Percival, 38, will reunite with former Angels pitching coach and current Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon.
After coming back from a brief retirement, he recorded a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings with the Cardinals last season.
Percival, 38, will reunite with former Angels pitching coach and current Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon.
After coming back from a brief retirement, he recorded a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings with the Cardinals last season.
The Mets' infield holes are glaring and while much of the second base buzz early in the offseason has centered on the trade block, they will also be considering a number of available free agents, though the market is relatively weak at this position. Generally considered the top second baseman available, Neil Walker remains an intriguing reunion possibility the Mets will be looking at.
Walker put up strong numbers in his year and a half in a Mets uniform, with a .275/.344/.462 slash line with 33 home runs across 186 games. These represented improvements from his production with the Pirates as well as improvements on the production provided to the Mets by his predecessor (back when Daniel Murphy was a mere mortal).
Walker didn't miss a beat after being traded to the Brewers midseason and finished 2017 strong and, more importantly, healthy...
Among those eligible for the Hall of Fame again in 2018 are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
In his letter, Morgan argues that any player who failed a test for steroids, admitted using, or were identified as users in the Mitchell Report, should not be in the Hall of Fame. However, Morgan then wrote this...
The Mets had preliminary trade talks with the Detroit Tigers regarding second baseman Ian Kinsler, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported late Monday.
According to the NY Post's Mike Puma, while the Mets have discussed acquiring Kinsler, they are also considering other options in their effort to acquire a second baseman.
The Tigers have reportedly also in talks to send Kinsler to the Angels.
To be successful again, Matt Harvey must shed his past, move on from the Dark Knight persona and adjust to being the best pitcher he's currently capable of being, Mets manager Mickey Callaway told SNY during an interview on Mets Hot Stove earlier this month.
"I think that's the key, to make sure you're not trying to get him back to anything," Callaway explained. "You want to get the most potential out of who he is today. ... We don't need the Dark Knight, we need Harvey to be Harvey on a daily basis and be comfortable with who he is."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said he expects to tender Harvey a contract for 2018.
However, former Mets GM and current SiriusXM host Steve Phillips said the Mets should non-tender Harvey to free up money and a rotation spot to sign a more reliable starting pitcher.
Jerry Blevins and his teammates hoped to win a World Series in 2018 even before the team replaced manager Terry Collins with Mickey Callaway and a new coaching staff.
"We still have great talent," Blevins told SiriusXM's The Leadoff Spot on MLB Network Radio. "We still feel strongly as an organization that we can put forth a championship caliber team."
That said, Blevins is looking forward to working with a manager that was once a pitcher, which is something he's never experienced before in his career.
The NL East in 2018 will feature three new managers, one of which is inheriting the division's winner from each of the previous two seasons. Meanwhile, though the other two teams aren't changing managers, one was sold and trading off its best players and the other has been severely punished for tinkering with the international free agent market...
The Mets announced they have signed OF Zach Borenstein to a minor league contract.
The 27-year-old hit .279 with 24 homers and 91 RBI with the Diamondbacks' Triple-A Reno affiliate last season. He also played for Israel in the World Baseball Classic where he notched five hits in 25 at-bats (.200) with three doubles and two RBI in six games.
Orginially drafted by the Angels in 2011, Borenstein was their Minor League Player of the Year in 2013 after hitting .337 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI for the Inland Empire.
Over the course of his career, he has hit .283 with 145 doubles, 99 homers, and 453 RBI in seven seasons. Borenstein has yet to play in the MLB.
Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball, and the MLB Players Association agreed to tentative posting terms that could pave the way for Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani to move to the MLB, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The posting system, which would cover three years, including this off-season, needs to be ratifed by owners.
Sandy Alderson said last Wednesday that the Mets would not rule out a pursuit of Ohtani...
The Mets are in the market for starting pitching and perhaps one of the better bang-for-your-buck options in free agency this year will be Lance Lynn. The towering right-hander is coming off a strong run with the Cardinals and is expected to net a 3-to-4 year deal with an average annual value around $15 million.
