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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Mets are strongarming Devin Mesoraco into retiring

The Mets told catcher Devin Mesoraco on Saturday that he will not make the team, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported. Mesoraco, a major league veteran of eight seasons, said he won’t accept a reassignment to Triple-A. According to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, the Mets will place Mesoraco on the restricted list rather than release him. As a result, Mesoraco is expected to retire from baseball.

This is a bad look for the Mets. Most teams release the major league-caliber players they don’t plan to break camp with so they can pursue opportunities elsewhere. The Mets must really be hurting for catching depth.

Mesoraco, 30, was decent as the Mets’ back-up last season after coming over from the Reds in the Matt Harvey deal, batting .222/.306/.409 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 229 plate appearances. Mesoraco is a bit below-average defensively and spent much of the mid-2010’s on the disabled list dealing with hip and shoulder injuries.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: devin mesoraco

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   1. Adam Starblind Posted: March 26, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5825301)
Well, that is a ridiculous way to put it. Mesoraco should go to AAA, where he will be for about 48 hours before d'Arneau ruptures his aorta on a throw back to the pitcher.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5825309)
Don't all guys who declared for free agency get automatic opt-outs in minor league deals? Our at least some kind of retention bonus that has to be paid?
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5825314)
Yeah, most players have a release clause if they're not called up by April 20.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5825315)
The Mets would recall Thomas Nido if/when d'arnaud gets injured. They LOVE his defensive skills.

The one oddity here is that Mesoraco was a favorite of deGrom in his 2018 Cy Young season. so it seemed like appeasing deGrom would be worth it.

they whacked Mesoraco, and deGrom signed his contract extension almost immediately. It's almost as if the Mets knew they didn't need Mesoraco anymore.

on the surface, it does look weird.
   5. formerly dp Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5825316)
The weird thing in all this is that it looks like TDA will start the season on the DL (unless I'm a day behind on their roster news?), so I'm not sure why they felt the need to have this spat with Mesoraco. Though from the sounds of it, TDA's stay on the IL will be fairly short, probably involving some games in Syracuse before getting activated.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5825325)
The weird thing in all this is that it looks like TDA will start the season on the DL (unless I'm a day behind on their roster news?), so I'm not sure why they felt the need to have this spat with Mesoraco.
If it's really just going to be a few days, then Nido can be sent right down, but Mesoraco could refuse an assignment back to AAA.
   7. formerly dp Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5825348)
If it's really just going to be a few days, then Nido can be sent right down, but Mesoraco could refuse an assignment back to AAA.
Sure, it would be kicking the can a little. IIRC, Mesoraco's contract is for only $500M, so it's not much of a financial issue. Don't think it matters much now that they've signed Rivera...but I think the Mets recognize that there's a legit risk both TDA and Ramos end up DL'd simultaneously at some point, so they want a ML-caliber C at the ready, and Nido is not that guy right now. Also not out of the realm of possibility that they think Nido can still develop a little, and don't want him shuttling between AAA & the majors. Rivera solves that a little, but he's a step down from Mesoraco.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5825354)
I RTFA, but still don't understand how the Mets can do this. If Mesoraco has the right to refuse a AAA assignment, what ground do they have to put him on the restricted list?
   9. PreservedFish Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5825355)
I'm not even sure what the restricted list is.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5825359)
I'm not even sure what the restricted list is.

When I've heard about it, it has been for guys on holdouts, or in legal trouble. Like when Kang couldn't get into the country b/c of his DUIs, Pitt put him on the restricted list.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5825362)
Sounds like a paid vacation to me!
   12. spycake Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5825366)
B-Ref says: "A team can request that a player be placed on the restricted list if that player has left the team without a valid reason, or has announced his intention to retire but is still of an age or level of skill that could allow him to return to professional baseball in the future. In effect, the team states that it retains rights to the player if and when he becomes active again. The list is also used to place a player who is unavailable to play for non-baseball reasons, such as personal issues or trouble with the law."

https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Restricted_list
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5825367)
Sounds like a paid vacation to me!

Well, except for the paid part. Players on the restricted list don't get paid.
   14. spycake Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5825371)
MLBTR says that Mesoraco didn't have an opt out clause, but rather had a clause where the Mets would release him if another team wanted to add him to their 25-man MLB roster. No other team wanted to do that, apparently.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/03/mets-rumors-devin-mesoraco-retire.html
   15. spycake Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5825374)
MLB free agents (with 6+ years service time) on minor league contracts don't automatically have the right to opt out this early, although some negotiate that right. The only requirement for such deals in the CBA is that they get a "retention bonus" if they're not placed on the roster to start the season, and they have the right to opt out on June 1st if they're not added to the roster. From Cub Reporter:

If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.


https://www.thecubreporter.com/book/export/html/4400

So presumably Mesoraco got a retention bonus, and has the right to opt out of his Mets minor league deal on June 1st if they don't call him up before then.
   16. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5825377)
I thought that Mesoraco's deal explicitly did not have a opt out or retention bonus (the latter is compulsory for 100k if he signed as an article XX(B) FA), hence the issue. Which, if so, sounds like bad negotiating on his camp's part.

