New York Mets: Zach Lutz
• LaTroy Hawkins, right-handed reliever. Hawkins appears the most likely to be re-signed, even though he will be 41 years old next season. He was productive stepping into the closer’s role after Bobby Parnell's injury, while dialing his fastball up to 95 mph.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang, right-handed starters. Terry Collins liked Dice-K, so perhaps it is not out of the realm of possibility to re-sign him as a fifth-starter competitor who would allow Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom to open the season in the minors. For that matter, Harang fits that profile, too.
• Tim Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano, left-handed relievers. Both returned from shoulder injuries after missing substantial time. It likely is time for the Mets to move on from both, but their careers do not appear over yet.
• David Aardsma, right-handed reliever. Productive, although he wilted with too much use. Aardsma could be useful to re-sign if the price is right.
• Frank Francisco, right-handed reliever. The ex-closer collected $6.5 million this season while mostly nursing a sore elbow and irking Mets officials. No chance he returns.
• Johan Santana, left-handed starter. The one-time ace wants to pitch again after undergoing a second surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. If he is capable, he very likely would sign elsewhere. The best news: Santana's $31 million owed in 2013, including a buyout of next season, comes off the books.
Signed to contracts
• Jonathon Niese, left-handed starter. After missing nearly two months with a rotator cuff strain, Niese finished strongly and should help anchor the 2014 rotation. His salary jumps to $5 million next season, up from $3 million this year.
• David Wright, third baseman. The captain sees a major salary bump. Wright will earn $20 million in 2014 -- a raise of $9 million.
• Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, first basemen. It is likely one gets traded, although there is a slim chance Duda opens the season at Triple-A with Davis at Citi Field. Davis made $3.125 million this year and could receive an ever-so-slight pay cut. The Mets insist he will not be non-tendered. Duda, first-time eligible for arbitration, likely only makes $700,000 or $800,000 in 2014.
• Parnell, closer. Doctors assure Collins that Parnell will be fine for spring training after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, but the manager is concerned. Vic Black would be the alternative. Parnell’s salary should creep upward after he earned $1.7 million while converting 22 of 26 save chances.
• Dillon Gee, right-handed starter. Gee missed 200 innings by one frame. He will be first-time eligible for arbitration.
• Daniel Murphy, second baseman. ESPNNewYork.com hears the Mets will listen on offers for Murphy, but the best bet is he is the Opening Day second baseman. Murphy is due to get another raise after earning $2.925 million this season.
• Ruben Tejada, shortstop. After the broken leg mends, Tejada needs to seriously demonstrate his work ethic to the organization. Still, that may not be enough if the Mets can find the right external shortstop addition.
• Justin Turner, infielder. The best bet is that he serves as a backup infielder again next season.
• Eric Young Jr., outfielder/second baseman. The Mets recognize they need his speed in the lineup. So Young should be in the starting lineup somewhere next season, whether that’s in the outfield or at second base.
• Scott Atchison, right-handed reliever. Believe it or not, while Atchison is 37 years old, he does not have enough MLB service time to be eligible for free agency. He is a definite non-tender candidate in December.
• Mike Baxter, outfielder. Baxter should be arbitration eligible as a Super 2. Regardless, his 40-man roster spot appears in jeopardy. That does not preclude Baxter from being re-signed to a minor league deal. The 2013 Baxter, who hit .189, did not resemble the 2012 Baxter. The Mets believe the shoulder injury suffered in Santana's no-hitter may have hurt Baxter's swing.
• Omar Quintanilla, shortstop. The Mets view Q as a backup, not a full-time player.
• Matt Harvey, right-handed starter. The question remains: Tommy John surgery or no Tommy John surgery? Harvey should be airing it out in about six weeks, perhaps in the Arizona Fall League, to see whether the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow will hold up.
• Zack Wheeler, right-handed starter. Wheeler should be good for 200 innings in 2014.
• Black, right-handed reliever. If Parnell is not ready to close because of a slow recovery from surgery, the hard-throwing Black is the primary alternative. Otherwise, Black projects as handling the eighth inning next season.
• Travis d’Arnaud, catcher. He’s the guy behind the plate, but needs to shorten his swing after hitting .202 in his first major league season.
• Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker, center fielders. Lagares had a franchise-rookie-record 15 outfield assists and is very likely the full-time center fielder in 2014, even with some offensive difficulties. Den Dekker is just as likely to open next season in Triple-A. The Mets do not plan to platoon Lagares and den Dekker in the majors -- not in April, anyway.
• Josh Edgin and Scott Rice, left-handed relievers. Both are coming off surgeries. The Mets need to find a lefty from outside the organization they can trust, but Rice and Edgin could be useful complements.
• Jeurys Familia and Gonzalez Germen, right-handed relievers. Both should vie for a bullpen role in 2014.
• Jeremy Hefner, right-handed starter. Hefner will miss most, if not all, of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
• Anthony Recker, catcher. After a nearly full season in the majors, Recker could find himself in Triple-A in 2014. Sandy Alderson has suggested he needs to find a veteran catcher in case d’Arnaud’s injury propensity continues.
• Josh Satin, infielder. A year after being taken off the 40-man roster and clearing waivers, Satin is now viewed as a valuable righty bat for the bench who can get on base. Look for him to have a backup role in 2014.
• Carlos Torres, right-handed starter/reliever. Torres would appear to have a legitimate shot as the long reliever/spot starter.
• Jordany Valdespin, infielder. The Biogenesis suspension is his latest baggage. It would be surprising if he makes it to spring training as a Met.
• Greg Burke, Robert Carson and Sean Henn, relievers. If they survive the winter on the 40-man roster, they look Triple-A bound.
