “When do they start building?”
Alderson said that he is not yet sure where the Mets superstar minor leaguer, former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow will begin his season next year.
“I don’t know, it’s early. I do know he’s working hard. He’s in Los Angeles hitting I want to say almost daily,” Alderson said. “He’s working at it.”
Tebow hit .226 between low and high Class A ball last season, his first in professional baseball. He hit eight home runs and drove in 52 runs in 126 games.
MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said that among issues like pace of play, the testing of equipment was discussed this week at the GM Meetings, meaning the complaints about the baseballs was addressed. Halem repeated the MLB
line that despite the fact that home run numbers were crushed this past season and pitcher complained about the seams and grip on the ball, that the baseballs tested within the normal range.
“All the baseballs are tested, we are actively looking at that whole area to determine whether to make any changes. As the commissioner said, we’re comfortable that the baseballs this season tested within range and further to the point the baseballs tests results this season are no different than the baseballs in previous seasons,” Halem said. “That being said, it’s generated a lot of discussion so we are as thoroughly reviewing the entire testing process the way baseballs are handled whether changes are to be made. It’s a prudent thing for a league to continually look at its process.”
This season, 41 players hit over 30 home runs. MLB teams combined to hit 6,105 homers, easily surpassing the previous record of 5,963 from 2000.
SIGNED AND SEALED
The Mets will officially announce the field staff for first-year manager Mickey Callaway Wednesday night. He will have Gary DiSarcina as a bench coach, Pat Roessler as a hitting coach and Dave Eiland as a pitching coach. Ruben Amaro Jr. joins the staff as a first base coach and Tom Slater will come in as the assistant hitting coach. Glenn Sherlock and Ricky Bones return as the third base coach and bullpen coach respectively.