Mets add swing-and-miss reliever, and why Joey Wendle over Luis Guillorme?
Plus, the Mets are continuing to look at the top end of the starting pitching market with some big names on their radar
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets agreed to sign RHP Austin Adams to a one-year split contract (The Athletic)
INF Joey Wendle passed his physical and his contract with the Mets is now official (Official Release)
The Mets announced the following front office additions (official release):
Eduardo Brizuela - Vice President & Special Assistant to David Stearns
Andy Green - Senior Vice President, player development
Kris Gross - Vice President, amateur scouting
Rumor Mill 💭
The Mets have a deep desire to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but the free agent is intrigued by the “iconography” of the Yankees and Dodgers (SNY)
Jordan Montgomery is a more likely high end starting rotation target for the Mets than either Blake Snell or Eduardo Rodríguez (SNY), although the Mets are showing interest in Rodriguez (New York Post)
Why Joey Wendle over Luis Guillorme?✍️
When news first broke Wednesday that the Mets had signed veteran utility infielder Joey Wendle, my initial reaction was confusion.
Nothing against Wendle, whatsoever, he’s a fine bench piece and will provide depth. But what didn’t make sense to me is that the Mets essentially had a younger version of the same player that they just non-tendered earlier this month in Luis Guillorme.
Both players excel at small ball, don’t strike out alot, and are reliable defensively. And a deeper dive into the comparison shows just how similar they really are.
Wendle will turn 34 in April and has participated in 649 games at the sport’s highest level. In those contests he’s slashed a lifetime .263/.312/.386.
He’s five years younger, and thus, has played in just about half as many Major League games as Wendle. In those games he’s slashed .261/.344/.333.
It doesn’t take a PhD in analytics to decipher what those numbers tell you. They’re batting averages are essentially identical. Guillorme has a proven track record of getting on base more consistently than Wendle. And Wendle has hit for slightly more power.
Yes, Wendle has had the better overall career, and for sure, Wendle is a good clubhouse guy with playoff experience and an All-Star selection on his resume.
Regardless of which player was filling the back-up infielder role on the 2024 Mets, he was not going to be asked to be the team’s primary power bat off the bench, which is why Guillorme would have been the clear cut choice for me if it really was one or the other. I’d gladly take his on-base prowess, we know he is an elite defender (despite a down year in that department in 2023, mostly because of injury) at three different positions, and he’s a younger homegrown player.
And the money would’ve been similar with each player.
My opinion was certainly not something David Stearns and company asked for, and let’s be real, the difference in Wendle and Guillorme isn’t going to decide the fate of the Mets next season. I just found it to be overly curious why the club would let a fun player whom their fans enjoyed walk out the door only to replace him with an older version of the same guy.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Giants re-signed former Met Thomas Szapucki to a minor league deal
Marlins’ pitchers Edward Cabrera and Trevor Rogers are drawing trade interest (The Athletic)
Shohei Ohtani could choose a team during the Winter Meetings next week, with the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, Mariners, Blue Jays, Padres and Angels all linked to him (New York Post)
The Orioles are looking at both Josh Hader and Craig Kimbrel for bullpen help (New York Post)
The Cardinals are interested in trading for Dylan Cease (Athletic)