• Andrew Brown, Juan Centeno, Wilmer Flores, Zach Lutz and Wilfredo Tovar, 51s. Centeno and Recker could be the Triple-A catchers. Flores likely is ticketed for Las Vegas, according to Collins, if the infielder is not going to be a starter at the major league level. Lutz and Tovar probably open next season in the minors, too. Brown’s 40-man roster spot is an open question.
• Jenrry Mejia, right-handed starter. Mejia showed flashes as a starting pitcher before surgery to clean out his right elbow. He is a logical fifth-starter competitor in spring training.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis, outfielder. Getting snubbed for a September call-up does not bode well for Nieuwenhuis’ future with the organization.
Final score: San Francisco Giants 2, Mets 1.
A day after scoring four ninth-inning runs for a walk-off win, the Mets again threatened in the ninth. This time, pinch hitter Matt den Dekker walked to lead off and advanced to second on a bunt. But den Dekker was stranded there. Lucas Duda flied out and Anthony Recker struck out to end it.
The Mets nonetheless won the season series from the Giants, four games to two.
Niese surrendered two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four. He departed trailing 2-1 for pinch hitter Zach Lutz in the bottom of the seventh after Omar Quintanilla blooped a two-out single into shallow left field.
Lutz walked, pushing the potential tying run to second base, but Bumgarner retired Eric Young Jr. on a groundout to shortstop to end the threat.
An inning earlier, the Mets similarly could not capitalize on an opportunity. With runners on the corners and two outs in the sixth against Bumgarner, Wilmer Flores’ hard-hit grounder back up the middle kicked off the pitcher's leg and directly to first baseman Buster Posey for the inning’s final out.
Bumgarner finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. He became the seventh pitcher this season with a double-digit strikeout performance against the Mets. He joined Chris Sale (13), Scott Kazmir (12), Max Scherzer (11), Tim Lincecum (11), Shelby Miller (10) and Mike Minor (10).
The Mets' lone run came on Daniel Murphy's fourth-inning single, which plated Josh Satin, who had doubled. The Amazin's had only two other hits the entire game.
Turner sighting: Justin Turner was on deck when the final out was made. It would have marked his first appearance since suffering a hamstring strain on Sept. 10.
What’s next: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 6.12 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (8-13, 3.48) as the Mets open a three-game weekend series at Philadelphia at 7:05 p.m. ET Friday. David Wright is expected to be in the lineup for the first time since straining his right hamstring on Aug. 2.
Harvey plans to discuss his status as he joins Jeff Wilpon, David Wright and Zack Wheeler for a Manhattan firehouse visit.
Also, Ruben Tejada is expected to join the Mets as soon as today, now that his free-agency eligibility has been delayed until after the 2017 season.
The series continues tonight at Citi Field with Dillon Gee (11-9, 3.53 ERA) opposing right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (16-8, 3.30) at 7:10.
• Bobby Parnell requires surgery for a herniated disk in his neck. Parnell “should” be ready for the 2014 season, according to Terry Collins. “I’m not doing the surgery,” the manager said. Read more in the Post.
• Carlos Torres surrendered four homers and the Mets did not produce a hit against Gio Gonzalez until Zach Lutz’s leadoff single down the first-base line in the seventh as the Nats pounded the Mets, 9-0, Monday.
“I hit it off the end of the bat a little bit and it landed right on the line,” Lutz said. “Just some good luck right there. … Gio was just dominating the whole night.”
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” Gonzalez told D.C. reporters. “You’re happy you got the win. The team did great. Everybody looked alive today. It’s a sad moment when you lose a no-hitter down the line.”
Read game recaps from new beat writer Tim Rohan in the Times as well as in The Washington Post, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Aaron Harang will make his Mets debut Thursday, in the matinee series finale against Washington. That will push Jonathon Niese to Friday, giving him an extra day of rest.
• Wright rejoined the Mets on Monday. He still has yet to run the bases, but again resolved to return before the season ends Sept. 29. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.
In July in Toronto, a large contingent of Expos fans staged a rally during a Blue Jays game for the second straight year meant to demonstrate the support for baseball in Montreal, and exhibition contests in their own city would serve their cause even more.
Also standing to benefit is the Montreal Baseball Project, fronted by Warren Cromartie, which is conducting a feasibility study on bringing a team back to the city permanently. A strong showing is sure to get noticed among the game’s power-brokers.
Read more in the Daily News.
• Mets season ticket holders received notification Monday that prices will remain the same in 2014.
• Savannah lost Game 1 of its best-of-five South Atlantic League championship series, 6-1, at Hagerstown. Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless inning in his third minor league appearance since surgery to clean out his right elbow. Read the full recap here.
• The Mets may end up trading Ike Davis this offseason, but they have no intention of non-tendering him, team insiders told ESPNNewYork.com.
• Trading Frank Francisco remains a possibility, a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com. Collins says he is not yet comfortable using Francisco on back-to-back days, because the ex-closer had not done that during his rehab assignment.
• Left-hander Scott Rice is due to undergo surgery today in Philadelphia for a sports hernia.
• Davey Johnson, 70, is making his final visit to Queens as Nats manager. Writes columnist George Vecsey in the Times:
Johnson has been around. He was a teammate of Hank Aaron’s in Atlanta and Sadaharu Oh’s in Tokyo when each of them passed Babe Ruth’s career record of 714 home runs. He won three Gold Gloves, hit 43 home runs one season, played in four World Series and was the last out of the 1969 Series, in Shea Stadium, just before the hordes almost tore the place down in ecstasy.
In 1986, he took stock of the talent and close finishes the two previous years.
