- With the Winter Meetings in the books, the Mets will now attempt to trade Jay Bruce or another outfielder, and they’ll try to add relief pitching on short-term deals, ESPN’s Adam Rubin tweets. Earlier this week, the Mets reportedly were interested in a Curtis Granderson / Brad Brach deal with the Orioles that would have addressed both needs, but that trade seems unlikely.
It’s well known that the Mets would like to make a trade, particularly a trade involving Jay Bruce, since the team currently has an abundance of outfielders. But the Mets are adamant that they receive a player in return who will help them, rather than just a fringe prospect and relief from Bruce’s 2017 salary, Newsday’s Marc Carig writes. “It does put you in a different situation, and it affects other clubs’ expectations and it affects our expectations,” says GM Sandy Alderson. “But it only takes interest by two or three teams in a player to overcome all of that. That’s why we don’t jump at the first opportunity.” The Mets have received trade offers for Bruce, Carig writes, but they’ve mostly been proposals for salary dumps. Here are a couple more quick trade notes involving outfielders.
- The Mets inquired wih the Royals about closer Wade Davis, reports SNY’s Andy Martino (on Twitter), but he also notes that it’s hard to see the two sides lining up on a deal given the fact that Davis will command a $10MM salary next season and would also require the Mets to surrender with upper-echelon prospects. Were Davis controlled for multiple years, perhaps it’d be more appealing to the Mets, but the Kansas City relief ace is set to hit the open market next winter.
- The Mets are interested in acquiring Orioles reliever Brad Brach, but a deal that would send outfielder Curtis Granderson to Baltimore is unlikely, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports. One major roadblock involves finances: The Mets don’t want to eat any of Granderson’s $15MM salary for 2017, while the Orioles aren’t eager to add payroll unless it’s allocated to free agent outfielder/first baseman Mark Trumbo. It doesn’t appear that the O’s are remotely close to re-signing Trumbo, however.
- The Blue Jays continue to have interest in acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets, but they’re “offering little,” relays FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Toronto nearly acquired Bruce from Cincinnati last offseason, but the deal fell apart and he went on to hit .250/.309/.506 with 33 home runs in 589 plate appearances with the Reds and Mets. New York is now likely to move Bruce, who will make $13MM next season in the final year of his contract.
- The Mets are interested in swinging a deal for Orioles right-hander Brad Brach, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. The Mets have been rumored to be seeking right-handed help in the ’pen but aren’t pursuing top-tier free agents. Brach would represent an affordable setup option, but with two years of club control and a 2.39 ERA over his past 158 1/3 innings, Brach should come with a high asking price. The Orioles have been linked to Mets outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson (they’re said to prefer the latter), but neither of those outfielders would be enough to get the O’s to part with Brach.
- The Mets haven’t ruled out Mike Dunn as a possible signing, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports via Twitter, but the club is “not so high” on the veteran left-hander.
There’s plenty of bullpen chatter circulating as the Winter Meetings get underway. Here’s the latest…
- The latest updates on Mark Melancon last night revealed that the three-time All-Star has received multiple four-year offers, potentially in excess of $60MM in some cases. The Nationals have indeed made a four-year offer to closer Mark Melancon, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, but their offer was for less than $60MM guaranteed. That makes a reunion look unlikely for now, barring an increase in the offer from the Nats.
- FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes that Melancon is the Giants’ top target, and Greg Holland could be their primary alternative, as opposed to either Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen. Heyman feels it’s unlikely that they’d pursue either Jansen or Chapman if they fall to land Melancon. The Giants and Nationals are pushing the hardest for Melancon, tweets Heyman.
- The Nationals, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees and Giants are all in on Kenley Jansen, per ESPN’s Jim Bowden. Heyman tweets that the Marlins are intent on adding a top closer, and owner Jeffrey Loria is a fan of Chapman in particular. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Loria is at the Winter Meetings and is participating in meetings with the representation for top-tier bullpen arms.
- The Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Indians, Dodgers, Rockies and Diamondbacks are all in the market for a bullpen lefty, putting names like Mike Dunn, Boone Logan and Jerry Blevins in a good position, Heyman tweets. Heyman also tweeted this morning that the D-backs are focused on the bullpen at the moment and have no plans to “shock the world” like they did last offseason.
- Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets that veteran southpaw Joe Beimel is at the Winter Meetings and is seeking a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Beimel, 40 in April, hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2015 but had a nice two-year stretch in Seattle from 2014-15, posting a 3.12 ERA in 92 1/3 innings.
The Mets offered one of Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce to the Orioles in exchange for “a high-end reliever,” ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin reports, though talks didn’t go anywhere. Based on that description, one would think the Mets were asking about Brad Brach, Mychal Givens or maybe even ace closer Zach Britton. While the O’s are indeed looking for right field help, it’s understandable why they didn’t accept that offer. Here’s more from around the NL East…
By re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets have already accomplished their primary offseason goal before the Winter Meetings have even begun, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the Amazins will be sitting back for the rest of the winter, though a team executive tells Sherman that without a long list of needs, the Mets have added flexibility to explore more creative upgrades. Here’s some more from Citi Field…
- In that spirit of creativity, that same Mets executive tells Sherman that the team is open to discussing trades for any of their young players, except for top prospect Amed Rosario. This doesn’t mean the Mets will necessarily shop any minor league or controllable talent, though they’re at least willing to hear what other clubs have to offer. The Mets will even listen to offers about Michael Conforto, if for no other reason than to gauge his value, even if Conforto is considered to be close to untouchable. Dealing Conforto would be another way the Mets could solve their outfield logjam, and Conforto would net a much larger return than either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson.
- The Mets’ plan to stick with Travis d’Arnaud as their primary catcher in 2017, and those plans haven’t been changed by other catchers (such as Welington Castillo) coming onto the market, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports. The injury-plagued d’Arnaud was limited to just 75 games last season, and he was reportedly included in trade talks the Mets held with the Brewers last summer involving Jonathan Lucroy.
- In another item from Rubin, the Mets are looking to sign middle relievers to one-year deals, as GM Sandy Alderson has said that the team isn’t looking for closers. If or when Jeurys Familia is suspended, New York already has Addison Reed to step in as the ninth-inning man. If the Mets aren’t willing to commit to more a single year, however, it could limit their list of choices on the open market to second- or even third-tier options.
- The Mets could also turn to internal choices for the bullpen, as Alderson told reporters (including Newsday’s David Lennon) that the club would “definitely” thinking about using Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo as relievers for the start of the season.
- The idea of the Mets trading both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce came up Saturday, but the team is “unlikely” to deal multiple outfielders, GM Sandy Alderson said Sunday. The likelihood is that Bruce will end up on the move, relays Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, as Alderson noted Granderson’s importance to the Mets (Twitter links). New York isn’t progressing toward jettisoning an outfielder yet, according to Buster Olney of ESPN (Twitter link). In a perfect world, the Mets would acquire bullpen help in return for Granderson or Bruce. Their best reliever, closer Jeurys Familia, could face a domestic violence suspension in 2017, and top southpaw Jerry Blevins is a free agent.