Lynn was a big question mark going into 2017 after missing all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, but he saw great success in his return, putting up a 3.43 ERA over 186 1/3 innings with a 1.229 WHIP. Like most of baseball, he saw his home run numbers rise, but not at an alarming rate. His walks were a bit high, not unusual for a pitcher settling in after a long hiatus, but he showed he still has the ability to induce weak contact.
That said, Lynn comes with his share of concerns, as will any pitcher on the wrong side of 30 with surgery in his past. The biggest red flag is a decline in his strikeout rate. Once capable of nearing 200 strikeouts in a season, Lynn struck out a career-low 7.4 batters per 9 innings in 2017, without the corresponding improvement in his walk rate that many pitchers show as they shift from power pitching to finesse pitching as they age...
Johan Santana will be on the ballot for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 alongside Mets rivals Chipper Jones, Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen and Kevin Millwood, among others...
According to the Associated Press, roughly 430 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from the BBWAA. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a player must appear on 75 percent of the ballots which are due by Dec. 31. The results will be announced Jan. 24.
Former Mets OF Travis Taijeron has agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers, reports Michael Mayer.
The 28-year-old Taijeron had been removed from the Mets' 40-man roster on Oct. 25.
He hit .173/.271/.269 with one HR in 26 games (52 at-bats) this past season during what was his first taste of the majors.
The Mets had preliminary trade talks with the Detroit Tigers regarding second baseman Ian Kinsler, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.
In a post earlier today on MetsBlog, Matthew Cerrone broke down the cost of acquiring each of the above names, including Kinsler, who will be a free agent after next season.
Mets infielder Luis Guillorme is among four prospects the team added to its 40-man roster to protect from the Rule 5 Draft.
The Mets also added RHPs Tyler Bashlor, Gerson Bautista and Corey Oswalt to the 40-man roster, which stands at 39. The team did not protect Jhoan Urena or Mickey Jannis from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place Dec. 14.
Prospects who have been part of a team's organization for five seasons are eligible to be drafted through the Rule 5 process if they are not on the 40-man roster.
Guillorme, 23, is considered the 11th-ranked prospect in the Mets organization, according to MLB.com. He hit .283/.376/.331 with one home run and 43 RBIs in 128 games with Double-A Binghamton last season, his fifth year with the franchise since he was a 10th-round pick in 2013.
I sampled three friends in player development and all said they would prefer free-agent second baseman Eduardo Nunez over Neil Walker, who may be forced to again take a one-year deal.
Similarly, they all prefer to trade for Indians 2B-OF Jason Kipnis over Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler, though they all believe Kinsler will cost significantly less in trade.
"Walker is a professional second baseman, I just wish he'd provide a bit more power," one NL insider told me, after noting that Walker has missed roughly 30 percent of the last two seasons due to injury.
The Mets will open their 2018 Spring Training Grapefruit League schedule on Friday, February 23 against the Braves at 1:10 p.m. at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, FL.
The team will play 31 exhibition games in 2018, including 17 home games in Port St. Lucie.
The Yankees travel to First Data Field on Wednesday, March 7. The Yankees will host the Mets in Tampa on Saturday, March 10.
This week in our offseason entertainment, we had quite some movement in terms of baseball. There's now a coaching staff, which is huge. Now, we just need a big bat, a reliever, an outfielder who can also play first base, etc etc.
Off the field, however, the Mets also kept us entertained. No, it was not another weekend of love like last weekend was with Travis d'Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Mickey Jannis all walking down the aisle. But, weddings did come up this week.
Steven Matz. We all know he's engaged and getting married soon. On WOR this week when asked about which teammates he felt obligated to invite to the wedding, his response gave away two of his groomsmen, but was also a bit vague...
The Marlins have discussed sending OF Giancarlo Stanton and 2B Dee Gordon to the Giants for 2B Joe Panik and prospects, according to SiriusXM host and San Francisco reporter Craig Mish.
