- The Cubs will shop OF Alfonso Soriano, and are willing to pay a portion of the $36 million he is owed over the next two years (FOX Sports).
- The Phillies are in heavy pursuit of OF Angel Pagan, and the Giants apparently are short of the Phillies' current four-year proposal (ESPN).
- Ichiro Suzuki is considering signing with teams other than the Yankees, and his agent says if they get a deal they like, Ichiro won't wait for the Yankees (NY Post).
- Adam LaRoche is looking for a three-year deal from the Nationals, while the Nationals are more interested in signing him to a two-year deal (Washington Post).
- The Red Sox would like to re-sign RHP Scott Atchison after non-tendering him on Friday (WEEI).
Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested on Sunday at the Winter Meetings that the Mets are looking for "value" in the relief pitching free agent market, and said the team isn't prepared to jump into the "inferno" of that market.
This is a departure from earlier this offseason, when Alderson said the team was placing a high priority on bullpen help.
"It's about value as well as need, depending on where you're prepared to take another risk," Alderson explained. "It is a fluid situation. ... and we have to constantly reevaluate our options against what the marketplace is."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson does not expect OF Michael Conforto to be ready for Opening Day, Alderson said Sunday night at the Winter Meetings.
Alderson added that Conforto had not suffered a setback as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
It was reported in November that Conforto's recovery was progressing well and he should be able to begin swinging a bat by late January, the according to the NY Post's Joel Sherman.
Tags: Michael Conforto
Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes infielder Asrubal Cabrera will likely spend most of the 2018 season at third base despite his versatility to play each infield position.
The Mets had eight different players spend time at third base, with Cabrera logging the second-most innings to Wilmer Flores. But while Cabrera has spent most of his MLB career at shortstop and has played a significant amount of time at second base, Alderson said he thinks Cabrera would likely be New York's third baseman.
"I think his versatility gives us the option [to sign a free-agent third baseman], but at the same time, we've kind of zeroed him in at third base and we don't want to move him around, so while he gives us some flexibility, I'm not sure we want to exercise it," Alderson said at the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson said starting pitching is not one of New York's major priorities heading into the MLB Winter Meetings despite the fact their rotation had the 27th-ranked ERA as a team last year.
"I'd say that, as it stands right now, [starting pitching] would probably be fourth on a list of three," Alderson told reporters on Sunday, indicating the team is instead focusing on bolstering the bullpen, adding a bat to the lineup and solidifying its situation at first base and in the outfield.
Mets starters went 49-64 last season with a 5.14 ERA, which was the second-worst among all National League teams. They combined to throw the fourth-fewest innings among all 30 teams.
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
Because of the size of Giancarlo Stanton's contract, it didn't make sense for the Mets to "feign" any interest in him, GM Sandy Alderson said Sunday at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL.
Alderson also made a joke, saying "with Brandon Nimmo in right field, we just didn't feel that we had a need there."
The Marlins have agreed to trade Stanton to the Yankees, with a press conference expected Monday, according to multiple reports.
Despite saying he felt first baseman Dominic Smith did not play well enough in his brief MLB stint last season to already earn the starting job in 2018, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and the franchise remain optimistic in Smith's potential moving forward.
Speaking at the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday, Alderson said the team, which has reportedly considered making a run at several free-agent first basemen, including Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana, likely wouldn't make a move that would take Smith out of the equation for next season
"I wouldn't expect us to do something that totally eliminates Dominic as a possibility," Alderson said. "We're still very high on Dominic, some of my comments earlier in the offseason notwithstanding."
Tags: Dominic Smith
Relief pitchers Brandon Morrow and Luke Gregerson, both of whom drew interest from the Mets, are reportedly off the market after agreeing to two year deals elsewhere.
The Mets are expecting to meet with Jay Bruce's agent at the winter meetings, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post, who says the two sides have only had preliminary discussions.
Sources recently told Newsday's Marc Carig that Bruce and the Mets were both interested in the possibility of a reunion.
