The New York Mets will not have to fill any holes in their infield after all.
On Monday, second baseman Neil Walker accepted the Mets’ one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer. He will now be back in Queens for the 2017 season.
Instead of rejecting the offer and testing the free agent market, Walker decided to take it. The 31-year-old batted .282 with 23 home runs and 55 RBIs in 113 games this past season. His season was cut short however, as he needed to have surgery to repair a herniated disk in early September.
The Mets can now breathe a sigh of relief. Re-signing Walker was one of the main priorities of the offseason for them. The team has already made a few moves, including picking up contract options for next year on outfielder Jay Bruce and infielder Jose Reyes. With Walker back, the Mets no longer need to worry about their infield for next season.
Now that Reyes and Walker are both officially returning for the 2017 season, the Mets now have a good idea of what their infield is going to look like. Reyes will be the team’s everyday third baseman. This is a position that he became familiar with after signing with the Mets in June of this year. Walker will be the main second baseman for the team. Asdrubal Cabrera will continue to be the starting shortstop. He fielded his position very well this past season, and also hit .280 with 23 homers and 62 RBIs. Lucas Duda will resume his role as the Mets’ starting first baseman. Duda missed significant time over the course of the 2016 season due to a stress fracture in his lower back.
Reyes, Cabrera and Walker are all switch-hitters, which is another added benefit for the Mets. This gives manager Terry Collins more of a reason to start these three players everyday. As for the left-handed hitting Duda, he will probably still start at first base for the majority of the Mets’ games next season. Utility infielder Wilmer Flores will most likely be his backup, and will get playing time when the team faces a left-handed pitcher. Flores can really play anywhere in the infield. He will be the Mets’ go-to guy when someone needs a day off.
Now that Walker has been re-signed, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can now focus all of his attention on bringing back Yoenis Cespedes. Unlike Walker, Cespedes declined the Mets’ qualifying offer. A few other teams are reportedly interested in signing him. If Alderson is able to ink Cespedes to a long-term contract, then the offseason will definitely be deemed a success for his team.
MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.
Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.
Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.
Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team
Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.
VIDEO: Giants’ CEO Larry Baer Knocks Down Wife During Argument
A video has surfaced showing San Francisco Giants team president and CEO Larry Baer knocking his wife to the ground during a fight over a cellphone, published on TMZ.
You can see the video below.
Baer has acknowledged the incident, saying; “My wife and I had an unfortunate public argument related to a family member and she had an injured foot and she fell off her chair in the course of the argument,” Baer said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The matter is resolved. It was a squabble over a cellphone. Obviously it’s embarrassing.”
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