New York Mets: Wade Davis

Series preview: Mets vs. Royals

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
5:48
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Wade Davis, Bruce Chen and Ervin Santana this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (48-58, fourth place/NL East) vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (54-51, third place/AL Central)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13) vs. RHP Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Carlos Torres (1-2, 3.03) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.09), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.21) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (7-6, 3.03), 1:10 p.m. ET

Royals short hops

• Kansas City has won nine straight games, the longest active streak in the majors. It is the franchise’s longest winning streak in a decade, since opening the 2003 season 9-0. The Royals nonetheless have not gained much ground in the AL Central because Detroit and Cleveland also are on big winning streaks.

• The Royals acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for Class A right-hander Kyle Smith. Maxwell, 29, was hitting .241 with two homers overall with Houston. He had a .302 average against left-handed pitchers.


Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY SportsJustin Maxwell made his Royals debut Thursday.


Maxwell made his Royals debut Thursday, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and walk while starting in right field. He primarily will see action against left-handed pitching and serve as a reserve.

• Maxwell took the roster spot of second baseman Chris Getz, who landed on the disabled list with a knee injury. Miguel Tejada started his fourth straight game at the position Thursday. Elliot Johnson also is an option at second base with Getz sidelined.

• Left-hander Bruce Chen started for the Mets in the first baseball game back in New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in the game Mike Piazza belted the two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Mets to a 3-2 win against the Atlanta Braves. Chen limited Atlanta to one run in seven innings that day.

Now 36 years old, Chen has allowed only three runs in 18 innings and opponents have a .115 batting average over three starts since he entered the rotation. Chen had been working out of the bullpen before replacing ineffective Luis Mendoza earlier this month. Mendoza (2-5, 5.21 ERA) has moved to long relief.

• The Royals’ strong play leading into the trade deadline prompted the organization to hold onto free-agent-to-be Ervin Santana at the trade deadline.

Alex Gordon, who moved from third base to left field three years ago, was a first-time All-Star this season. His 45 RBIs lead major league leadoff men. Gordon has won two Gold Glove awards since the position change.

He was one of three Royals All-Stars. Closer Greg Holland and catcher Salvador Perez also represented K.C.

• Holland has converted 21 straight save chances, the third-longest streak in franchise history. Joakim Soria saved 36 straight in 2010. Jeff Montgomery saved 24 straight in 1993.

• 2012 All-Star Billy Butler is the first Royal to have at least a share of the team’s RBI lead for four straight seasons. However, the righty-hitting DH is likely to find himself on the bench this weekend in the NL ballpark. Royals manager Ned Yost indicated Thursday that lefty-hitting Eric Hosmer should start all three weekend games at first base over Butler, since the Mets are throwing three right-handed pitchers.

Hosmer has a team-best 36 multi-hit games and is hitting .296 (16-for-54) since the All-Star break.

Lorenzo Cain returned to center field Thursday after missing three games with a groin injury.

Jeff Francoeur was released by the Royals last month and eventually signed with the San Francisco Giants.

Wade Davis is coming off 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox. He was acquired from Tampa Bay last Dec. 9 with James Shields.

• George Brett resigned as co-hitting coach last week and returned to his front-office role as vice president of baseball operations. Brett had assumed the uniformed role alongside hitting coach Pedro Grifol when the Royals were 21-29.

• Kansas City last visited Queens in 2002.

Toxicology report -- bad MLB contracts

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
8:18
AM ET

US Presswire
Vernon Wells, Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins (l to r) are among the bloated contracts around Major League Baseball.
The Mets’ first task this offseason regarding Jason Bay, and for that matter Johan Santana, likely should be to see if any team has trade interest. A swap appears unlikely, though, even discounting the no-trade clause each possesses.

After all, Bay is hitting .155 with eight homers in 187 at-bats. And he is owed $19 million next season including a 2014 buyout, making it a toxic contract.

Similarly, Santana -- despite the June 1 no-hitter -- finishes the season on the DL after allowing six-plus runs in each of his final five starts. Santana is owed $31 million next season including a ’14 buyout.

Still, if the Mets were to find another team with toxic contracts to swap, who is logical? With the help of reporters around baseball, here’s a look …

THEY’VE GOT POTENTIAL

Angels: “Oh, you've come to the right place,” our friend who covers the Angels says. “The Angels have the deadest of dead weight -- Vernon Wells. The Angels are paying Wells $21 million this year to be their fourth outfielder. They owe him $21 million more in 2013 and again in 2014.”

Blue Jays: Left fielder/first baseman Adam Lind (.240, 10 HR, 40 RBIs) is owed $5 million in 2013. With buyouts of option years, the minimum owed is $7 million. “He cleared waivers at one point this season and the Blue Jays would love to get rid of his contract -- even though it's unlikely that can happen,” a team observer said.

Braves: Second baseman Dan Uggla (.215, 19 HR, 73 RBIs) is owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Cubs: Alfonso Soriano ($18 million apiece in 2013 and ’14) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million next season) are the remaining sizable contracts.

Dodgers: The Dodgers inherited Carl Crawford ($102.5 million through 2017) and Josh Beckett ($31.5 million through 2014) while acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but both should contribute. The least-productive contract: Juan Uribe, who finally pinch hit Sunday after going unused for nearly a month. Uribe, with one year remaining, is still owed $8 million.

Mariners: Left fielder Chone Figgins (.183, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) is owed $8 million next season. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.258, 4 HR, 14 RBIs) is owed $7.5 million in 2013 with a buyout of the following season. Says one observer: “Gutierrez has been hurt or sick for most of his deal and might produce if ever healthy. Figgins is literally dead weight.” Bay does live in the offseason in Seattle. And the combined $15.5 million owed to those two are close to Bay's $19 million.

Marlins: Heath Bell has two years, $18 million guaranteed remaining. He also has a $9 million option for 2015 based on games finished -- 55 the previous season or 100 combined in 2013 and '14. (The Mets have been down that route before.)

Pirates: Clint Barmes is signed for 2013 at $5.5 million. He's hitting .228/.266/.325 with eight homers.

Red Sox: John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA) has two years left for a combined $30.5 million, with a 2015 club option at the major league minimum because of a preexisting elbow injury.

Twins: Nick Blackburn (4-9, 7.39 ERA) and middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- both relegated to the minors -- are under contract for 2013 and “practically sunken cost.” Blackburn is owed $5.5 million. Nishioka is owed $3.25 million including a 2014 buyout. The Twins likely would never trade Joe Mauer, despite him being owed $23 million annually through 2018.

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Flushing? Don't hold your breath. Still, A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five seasons. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia could emerge as bad contracts, with $90 million over four seasons and $119 million over five seasons owed, respectively.

(Read full post)

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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