Tags: Jay Bruce
Relief pitcher Bryan Shaw, who reportedly received a multi-year offer from the Mets in November, might be waiting for other closers such as Greg Holland and Wade Davis to sign contracts before he commits to any deals, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The Mets may explore a possible trade with the Pirates to acquire IF/OF Josh Harrison, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard sat down with SNY's Steve Gelbs to discuss how his offseason training regimen is much different from last season.
Syndergaard totaled just 30.1 innings last season as a lat injury forced him out of the rotation for a majority of the year. After intense rehabbing to repair his lat, the 25-year-old tested his arm at the very end of the season, pitching in three innings over two starts. He didn't have to come back, but Syndergaard wanted to see if all his training paid off.
"It was good for me to get out there, for two different aspects," Syndergaard said. "The fact that I could go into the offseason healthy and not have to worry about rehabbing and because i've spent four months rehabbing and trying to get healthy and improve my body from where it previously was. So I feel like it was nice to go out there and see how my hard work paid off."
Tags: Noah Syndergaard
Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Orlando, Fla.
So … is the offseason ready to start now?
This isn't just a Mets question, but an MLB question. Other than the quixotic Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton situations -- Ohtani chose the Angels on Friday, and the Marlins are still working overtime to find a suitor acceptable to Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause -- the early part of the winter has been light on Hot Stove action.
Tags: Jay Bruce, Neil Walker
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard said he is excited to see Japanese two-way free agent Shohei Ohtani come to the MLB and set a precedent for an elite starting pitcher to also be a position player.
If given the chance to be a position player, Syndergaard said he would prefer to play right field.
"I would love to show off the arm," Syndergaard told WOR 710 AM's Pete MacCarthy during Thursday's team holiday party. "I'd like to think I'm more athletic than some or most right fielders. And I feel like if I put as much work in to hitting as I do pitching that I would be alright."
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
The Reds are having active trade discussions with teams interested in acquiring center fielder Billy Hamilton, TheAthletic.com's Ken Rosenthal said Wednesday on MLB Network.
In Rosenthal's opinion, the Mets, Giants, Rangers, amd Mariners are likely interested in Hamilton, who is generating a lot of interest because he is expected to earn roughly $5 million next season.
"The Reds don't have to move him, though," Rosenthal adds. "They can see what happens in the first half and them move him at the deadline when he'll still be available for two pennant races."
The Marlins traded 2B Dee Gordon, the full $37 million remaining in his contract and $1 million in international bonus pool money to the Mariners for prospects Nick Neidert, Christopher Torres and Robert Dugger.
Meanwhile, according to two reports, the Yankees -- and not the Mets -- are on Giancarlo Stanton's list of four teams he would be prefer to be traded to instead of the Giants and Cardinals.
As the Mets try to fill gaping infield holes from a free agent class that is mediocre at best, the team is looking to the trade market to try to piece together an outside-the-box solution for a challenging offseason. Evan Longoria may be on the trading block, and if he is, the Mets will likely check in about what the Rays are looking for.
Longoria is not the player he was when he peaked in his mid-20s, when he was one of the best third basemen in the game, but he has shown the ability to stay healthy despite his age. Since 2013, he has played at least 156 games every season and has the most games played of anyone in baseball in that span. For a team constantly struggling to keep players on the field, his durability would bring enormous value.
Any acquiring team will be concerned about Longoria's skill level, though. After a resurgent 2016 campaign where he racked up 36 home runs and an .840 OPS, his best since 2013, he hit just league average in 2017, with a paltry .313 on base percentage that was the lowest of his career. The good news is that his strikeout rate was a very impressive 16 percent, well below league average, and his walk rate, while not at the elite level it once was, was on a par with recent years...
Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | No one could possibly know what Matt Harvey will bring to the Mets next season, certainly not with spring training still two months away and so much doubt lingering over the pitcher once known as the Dark Knight of Gotham.
Still, several teammates expressed hope Thursday that Harvey can rebound from the wreckage of two injury-ravaged seasons, including the worst one of his career in 2017.
"I'm rooting for him, always pushing for him," Noah Syndergaard said Thursday at the Mets' annual holiday party for kids. "A healthy Matt Harvey is pretty dangerous, so hopefully he can come back to (2013). I'm looking forward to seeing how 2018 pans out for all of us."
