The Mets finally made a splash in the free agent market this morning, agreeing to terms with pitcher Shaun Marcum on a one-year contract.
Marcum will help fill the void left the trade of R.A. Dickey, and he should save me from having to watch Jenrry Mejia take 100 pitches to get through five innings (assuming everyone else is healthy.)
More important, Marcum eliminates the need to rush Zack Wheeler to the major leagues, which could also have caused a domino effect with other minor league starters being pushed to higher levels before they were ready.
In a perfect world, Sandy Alderson will be able to trade Marcum for a prospect this summer when Wheeler forces the Mets to promote him by dominating Triple-A.
Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. The Braves have completed a trade that will bring Justin Upton to Atlanta to join an outfield that includes his brother B.J. and Jason Heyward, quite a formidable group. Atlanta would also acquire third baseman Chris Johnson, who would help fill the gap left by Chipper Jones‘ retirement.
Arizona gets Martin Prado, starter Randall Delgado and three minor league prospects – not a bad haul for a player they seemed desperate to unload, but definitely a package the Braves could afford to give up.
For the next year or two, it looks like the National League East will be a battle between Atlanta and the Washington Nationals, with the Phillies, Mets and Marlins trying to figure out where they fit in.
But on the bright side, spring training is less than three weeks away and that means baseball will soon be returning to our television screens.