Lucas Duda Rumors
It was on this date in 1871 the Boston Red Stockings incorporated giving birth to today's Atlanta Braves. Let's take a look at the news from the 21st century Braves and the rest of the National League:
- The Braves have enough payroll space to add one significant salary and have yet to rule out Michael Bourn or Justin Upton, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O'Brien adds GM Frank Wren has spoken with Bourn's agent Scott Boras, but they didn't start any negotiations. O'Brien also has been told manager Fredi Gonzalez contacted Bourn within the past few weeks. In regards to Upton, O'Brien sees the Braves and Rangers as the last two teams standing, but neither seems willing to match what the Mariners offered in their failed bid to acquire the outfielder.
- O'Brien, via Twitter, discounts the suggestion the Braves have yet to acquire Bourn or Upton to save payroll in order to sign Martin Prado to a long-term deal.
- It's been nearly a decade since the Reds had to go to an arbitration hearing, but this year could be different, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "We're hopeful we can get something done," Reds GM Walt Jocketty said of the six players with whom salary figures were exchanged. "Some of the spreads were significant. We'll see how it proceeds the next week or two." The Reds' arbitration class is headlined by Mat Latos, whose case was analyzed by MLBTR's Matt Swartz last week. You can keep track of all of the Reds' arbitration cases with MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.
- With the Red Sox still seeking a left-handed hitting first baseman/left fielder, Tom Singer of MLB.com wonders if the Pirates will make another run at Jose Iglesias, as the starting point of a bigger deal involving Garrett Jones (Twitter links).
- There is still no clear-cut answer as to whether Francisco Liriano will be with the Pirates in 2013, tweets Singer. The Pirates and Liriano agreed to a two-year, $12.75MM contract in December, but the deal was put on hold earlier this month when it was discovered the left-hander injured his right arm.
- Lucas Duda told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com his surgically repaired right wrist feels great and he has started hitting off a tee. Duda is projected to man left field for the Mets.
- Chipper Jones was honored at the New York BBWAA dinner last night and confessed to the audience he was starting to get the itch to go back to Spring Training, Rubin reports. "I was on the Braves' web site, just kind of messing around on my computer," said Jones. "I was thinking to myself, 'You know what? I think I'm going to go down and get me a workout in, see how everything feels.' I was down there for about five minutes and I figured I'd go to Hawaii instead."
The Mets aren't inclined to trade Lucas Duda, believing that his upside outweighs what they could net in a deal, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. A report earlier this month indicated that the Mets would be open to the right deal for either Duda or Ike Davis to address other needs.
Dealing Davis would open up the first base position for Duda, making him a natural fit for the 2013 club. However, if the Mets do not find the right deal for Davis, the club seems willing to stick with Duda in the outfield and hope for the best.
Davis, 25, shouldn't be too hard to move as he has climbed back from a slow start to hit .224/.304/.454 with 31 homers in 566 plate appearances this season. The Red Sox, Indians, Rays, and Marlins are among the teams that could have interest in him this winter.
9:00am: The Mets won't shop either Davis or Duda aggressively, but they'll be open to the right deal for either player, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter).
8:26am: The Mets will consider trading Ike Davis as a way of addressing other needs this offseason, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. There’s no guarantee Davis will be moved, but it’s at least “a very plausible option,” Rubin writes.
The Mets are disappointed with Davis’ attitude toward coaching advice and they worry that he’s out too late after games, according to Rubin. Trading Davis would open up first base for Lucas Duda, who’s viewed as an inferior defender to Davis.
Davis, 25, has rebounded from a slow start to post a .223/.302/.444 batting line with 27 home runs in 529 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter will be first-time arbitration eligible as a super two player this coming offseason and he's under team control through 2016. The Indians, Rays, Red Sox and Marlins are among the teams that could be interested in first basemen this coming offseason.