Jacob deGrom Rumors

Mets, Brewers Moving Closer To Carlos Gomez Trade

7:54pm: The Mets and Brewers are now moving closer to an agreement, Martino reports (Twitter link).

7:47pm: Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter) that if a trade is agreed upon, Juan Lagares is expected to be sent to the Brewers in the swap. Lagares’ name has been “prominent” in talks between the two sides, Passan adds.

7:20pm: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Brewers have been asking the Mets for one of the team’s “top four” starters (referring to Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz). He adds that it might be tough to finalize the deal without Milwaukee dropping its asking price.

Rosenthal tweets that one scenario which has been discussed would send Wheeler and Flores to Milwaukee.

6:52pm: The Mets are “pushing hard” for Gomez, tweets Yahoo’s Tim Brown.

6:43pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets and Brewers have talked recently and not about Gerardo Parra (All Twitter links). The Mets do like Gomez, he says, but an insider tells him there’s nothing at the finish line yet. Sherman wonders if the Mets value the remaining one and a half years on Gomez’s deal to part with Zack Wheeler, whom Milwaukee likes quite a bit. Sherman also notes that the Brewers like Wilmer Flores, though he wouldn’t be the main piece in any deal.

Rosenthal tweets that the Mets are “working hard” to add a bat, but he was told earlier that the price to acquire him is steep.

6:36pm: The Mets and Brewers have indeed had recent talks regarding Gomez, according to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi (Twitter link), but no deal appears close at this time. The Mets are still looking at other hitters as well, per the FOX Sports duo.

6:31pm: The Mets have asked the Brewers about Carlos Gomez in recent talks with Milwaukee, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). “The Mets want him,” says Puma.

6:10pm: The Mets are “very close to pulling off a big trade,” Marc Carig of Newsday reports on Twitter. There is momentum towards a deal for a “big bat,” Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first connected New York to the chase for a “big bat” earlier today. Adam Rubin of ESPN.com tweeted that the team was working on a fan-pleasing trade.

It seems as if a significant acquisition could be in the works, though it’s entirely unclear who that might be. As we covered in an earlier post, New York has shown interest in the past in Justin Upton of the Padres and Jay Bruce of the Reds, both of whom would certainly qualify as sluggers, though Rubin tweets that Cincinnati seems to be focused on moving pitching. The team is specifically said not to be pursuing the new-to-the-market Yoenis Cespedes, and prior reports indicated the same with regard to Carlos Gonzalez.


NL East Notes: Alvarez, Cishek, Haren, Mets, Venable, Nats

Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez experienced a setback in his rehab from right shoulder inflammation, and his season is now in jeopardy, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Manager Dan Jennings told Spencer and others prior to Thursday’s contest: “He had a recurrence of the shoulder. We’re trying to determine if it’s going to be best for a non-surgical, or surgical procedure regarding the shoulder.” Alvarez’s injury troubles in 2015 have contributed to the team’s disappointing season. If he’s to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season, Alvarez will have made just four starts in 2015, with the end result being an ERA over 6.00.

Here’s the latest from the NL East…

  • The Dodgers, Cardinals, Twins and Blue Jays are still in the mix for former Marlins closer Steve Cishek, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Cishek’s been throwing well since returning from a brief stint at Triple-A, allowing just one earned run with an 11-to-4 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings. Frisaro also adds the Orioles to the list of teams with interest in right-hander Dan Haren, adding to recent reports that have linked the Blue Jays and Dodgers to Haren.
  • Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made a pair of definitive statements to reporters today, writes MLB.com’s Joe Trezza. First and foremost, Alderson said that none of the four young arms in his rotation — Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz — is available in trades. Alderson also insisted that ownership has provided him with the resources to take on a major contract, though he added that the media and fans alike would both take that news with a heavy grain of salt: “Now, none of you will believe me, OK? So I’m not sure why you asked the question and insisted on the answer.”
  • The Mets have interest in Padres outfielder Will Venable, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link), who echoes previous reports that Gerardo Parra is under Mets consideration as well. According to Morosi, the Cubs are intrigued by both Parra and Venable as well, however, so the Mets have some competition in regards to those two trade targets.
  • Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, tweets that the Mets don’t feel they need to acquire a third baseman while David Wright is on the shelf, because the team is better defensively with Daniel Murphy at third base while Wright is out. Adding an outfielder — preferably one controllable beyond 2015 — is the Mets’ priority.
  • Speaking about the trade deadline in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter links), Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said, “There’s no trade I could make that could be as the guys we’re getting back [from the DL]. We will certainly be looking, but I don’t know how active we’ll be.”

