Francisco Álvarez has ankle surgery, Mets shakeup minor league staff ahead of off-season
Álvarez is expected to be ready for spring training
What’s Up with the Mets? 💭
Francisco Álvarez underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from his ankle - he is expected to be ready for spring training (team announcement)
Tim Teufel is leaving the organization after spending the last six years as the minor league fielding instructor. He had previously been on the big league club’s coaching staff. Teufel is one of 15 people who aren’t being retained including Phil Regan, Brian Schneider, Endy Chávez, and Hugh Quattlebaum (New York Post)
The Mets have 14 potential major league free agents this winter - they have until five days following the conclusion of the World Series to pick up Carlos Carrasco’s $14 million option for 2023, as well as the options for Daniel Vogelbach and their half of the options for Chris Bassitt and Mychal Givens
With the Mets seeking a new team President and possibly a president of baseball operations, neither Guardians president Mike Chernoff or president of baseball operations Chris Antoinette are interested in leaving Cleveland (New York Post)
Roster Moves 📰
LHP Alex Claudio elected free agency
LHP Phillip Diehl elected free agency
RHP RJ Álvarez elected free agency
INF JT Riddle elected free agency
INF Devan Marrero elected free agency
INF Yolmer Sánchez elected free agency
C Michael Pérez sent outright to Triple-A Syracuse
Mets Free Agents 💰
RHP Jacob deGrom (player opt-out)
RHP Chris Bassitt (mutual option at $19m, $150k buyout)
RHP Carlos Carrasco ($14m team option, $3m buyout)
RHP Mychal Givens (mutual option, $1.5m buyout)
DH Daniel Vogelbach ($1.5m team option, $200k buyout)
RHP Taijuan Walker ($6m player option, $3m buyout)
RHP Edwin Díaz
RHP Tommy Hunter
RHP Adam Ottavino
RHP Trevor Williams
RHP Seth Lugo
RHP Trevor May
OF Tyler Naquin
OF Brandon Nimmo
Picking up Carlos Carrasco’s option would offer certainty in an uncertain winter ahead 📝
The list above spells it out for the Mets - they have a lot of work to do this winter and right out of the gate at that to retool their roster.
The Mets potentially will have four vacancies in their rotation heading into the winter, with only Max Scherzer serving as a holdover if everyone of their potential free agent starting pitchers become free agents.
Yes, Edwin Díaz is a priority, as are Brandon Nimmo and Jacob deGrom, among others although to a lesser degree (that’s not to downplay the need for the Mets to retain more of these people or replace them at the same skill level), but there’s an easy win among this group.
And that is Carlos Carrasco.
He has a $14 million option for 2023 and right now, that seems like a good fit salary-wise to plug a pitcher of his ilk into the back-end of their starting rotation. In a year where there wasn’t so much work for the Mets to do, it might be easier for the Mets to move on from Carrasco and look for a pitcher who is younger and less concerns about durability in a multi-year deal.
But are otherwise staring at four huge holes in their rotation in all probability, and $14 million for a back-of-the-rotation pitcher like Carrasco - even if he’s only able to offer 150 league-average innings - seems like a safe bet for the Mets to take, if only to offer them some order to what’s going to be a chaotic off-season for this club.
Carrasco went 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA over 152 IP in 2022. He allowed 161 hits but only 41 walks and 17 home runs, pitching to a 97 ERA+ which is slightly below league average. He had a 4.57 ERA away from Citi Field over 12 starts but pitched well over his final 11 starts of the season to the tune of a 3.40 ERA.
How all of that translates for a pitcher turning 36 with his kind of mileage on his system is anyone’s guess, and unquestionably would be a concern heading into 2023. But for this club right now, their needs and their assumed payroll forecast for next season, if spending $14 million on an experienced and inspiring veteran now offers them even one more inch of certainty, the Mets should take it and whatever other breaks they get over the next two weeks as free agency is set to begin immediately after the World Series.
Nobody would be asking Carrasco to suddenly become 30 years-old again in 2023 - they would just need him to basically be what he was in 2022.