Players on the restricted list don't get paid.

Yup.
I've more commonly heard about it (in termos of number of instances) being used for situations when the player retires but the org doesn't want to lose their rights (like this, I guess) - but situations like Kang's garner a lot more attention (understandably).

Yeah, most players have a release clause if they're not called up by April 20.

This does not sound right. Source?

---
EDIT: Just saw #14, thanks spycake. Ok, that he'd have an upward mobility clause makes sense and that he's pissed he can't use it is also understandable. Still, handshake deals aside - I don't know why they wouldn't have secured formal opt-outs unless the player now has feelings that they didn't anticipate going into signing.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5825381)
Is Kyler Murray on the restricted list?
   18. McCoy Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5825385)
I"m guessing they put him on the restricted list either because he refuses to go to AAA thus report to work or because he retired.
   19. spycake Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5825398)
I don't know why they wouldn't have secured formal opt-outs unless the player now has feelings that they didn't anticipate going into signing.


Yeah, I'd guess that at the time of signing, he probably over-estimated his chances of making a MLB roster, and under-estimated how much he wouldn't want to go to Syracuse.
   20. spycake Posted: March 26, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5825416)
Looks like the Cubs released Tazawa in a similar situation, then re-signed him to a minor league deal a few days later:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/03/cubs-to-re-sign-junichi-tazawa.html
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: March 26, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5825418)
under-estimated how much he wouldn't want to go to Syracuse.

is that even possible?
:)
   22. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5825473)
19/21 - those were my thoughts as well :)
   23. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5825486)
Hey! The original Dinosaur BBQ. And just a half hour to Turning Stone casino! There are worse places to be, as long as it's only for a day.
   24. Karl from NY Posted: March 26, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5825501)
I RTFA, but still don't understand how the Mets can do this. If Mesoraco has the right to refuse a AAA assignment, what ground do they have to put him on the restricted list?


If I'm putting it together correctly: Mesoraco doesn't have a right to refuse it. His choices are to play according to the contract or to retire. He retires. The Mets retain the rights, as with anyone who retires from an active contract. The mechanism to do that is the restricted list. The Mets do that instead of releasing him (as is often customary) because they want him as injury insurance but not on the 25-man right at the moment.
   25. DCA Posted: March 26, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5825504)
Seems short-sighted on the Mets part, especially now that they have Rivera (who is better than Mesoraco). Might make solid AAAA guys less likely (or more expensive) to sign in the future. This type of treatment doesn't often make the newspaper but definitely makes the rounds among players and agents.

I get playing games for an extra year of control for a prospect. That has real value, potentially tens of millions. But just to hold on to your #4 catcher for two months?
   26. formerly dp Posted: March 26, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5825511)
Seems short-sighted on the Mets part, especially now that they have Rivera (who is better than Mesoraco)
Wait, what? Rivera's a 35 year-old with a career .220/.271/.353 line. Mesoraco's 5 years younger and the superior hitter (.232/.309/.406). Rivera's better with the glove--but if the Mets want a total offensive suckhole at C they have Nido on-hand already.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5825523)
Seems short-sighted on the Mets part, especially now that they have Rivera (who is better than Mesoraco). Might make solid AAAA guys less likely (or more expensive) to sign in the future. This type of treatment doesn't often make the newspaper but definitely makes the rounds among players and agents.

Concur. If they really want to keep him around, throw him an extra $100-200K to take the assignment, and give him the right to opt out on May 1.
   28. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5825552)
I didn't realize how short of a time that Mesoraco was good. He had 4.6 of his career 4.2 bWAR in 2014. Last year was his 2nd best year, bWAR-wise, with 0.7.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: March 26, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5825576)
Wait, what? Rivera's a 35 year-old with a career .220/.271/.353 line. Mesoraco's 5 years younger and the superior hitter (.232/.309/.406). Rivera's better with the glove--but if the Mets want a total offensive suckhole at C they have Nido on-hand already.

C'mon, it's the Mets we're talking about. What's the over/under on the number of catchers the Mets use in a season, 6?
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: March 26, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5825580)
starts by Mets catchers in their 1962 debut season:
Chris Cannizzaro 42
Sammy Taylor 42
Choo-Choo Coleman 37
Joe Pignatano 15
Hobie Landrith 12
Harry Chiti 11
Joe Ginsberg 2

most career starts as a Mets catcher:
Jerry Grote 1105
Mike Piazza 814
Todd Hundley 657
John Stearns 651
Ron Hodges 369
TRAVIS d'ARNAUD 359
Duffy Dyer 275
Paul Lo Duca 229
Chris Cannizzaro 202
Charlie O'Brien 189

   31. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 26, 2019 at 07:07 PM (#5825590)
[30] No Gary Carter on the career list?
   32. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: March 26, 2019 at 07:10 PM (#5825591)
Carter should be 5th with 550.

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