New York Mets Rumors

New York Mets trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Jung-Ho Kang Posted

DECEMBER 15: As promised, Kang has been posted today, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. Friday at 5pm EST is the deadline for teams to submit bids.

DECEMBER 13: Kang will be posted Monday, Rosenthal tweets.

DECEMBER 8: Kang is drawing interest from the Athletics, Giants, Mets and several other clubs, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.  The A’s and Mets would presumably be interested in Kang at shortstop, while the Giants could use Kang at either third or second (if the latter, Joe Panik would shift to the hot corner).

DECEMBER 7: Rosenthal tweets Kang is expected to be posted next week.

NOVEMBER 10: Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang is not expected to be posted until after the Winter Meetings, which run next month from Dec. 7-11 in San Diego, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Agent Alan Nero tells the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo that his client will be posted in mid-December (Twitter link).

The 27-year-old Kang is coming off a monster season in the Korea Baseball Organization in which he hit .354/.457/.733 with 39 home runs. However, there are some differing opinions on how well Kang’s game will translate to Major League Baseball. Firstly, KBO is known to be an extremely hitter-friendly environment, so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into those numbers. And, as Joel Sherman noted earlier today, some scouts have expressed skepticism that his power will translate to the Majors and aren’t sure he can play a Major League caliber shortstop — sentiments that were shared by an international scouting director that spoke with MLBTR regarding Kang.

However, ESPN’s Keith Law recently ranked Kang 15th among free agents (Insider subscription required and recommended), believing that some of his power can translate to the Majors, likely at the cost of his batting average. He noted that Kang lacks the range teams would like to see out of a shortstop but has a 60 arm (on the 20-80 scouting scale) to make up for some of the range. Law noted that he’d give Kang every chance he could to stick at shortstop while acknowledging that he, too, has heard scouts who see Kang as more of an “unathletic corner guy” whose power won’t play in the Majors.


Mets Sign John Mayberry Jr.

DEC. 15: The Mets have officially announced the signing. Marc Carig of Newsday reports (via Twitter)that Mayberry’s deal calls for an additional $500K of incentives based on plate appearances and awards bonuses.

DEC. 11: The Mets have agreed to a major league contract with outfielder John Mayberry Jr., Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Mayberry gets a $1.45MM deal, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.

Mayberry, who turns 31 later this month, was non-tendered by the Blue Jays on December 2nd.  The former No. 19 overall pick in the 2005 draft slashed .212/.310/.425 in 2014 with the Phillies and Blue Jays which is more or less in line with his career work.


Mets Designate Gonzalez Germen For Assignment

The Mets have designated right-hander Gonzalez Germen for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for outfielder John Mayberry Jr., tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Germen, who turned 27 in September, has made a combined 54 appearances out of the Mets’ bullpen over the past two seasons, pitching to a 4.31 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate. He’s averaged 92.9 mph on his fastball in that time while notching a swinging-strike rate of 14.2 percent, but Germen was also exceptionally homer prone and had enough command problems that the Mets deemed him expendable.



AL Notes: Rios, Mariners, Rangers, Murphy, Twins

Here’s the latest from the American League:

  • With Melky Cabrera off the board, Alex Rios remains on the Mariners‘ radar, tweets Bob Dutton of The News Tribune. Cabrera agreed to a three-year contract with the White Sox yesterday, which should pay him roughly $14-$14.5MM per season.
  • MLB.com’s Greg Johns entertains other scenarios (both external and internal) in which the Mariners can fill their vacancy in right field.
  • The Rangers have $10-12MM in financial flexibility remaining; but, because of the health questions surrounding their core players, they could sit on that cash until midseason when they will have had time to gauge what kind of team they really have, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
  • Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes wonders if Indians outfielder David Murphy is more of a platoon player at this stage of his career and believes a reader’s proposed trade of Murphy to the Mets for Ohio native Jon Niese would favor the Indians.
  • The White Sox have filled many holes with their high-profile acquisitions this offseason, but right field, second base, third base, and catcher remain areas of concern, opines Jim Margalus of South Side Sox.
  • The Twins have invested heavily in the free agent market this offseason and last because payroll was shed and there’s optimism over the performance of Minnesota’s young core, writes 1500ESPN.com’s Phil Mackey.

Jung-ho Kang Rumors: Sunday

Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang is set to be posted on Monday and is said to have interest from the Athletics, Giants, Mets, and several other clubs.  The A’s and Mets would presumably be interested in Kang at shortstop.  The Giants, meanwhile could use Kang at either third or they could shift Joe Panik to the hot corner and use Kang at second.  We’ll keep track of the latest on the 27-year-old here..

