Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.
Meet the Mets
During yesterday’s negotiations, Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, and Brandon Nimmo were part of the player contingent who were present in the room.
Though many National League fans do not fancy the Universal DH, count Buck Showalter among its champions. Showalter believes the new position fits the team’s lineup better.
Mike Puma checked in with Mets’ prospect Brett Baty, who is on schedule to be the team’s third baseman of the future.
The Mets plan to use third basemen Baty and Mark Vientos once per week in left field, although they have no such plans for shortstop Ronny Mauricio.
Farm Director Kevin Howard doesn’t see Francisco Álvarez’s goal of making the majors in 2022 as overly ambitious.
Álvarez is already ahead of schedule in his defensive ability.
A trio of top arms in the team’s system gives the organization hope for replenishing its rotation.
One of the aforementioned arms is Calvin Ziegler, the team’s top signed prospect from last year’s draft, who detailed his path to the Mets by way of Florida.
Oliver Pérez announced that he will officially retire from baseball at the end of the Mexican League season with Toros de Tijuana. Perez was the last active player who was a part of the 2006 Mets roster.
Around the National League East
Meanwhile, another Phillies prospect, the speedy Johan Rojas, has a big goal for the 2020 season.
Atlanta may not be playing games due to the lockout, but two Braves fans showed up outside Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (site of yesterday’s negotiations) with a message.
The DH position has not been kind to Washington over the years.
Around Major League Baseball
Yesterday began a critical week for MLB, as the league and the union are expected to meet every day in an effort to end the lockout and begin the season on time. MLB and the MLBPA hit the road, as they met in Florida at Roger Deal Chevrolet Stadium for the first of those talks, though they are both still far apart from a deal.
The two sides met for five hours, though little progress was made, according to Tim Healey.
The Union was reportedly ‘disappointed’ by the league’s latest proposal.
The league did make slight movements towards the players during yesterday’s negotiation session. Among them, they raised their prearbitration bonus pool by $5 million (up to $20 million total) for 30 players, though the players are still asking for $115 million for 150 players. They also upped their draft pick lottery to the Top 4 picks, although MLBPA is seeking for the Top 8 picks to be determined by a draft lottery.
On top of that, MLB withdrew its proposal that would have allowed the league to reduce or limit minor league roster sizes, and also withdrew its proposal limiting number of times a player can be optioned in a season to five.
Owners seem unwilling to budge on the Competitive Balance Tax, which has become a main sticking point in these negotiations.
Andrew Miller spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri about the key issues for the union in the MLB lockout.
Tim Dierkes discussed the value of MLBPA’s Super Two proposal.
Buster Olney explored eight things that will happen once the lockout ends, which will kick off a flurry of activity.
Dayn Perry remembered a time when replacement players were used during the last delayed spring training in 1995.
Jayson Stark examined what exactly would happen in MLB were to ban the shift.
Hinchcliffe stadium in Paterson, N.J. is under consideration to host an MLB Field of Dreams game.
Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue
In Episode 156 of From Complex to Queens, the crew brought you a way-too-early draft special!
This Date in Mets History
It’s hard to believe, but the Mets played a baseball game on this date in 2020. In fact, they played two, falling to the Cardinals and the Marlins in split squad action to start the spring training schedule. MLB would shut down three weeks later due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and would not return until July.