“I just remember him saying we were going to win the World Series,” said Keith Hernandez, now a Mets broadcaster, and an admirer of Johnson. “I thought, ‘O.K.’ That was something I wouldn’t have done, but he put the challenge out there.”
Read more in the Record.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing explores the September of the Metropolitan soul.
BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Andrew Brown turns 29.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Are you concerned about Bobby Parnell’s availability early in 2014?
So first new discovery... take the express 7 train rather than the local. Hitting every stop is slightly annoying #newguy— Victor Black (@Vic_Black_2) September 9, 2013
Oh, and the Mets nearly got no-hit, too.
They finally mustered their lone hit against Gio Gonzalez when pinch hitter Zach Lutz singled down the first-base line to open the bottom of the seventh.
The Mets have been no-hit six times in franchise history, most recently almost two decades ago to the day, when Darryl Kile did it at the Astrodome on Sept. 8, 1993.
Gonzalez went the distance, requiring 110 pitches. The last one-hit shutout against the Mets came on June 27, 2009 on a combined effort by the Yankees' A.J. Burnett, Brian Bruney and David Robertson. Dontrelle Willis had the last complete-game one-hit shutout of the Mets, on June 16, 2003 with the Marlins.
Torres surrendered consecutive homers to Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman to open the game. He became the first Mets pitcher to allow homers to the first two opposing batters since Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter consecutively took Tom Glavine deep in a Subway Series matchup on June 28, 2003 at Shea Stadium, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Jayson Werth and Tyler Moore also homered before Torres departed with the Mets trailing 6-0 after four innings.
The last Mets pitcher to allow four homers in a game? That was Johan Santana on June 8, 2012, against the Yankees.
Burke entered in the fifth inning and surrendered a three-run homer to Wilson Ramos, and the Nats' lead swelled to 9-0.
Washington became the first team -- Mets or visitor -- to homer five times in a game at Citi Field.
Henn in the house: Left-hander Sean Henn made his Mets debut with a scoreless seventh inning that included two walks. It marked his first major league appearance since Sept. 26, 2009, when he was with the Baltimore Orioles.
What's next: Dillon Gee (11-9, 3.53 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (16-8, 3.30) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Working at his familiarly deliberate pace, Matsuzaka was pummeled for six runs in three innings as the Atlanta Braves beat the Mets 13-5 at Turner Field.
Matsuzaka's next turn comes up Sunday in Cleveland, and it is hard to fathom the Mets allowing that to take place. (Matsuzaka, coincidentally, requested his released from the Indians, where he was pitching in Triple-A, in order to sign with the Mets.)
The Mets announced the signing of Aaron Harang to a minor league deal Sunday night and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. A seemingly viable alternative, Harang had been 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA in 22 starts for the Seattle Mariners this season.
Freddie Freeman had five RBIs against Matsuzaka, including a three-run homer in the second.
Black Monday: Right-hander Vic Black inherited the bases loaded from Pedro Feliciano with two outs in the sixth in the ex-Pirate's Mets debut. Black fired a pair of 97 mph fastballs, the latter of which coaxed an inning-ending fly out from Andrelton Simmons to hold the Mets' deficit at 10-3.
The Mets acquired Black and Class A infielder Dilson Herrera last week for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Shouldering load: Left-hander Tim Byrdak tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his first major league appearance since undergoing surgery last Sept. 6 to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder. Byrdak only surrendered a single to Jordan Schafer. Four of the five batters he faced were lefties.
Zach with an H: Zach Lutz, promoted Sunday as rosters expanded after Ike Davis suffered a strained right oblique, pinch hit for Matsuzaka and delivered an RBI double in the fourth. Daniel Murphy followed with a sacrifice fly that pulled the Mets within 6-3 against Paul Maholm.
It was Lutz's first career extra-base hit. His last Mets plate appearance had come on June 30.
What's next: Carlos Torres (3-2, 2.77 ERA) opposes right-hander Kris Medlen (11-12, 3.58) in Game 2 of the series, at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.
FIRST PITCH: Ike Davis’ season almost assuredly is over. Now the question becomes: Is his career with the Mets done, too?
So Sandy Alderson will have to decide whether to bring Davis back in 2014 at a potential $3.5 million to $4 million salary, attempt to trade him early in the offseason, or cut the first baseman loose at the December non-tender deadline.
You may recall the Mets dumped Mike Pelfrey at the non-tender deadline last December because they did not want to pay the arbitration-eligible pitcher anywhere near the $5.7 million he earned in 2012.
Some factors to consider when trying to forecast the Mets’ ultimate decision: So much money is coming off the books, it might be palatable to carry Davis’ salary rather than non-tender him if no trade materializes. And can the Mets do better anyway?
In Davis’ absence, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin will share first base for now.
Tonight, the Mets go for a sweep Sunday at Nationals Park, in an 8:05 game televised by ESPN. Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.69 ERA) opposes Washington right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58).
Sunday’s news reports:
• Read more on Davis in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Las Vegas clinched its Pacific Coast League division title and a playoff berth. The 51s will open their first-round series at Salt Lake on Wednesday. Las Vegas joins Mets affiliates Binghamton, Savannah and Kingsport as having secured postseason appearances. Brooklyn lost to Aberdeen, 7-0, to drop a half-game out of first place in its New York-Penn League division with four games remaining. Stefan Sabol drove in five runs in a doubleheader as Savannah swept Greeneville on Saturday. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Right-hander Vic Black, left-hander Tim Byrdak and corner infielder Zach Lutz are expected to join the Mets today as rosters expand. Lutz’s call-up stems from Davis’ injury. Robert Carson swaps lefty relief spots with Byrdak and heads to Vegas. Black was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade for Marlon Byrd and John Buck. The Mets also added ex-Yankees right-hander Cory Wade and assigned him to the Triple-A club.
