Originally reported by ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, the New York Mets have decided to non-tender Jordany Valdespin, thus making him a free agent.
Players getting non-tendered is rarely big news, in fact the Mets had already non-tendered both SS Omar Quintanilla and RHP Scott Atchison earlier on Monday. The interesting thing with Valdespin is that he was not arbitration eligible until 2016, meaning he was under team control until that time. The Mets didn’t have to make a move, but they decided to part ways anyways. The following may be contributing factors.
During his time in Triple-A, Wally Backman was not a fan of Valdespin as he thought he believed him to be a guy who already thought he was a star.
In a story that has yet to be publicized, it was in Spring Training of 2012 that Jordany Valdespin was asked by Mets security to show his ID (all players are supposed to have this on their windshield). Instead of doing so, Valdespin threw a child-like hissy fit, which included incessant cussing at the elderly security guard who was only doing his job.
As Valdespin become more and more known by the Mets fan base, his popularity on social media grew, as did the number of questionable Instagram photos he posted, including but not limited to this doozy:
Valdespin had been warned multiple times by people in the organization to cut down on inappropriate posts such as these, but never seemed to fully grasp the concept.
On May 10, 2013, in a game where the Mets trailed by six runs in the 9th, Valdespin hit a long, pinch-hit home run into the Pepsi Porch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was perceived by Pittsburgh (and Mets players as well) that Valdespin “pimped” his home run, which led to him getting drilled by a 94 MPH fastball the very next day. Despite being warned that his on-field antics would likely lead to retaliation, SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt reported that Valdespin was noticeably upset about being hit and that his teammates did not appear to have his back, and threw a fit in the Mets dugout after the inning. It was later learned that Valdespin “begged” manager Terry Collins not to use him as a pinch-hitter in fear of getting plunked. His teammates were reportedly very displeased about his actions.
Two months later, after being demoted to Triple-A, a late-night tweet from the New York Post’s Mike Puma revealed that Valdespin and Collins had a confrontation that on July 14th, where JV1 allegedly called Collins a “c**ksucker” and demanded to be placed on the disabled list. Valdespin had been hitting .188 in the majors at the time of the confrontation.
In August it was revealed that Valdespin was one of 20 original players on the Biogenesis scandal client list. Major League Baseball suspended Valdespin for 50 games, ending his 2013 season.
You can say this was partially about the money, as the Mets were paying a little more for a player because of MLB service time that was likely going to be in the minor leagues, but it’s clear that this is a cleansing of the clubhouse sort of move. Jordany Valdespin was a bad apple, displayed a sour attitude, poor decision making and did not show enough on the field to justify staying in the organization.
This moment surely won’t be a shot to the crotch for those on the Mets, as he had few fans within the organization. No one knows what’s next for Jordany Valdespin, but I’ll for sure be refreshing his Instagram feed until we find out.