NL East Notes: C. Johnson, K. Johnson, Parra, deGrom, Prado

The Braves have been determined to deal away Chris Johnson for some time, and the third baseman tells MLB.com’s Mark Bowman that he hopes to find a new home. “I’ve been called in the manager’s office,” said Johnson. “[Manager Fredi Gonzalez] has told me they are trying to move me. I want to be moved, and they want to move me. Hopefully, something gets done.”While saying he’s enjoyed his time in Atlanta, Johnson emphasized that he is interested in receiving a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. Obviously, the Braves are looking to shave off as much of Johnson’s contract as possible. Under the extension he signed early in the 2014 campaign, he is due roughly $19.99MM (including $2.52MM for this season and the buyout of a 2018 option).

A bit more on the Braves and their division…

  • Kelly Johnson has parlayed a minor league deal into a critical role on the Braves, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Johnson credits first-year hitting coach Kevin Seitzer with helping him to shorten his swing and improve his overall approach at the plate. Of course, as a veteran on a one-year deal with a losing team, Johnson’s name may pop up over the next few days as a trade candidate; I listed him and three others Braves when looking at the trade market for third basemen earlier today.
  • The Mets continue to be intrigued by Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. They’re also looking at Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez, though multiple reporters (most recently Marc Carig of Newsday, who also reported interest in Parra late last week) have characterized that type of high profile acquisition as a long shot. Parra, Heyman notes, is drawing quite a bit of interest around the league.
  • Peter Gammons relays an anecdote from the 2012 trade deadline that could have vastly reshaped the current state of two franchises. When the Red Sox and Mets were discussing a trade for veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach, Boston initially asked about right-hander Jacob deGrom, who had recently undergone surgery. (deGrom was never projected to become the ace that he presently is, of course, and he had just undergone surgery.) However, after talking it over with his minor league evaluators, GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets passed. The two sides eventually lined up on a deal that sent right-hander Pedro Beato to Boston.
  • Marlins third baseman Martin Prado tells Zach Buchanan and Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic that he’s not concerned with the possibility that he could be traded for the third time in the past year. Prado says there’s no sense in thinking, “Oh my goodness, this is going to happen again,” and he’s instead focused on helping his teammates out. He’s candid when addressing the current state of the Marlins, however. “We’re in a pretty bad situation here,” says Prado. “I’m just trying to bring good energy for my teammates and my team. That’s all I can do right now.”


Quick Hits: Hamels, Forst, Rule 5 Draft, BoSox

We at MLBTR would like to thank our readers for their support during this memorable Winter Meetings.  Our 24/7 coverage over the last four days proved necessary given all of the news and major transactions that came out of San Diego, and our committed readership was right there with us by checking in with MLBTR at all hours of the day and night.  Here’s some more news from around baseball…

  • ESPN’s Jayson Stark lists the teams he feels were the winners and losers of the Winter Meetings.
  • The Phillies‘ hopes of landing a huge return for Cole Hamels took a hit during the Winter Meetings, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes.  The Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers (the three teams usually cited as the top potential suitors for Hamels) all made moves to solidify their rotations, thus robbing the Phils of some leverage in trade talks.
  • Athletics assistant GM David Forst discusses his team’s offseason moves, the challenges of competing in Oakland and more as part of an insightful interview with Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris.
  • With the Rule 5 Draft in the books, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper looks at the scouting reports of the players taken and analyzes the prospects’ chances of lasting the entire season on their respective Major League rosters.
  • The Mets checked in on Yoenis Cespedes at the end of the season but were told by the Red Sox that it would take Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler to obtain the outfielder, Newsday’s David Lennon reports.  Needless to say, negotiations failed to proceed from there.  Rival teams are constantly asking the Mets about deGrom, Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard, Lennon notes, while the club is instead trying to deal Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese or Dillon Gee from its pitching surplus.
  • The Red Sox need an ace to headline their rebuilt rotation, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opines.  From that same piece, Cafardo talks to an NL scout who believes the Sox got the better of the Wade Miley trade.  The scout calls the young left-hander an “unrefined [Jon] Lester right now, but he’s on his way to being a No. 2 [starter].  Not sure what the D’Backs are thinking on this one, except to get more bodies.”