The Cardinals are the only other team to make a formal offer to acquire Stanton from the Marlins, per MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
However, if the Marlins plan to complete a deal, talent evaluators recently told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Miami will need to lower its asking price.
Based on my own conversations, published reports, and reading between the lines, I'm convinced the Mets intend to have a new, everyday second baseman on the team next season.
The Mets held back channel talks this week with a number of teams open to trading a second baseman, including Marlins 2B Dee Gordon and Indians 2B-OF Jason Kipnis, according to MLB insiders.
The Mets had the talent to compete in 2017, but no team could ever overcome the number of games they played this past season without their best players, former Mets manager Terry Collins told WFAN's Mike Francesa this past weekend at an event in New York.
"It was hard, Mike, it really got to be tough," Collins admitted.
"You can handle it if they're only out two weeks, but they were out four months," he continued. "To ask guys to fill in for the Syndergaards and Harveys it was just a lot to ask. And, we just couldn't bounce back from it. Then when we lost Cespedes for a long time, which is a pretty big whole to fill."
Following seven seasons as manager of the Mets, Collins stepped down this past October and later accepted an advisory position in Sandy Alderson's front office.
The deadline to add Rule-5 eligible players to 40-man rosters is tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
Eligible players left off the roster can be selected by another organization during the Rule 5 Draft, which is held each year at the MLB Winter Meetings in early-December.
According to MLB.com, the Mets have five players from their Top 30 Prospect list that are eligible, including Luis Guillorme, Jhoan Urena, Gerson Bautista, and Corey Oswalt.
With the Mets down 3-1 in the 2015 World Series, Matt Harvey took the hill for New York looking to extend the series.
Harvey was spinning a career defining performance, and through eight innings hadn't given up a run with eight strikeouts. The Mets were winning 2-0. Terry Collins talked to Mike Francesa, Live at the Tilles Center, about how Harvey fought to remain in the game.
"The toughest part was he had an eight-pitch 8th inning, and so he comes off the mound in the 8th inning and he walks in the dugout and I said as he walks by me I said, "That's it." He went over to grab his jacket and he stopped and came back and said, "You got to let me go out there. This is my night, this is my game! I'm fine, you got to let me have this game"...
The Mets appear most willing to deal Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Rafael Montero, Dominic Smith, and most of their top prospects, according to what MLB insiders told me at the end of this week's GM Meetings.
However, though they may all have "value," SNY contributor Andy Martino wrote earlier this week that the Mets remain reluctant to move most of the above names.
According to multiple reports, Sandy Alderson is aiming to add a new second baseman, back-end reliever, a first baseman that can play outfield, and possibly, a reliable veteran starting pitcher. However, he may have only $30-40 million to spend on acquisitions, which would mean possibly dealing big-league talent to fill a need and/or free up money to spend on free agents.
"There is an assumption on the part of most clubs that we are not going to trade Jacob deGrom or a Noah Syndergaard," Alderson added during a talk with reporters this week at the GM Meetings.
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets LHP Steven Matz, whose 2017 season ended due to ulnar nerve surgery, is "really excited" with the way his arm has recovered, but he's taking nothing for granted heading in to next season.
"Dealing with failure on a personal level as well as with the team, it was tough," Matz said recently on WOR radio. "I'm not taking anything for granted, even as far as my position coming out of spring training. As far as I'm concerned, I've got to earn my spot."
"This is a really big year for me. I know what I'm capable of."
In a report for the NY Post, columnist Ken Davidoff argues in favor of the Mets making a push for free-agent Eric Hosmer by offering at least a seven-year, $150 million contract.
"While he has not presented a picture of consistency, with underwhelming 2014 and 2016 campaigns, Hosmer has displayed his ceiling with very strong performances in 2013, 2015 and 2017," explains Davidoff, who predicted earlier this month that Hosmer would eventually sign with the Red Sox.
I totally understand that signing Hosmer would 'make a splash,' as people say. It would plant a bold, new flag at the start of the Callaway Era, much like Omar Minaya did with Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran when he and Willie Randolph took over the franchise...