• Zack Wheeler took a scoreless effort into the sixth and the Mets produced a six-run third inning en route to a season-high 17 hits and an 11-3 win against Washington on Saturday night. Matt den Dekker produced his first major league hit and RBI. Juan Lagares produced his NL-leading 12th outfield assist, tying Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s franchise rookie record. Terry Collins did advise Wheeler to stay a little quieter with his candor about his fatigue at this stage of the season.
Read game recaps in the Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.
• Mike Puma in the Post reviews the Mets’ month of August.
BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander David West turns 49.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Do you think Ike Davis will be a Met in 2014? Should he be?
Champagne in Wally's eyes. He has won a championship at every pro level. Independent to MLB. pic.twitter.com/RjLZLlA5sO— Las Vegas 51s (@LasVegas51s) September 1, 2013
Getty ImagesTim Byrdak and Zach Lutz are expected to join the Mets as rosters expand.
The Lutz call-up was precipitated by Ike Davis suffering a potentially season-ending right oblique strain Saturday.
Byrdak undoubtedly pitched during the second half in the minors with the Mets with the carrot of a September call-up. He underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder on Sept. 6. 2012. That is the same procedure Johan Santana now has twice undergone.
The Mets also plan to add Vic Black, the reliever acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
UPDATE: The Mets have confirmed these promotions.
BINGHAMTON 3, BOWIE 2: The B-Mets packed their runs into the second inning and held on for a franchise-record 83rd win. Jeff Walters notched his 37th save, displacing Tim Lavigne for the B-Mets' career record. The Baysox opened the scoring in the first inning.
ST. LUCIE 4, CHARLOTTE 2: Rylan Sandoval had an RBI double in the first inning and T.J. Rivera and Kevin Plawecki had run-scoring singles in the second as St. Lucie built a 4-1 lead. Starter Angel Cuan (8-3) allowed two runs in six innings. Cody Satterwhite and T.J. Chism combined for three scoreless relief innings. Chism earned his 19th save. Box
ROME 14, SAVANNAH 1: Starter Marco Camarena was charged with eight runs in four innings. Reliever Wanel Mesa allowed six runs in two innings. Box
KINGSPORT 5, PULASKI 3: The K-Mets overcame a three-run deficit, evening the score in the fifth on Victor Cruzado's RBI single and taking the lead an inning later on Pedro Perez's run-scoring triple. Alberto Baldonado and Robert Coles combined for three no-hit relief innings. Box
TRI-CITY 5, BROOKLYN 3 (16 innings): L.J. Mazzilli's eighth-inning homer evened the score at 3 and forced extra innings, but the Cyclones ultimately lost the marathon. Cristian Chivilli surrendered two runs in the top of the 16th, after walking and hitting with a pitch the first two batters of the inning. Gavin Cecchini, Mazzilli and Jared King consecutively struck out in the bottom half. Box
GCL CARDINALS 11, GCL METS 6: Frank Francisco tossed a scoreless inning, albeit allowing two hits, in his third Gulf Coast League game in six days. Reliever Ramon Estevez was charged with four runs without recording an out as the Mets failed to hold a two-run lead in the eighth. Gaither Bumgardner was charged with another four runs in the ninth. Dominic Smith drove in two runs in the loss. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 10, AKRON 2: Darin Gorski faced one over the minimum through seven innings and Cory Vaughn and Xorge Carrillo each drove in three runs as the B-Mets
Binghamton blew the game open with a six-run sixth, highlighted by two-run singles from Vaughn and Carrillo. Gorski walked Holt to open the eighth. After a single and a two-out walk, Ramirez ended Gorski’s night with a two-run single. Hamilton Bennett took over and fanned Ronny Rodriguez to end the inning. Bennett tossed a perfect ninth. Gorksi (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. Myers (1-2) was charged with three runs (one earned). He threw only 16 pitches to six batters in the loss. Gorski has gone seven innings or more in five of his last six starts. Dykstra notched his 100th walk, reaching triple-digits for the second time in his career (also 104, Fort Wayne Tin Caps, 2009). Muno scored three times, upping his league-leading total to 84. Box
ST. LUCIE at FORT MYERS (ppd.)
WEST VIRGINIA 6, SAVANNAH 3 (9 innings)
SAVANNAH 6, WEST VIRGINIA 1: In Game 1, the Power scored three runs in the top of the ninth against Beck Wheeler (1-6). Jake Kuebler had tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Tim Peterson. Catcher Albert Cordero threw out four baserunners -- two on stolen-base attempts and two on pickoffs at first base. In Game 2, Steven Matz took a scoreless effort into the sixth. He ultimately was charged with one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings. Brandon Nimmo had a two-run double in the sixth. Box 1, Box 2
BLUEFIELD 6, KINGSPORT 1: Starter Persio Reyes allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Box
BROOKLYN 2, VERMONT 0: Robert Gsellman struck out a career-high 13 over eight
GCL NATIONALS 2, GCL METS 0: Starter Yoryi Nuez (2-2) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine in six innings. The Mets mustered only four hits. Box
Compiled from team reports
Getty Images, Associated PressOmar Minaya and the Mets put in an aggressive posting bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka back in 2006.
FIRST PITCH: A day after officially joining the organization, Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Mets debut when he starts tonight’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers at Citi Field.
Matsuzaka, now 32, nearly became a Met in his prime.
Former GM Omar Minaya on Thursday recalled the Mets finishing second to the Boston Red Sox in the posting bidding for Matsuzaka after the Japanese icon declared his intent to come to the United States during a November 2006 press conference at the Takanawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo.