Abreu, deGrom Named Rookies Of The Year

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom were named the AL and NL Rookies of the Year by the BBWAA.  Abreu received all 30 first-place votes from BBWAA writers in a unanimous victory, while deGrom received 26 of 30 first-place votes (Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton received the other four).

Abreu was pursued by such teams as the Red Sox, Astros, Marlins, Giants and Rangers last winter, but it was the White Sox who landed the Cuban slugger on a six-year, $68MM contract.  The contract was, at the time, the most expensive deal ever for an international free agent yet Abreu more than lived up to expectations.  He hit .317/.383/.581 with 36 homers over 622 plate appearances and posted a league-best 169 OPS+ in his first Major League season.  Abreu doesn’t even turn 28 years old until January, and it seems like Chicago has a cornerstone player for years to come.  Ozzie Guillen was the last White Sox player to win the ROY Award, all the way back in 1985.

deGrom was the Mets’ ninth-round pick in the 2010 draft and was ranked as only the 10th-best prospect in the club’s system by the 2014 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  Despite these modest expectations, the 26-year-old deGrom opened several eyes in 2014 by posting a 2.69 ERA, 9.2 K/9 and 3.35 K/BB rate over 140 1/3 IP.  This breakout campaign firmly adds deGrom’s name to a long list of young arms the Mets will be counting on as they look to return to contention.  deGrom is the first Met to be named NL ROY since Dwight Gooden took the honor in 1984.

The Angels’ Matt Shoemaker (40 points), the Yankees’ Dellin Betances (27), the Astros’ Collin McHugh (21) the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (16) rounded out the top five in the AL voting.  Hamilton finished second in the NL balloting with 92 points, well ahead of the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong (14), the Phillies’ Ken Giles (8) and the Diamondbacks’ Ender Inciarte (4).


NL Notes: Mets, deGrom, Montero, Phillies, Padres

Mets co-owner Saul Katz has indicated interest in selling his share of the club, which is held in partnership with team chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, reports Michael Schmidt of the New York Times. According to the report, while Katz is concerned with jeopardizing Wilpon’s control over the team, he is nevertheless wary of continuing to pump cash into the organization. For his part, Katz denied that he had such an intention through a statement released to the press. Sources told Schmidt that the team is expected to continue losing money this year and suggested that payroll is not likely to “jump substantially” in the near future.

Here’s more from New York and the rest of the National League:

  • As suspected, the Mets will call up prospect Jacob deGrom to take a bullpen slot, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The move is part of a series of maneuvers through which the team has begun shifting future assets onto its big league roster, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Baseball America ranked deGrom tenth among the team’s prospects coming into the year, noting that he could eventually develop into a mid-rotation starter.
  • Perhaps the more important Mets promotion was that of fellow young hurler Rafael Montero, who will step into the team’s rotation. As Ben Badler of Baseball America notes on Twitter, Montero was inked for a mere $80K just three years ago after the club saw him impress in a Dominican Prospect League outing.
  • The Phillies bench is in a state of flux amidst serious struggles, writes MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. Infielder Jayson Nix was just outrighted, while recently demoted utilityman Freddy Galvis fractured his clavicle upon his return to the minors. Meanwhile, John Mayberry Jr. and Tony Gwynn Jr. are struggling as reserve outfielders, and the team currently has just one utility infielder on its roster in Reid Brignac. While a recovering Darin Ruf could see another shot at the bigs, as could infielder/outfielder Cesar Hernandez, top prospect Maikel Franco is likely not going to be called up for a bench role. Philadelphia is still just four games back in a densely-packed NL East, and it will be fascinating (as always) to see how GM Ruben Amaro Jr. attacks the trade market this summer if the team stays within striking distance.
  • While the Padres have seemingly been snakebitten in the early-career extensions they have entered, GM Josh Byrnes remains committed to his thought process, writes Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune“When they don’t work out, they are not killers, but they hurt,” said Byrnes. “We need our dollars to hit their targets, but I think the concept is still good. … The whole model for 20 years is the club is giving some security and taking some risk and sometimes it doesn’t work out.” Of course, the team most recently moved to lock up young infielder Jedd Gyorko to a $35MM pact.