New York Mets: Matt Ehalt

Morning Briefing: Drew drama continues

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
6:38
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Position players officially are due to report Thursday, although only two Mets have not been working out at the team’s complex.

The duo not early this year: infielders Omar Quintanilla and Wilfredo Tovar.

Pitchers and catchers workouts enter Day 3 Thursday. The first official full-squad workout is Saturday.

Thursday’s news reports:


Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesStephen Drew remains a free agent.


• In the never-ending Stephen Drew free agency, a Mets source tells MLB.com: “At the numbers he’s looking for, we don’t think he’s worth it compared with what we have.” Sandy Alderson has publicly labeled signing Drew unlikely, although the Mets do not completely dismiss it. Team insiders bluntly say that the difference in potential production between Drew and Ruben Tejada, especially via the WAR statistic, is not enough to justify paying a $12 million annual salary or thereabouts.

Tejada agents, incidentally, met with Mets brass Wednesday while making an annual spring-training visit to Port St. Lucie.

Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News portrays the Drew market as limited, writing:

The developments over in Tampa have certainly not helped his cause either. Despite their spending spree on other needs at catcher and the outfield, the Yankees were always lying in the weeds on Drew, ready to pounce once his market came down to a two-year deal in the $20 million range. But that was before they emptied their coffers of $155 million on Masahiro Tanaka and Derek Jeter announced this would be his final season. Now there is no way they could bring in a proven first-string shortstop to intrude on the Jeter farewell tour.

• The Baltimore Orioles remain interested in Ike Davis, the Post reported. So do the Pittsburgh Pirates. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that Matt Harvey can mostly rehab in New York rather than Port St. Lucie if he desires.

• While variables exist, Paul DePodesta said a fair estimate of Noah Syndergaard’s innings limit is 30 more than last season.

• The latest prospect list -- the top 100 in MLB, according to Baseball America -- has Syndergaard at No. 16, Travis d’Arnaud at No. 38, Rafael Montero at No. 68 and Dominic Smith at No. 92.

• DePodesta spoke with the Post about specific Mets pitching prospects …

DePodesta said: “Montero is certainly close. He spent a good chunk of last year in Triple-A -- 90 innings -- similar to what [Zack] Wheeler and Harvey had when they came up. That said, he got to Triple-A at a younger age in terms of overall experience. Harvey got there quick, too, but he had three years at North Carolina that Montero didn’t have.”


Adam RubinJacob deGrom is "close" to being MLB-ready, Paul DePodesta says.


On Jacob deGrom, DePodesta said: “Jake can be close, too. Jake has really flown through the system. He was mainly a shortstop in college, didn’t pitch until 2010, missed ’11 with Tommy John surgery, started ’12 in Savannah and finished last year in Vegas. Certainly he’s close, but in terms of pitching years, he’s very young.”

And on lefty reliever Jack Leathersich, DePodesta said: “He’s an interesting guy. I think he led all of professional baseball in strikeouts-per-nine. And it’s left-handed. There’s something there. We’ve pushed him really aggressively through the system. We’ve tried to get him to the point where he’s challenged. Through Double-A, it wasn’t happening. He was able to keep striking everybody out. Finally, in Triple-A, it was like, ‘OK, there were some things I need to do to get to the highest point.’ It’ll be interesting to see that adjustment he makes this year.”

• Fred Wilpon declined to comment Wednesday at Mets camp, perhaps putting in jeopardy his streak of annual spring-training press conferences.

• Alderson declined to clear up a report that stated he intended to remain GM another two to three years. He lightheartedly noted his contract expires this year, so it is not necessarily his call.

• Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola knows he has a huge responsibility this season.

• Fifth-starter favorite Daisuke Matsuzaka says he wanted to arrive in camp already ready to face batters. Dice-K is performing without much fanfare from the Japanese press, unlike Tanaka in Yankees camp. Read more in the Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.

• Kristie Ackert in the Daily News speaks with Jenrry Mejia as well as Dice-K.

• Like with Mejia, Terry Collins says John Lannan may get consideration for a bullpen role if he fails to become the No. 5 starter. There really is a negligible difference between lefty batters and right batters against the southpaw, though -- a .267 versus .276 career batting average against. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Mets staff is due to get a better explanation during a Thursday meeting in Jupiter regarding what is allowable and unallowable with the new rule preventing catchers from blocking the plate. Read more in the Daily News.

• The Mets will continue their weekly bowling tradition this spring training.

Josh Satin had more than a half-dozen workouts with ex-Met Marlon Byrd during the offseason to learn to play the outfield, Mike Puma writes in the Post. Still, Satin would only be used there in a pinch in all likelihood, and probably would not see any Grapefruit League action there until later in camp when prospects such as Brandon Nimmo are dispatched to the minor-league side.

• Ken Davidoff in the Post catches up with Curtis Granderson, who discusses Jeter being a big influence on his career.

Dillon Gee wants to log 200 innings this season. He notched a career-high 199 innings a season ago. Read a profile in the Post.

• Read a profile of outfield prospect Dustin Lawley, who led the Florida State League in homers last season.

• John Rowe discusses Eric Young Jr.’s leadoff candidacy in the Record.

• Matt Ehalt has been hired as the new Mets beat writer at the Record, succeeding Mike Kerwick, who left the industry. Ehalt, formerly of ESPNNewYork.com, starts March 2.

From the bloggers … Shannon at Mets Police proposes a late-night show about the Mets. … John Delcos at Mets Report analyzes Alderson’s Mets tenure.

BIRTHDAYS: Shane Spencer, whose Mets tenure is most remembered for a tangle with a Big Apple Pizza deliveryman in Port St. Lucie, turns 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you think Stephen Drew will end up being a Met?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187