In some corners of the internet, there was a bit of anxiety last week about the future of Venezuelan Francisco Alvarez. There was a possibility that the team would have four healthy receivers at its disposal, with fellow Venezuelan Omar Narváez, Puerto Rican Tomas Nido and Dominican Gary Sanchez, Recently assigned to the missionaccompanying Alvarez.
Álvarez was the only one from that group with minor league options, meaning he was the only one who could be taken off the active roster without risking losing it.
Once again, the Mets did the right thing, as they have done regularly the past two seasons.
The idea that Alvarez deserved to go back to the palace was misguided and incorrect. Is there a possibility that the Venezuelan will fall into another hole in the coming weeks and fall? Clear. Recently, nine days ago, when Alvarez was flirting with Mendoza’s streak and 700 OPS, I suggested this very possibility. But it has become almost impossible to see that come to fruition after what Alvarez has done this month, including three stretches in five games.
Is there any evidence that General Manager Billy Eppler would consider such a move? Consider the manager’s history in these situations:
In May 2022, the Mets designated Robinson Kano for assignment, although he still owes about $37.5 million. This allowed him to keep Dominic Smith, Louis Gillorm and JD Davis in the majors, although each of them still had minor league options.
–This spring, Eppler did something similar, calling it a “baseball decision” by going with benefit Tim Locastro over veteran Darren Roof, essentially admitting more deals to come. By then, the Mets owed Ruf $3.25 million.
– On Thursday, Ibler named Sanchez to task him with easing Alvarez’s situation a bit. (Note that the club could have let go of Mark Ventus, who has trouble at bat in the majors.) Instead, manager Buck Showalter said Eppler continues to “try to make the best team possible every single day.”
I understand the paranoia that having all of these options generates, given the way the Mets have handled their young players in previous administrations—sometimes making decisions based on their contracts. But this simply has not been the case in recent years. Epler’s leadership has consistently made the “right decisions”, which usually have to do with leaning towards youth over experience.
Remember, the “Steve Cohen Effect” isn’t just about spending huge amounts of money on superstars in free agency. This also meant, for example, a guarantee of a $ 1.5 million contract for Sanchez and a severance of relations with him in a matter of days if the situation changed. The Mets don’t want to create a habit with these kinds of circumstances, but now, they can afford to make the right decisions.
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