With the Mets turning focus towards the bullpen, as they look to turn around one of the league's worst from last season, we will hear from some familiar names (like the rest of MLB, they will be kicking the tires on Addison Reed and Brandon Morrow), but also some lesser-known relievers with established histories of success.
One right-hander they will likely be looking at that fits this mold is Bryan Shaw. The 30-year-old put in two solid years with the Diamondbacks before blossoming over five excellent seasons with the Indians. His pitching coach there? Mickey Callaway, who knows a good arm when he sees one.
Shaw made 378 appearances for Cleveland from 2011-2017 and hits free agency having put together a 3.11 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP for them. His strikeout rate is far from dominant for a relief arm -- just 8 batters per 9 innings -- but his strong groundball tendency has given him considerable added value in this homerun-heavy era.
The Mets have signed LHP Matt Purke to a minor league deal that contains an inviation to big league spring training, the team announced Friday.
Purke, 27, has a 5.50 ERA and 1.78 WHIP during his six-year minor league career.
He had a 3.84 ERA and 1.36 WHIP while striking out 80 batters in 65 2/3 innings (48 games) this past season in Triple-A for the White Sox.
Mets assistant GM John Ricco said the team will put a new emphasis on defense in 2018.
As a team, the Mets ranked 17th in fielding percentage (.984), 16th in ultimate zone rating (-0.3), 20th in defensive rating (-7.3) and 21st in range runs (-6.7) last season.
"That is one area we collectively think we need to be a little stronger," Ricco said Thursday during an appearance on Mets Hot Stove on SNY...
Baseball fans are understandably focused on free agency, player acquisitions, payroll, and trade rumors during the offseason. However, in the case of the Mets, it may be the following off field changes that have the biggest impact on the team's success in 2018...
Mets manager Mickey Callaway repeatedly said this past week that it is vital that the team's pitching staff be healthy and mentally strong when taking the mound. In his view, this includes conditioning between starts and proper advanced scouting, but it also includes things like visualization techniques and being properly hydrated...
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets INF T.J. Rivera, who had Tommy John surgery on his injured right elbow on Sept. 14, is hoping to return around the beginning of next season.
While pitchers usually miss between 12 and 18 months recovering from Tommy John surgery, position players can return in as little as six months.
Mets officials foresee Rivera returning this coming summer, but his goal is to get back sooner...
It was reported last week that -- like the Dodgers and Indians -- the Mets intend to keep their starting pitchers from facing a lineup more than two times during a game, hoping it will reduce injuries and maximize their effectiveness.
However, Mets manager Mickey Callaway told WOR and NBC New York this past week that, while it's important to be aware of how his starting pitcher is performing, each situation is different and there will be no one rule dictating when a pitcher will be removed in favor of the bullpen...
Michael Conforto's recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing well and he should be able to begin swinging a bat by late January, the NY Post's Joel Sherman reports.
According to his representatives, Conforto has been working out regularly since undergoing surgery in September and should be fully ready to go in spring training. The 24-year-old Conforto dislocated his shoulder and tore the posterior capsule during a swing Aug. 24 against the Diamondbacks. Doctors quickly recommended surgery and after a second opinion, Conforto reached the same conclusion.
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | The uncertainty when the severity of Conforto's injury was known turned in to a widely held expectation that he would not be ready for the beginning of the season -- potentially missing the first few months.That makes the news that he's expected to be ready for spring training huge in two ways...
According to NY Times reporter James Wagner, Juan Lagares is working this winter with Craig Wallenbrock, who is the hitting instructor credited with changing J.D. Martinez's swing.
Prior to working with Wallenbrock, Martinez hit .251 with a .300 OBP and just 24 home runs in nearly 900 at bats, during which he bounced between the Astros and their upper-level affiliates.
The season after working with Wallenback, at which time Martinez was 26 year sold, he hit .315 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI, while striking out less and getting on base more than earlier in his career.
In his subsequent three seasons, Martinez has hit 105 home runs and enters this winter a top free agent corner outfielder reportedly seeking a $200 million contract.
