The MLB Winter Meetings officially are underway through Thursday in Las Vegas.
Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my own insight and anaylsis.
Van Wagenen's pursuit of J.T. Realmuto...
The Mets are considered one of three teams aggressively in the mix to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, according to MLB.com's veteran Miami reporter Joe Frisaro.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are pushing the Mets to deal them Noah Syndergaard, SNY's Andy Martino tweeted late Monday night. As a result, multiple reports indicated the two New York teams were discussing a three-swap with the Marlins that could send Syndergaard to the Bronx and Realmuto to Queens.
Despite the hot rumor, though, a source told NY Post reporter Joel Sherman that three-way deal is mostly "smoke," not "fire."
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> This rumor reeks of informed speculation from a rival GM or his staff. It's just so hard to believe the Mets would send Syndergaard to the Yankees. It's obvious Brodie Van Wagenen is super eager to get Realmuto in a Mets uniform, but the potential backlash (from fans and reality) of Syndergaard winning a World Series for the Yankees is downright frightening, and I bet Jeff Wilpon agrees.
I do, however, think Van Wagenen may need a third team involved because he can't possibly give up Brandon Nimmo AND Amed Rosario in one deal for Realmuto. So, getting another team to kick in the big leaguer, while the Mets send prospects and players to both other teams may be a way to get a deal done and meet Miami's needs.
In these sort of scenarios, the third team is more likely to be another rebuilding club because they're more likely to deal a player from their big-league roster.
For what it's worth, in the past few days, I've heard the Astros, Dodgers, Braves, Padres, Yankees and Phillies once had interest in Realmuto but have since backed off.
The non-Realmuto market for catchers...
The Mets met with free-agent C Wilson Ramos and his agents Monday, the New York Post's Mike Puma reported.
Bay area reporter Susan Slusser says the A's have also been in contact with Ramos, though they also have a one-year, $5 million offer out to Jonathan Lucroy, who reportedly enjoyed his time playing for Oakland last season.
The Twins are keeping tabs on Ramos, but have yet to talk with him.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I like Ramos more than Yasmani Grandal, but my sense if the Mets feel the other way around, as do most National League teams.
However, like I said yesterday, how the Mets handle catcher largely depends on what happens with Realmuto. In the event they don't get Realmuto, and they also upgrade the offense at another position, I expect they'll aim for free-agent Martin Maldonado. If they don't get Realmuto and can't upgrade the offense at another position, I expect they'll push for Grandal and make Ramos the next option.
Teams in need of a catcher have reached out to the Blue Jays to see if they're open to trading C Russel Martin, according to Toronto's Sportsnet.ca.
The Pirates are reportedly also open to trading catcher Francisco Cervelli.
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado...
Fancred's Jon Heyman reports that Bryce Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, met Monday with a two teams and a ''mystery owner.'
The Giants, Yankees, are reportedly not among teams with interest in Harper, who is looking less and less likely to return to the Nationals.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> "Mystery owner," says Heyman. Interesting. For what it's worth, Jeff Wilpon is in Las Vegas for the Winter Meetings, though we know this so I don't think that counts as a 'mystery.'
My hunch is Harper will not ink a deal until the Cubs tell him and Boras that they're out of the bidding. Meanwhile, Chicago is working hard to trade one or two of their more expensive contracts to raise money to sign Harper. If that can't happen, rumor is they are likely to pass so to avoid again going over the luxury tax.
Meanwhile, free-agent SS-3B Manny Machado is not meeting with teams in Las Vegas, according to USA Today's Bob Nightingale, who adds that Machado would prefer to meet with interested teams in their city and ballpark.
The market for Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer...
In talks for Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, the Indians have been asking the Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> As I've been saying the past two weeks, I have zero doubt that Van Wagenen and Mickey Callaway want Kluber. However, as evident by their ask of the Dodgers, it'll cost the Mets one of Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto. The Mets want to keep Conforto and might need Nimmo in a deal for Realmuto.
Position players that could fit the Mets...
It was reported Sunday that the Dodgers are open to trading Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson or Matt Kemp. However, the next day, Fancred's Jon Heyman said the Dodgers are not trading any of the three.
The Tigers are determined to trade outfielder Nick Castellanos, Antony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
Castellanos, 26, is expected to earn around $11 million next season, after which is eligible to be a free agent.
Teams have asked about infielder Scooter Gennet, but MLB.com's Cincinnati reporter Mark Sheldon believes that the Reds have no interest in moving him. Earlier in the day, national reporter Ken Rosenthal said the Reds were open to moving him...
Recently non-tendered center fielder Billy Hamilton signed a deal with the Royals, though terms are not yet known, according to Heyman.
Upgrading the bullpen...
According to multiple reports, as long as he's seeking a six-year deal, the Red Sox are no longer interested in re-signing closer Craig Kimbrel.
Free-agent LH reliever Andrew Miller is drawing interest from a lot of teams, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic said Monday.
Post-season hero, RH reliever Joe Kelly is also drawing interest from several teams, despite seeking a three- to four-year deal, according to Boston reports.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I've heard nearly half the league has checked in with Miller's agent. Of course, it behooves Miller's camp to leak this type of information because it gives the perception of heavy demand.
As a type this sentence, I'd say there's a 30 percent chance the Mets eventually sign Miller, based on how MLB insiders describe his interest in rejoining Mickey Callaway and given Van Wagenen's desire to add a high-leverage, experienced reliever. I've heard Miller's people are aware of each team's contract terms, including the Mets, and it's now just a matter of him whittling down his options and asking for final offers.
Mets, Yankees in three-way trade talks potentially involving Noah Syndergaard, J.T. Realmuto >> Read more
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!