Squawker Lisa, your Yankees may have landed Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter’s “everything must go” Marlins liquidation, but the Mets have their own acquisition – Jose Lobaton!
I would accuse you of getting all high and mighty if you tell me you don’t know who Lobaton is, but – full disclosure – I wasn’t totally sure when I heard the news. I recognized the name, but wondered if maybe he was one of the top prospects the Braves were forced to relinquish in their international signing scandal.
When I found it he was from the Nationals, I thought he might be a Rule 5 pickup – a potentially promising prospect that the stacked Nationals were forced to leave unprotected.
Turns out he was Washington’s backup catcher, but at least he’s young and a better hitter than the Mets’ struggling Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Oh, wait – Lobaton is 33 and hit .170 last year.
Trying to look on the bright side, at least Lobaton isn’t some exercise regimen a la Peloton that the Mets are adopting for their few players who didn’t end up on the DL with help from dubious Met training strategies. Better to have Noah Syndergaard pitch to Lobaton the catcher than tear a muscle using a video-linked Lobaton system.
Lobaton’s minor-league deal also includes an invitation to the major league camp, which makes it sound like a premium membership to Club Mets (I’ve been getting a lot of email offers lately). Does Lobaton also get a discount at the team store and a chance to meet Mr. Met?
The Mets did sign reliever Anthony Swarzak, but unless he is going to be the American Shohei Ohtani and also play the infield, there are still plenty of holes left to be filled. At least there’s no more talk of starting the season with David Wright in the lineup.
If I can be grateful for one thing this holiday season, it’s that Jeter doesn’t own the Mets. As a Knick fan, I’ve already been through Phil Jackson as a self-professed genius whose excellence in other areas did not translate to the front office, where his arrogance only compounded his mistakes. While Jeter did not give Stanton his no-trade as Jackson did with Carmelo Anthony, both bumbling execs saw no need to work with their stars that held all the cards and ended up antagonizing them instead, making it that much harder to trade them.
When Jeter was on his endless retirement tour, the Mets gave him a subway tile with “2” on it. When the Marlins visit Citi Field this year, they should thank him for helping the Mets not to finish last by giving him a subway tile with “L” on it, commemorating the line that will be shut down for over a year and the letter that will be concluding most Marlins’ box scores.