Minaya remembered Mets officials feeling good about their chances of landing Matsuzaka after submitting a posting bid in the $35 million vicinity.
At the time, the Mets’ bid was poised to wildly surpass the highest figure ever submitted for a player posted from Japan. The record at the time: The Seattle Mariners had won the rights to negotiate with Ichiro Suzuki back in 2000 for a $13 million posting fee to the Orix Blue Wave.
However, the Mets lost out on Matsuzaka when the bids were unsealed and it was learned the Red Sox had submitted a whopping posting bid of $51.11 million to the Seibu Lions.
In subsequent negotiations, Matsuzaka received a $52 million contract over six years from Boston, making the Red Sox’s total outlay to land him $103.11 million.
“We thought we had a good number at the time, but the bottom line is they were much higher than us,” recalled Minaya, now a special assistant with the San Diego Padres. “After that season, we were kind of looking for that No. 1 guy. And the guys we were considering were Dice-K and [Barry] Zito at the time, too. Dice-K and him were the two best guys out there.
“At that time, I think the biggest [posting bid ever] was Ichiro -- not even $15 million. And we finished third with Ichiro. But the bottom line is we went up to the middle $30s -- or high $30s, I think it was -- with Dice-K. And we thought we had a good chance. The bottom line is they went up to the $50s.
“I had seen Dice-K a lot. I saw Dice-K in Japan. I saw Dice-K in Australia and in the Olympics. So I had a lot of history with him. And at the time he was a pretty good pitcher -- a very good pitcher.
“The question was: How much does he bring to the marketing side? At that time Boston felt he was going to bring them a lot of extra marketing, and that’s why they went to that number.”
Matsuzaka likely will have a short outing, since he will work on short rest after throwing 85 pitches Monday for Triple-A Columbus. Carlos Torres, originally penciled in for the start, should piggyback Matsuzaka’s outing.
Read the series Mets-Tigers preview here.
Friday’s news reports:
• Zack Wheeler tells Marc Carig in Newsday he does not mind a team-imposed innings cap. The rookie noted his fastball velocity is now hovering in the lower-90s mph, which signals he is pitching deeper into a season than before and his energy is getting sapped. Wheeler’s brother, Adam, was a flame-throwing Yankees farmhand before tearing a labrum and undergoing surgery that derailed his career. So Wheeler acutely understands the dangers of overwork.
Wheeler currently is at a combined 138 1/3 innings between the majors at minors this season. He logged 149 innings last year. A roughly 30-inning jump from the previous season generally is within the acceptable limit. So Wheeler may have 40 or so more innings left before a shutdown.
"Of course, I'm young and I want to pitch as long as I can,” Wheeler tells Carig. “And with them sort of limiting innings and pitches and all that stuff, I think it will help me out down the road. I'm not mad about it, honestly.''
• The Mets dispatched Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to clear a roster spot for Matsuzaka. Burke should return after the 51s complete their season and major league rosters have expanded.
Read more on Matsuzaka’s signing in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times, Journal and MLB.com.
• John Buck tells Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger he is embracing the role of mentoring Travis d’Arnaud. Buck generously made an effort to dine with d’Arnaud this summer when the rookie was in New York for a follow-up exam on his fractured foot. “I still have a responsibility to the Mets and to this team,” Buck said. “Travis is my teammate. I have a lot of family members and stuff that think I’m crazy. But that’s just who I am.”
• Giancarlo Alvarado tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Zach Lutz drove in three runs as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 5-0. Rob Whalen tossed seven scoreless innings and Kingsport blanked Bluefield, 7-0. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Former Mets minor league catcher Landon Powell, whose emotional story was documented in an E:60 piece, has joined Furman University as a volunteer assistant coach.
• Jeremy Hefner was shocked by the murder of an Australian man playing college baseball in Hefner’s home state of Oklahoma, he told the Daily News.
• From the bloggers: Rising Apple expects the Mets to be in contention in 2014. … John Delcos at Mets Report speculates about a potential Jose Reyes-Mets winter reunion.
BIRTHDAYS: Julio Franco turns 55. … Ed Hearn is 53. … Prentice Redman turns 34. … Pat Strange is 33.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Would you prefer Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Torres, Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom getting starts down the stretch?