The Orioles may trade 3B Manny Machado this offseason if they're not "making headway on a new deal," Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported in September.
On Thursday, FanRag's Jon Heyman reported that interested teams have started to call the Orioles about Machado's availability, though it is unknown which teams have inquired.
The Mets, Phillies, Braves, Giants, and Angels could make up part of the market for Machado, with the Yankees potentially on the periphery, Cafardo noted in September.
Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores
The Mets are hosting their annual Holiday party for local children at Citi Field this afternoon.
Santa Claus is being played by Brandon Nimmo.
His elves are Noah Syndergaard, Kevin Plawecki, and Jerry Blevins.
Click below for photo
SS Andres Gimenez and LHP David Peterson are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively on Baseball Prospectus' Top 10 Mets Prospects list.
Following them are:
3. SS Mark Vientos
I have not heard any definitive trade rumors connecting the Mets and Cubs. But, I feel like there's the potential for a match between these two teams...
According to local reports, the Cubs are aiming to acquire one ace and one back-of-the-rotation starting pitcher this winter, be it both by trade, both through free agency or one through each...
The Cubs are intrigued by Mets RHP Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, according to Chicago sources.
Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter | The Mets have not put acquiring a starting pitcher at the top of their list, according to multiple reports. This is a bit of a tough pill to swallow after last season -- when the Mets went in banking on their starters, talking about World Series contention because of their starters… and then all of their starters (minus Jacob deGrom) went down during the season.
Having a new, solid starter coming into 2018 would only be beneficial - we need more reliability than just deGrom.
But let's remember that there have been several times where reports tell us one thing, and the Mets do something else (ie hiring Mickey Callaway when everyone else thought Kevin Long or Alex Cora was going to get the job)...
Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
The Mets have reportedly prioritized adding a late-game reliever. Unfortunately, it's an all-time seller's market right now -- especially for the high-end guys.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson has said he is comfortable giving a multi-year deal to upgrade his bullpen. This is good news, because that price is seemingly unavoidable at this point.
The buzz among insiders is that Wade Davis and Addison Reed will easily see offers of at least four years, which will lift up the market for set-up men, such as Bryan Shaw and Brandon Kintzler, to at least three to four years.
For now, though, things appear to be at a standstill...
The Mets have the sixth overall pick in next June's MLB Amaetur Draft, and MLB.com's first Mock Draft has them choosing between a left-handed college pitcher and a high school shortstop.
Jim Callis has the Mets drafting South Florida LHP Shane McClanahan.
Jonathan Mayo has the Mets drafting Santiago HS (California) SS Brice Turang...
The MLB Winter Meetings begin next Monday in Orlando, and the Hot Stove is getting warmer...
"It's been remarkably quiet, and I don't just think you can blame Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani," an AL team executive told me Tuesday. "I think the two weeks between the middle of next week and Christmas are going to be the extreme opposite."
In regards to the Mets, it doesn't sound to me like much has changed...
The Mets have question marks sprinkled throughout their starting rotation. With that in mind, should they consider a pursuit of free agent LHP CC Sabathia?
SNY's Nelson Figueroa said on Baseball Night In New York on Tuesday that being in the National League may be a detriment to Sabathia, since he would need to bat and run the bases. However, Figueroa and The NY Daily News' John Harper agreed that Sabathia would be an asset in the Mets' clubhouse.
The 37-year-old Sabathia had a 3.69 ERA (4.49 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP while striking out 120 batters in 148 2/3 innings (27 starts) for the Yankees during the 2017 regular season. He allowed seven runs (five earned) in four postseason starts (19 innings).
According to MLB.com reporter Anthony DiComo, Mets C Kevin Plawecki may soon be asked to play Santa Claus during the team's annual Holiday Party at Citi Field this month.
Uh, oh. Look out, Kevin...
Phillies infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis are both available for trade, according to a Monday report from Jim Salisbury at NBC Sports Philadelphia.
However, sources told Salisbury, "none of the offers have been to their liking."
