Is it spring training yet? The New York Mets gave Tim Tebow and eight other players invites to major league camp.
Spring Training Invitations
The New York Mets invited nine of their non-roster players to the major league side of Spring Training. Amongst the names are former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who hit .226 in Single-A in 2017.
However, the team also invited several players who are far more likely to make an impact in the major leagues one day. The full list was released on the team’s Twitter account.
We’ve invited nine players to major league #SpringTraining including: Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Kevin Kaczmarski, Patrick Mazeika, Drew Smith, Corey Taylor, Tim Tebow, David Thompson and Adonis Uceta. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2018
First baseman Peter Alonso hit .286 with 16 home runs in Single-A for the St. Lucie Mets last season. Pitcher P.J. Conlon was selected in the 13th round in 2015, but has impressed in the minors, putting up a 2.35 ERA in three seasons.
Relief pitcher Drew Smith has a 1.80 ERA over three seasons in the minors. He was traded to the Mets from the Tampa Bay Rays for Lucas Duda in July.
Joining them will be outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski, catcher/first baseman Patrick Mazeika, pitcher Corey Taylor, third baseman David Thompson, and pitcher Adonis Uceta.
Adrian Gonzalez to Work With Dominic Smith
Adrian Gonzalez understands that as a veteran first baseman, part of his job is to work with the younger players that the team has. He is fully embracing that, according to a video posted on the Mets Twitter account.
.@Adrian_ElTitan is ready to help the team win. He talked about his goals heading into the 2018 season. https://t.co/3qqg4S9PDw pic.twitter.com/iDGX6fZc1u
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2018
One thing that Gonzalez spoke about was his desire to help Dominic Smith with his defensive game. Although Smith wasn’t bad defensively last season, producing a .994 fielding percentage, Gonzalez is a four-time Gold Glove award winner who can no doubt help Smith take his defense to the next level.
40-Man Roster Casualties
The Mets have lost Chasen Bradford to the Seattle Mariners, while Kevin McGowan cleared waivers, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post on Twitter. Both were waived off of the 40-man roster to make room for Gonzalez and Jay Bruce.
Chasen Bradford has been claimed off waivers by the Mariners; Kevin McGowan cleared waivers and was outrighted to Vegas.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) January 19, 2018
Bradford made his MLB debut last season, pitching to a 3.74 ERA in 33.2 innings for the team. McGowan also made his MLB debut, but pitched only 8.2 innings. He had a 5.19 ERA.
Ichiro Suzuki Talks to Mets
Michael Mayer of Mets Merized Online reported on Twitter that outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s agent had talks about his client joining the Mets before they signed Jay Bruce.
Ichiro’s agent said that they spoke to the Mets before they signed Jay Bruce.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) January 19, 2018
The 44-year-old has spent the last three seasons with the Miami Marlins. He slashed .255/.318/.332 last season and has a career slash of .312/.355/.403.
He is one of the most accomplished players in MLB history, despite starting his MLB career at the late age of 27. From his debut in 2001 through 2010 he made the All-Star team and won the Gold Glove every year. He won three Silver Slugger awards in that time, most recently in 2009. He was the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001.
He led the league in hits seven times, including every year from 2006-2010. He also led the league in batting average in 2001 and again in 2004. He joined the Yankees during the 2012 season, remaining with the team through 2014. During his tenure with the team, he slashed .281/.314/.364.
Other Mets News
- ESNY’s Corey Claus explains how the Mets could have had better chances entering 2018 if not for bad decisions (and some bad luck).
- Greg Cambareri of ESNY explains why the Mets should be willing to move Brandon Nimmo.
- ESNY’s Nicholas Santuccio explains how the Mets are actually showing faith in Dominic Smith.