What just happened in Queens? Yes, the Mets opened the vault in signing Yoenis Cespedes, a much needed cog in their plans. A plan that also includes finding a catcher, plus some bullpen arms. And now, what do you know? They just tendered Rene Rivera, the only “real catcher” they have in the entire organization,settling with him on a $1.75 million contract to avoid arbitration. Smart move.
Yes he only batted .222, but he is not there for his bat. Noah Syndergaard, was begging to pitch to him all season. Steven Matz and Matt Harvey, had their best games with him behind the plate last year. The Mets don’t need his bat. What he brings to the game, is a brilliant handling of young pitchers. I believe that to be, an enormous edge to any young pitching staff.
Why they still think he needs to compete with Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud, for the starting job at catcher, is interesting. Better yet, dumb. When you have a brilliant young staff of Corvettes, they need to be driven by a veteran behind the wheel.
Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light, your driver is here!
Now for the rest of the arbitration eligible players. The Mets tendered all of them and are about to enter a part of today’s game of baseball, that will make or break them. The list includes: Jacob deGrom, a first-time arbitration-eligible player, who will get a big boost in salary, Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, (who will turn his paycheck over to his lawyers), Addison Reed, Wilmer Flores, Lucas Duda, d’Arnaud and Josh Edgin. The Mets payroll, is in for “sticker shock” in the next few years.
As stated this week by Rich Mancuso in his column, “Sandy Alderson is the GM winner in New York. Sealing a deal again to bring Yoenis Cespedes back to New York made him a unanimous winner.” The fact that he got Cespedes and Neil Walker signed before the winter meetings, shows me he means business. Yes, the amount of money they will have to spend, to keep this team together, will grow to Yankees- Dodgers proportions.
But the Mets have the possibility of having, a once in a lifetime staff. Like what the Braves had in the 90’s. Alderson, will have to be very creative to keep them all, as the approach free agency. If he can, it will bring a championship soon, to the other side of the river
Editor’s Note: William Coppola just completed his 40th year in the game of baseball. He has been a coach, instructor and advanced scout for numerous teams in Major League Baseball