David Wright Rumors

NL East Notes: Span, Hamilton, Wright, Upton

We've already had one batch of NL East notes today but there's no shortage of news coming out of the division.  Here's the latest…

  • The Braves are looking at center field options to replace Michael Bourn and the Twins' Denard Span "is likely high on the list of potential trade target," writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The Braves and Twins match up well as trade partners, as Minnesota is desperate for pitching and Atlanta is one of the few teams with available young arms.  The Braves "haven’t entirely given up" on re-signing Bourn, but the club is unlikely to match the demands from Bourn and agent Scott Boras.
  • Despite a report last week that claimed the Braves were "intrigued" by Josh Hamilton, O'Brien doesn't think Atlanta has much interest, as Hamilton is too expensive and the club would prefer to add a right-handed hitting bat.
  • While the Mets have begun to explore trade possibilities for R.A. Dickey, the Mets aren't yet looking to deal David Wright, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  While the two sides aren't close to a contract extension, "there's always been a feeling something will get done with Wright, and while talks are taking much longer than expected or predicted, that hasn't changed," Heyman writes.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to Larry Reynolds (B.J. Upton's agent) at the general managers' meetings and the two sides plan to stay in contact, a source tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.  One executive told Salisbury that Upton "was the Phils' priority" this offseason.
  • The Phillies are close to a new contract with Kevin Frandsen, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).  The 30-year-old Frandsen hit an impressive .338/.383/.451 in 210 plate appearances for the Phillies last season, taking over as their regular third baseman in the second half of the year.  Frandsen is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected Frandsen would earn $800K.

Mets Notes: Alderson, Wright, Dickey, Hairston

Sandy Alderson met with reporters (including Adam Rubin of ESPN New York) at the general managers' meetings today to discuss various Mets-related topics.  Here are some of the highlights of Alderson's talk and also some other Mets items…

  • Talks with David Wright's representatives are "ongoing," with Alderson noting that both sides have agreed to keep negotiations out of the media.  Alderson noted that "there's much more engagement" with Wright than the Mets had last year with free agent Jose Reyes, who ended up signing with the Marlins.
  • Despite reports saying the Mets are looking into trading R.A. Dickey, Alderson said "our focus — almost exclusive focus — has been to try to re-sign him at this point."
  • "We're not looking to go out of our way" to trade pitching, Alderson said, though the GM admitted that pitching depth is the team's strength and the Mets could move an arm in the right deal to enhance their lineup.
  • Jason Bay's release from his contract "probably enhances" Scott Hairston's chances of returning to the Mets, Alderson said.
  • Reports that Dickey is looking for an extension similar to Oliver Perez's three-year, $36MM contract with the Mets from 2009 is "completely incorrect," a team source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  The Mets believe they can lock up Dickey to a shorter and less expensive deal.  Dickey is already under contract for 2013, as the Mets picked up their $5MM option on the knuckleballer.
  • J.P. Ricciardi has signed a three-year extension to remain as a special assistant to Alderson, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).  Ricciardi, the former Blue Jays general manager, has been with the Mets since November 2010.
  • Also from Cafardo, there have been "no bites" from teams about Johan Santana.  Though Santana pitched very well over his first 16 starts of the 2012 season, it's hard to see teams lining up to acquire him given that Santana was hit hard from July onward and spent most of the second half on the DL, not to mention his $25.5MM salary in 2013.

Sherman’s Latest: Dickey, Wright, Hunter, Upton

Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post…

  • The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
  • The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
  • "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
  • The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
  • Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
  • The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
  • Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
  • Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.

NL East Notes: Mets, Phillies, Vazquez

The Nationals and manager Davey Johnson continue to work toward a new contract for 2013, and based on the most recent reports it sounds as though the sides have a good chance of reaching a deal. Here's more from the NL East…

  • The Mets aren't close to completing extensions with David Wright and R.A. Dickey, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports. The Mets remain hopeful that they can complete long-term deals with the players instead of trading them away. 
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com explains why Angel Pagan and Torii Hunter could be solutions for the Phillies this offseason. Zolecki doubts that Michael Bourn will return to Philadelphia this offseason and points out that B.J. Upton's far from a perfect player.
  • Former Braves and Marlins starter Javier Vazquez will pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico and see if he wants to make a comeback, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). The right-hander didn’t pitch in 2012, but pitched quite well for the Marlins in 2011, posting a 3.69 ERA in 192 2/3 innings.

New York Notes: Outfield, Soriano, A-Rod, Wright

The Yankees are considering a defensive change for next season, shifting Curtis Granderson to left field and Brett Gardner to center, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  Granderson's defense has declined in recent years, as he has posted negative UZR/150 ratings in four of the last five years, including a -18.2 UZR/150 in 2012.  Gardner, on the other hand, has a career 30.6 UZR/150, ranking him amongst the best defensive outfielders in the game.