The Mets have expressed interest in several trade options at second base, including Hernandez, Brian Dozier (Twins), Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Dee Gordon (Marlins) and Jason Kipnis (Indians), according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports.
The Phillies are comfortable keeping Galvis and Hernandez, though, despite both players being eligible for salary arbitration on a team with an already crowded infield.
In early-September, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters he will look to add a reliable, veteran, starting pitcher to his rotation for next season...
"I think if we were able to find a Bartolo Colon-type, who fits in the three-four spot and semi-guarantees 180-200 innings, that would probably be something that would stabilize our rotation," he explained. "So, yes, I think it's something we'll look at."
It was reported that free-agent Mike Minor has agreed to a deal with the Rangers to be a starting pitcher. Terms have not been reported, but the buzz in baseball has it around $20-25 million for three years.
This is important because the Mets had interest in Minor, according to reports. However, they wanted to him to be a reliever, which is a role he succeeded in last season with the Royals...
There is one week left before the official start of the four-day MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando. At this point, teams know what they're working on, what they need, who's available and how much players will cost to trade for or sign.
I expect we start seeing smaller deals get done this week as teams look to free up roster space, move money and get a jump on next week's conference.
In regards to the Mets, I think they'd love to acquire at least one established reliever before next Monday, such as free agents Bryan Shaw or a Mike Minor, Brandon Kintzler type. Ideally, I believe they'd like to focus next week on figuring how to sort out first base, second base and right field.
This past Friday, the Mets tendered contracts to all nine of their arbitration eligible players, including Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia.
However, 26 players across baseball were not tendered deals and are now officially free agents.
To see the full list of players, check out this post from MLB Trade Rumors.
The four players that got my attention, given Sandy Alderson's needs include relievers Jared Hughes and Hector Rondon, starting pitcher Mike Fiers and 1B Matt Adams.
One trade the Mets should make this offseason was pitched by each member of the panel on Mets Hot Stove on Monday night on SNY.
Perhaps the most interesting suggestion came from Gary Apple, who said the Mets should trade LHP Steven Matz, INF Wilmer Flores, and INF prospect Luis Guillorme to the Marlins for 2B Dee Gordon.
Gordon, 29, hit .308/.341/.375 with 60 stolen bases for the Marlins this past season, and was worth 3 DRS at second base.
Tags: Robert Gsellman, Wilmer Flores
Free-agent LHP Mike Minor has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Rangers, who are expected to use him as a starting pitcher, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
The Mets had expressed interest in Minor, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported last week.
Minor had a 2.55 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings in 65 relief appearances with the Royals this past season, which was his first since having shoulder surgery in 2016.
Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter | Compared to past weeks, this week was a bit quieter in off-the-field Mets land. Noah Syndergaard, as usual, had most of the fun -- at least from the looks of it on social media.
We found out that Thor -- who is now private on Instagram -- not only enjoys Christmas, but is quite the fan of Elf as well. But who isn't?
He went to the tree in Rockefeller Center, quoting the film in his caption: "Well, there are some things you should know. First off, if you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy. Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says 'Peep Show,' that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."
The Marlins have agreedwith both the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants on "general framework" involving trades featuring Giancarlo Stanton, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani won't sign with the Mets, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.
Ohtani, a 23-year-old star pitcher and outfielder, was posted on Friday by his Japanese club, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, and must sign with an MLB team by Dec. 22.
While the Mets could only offer Ohtani approximately $150,000 from their international bonus pool, Ohtani has reportedly preferred to play in a smaller market. He also turned down the Yankees, who were among the favorites to land him and could offer Ohtani $3.25 million.
Ohtani has narrowed his list down to seven teams -- the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres, and Rangers, according to multiple reports.
The Red Sox are among the teams in active talks with the White Sox about acquiring 1B Jose Abreu, FanRag.com's Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted late Wednesday.
Abreu, 30, is arbitration eligible each of the next two seasons, after which he will be a free agent.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, he is expected to earn up to $18 million in 2018 with a another sizable raise due to him in 2019.