Harvey vs. Scherzer on Saturday? Sorry kid, we're not watching The Wiggles this weekend. #Mets— Nick (@drsexington) August 22, 2013
AKRON 7, BINGHAMTON 3: A day after clinching their first division title since 2000, the B-Mets committed four errors and allowed a season-high five unearned runs. The Aeros
The B-Mets' tribulations continued in the second. Alex Monsalve reached when Dykstra booted a chopper to first. Monsalve took second on a single, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored when Hunter singled. Akron starter Toru Murata cruised through five innings, facing two over the minimum to preserve a 5-0 lead. Binghamton cracked the scoreboard in the sixth. After Wilfredo Tovar’s leadoff single, Alonzo Harris tripled, his first three-bagger as a B-Met. Cory Vaughn followed Rodriguez’s walk with a run-scoring fielder’s choice, cutting Akron’s lead to three. With one out, Kyle Crockett entered and walked the first batter he faced, allowing the B-Mets to bring the tying run to the plate. But the southpaw ended the threat by fanning Taijeron and inducing Blake Forsythe to ground out. Akron restored the lead to five with two runs on four hits and one error in the sixth against reliever Ryan Fraser. Binghamton plated its final run in the seventh, when Richard Lucas walked and scored. Cohoon (9-4) was tagged for five runs (one earned) on nine hits in five innings in his first loss since June 5. Box
PALM BEACH 6, ST. LUCIE 3: Angel Cuan surrendered four runs in six innings. Trailing 4-0, St. Lucie posted three runs in the seventh, highlighted by a two-run single by Matt Reynolds. The rally ended when T.J. Rivera grounded out with the bases loaded. The Cardinals tacked on two runs a half-inning later against Bret Mitchell. Kyle Johnson went 0-for-2 with two walks, snapping a 16-game hitting streak. Box
KANNAPOLIS 1, SAVANNAH 0: Julian Hilario suffered the tough-luck loss despite surrendering one run on six hits in seven innings. Maikis De La Cruz had two of Savannah's five hits. He was thrown out at the plate to end the top of the first inning while trying to score from first base on Cole Frenzel's double to right field. Eudy Pina tripled with two outs in the third but was stranded when Brandon Nimmo grounded out. After De La Cruz's leadoff double in the fourth, Frenzel, Stefan Sabol and Jeff Reynolds consecutively struck out. Box
KINGSPORT 7, BLUEFIELD 0: Rob Whalen limited Bluefield to four hits in seven scoreless innings and combined with Alberto Baldonado on the shutout. Jeyckol De Leon, Victor Cruzado and Michael Bernal homered for the K-Mets (34-25). Box
STATEN ISLAND 7, BROOKLYN 1: Jonathan Clark opened the bottom of the first inning with a homer, but the Cyclones were blanked the rest of the way. Starter John Gant allowed two runs in five innings. Box
GCL MARLINS 4, GCL METS 3: Luis Guillorme had an RBI double in a two-run ninth, but the Mets fell a run short. Box
Compiled from team reports
Chism’s father Tom hit .314 and won the FSL batting title in 1975. The elder Chism, a first baseman, went on to appear in six games for the Orioles four year later.
“We have a lot of team pictures and stuff like that of him and Cal Ripken right next to each other,” Chism said. “It’s kind of cool. I was born after he was done playing, but I still feel like I was alive, because there’s all that stuff around the house. He won a Florida State League batting title, which is crazy now that I’m playing in the same league. He always tells me this is a pitchers’ league.”
“She’ll take all the credit, if you ask her,” Chism quipped. “She played high school basketball and stuff like that. She was a little bit smaller, which is why I think I got a little bit slighted on the height side. But her athletic ability was tremendous. She always tells me stories about how she scored 50 points in basketball games, which is weird because I can’t shoot a basketball to save my life. I played every other sport but basketball.”
Chism is a 32nd-round pick in 2009 by the Mets out of La Salle University. He grew up a 40-minute drive from the Philadelphia campus. He led the Explorers in homers his junior year with 11 and averaged nearly a run and RBI per game.
“I was a hitter. That was my passion,” said Chism, who noted that he pitched to get seen by scouts and because there were not clear alternatives on the team.
Added Chism: “I would start on Sundays and I’d still hit for myself. I got into the sixth inning one time, I think. That was against Temple. I was good for two or three innings and then the wheels fell off.”
Chism, who turned 25 on Aug. 9, does not have eye-popping velocity, but results are results.
In 54 innings over 42 appearances, Chism has limited opponents to 46 hits and 13 walks (three intentional) while striking out 50. His 16 saves have come in 19 chances. He has a 2.33 ERA. Lefty batters are hitting .194 with one homer in 62 at-bats against him.
Chism began closing as part of a revolving set of back-end pitchers in 2011 with Brooklyn. He then became established in the role last season with Savannah.
He primarily throws a four-seam fastball (86-87 mph) as well as a slider and changeup. He dropped to a three-quarters arm slot in 2010 with the encouragement of Jonathan Hurst, his Kingsport pitching coach.
“We were playing catch one day, and I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life,” Chism said. “So I dropped down a little bit on my own, and he goes, ‘Chiz, what’s going on? You doing something different?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I dropped down a little bit just to get a consistent release point.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, the ball is jumping out of your hand. Let’s roll with it.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ That saved my career.”
Average: Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .328; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .326; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .319; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .316; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .314; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .308; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .299; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .296; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .295.
Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 25; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 21; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 19; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.
RBIs: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 90; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 77; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 76; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, 76.
Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 29; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 23; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 18; Patrick Biondi, Brooklyn, 17.
ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.67; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.14; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.43; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.50; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.54; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.55; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.59; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.71; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.88; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 3.05.
Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 14; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 12; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10.
Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 35; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 17; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 16; Robert Carson, Vegas, 11; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.
Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 137; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 128; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 117; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 116; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 116.
• Despite innings caps, right-handers Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom should be permitted to pitch with Las Vegas through the playoffs, provided the 51s qualify. The exception: If Las Vegas became eliminated from postseason contention early, the pitching prospects likely would skip their final regular-season starts. Montero and deGrom are expected to be on 90-pitch limits for the remainder of the season.
Innings limits are hitting the entire system. Double-A phenom Noah Syndergaard, who regularly has been capped at five innings of late, is skipping a start. He is due to reenter the rotation Monday. With St. Lucie, Matt Bowman is at least temporarily shut down.
• The Mets added a pair of starting-pitching arms for Las Vegas -- right-handers Mitch Talbot and Daryl Thompson.
Talbot, 29, made one appearance for Triple-A New Orleans in April before experiencing elbow tendinitis and getting shut down. He was released by the Marlins organization at his request after appearing in two Gulf Coast League games -- the latter a five-inning effort on Aug. 1 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie -- because New Orleans did not have any roster room. Talbot is a career 12-19 with a 5.30 ERA in 43 major league appearances (41 starts) from 2008 through 2011 with the Rays and Indians.