Here's the latest from both the Yankees and Mets…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't plan to offer Rafael Soriano a deal similar to the one he signed after the 2010 season that established Soriano as Mariano Rivera's set-up man and understudy at closer, reports ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews.  "I don't think Soriano would sign here if he's not going to be the closer," Cashman said. "And I don't think we would do again what we did before. He's going to want closer money and I doubt he would want to come back here as a set-up man."  Soriano is a free agent after opting out of the last year of his deal, and agent Scott Boras said Soriano is looking for a four-year contract to close.  Soriano could still return to the Bronx, of course, if Rivera retires and the Bombers suddenly have a hole at the back of their bullpen.
  • Also from Matthews, he reports that the Yankees will make qualifying offers to Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda.  Swisher will almost surely turn this offer down but Kuroda "might accept it."  The Yankees have interest in bringing back Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez on short-term contracts, while the club also would like to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Russell Martin.
  • The Yankees haven't received any calls from teams interested in Alex Rodriguez, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale.  It could be a moot point, as Nightengale hears that Rodriguez isn't willing to waive his no-trade clause for any team.
  • The Mets are continuing to talk to David Wright about a multiyear extension but talks are "stuck in neutral" and there is "nothing imminent" between the two sides, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (both links to Twitter).
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden believes Wright and the Mets will agree to a new long-term contract, but if they can't, Bowden suggests five teams who could become trade destinations for Wright.

Mets, Wright To Intensify Talks

The Mets and David Wright plan to intensify talks about a possible contract extension in the near future, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. The sides could discuss years and dollars as soon as this week.

The Mets, who exercised Wright’s $16MM contract option for 2013 two days ago, are determined to keep talks private. So far the sides haven’t discussed years or dollars, but that could change now that the option has been exercised. Jon Heyman reported this week that the negotiations with the ACES client seemed to be progressing.

The Mets will also discuss a possible extension with R.A. Dickey, whose $5MM 2013 option was also exercised this week. There remains a genuine chance that the Mets could trade Dickey, Martino reports.

Mets Exercise Options On Wright, Dickey

The Mets have formally picked up their contract options for David Wright and R.A. Dickey, sources told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The Mets began the early stages of extension talks with both players after the season but the discussions were reportedly moving slowly.

Wright's option for 2013 will pay him $16MM while Dickey's is for just $5MM.  Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today that the third baseman was discussing a long-term deal with the club.  Officials told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that they expected an extension for Wright to cost about $143MM over eight years when including the 2013 option.

Some have speculated that Dickey could be in line for a Oliver Perez-type extension, which would be for three years at about $36MM.  However, the Mets reportedly don't have anything that lucrative in mind.  At the age of 38, Dickey's situation is a complicated one as knuckleballers historically haven't fared well beyond 40.

Heyman On Wright, A’s, Cabrera

The latest from notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com…

  • The Mets are discussing a long-term deal with David Wright, Heyman reports. They'll exercise the third baseman's $16MM option for 2013 by tomorrow, assuming a larger deal isn't completed by then. The sides appear to have made progress, though some say the negotiations are progressing slowly. It appears the discussions will continue after the option's exercised, Heyman writes.
  • The Athletics are talking to free agent shortstop Stephen Drew about a new contract, Heyman reports. The A's declined their half of Drew's 2013 mutual option yesterday, but assistant general manager David Forst said the team will continue talking to him about a possible deal.
  • Everth Cabrera has hired Scott Boras as his agent, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Cabrera, a former ACES client, will be arbitration eligible for the first time this coming offseason. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
  • The Angels are still talking to teams about possible deals involving Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, Heyman reports. In case you missed it, MLBTR reported today that Santana switched agencies again.

Sherman’s Latest: Wright, Soriano, Tigers, LaRussa

Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post

  • Sherman has spoken to more than ten executives outside the Mets organization who believe the team will re-sign David Wright and relatively soon. It's a public relations move as much as a baseball move, plus getting him signed quickly will allow them to fine tune their offseason plans.
  • Officials expect Wright to receive a seven-year, $127MM extension that, when combined with his $16MM club option for next year, would be worth a total of $143MM across eight years. It would make Wright the highest paid Met in history (ahead of Johan Santana) and the second high paid third baseman in history (behind Alex Rodriguez).
  • “Teams no longer like paying big money for closers, there is a lot of tread on his tires and he is not known as a great guy," said one NL executive about Rafael Soriano, who is expected to opt-out of his contract with the Yankees and become a free agent this offseason.
  • Sherman wonders if Jose Valverde's late-season collapse will help Soriano on the open market as the Tigers will likely look for a high-end closer. Tigers own Mike Ilitch has a strong working relationship with Soriano's agent Scott Boras.
  • Former manager Tony LaRussa recently said he would not have offered more than five or six years to Albert Pujols last winter or Josh Hamilton this winter, and Sherman says the players association was not pleased. LaRussa is currently an advisor to the Commissioner and anything resembling talk of collusion from baseball's higher-ups sets off an alarm.

NL East Notes: Mets, Wright, Dickey, Marlins

The Mets‘ contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey have not advanced to the point of discussing years or dollars, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  General Manager Sandy Alderson has remained in touch with representatives for both players but the sides are “still talking about when to really get talking,” according to the source.  Martino writes that some in the organization believe that the Mets will sign Wright but ultimately trade Dickey.  Here’s more on the Mets and other items out of the NL East..

  • Alderson disclosed that manager Wally Backman will return to the Mets‘ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas next season, tweets Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.  The 53-year-old has managed in the organization’s minor league system for the past three seasons.
  • The Phillies had some interest in bringing Backman aboard as their Triple-A manager in Lehigh Valley to replace Ryne Sandberg, Martino tweets.  Sandberg was bumped up to third base coach for the Phillies earlier this month.
  • The Marlins are said to have interest in Reds pitching coach Bryan Price for their managerial vacancy, but Price has recently agreed to a new deal with the club, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  However, Price won’t comment on whether the club has asked for permission to talk to him, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.