According to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, any outfielder he acquires this winter must have experience and be willing to regularly play first base.
Otherwise, the Mets are open to acquiring someone that only play first base, Alderson explained on the final day of this week's GM Meetings.
The Mets were among roughly 10 teams to express interest in free agent 1B Carlos Santana, reports Jon Heyman reported earlier this week for FanRag.com.
Free-agents Jay Bruce, Logan Morrison and Adam Lind are among the names Alderson is reportedly considering for a first base-outfield platoon that would likely also include Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto in center and right field, as well as Smith and Wilmer Flores at first base.
The Mets are among the teams expressing interest in free agent LH reliever Mike Minor, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
The 29-year-old Minor reinvented himself as a reliever in 2017, as he pitched in the majors for the first time since 2014, when he was a starter for the Braves.
After having shoulder surgery in 2015, Minor returned this past season with a a 2.55 ERA (2.62 FIP) and 1.02 WHIP while striking out 88 batters and walking 22 in 77 2/3 innings (65 games). He was dominant against lefties, holding them to a .163/.228/.196 line, but solid against righties as well, as they hit just .223/.281/.383 against him...
David Wright was inducted into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame on Wednesday night at Scottsdale Stadium.
Wright participated in the AFL in 2003 and hit .341/.426/.489 with two home runs, seven doubles, 15 RBIs and four stolen bases in 26 games for the Peoria Javelinas.
The 34-year-old Wright was honored last year as one of the AFL's top 25 all-time players.
The Mets today announced their 2018 major league coaching staff.
Callaway is replacing Terry Collins, who it was announced in October will soon begin serving as a special assistant to Sandy Alderson's front office.
Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Orlando, Fla. -- Before departing the GM meetings on Wednesday morning, Sandy Alderson stood outside the Waldorf Astoria Orlando with a small group of reporters and confirmed that the Mets are interested in Japanese two-way player Shohei Ohtani. If he wasn't interested, he'd have no business being a general manager -- every team should be engaged on this potentially once-in-a-lifetime bargain.
Ohtani can be had for a $20 million posting fee that will be paid to his Japanese team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters, plus relative pennies in international signing money -- anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars. In theory, a team could offer him a larger contract later, but the expense of acquiring him will be minimal relative to his value. Scouts say he has the potential to be both a high-end starting pitcher and a capable everyday player.
So there's no downside, right? Well … there is one thing ….
The Mets are interested in side-arm reliever Joe Smith, according NY Post reporter Joel Sherman.
Smith was drafted by the Mets in 2006, traded to the Mariners in 2008, and later spent six seasons pitching for the Indians when Mickey Callaway was their pitching coach.
Callaway is reportedly also interested in reuniting with free-agent reliever Bryan Shaw, who has been repeatedly mentioned among relievers expected to be pursued by the Mets.
Smith, 33, had 11.8 strikeouts and 1.7 walks per nine innings last season during 59 relef appearances with the Indians and Blue Jays...
Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets spoke on Tuesday with the representatives for free agent first baseman Carlos Santana because that's what baseball teams do in November: they take meetings and canvas the market. The same goes for free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain and the many other names sure to trickle from loose-lipped agents in the early part of the offseason.
But, according to sources with direct knowledge of New York's thinking, Santana is very unlikely to become a Met. The team remains more focused on finding a reliever, a second baseman (via free agency or trade) and an outfielder who can also play first base. Some reasons for this approach...
Mets GM Sandy Alderson on Monday indicated that 1B Dominic Smith has not yet secured a starting job on the team for the 2018 season.
"He didn't win it in September, let's put it that way," Alderson said, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
In a post here Wednesday afternoon, I wrote that the Mets prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are only penciled in as the team's starting shortstop and first baseman next season.
MLB teams are again hesitant to commit dollars and years to free agent first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters, suggesting it may be the first group to experience a feeding frenzy this winter, baseball insiders attending this week's GM Meetings told me Tuesday.
According to multiple reports, including my own intel, the Mets are trying to acquire a player that can start at first base, but also play corner outfield and hit for power.