In 621 at bats for the White Sox last season, he hit .304 with a .354 OBP, 33 home runs and 102 RBI, while starting 138 games at first base and generating 4.1 WAR, according to FanGraphs.com.
Mets rookie SS Amed Rosario told reporters Wednesday that, while he has yet to meet Mickey Callaway, he has heard nothing but good things about the team's new manager.
"It seems like he's a really great guy," Rosario added. "I think he's going to be a wonderful manager. He's a young guy and it sounds like we're going to be made to feel really comfortable with him."
According to Rosario, he has continued to talk every day either by phone, text or in person with Jose Reyes, who is a free agent for the first time since rejoining the Mets during June, 2016.
Tags: Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes
The Mets announced they have tendered contracts to every eligible player on its 40-man roster.
MLB teams had until Friday to inform their arbitration-eligible players whether they will or won't be tendered a contract next season.
Nov. 30, 2017
Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have both been tendered contracts, according to a tweet from the NY Post's Mike Puma.
The Mets have expressed interest in several trade options at second base, including Cesar Hernandez (Phillies), Brian Dozier (Twins), Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Dee Gordon (Marlins) and Jason Kipnis (Indians), according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports.
I wrote an in-depth post earlier this week about Sandy Alderson's quest for a new second baseman, which you can read here. However, based on what I've heard this week...
SNY's Ron Darling expects Mets RHP Matt Harvey to be much-improved in 2018, in his second season after undergoing Thoracic Outlet surgery.
"I think I'd be very surprised if Matt's not throwing close to as hard as he's ever thrown by the time it comes to spring training, a couple of years removed from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome," Darling said.
The 28-year-old Harvey, who is eligible for free agency after next season, had a 6.70 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with just 67 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings this past season as he returned from surgery. He also dealt with an injury to his scapula that kept him out of action from June 15 to Sept. 2.
Tags: Matt Harvey
In early-November, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said rookie 1B Dominic Smith did not do enough in August and September to win the team's starting first base job.
As a result, Alderson is weighing a long list of players that could potentially play first base for them in 2018.
Smith told reporters Wednesday that he has no issue with Alderson's comments, which were also relayed to him by Alderson in a meeting toward the end of this past season...
The Mets have considered making a run at free agent 1B Eric Hosmer, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag, with one source familiar with the Mets' thinking telling Heyman that landing Hosmer is a "long shot."
Hosmer, 28, had a career-year in 2017, hiting .318/.385/.498 with 25 HR, 31 doubles, and 94 RBI while playing in all 162 games for the Royals.
In their annual predictions, MLBTR has Hosmer signing a six-year deal worth $132 million.
For his career, he has hit .284/.342/.439 with 127 HR over seven seasons, while being worth -21 DRS at first base.
The Yankees interviewed Carlos Beltran on Wednesday as a possible replacement for Joe Girardi.
After his interview, Beltran told reporters he reached out to Omar Minaya, who was GM when Beltran agreed to a seven-year deal to play for the Mets.
Beltran also praised former Mets manager Terry Collins when asked to list managers that had a a major influence on him as a player.
"I have been fortunate to play with so many good managers," said Beltran, who was traded to the Giants mid-way through Collins's first year managing the Mets in 2011. "The one that really sticks out to me is Terry Collins, for the fact that when I was playing with the Mets he was able to handle my situation."
The Mets have made no secret of their interest in bringing in a first baseman this offseason, which means one thing: they are not (yet) sold on Dominic Smith. And it's hard to make an argument that they should be.
Smith's debut was by any measure a disappointing one. Across 49 games in August and September, he hit a paltry .198 with a .658 OPS and failed to demonstrate either the smooth glove or the smooth swing that brought him to the majors in the first place. The one positive is that he showed the potential for real power for the first time in his career, hitting nine home runs with an isolated slugging close to .200. He still does not compare favorably to the average first baseman in that area, but he has shown consistent improvement year over year.
But a 22-year-old former first-round pick brings a lot of upside that a 183 plate appearance sample size doesn't necessarily encompass. So as the Mets explore their options, they'll be asking themselves what an extra year -- and, if offseason rumors are to be believed, a little less weight -- will do for Smith's numbers...