Thompson, 27, is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) with the Reds in 2008 and ’11. He was 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 124 2/3 innings for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League this season.
Las Vegas needs the extra arms, particularly because of an upcoming six-game series over four days at Colorado Springs.
The bullpen is so taxed, especially with Greg Burke getting a call-up, that starter Matt Fox had to log 107 pitches Monday despite getting drilled for eight runs in four innings.
• An observer clocked Tim Byrdak’s fastball velocity at 88-89 mph during an appearance Monday and suggested he should be no-brainer to be up with the Mets after rosters expand. Byrdak currently is on a minor league contract as he returns from Sept. 6, 2012 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.
The Mets should have 40-man roster room for call-ups, including Byrdak. Since Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin are on the restricted list and do not count, the Mets’ 40-man roster is at 38. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster, either. The Mets already have Frank Francisco, Jeurys Familia and Johan Santana on the 60-day DL. Team officials potentially can open two 40-man roster more spots by shifting Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner to the 60-day DL.
While it is premature for any commitments, logical September call-ups include Anthony Recker on Sept. 1 and then Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Robert Carson and Matt den Dekker once the 51s’ season ends. (Zach Lutz, on the 40-man roster, is far more iffy.)
Den Dekker is not on the 40-man roster, but needs to be added this offseason anyway for Rule 5 protection.
The Mets often reward an unheralded player for performance, too. That could wind up being 26-year-old Eric Campbell, an eighth-round pick in 2008 from Boston College, who has more walks (55) than strikeouts (52) and a .419 on-base percentage. He can play corner infield and outfield positions.
• Binghamton’s magic number for its first division title since 2000 technically remains at one, but the B-Mets already have clinched because they own the tiebreaker with Trenton by virtue of winning the season series. The 2000 squad included Ty Wigginton, Alex Escobar, Tyler Walker, Dicky Gonzalez and Pat Strange, as well as top prospect Brian Cole, who died the following spring training.
• The B-Mets dodged a pair of injury bullets. Outfielder Cory Vaughn, struck in the back of the helmet with a pitch Monday, passed concussion tests and returned to the lineup a day later as DH. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, hurt in the same game, underwent X-rays on his left wrist that were negative.
Vaughn, incidentally will be part of the Mets’ Arizona Fall League contingent, his agents at Northwest Sports Management Group announced. Also AFL-bound: B-Mets right-hander Cory Mazzoni, assuming he heals from season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mazzoni faces a five- to six-week rehab timetable.
• Savannah’s Gabriel Ynoa earned his 14th win Tuesday. That is the most wins by a Mets farmhand since Jason Scobie had 15 with Triple-A Norfolk in 2005.
• B-Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra’s 97 walks are the most in the Eastern League since Brian Myrow had 107 walks with the Trenton Thunder in 2003.
• Michael Fulmer preliminarily has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis after leaving his last start. He is due to see team doctors in New York on Thursday.
• With 14 games remaining in St. Lucie’s season, Dustin Lawley is chasing several of the Florida State League club’s single-season records. Lawley sits at 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 31 doubles. The St. Lucie records belong to Robert Stratton with 29 homers in 2000, Nikco Riesgo with 94 RBIs in 1990 and David Wright with 39 doubles in 2003.
• T.J. Rivera leads the Florida State League with 137 hits (including one in Tuesday's suspended game). The St. Lucie record is 156 hits, jointly held by Omar Garcia (1993) and Corey Coles (2006).
• Gavin Cecchini’s hit streak with Brooklyn ended at 16 games Monday, one shy of matching the Cyclones’ record set by Lucas Duda in 2007. Cecchini isn’t the only former first-round pick heating up. Brandon Nimmo is batting .393 (24-for-61) with one homer, 12 RBIs and a .543 on-base percentage in August with Savannah.
• Kyle Johnson, acquired from the Angels for Collin Cowgill, has a 15-game hitting streak with St. Lucie -- including a hit in Tuesday’s suspended game that will resume Wednesday.
• Omar Minaya, now a special assistant for the Padres, is predicting big things for one of his former Mets signings. Minaya last weekend praised Mexican right-hander Luis Cessa, who is 7-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 starts with Savannah. Cessa, as noted by Minaya, originally was signed as a third baseman and dabbled in the infield in 2009 and ’10 before moving full time to pitching.
