The always-industrious Matthew Eddy posted some minor league transactions over at Baseball America. There are some names that could potentially help the Mets, and I’ve broken down a few of my favorites here.
Just to get ahead of the reaction from some quarters every time I bring up minor moves like this- no, none of these players are likely to turn the franchise around by themselves. But that’s not how turning a franchise around works. Even if the Mets were operating under normal financial conditions, the way to win is by squeezing talent out of every avenue it is available. Minor league free agents are one such avenue, particularly for a franchise lacking in depth at the upper minor league levels.
So, with that in mind, let’s get to a few of my favorites on Eddy’s newest list:
Matt Liuzza, C: Just released by the Toronto Blue Jays, Liuzza had a down year, posting a .224/.325/.373 line at mostly Double-A. He only posted 154 plate appearances, thanks to a back injury that kept him out from May until August. But he returned near the end of the season, and is just a year removed from posting a .251/.389/.456 line in High-A ball. He’s 27, so time is running short for him, but with catchers often developing later offensively, and the Mets with a real depth problem at the position organization-wide, I’d love to see Liuzza picked up and given the chance to catch regularly in Binghamton or Buffalo. His position and control of the strike zone make him worth a shot.
Brandon Boggs, OF: A minor league free agent most recently with Milwaukee, Boggs is a wise pickup for the Mets for similar reasons to Liuzza. He’s got terrific control of the strike zone, and he plays center field, a position of need for New York. Boggs put up a .241/.381/.419 line for Triple-A Nashville in 2011, and is a year removed from hitting .290/.406/.470 in Triple-A Oklahoma City. Yes, offensive stats in the Pacific Coast League should be taken skeptically (though Jeff Sackmann/Dan Szymborski had the team’s home park playing as a slight pitcher-friendly environment), but Boggs, who will be 29, seems to possess skills that Jason Pridie clearly doesn’t.
Anthony Slama, P: Most recently with Minnesota, I can’t begin to understand why Slama, who has a career minor league ERA of 2.08 and 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings, didn’t get a chance to pitch with the Twins. He’ll be 28 next year, and for a team in need of bullpen help, this is how you do it- grabbing a bunch of Slama-types, and see what sticks. Hope he is in camp most of all.