Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mets spring training strategy..

The Mets may have stopped attempting to sign players to minor league contracts because of the new CBA.  As   I reported before the new CBA forces teams to pay veterans 100k if they don't make the club out of spring training and even if they pay the fee, the veteran can opt for free agency by June 1st.  It's because of this new rule that some believe the Mets are going to wait until teams decide to not pay fee and then fill needs with veterans looking for homes at the end of spring training.

This will allow the Mets to see what they have in-house and how veterans look in other camps before making any moves or paying any fees...

Article XX(B) free agents — essentially most free agents who have played at least six major league seasons — who have signed minor league contracts this offseason must either be put on the major league roster five days before the regular season or be given a $100,000 bonus to go to the minors and the right to opt out of their contract on June 1. The union insisted on this as a way of keeping players who should be in the majors from being parked in the minors. 

It is unlikely many — if any — teams will agree to the $100,000 bonus. Thus, in late March, you can expect a layer of player movement that did not exist previously. 

The Mets already are deploying a strategy built around this new rule. They had been considering a bunch of lefty-hitting outfielders such as Rick Ankiel. But they stopped their pursuit, in part, because they believe a few will become available just before the regular season, at a time when the Mets would know for sure if that is an area in which they should invest. Ankiel, for example, signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. If Washington decides to go with super prospect Bryce Harper, it might not carry Ankiel or pay him $100,000 additionally to wait in the minors as insurance. >

Others who fall under this umbrella include Russell Branyan, Miguel Batista, Aaron Cook, Kevin Millwood, Carlos Guillen, Juan Cruz, Zach Duke, Livan Hernandez, Jeff Francis and Vicente Padilla. source NY Post