BINGHAMTON 3, BOWIE 2 (10 innings): After manning catcher and right field, Blake Forsythe blasted a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the 10th. The victory reduced
The B-Mets retook the lead on Richard Lucas' two-out solo homer in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Kolarek held the 2-1 lead with a scoreless eighth. Closer Jeff Walters was unable to convert the save chance in the ninth. He eventually walked Buck Britton with the bases loaded to force in the tying run. With the bases still loaded, Walters retired Lew Ford to send the game into extra innings. Chasen Bradford worked around two base hits in the top of the 10th to keep the score tied, setting up Forsythe's shot against Marcel Prado. The blast provided Binghamton (80-48) its second walk-off homer this season. Joe Bonfe also beat the Baysox, on June 16. Forsythe played one game in the outfield for St. Lucie in 2012. Bradford has not allowed an earned run since his Double-A debut (15 games). Box
SAVANNAH 3, AUGUSTA 2
AUGUSTA 4, SAVANNAH 0: Savannah won the opener behind a three-run third inning. Maikis De La Cruz worked a bases-loaded walk. Cole Frenzel followed with a single as two runs scored -- the latter on a throwing error. Paul Sewald earned his sixth save with a 1-2-3 seventh. In Game 2, Wanel Mesa allowed four fourth-inning runs (three earned) after three scoreless innings by Jake Kuebler. Box 1, Box 2
KINGSPORT 6, BURLINGTON 5: Jeff Diehl had three hits and an RBI. He also scored two runs, including the game-winner in the eighth on Eris Peguero's double. Peguero had two hits. Amed Rosario had two RBIs -- one on a triple to deep center in the sixth that tied the score at 5. Jeyckol De Leon had a two-run double in the first as Kingsport grabbed a 3-2 lead. Robert Coles (3-1) picked up the win in relief, working the final two innings while holding Burlington scoreless. He recorded the final out on a grounder with the potential tying run at second base. Victor Cruzado was in the lineup for Kingsport for the first time since Aug. 6. De Leon's two-run double in the first gave him the team lead in RBIs, at 28. Box
BROOKLYN 3, STATEN ISLAND 2
STATEN ISLAND 5, BROOKLYN 2: Akeel Morris dominated his first start of the season to lead the Cyclones to a Game 1 victory. Morris tossed five scoreless innings. He lowered his ERA to 0.47. Through 38 1/3 innings, Morris has struck out 52 and allowed four runs (two earned). Gavin Cecchini's hitting streak was snapped at 16 games, one shy of matching Lucas Duda's Cyclones record. In Game 2, Tomas Nido gave the Cyclones a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double. Starter Kevin McGowan then allowed three third-inning runs. Box 1, Box 2
GCL CARDINALS 7, GCL METS 1: Andrew Church surrendered six runs (five earned) on 12 hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 5, NEW BRITAIN 4: The B-Mets are playoff-bound for the first time since 2004 after packing all of their offense into a five-run sixth. The Rock Cats had taken a
JUPITER 4, ST. LUCIE 2: Alex Panteliodis (6-5) surrendered three first-inning runs. He ultimately allowed four runs in 7 2/3 innings. Box
SAVANNAH at AUGUSTA (ppd.)
BRISTOL 10, KINGSPORT 6: The Sox generated seven straight hits off Persio Reyes to start the game. And aided by a two-base throwing error by outfielder Michael Bernal, Bristol took a 5-0 lead before the K-Mets came to bat. Kingsport rallied. Jeff Diehl homered to lead off the second. Kingsport pulled within 6-5 in the fourth thanks to DH Jon Leroux's RBI double. Reyes (4-4) rebounded from his difficult beginning and tossed four straight scoreless innings before Bristol scratched across an insurance run in the seventh. Jon Bengard picked up the win in relief for Bristol. He entered with one out in the fouth and fired 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Box
VERMONT 1, BROOKLYN 0: Miller Diaz took a scoreless effort into the sixth inning in a hard-luck loss and Gavin Cecchini was a perfect 4-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Diaz tossed six innings and allowed five hits while striking out seven. Vermont cleanup hitter Ryan Huck produced a one-out double in the sixth, beyond the reach of center fielder Patrick Biondi. Huck advanced to third on a flyout. Jaycob Brugman followed with a two-out RBI single. The Cyclones had seven hits -- four from Cecchini. Cecchini’s hitting streak is the longest by a Cyclone since Ike Davis had a 15-game streak in 2008. Lucas Duda had a Cyclones-record 17-game streak in 2007. The Cyclones had an opportunity to score in the eighth, placing two runners aboard with one out. But with runners on first and second with one out, Jared King struck out and James Roche popped out to end the inning. Box
GCL METS 6, GCL NATIONALS 5: Trailing by a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jhoan Urena's single scored Luis Guillorme and Jean Rodriguez for the walk-off win. Yoryi Nuez allowed one run, unearned, in 5 1/3 innings in relief of Dan Herrmann to earn the win. Box
Compiled from team reports
BINGHAMTON 1, NEW BRITAIN 0: The B-Mets took one step closer to the postseason as Blake Forsythe delivered a solo homer and Noah Syndergaard tossed five scoreless
JUPITER 7, ST. LUCIE 0: Hansel Robles allowed four runs in seven innings and the Mets mustered only four hits. Box
SAVANNAH at AUGUSTA (ppd.)
KINGSPORT 11, BRISTOL 4: Jeyckol De Leon had four hits with a run scored, three RBIs
BROOKLYN 6, VERMONT 4: James Roche went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while homering for the second straight game. After the Lake Monsters capitalized on a botched groundball by LJ Mazzilli to take an early 1-0 lead, Roche picked up his second baseman by connecting on a solo shot. Brooklyn then took the lead with a three-run third. Anthony Chavez singled and Patrick Biondi and Gavin Cecchini walked to load the bases for Mazzilli. He also walked, forcing in the tiebreaking run. Jared King then produced his first RBI since returning to the lineup following an oblique issue, on a sacrifice fly. Roche added an RBI single. Cyclones starter John Gant stumbled in the sixth as the Lake Monsters cut Brooklyn's lead to 5-4. Gant ultimately allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out seven. Gant added to his New York-Penn League-leading strikeout total (68). Later, reliever Johnny Magliozzi inherited in a tough spot, with the tying run at second base and go-ahead run at first in the eighth. He retired the next three batters to escape. Magliozzi also handled the ninth to record his fifth save. Cecchini extended his hitting streak to 14 games. The Cyclones' record is 17, by Lucas Duda in 2007. Box
GCL NATIONALS 5, GCL METS 2: Waldo Rodriguez surrendered four runs, none earned, in the seventh as the Nats overcame a 2-1 deficit. Second basmean Branden Kaupe had two errors. Starter Gaby Almonte allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings. Box
Compiled from team reports
Final Seton Hall 77 Rutgers 71 Final Monmouth 66 Manhattan 75 Final Iona 83 Fairfield 72 Final St. Peter's 56 Niagara 61
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