In reports last week, it was said that Sandy Alderson would be targeting free agents Jay Bruce, Logan Morrison and Adam Lind. However, reports Tuesday indicate the Mets are also showing interest in Carlos Santana, who insiders believe very much wants to return to the Indians.
However, according to friends in Cleveland, the Indians and Santana never got far on a contract extension because they were not interested in giving him more than a three-year contract. Obviously, Santana felt (and probably still feels) he will get more on this winter's open market...
The Mets and Blue Jays are expressing interest in free agent CF Lorenzo Cain, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, who says the Royals are growing "increasingly more pessimistic" about re-signing Cain, 1B Eric Hosmer, or 3B Mike Moustakas.
Cain, who turns 32 years old in April, hit .300/.363/440 with 15 HR, 27 doubles, 26 stolen bases, and 49 RBI in 155 games for the Royals this past season.
He was worth 5 DRS in center field in 2017 after being worth 11 DRS in 2016 and 18 DRS in 2015.
New Mets manager Mickey Callaway has already reached out to the majority of his players, and said he wants to connect with them on multiple levels.
"There is nothing such as a players manager per se," Callaway said on Mets Hot Stove on SNY. "I think that you -- to be a good manager you have to make sure that everybody in the organization knows that you care, and you do that on a daily basis, by showing them in caring about them. Not only as a player, and a performer, but as a person."
Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter | This is all great. Mickey Callaway has only been manager for a couple of weeks, and he's already personally reached out to an entire team. Building a personal relationship starts with one step, and in this case, it was a personal text message from Callaway to each player. How great is that? He didn't wait until everyone reported down to Port St. Lucie. He didn't wait until things settled in and he became accustomed to his new life. He hit the ground running, and knows that it's important to establish a relationship with his players...
The Mets will attempt to sign a late-game relief pitcher, even if it means offering a multi-year deal, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.
Carig believes the group being targeted by the Mets includes Addison Reed, Brandon Morrow, Mike Minor, and Bryan Shaw, among others, all of whom are projected to ink contracts in the two- to four-year range.
The willingness to sign free-agent relievers to multi-year deals is a shift in strategy for Sandy Alderson, who has mostly added to his bullpen by signing journeyman pitchers late in the offseason. However, as Carig was first to report, the Mets (like most successful MLB teams during the last few years) intend to limit most of their starting pitchers to facing the opposing lineup only two times each night.
"The teams that have the discipline to do that are getting better results out of those starting pitchers," Alderson told reporters Monday at the GM Meetings in Orlando. "They have the discipline to do it and they have the bullpen capacity.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested that Juan Lagares may see significant playing time in center field next season, Newsday's Marc Carig tweeted Monday afternoon.
"I think Lagares is definitely figuring into our plans," added Alderson, who talked with reporters after Monday's GM Meetings in Orlando.
According to FanGraphs.com, Lagares was the best defensive center fielder this past season during the 85 games he played at that position. He won the Gold Glove for center field in 2014, but did not play enough innings at the position to qualify in 2017.
The Mets are among roughly 10 teams expressing interest in free agent 1B Carlos Santana, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Along with the Mets, the Angels, Phillies, Red Sox, Mariners, and Indians are also interested in Santana.
Santana, 31, earned $12 million last year for the Indians while hitting .259/.363/.455 with 23 HR, 37 doubles, and 79 RBI in 154 games. He was also worth 10 DRS at first base and was a finalist for the Gold Glove award.
According to MLB insiders at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Sandy Alderson clearly intends to sign a free-agent relief pitcher and either sign or trade for a second baseman.
If possible, he'd like to also ink a reliable, veteran starting pitcher, as well as someone who can start at corner outfield, first base and hit for power. There are a lot of options to fill this shopping list.
For instance, there are at least a dozen relief pitchers to consider; there are three free agent second baseman and four or five also available in trade; I see a half dozen starting pitchers that qualify as old and reliable; and there are multiple free-agent first baseman capable of playing the outfield, not to mention guys available in trade.