Above, the Hefner family waits to check into its Port St. Lucie hotel, via Sarah Hefner.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: We’re baaaaaaaack!
Five days ahead of Saturday’s official pitchers and catchers report date, Morning Briefing has returned, and ESPNNewYork.com is reporting live from the Mets’ spring-training complex on Monday.
There are plenty of players already in camp, including David Wright, Zack Wheeler, Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia, Anthony Recker, Jack Leathersich, Andrew Brown and Danny Muno. Eric Young Jr., Josh Satin and Jeremy Hefner tweeted this past weekend that they are due at the complex as early as today.
Of course, Terry Collins is ready to go. He has been in Port St. Lucie since the winter meetings in mid-December.
Monday’s news reports:
• Still hoping the Mets upgrade at shortstop from Ruben Tejada? Marc Carig in Newsday quotes a person with knowledge of the Mets’ thinking regarding Stephen Drew as saying: “There has not been much dialogue at all.” Carig quotes another source saying there has been “continuous discussion.”Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
Stephen Drew remains a free agent as spring training nears.
ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday that agent Scott Boras has been looking for a multiyear deal for Drew with a player opt-out after Year 1 -- meaning the team absorbs plenty of risk if Drew underperforms or becomes injured, while potentially losing Drew after the 2014 season if he thrives. That’s not going to work for the Mets.
Overall, the Mets essentially are doing a cost-benefit calculation with Drew. Their conclusion: A contract costing $11 million to $12 million a year may not be worth one or two wins.
Nick Cafardo in The Boston Globe nonetheless labels the Mets the frontrunners for Drew. Writes Cafardo:
Even though there’s a sentiment he may return to the Red Sox, that has been dampened lately. Agent Scott Boras continues to indicate that he’s speaking to “multiple” teams concerning Drew’s availability. Drew still receives text messages from his Red Sox teammates who hope he returns.
“Stephen did an excellent job for us last year. He was a really solid player. He was a big part of our team. And so out of respect to him, we’ve kept a dialogue going,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told SiriusXM, according to Ken Davidoff in the Post. “But at this point, we’re really focused on the guys we have on the roster. … I wouldn’t expect anything major to happen between now and when we report, at this point.”
• Curtis Granderson has not checked into Port St. Lucie yet, but the ex-Yankee did swing by his former employer in Tampa, writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News. Granderson visited the Yankees’ minor-league complex Friday while apparently visiting family nearby.
• Departing beat writer Mike Kerwick offers this spring-training preview in the Record.
• Michael Salfino in the Journal concludes that pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery produce nearly identical ERAs after returning from the procedure. That is particularly relevant to the Mets since that is the path Matt Harvey is now on. Salfino identified 15 high-profile pitchers who had Tommy John surgery since 2006. Their cumulative ERA was 3.82 and strikeouts per nine innings 7.1 before the procedure. Afterward, their ERA was 3.83 and K/9 innings was 7.9.
• From the bloggers … At Mets Police, Shannon wonders how the Mets not spending more on players became his problem. ... The Eddie Kranepool Society believes the Mets should forget about Drew and look to the Diamondbacks for a starting shortstop. … John Delcos at Mets Report asserts the Mets cannot afford to rush Harvey, who underwent his procedure Oct. 22 and is therefore likely to miss the entire season. ... Faith and Fear in Flushing speculates on why it's so hard to make Met things perfect.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
The time for Stephen Drew to the #Mets is Now. The team NEEDS a professional SS already. Book It Mr. Alderson @MetsGM. Thank you in advance.
— Mike D'Angelo (@MikeDA44) February 10, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets ultimately will sign Stephen Drew?