  • Many at the winter meetings felt that Kang is seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $24MM over three years, writes Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.  Internally, the Mets appear to be split on Kang.  Some scouts fear that Kang will not be able to play shortstop at the major league level and question whether his offense will translate. The Mets could use the kind of production that Kang put up in the KBO but they’ve also said that they’re willing to head into spring training with Wilmer Flores as their starting shortstop.

Quick Hits: Stanton, Mets, Tulowitzki, Miller, Mariners

The Marlins do not think they’ll have to pay out the entire $325MM balance of Giancarlo Stanton‘s contract, Pirates president Frank Coonelly told a crowd (including the Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel) at PirateFest Saturday. Speaking very candidly for a team president, Coonelly recalled a recent conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson: “They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.'” Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Mets should trade for Troy Tulowitzki, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Yes, Sherman says, Tulowitzki has $106MM on his contract and a long list of injuries, but if he were a perfect player, the Rockies would not trade him at a reasonable price. (In fact, they still might not trade him at a reasonable price.) And the time is right for the Mets, who have plenty of promising pitching but don’t have a shortstop. A trade for Tulowitzki could be just the risk the Mets need, Sherman writes, like their trade for Gary Carter 30 years ago. As for Tulowitzki, Sherman says that it’s “a poorly kept secret in the game is just how badly he wants out of Colorado now.” He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but the Rockies’ front office would likely consult him about a possible trade, and Sherman thinks he would appreciate the chance to play for the Mets.
  • The Cardinals say they are not actively pursuing Max Scherzer, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. Scherzer is from the St. Louis area, and he reportedly met with the team earlier in the offseason.
  • A Mariners official says the team doesn’t want to trade Brad Miller, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. “[U]nderstand this: We’re not looking to trade him,” the official says. “I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a lot less likely than some people seem to think.” Dutton adds, however, that Miller was part of a deal the Mariners proposed to try to get Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. The Dodgers then demanded the Mariners include either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. The Mariners declined, and the Dodgers agreed to trade Kemp to the Padres instead.
  • The Twins have shown interest in former Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets. Hannahan was born in St. Paul and went to both high school and college in the Twin Cities. He played sparingly in 2014 and posted just a .470 OPS in 50 plate appearances, so as Wolfson notes, the Twins would likely have interest in him only on a minor league deal.

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.”

Blue Jays Notes: Romo, Anthopoulos, Rule 5

Here’s the latest from Toronto…

  • The Blue Jays don’t appear to have checked in on Sergio Romo, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets.
  • The lack of interest in Romo may not be surprising, given what GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters (including MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm) today.  The Jays are “probably turning our attention a little more to trades right now in terms of the relievers.  That’s not to say that’s how we’ll ultimately end up but….We’re exploring some trades right now that might make a little more sense for us.”
  • The costs were seemingly too high for the free agent relief arms and Anthopoulos also said there’s only so much the Jays are willing to give up in deals for bullpen help.  “We knew what the prices were in free agency and we weren’t prepared to go to that price point, and we’re still talking about some trades.  We’re not looking to trade our young, big league ready, or close to ready big league arms, for relievers. That’s not something we’re contemplating right now.”
  • The Jays are reportedly planning to “raid the Mets” during the minor league portion of tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets.
  • The Jays had discussed Francisco Liriano before the lefty re-signed with the Pirates, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports.  With Liriano off the board, Elliott wonders if the Blue Jays will now target another second-tier starter in Brandon McCarthy.

Mets To Re-Sign Scott Rice

The Mets and Scott Rice have a deal in place for the left-hander to return to the club, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports (Twitter link).  Rice will receive a split contract with an invitation to the Mets’ major league Spring training camp.  Rice is represented by Jim McDowell.

Rice was outrighted off New York’s 40-man roster in October and he elected to become a free agent.  The 33-year-old southpaw only threw 13 2/3 innings for the Mets last season, posting a 5.93 ERA and almost as many walks (12) as strikeouts (13).  Picked 44th overall by the Orioles in 1999, Rice bounced around the minors with several organizations before finally making his Major League debut in 2013.


Mets Confident They Will Trade Dillon Gee

6:04pm: Rex Brothers‘ name isn’t currently part of the trade talks between the Mets and Rockies, Newsday’s Marc Carig tweets.

4:02pm: At present, there is no traction between the Royals and Mets regarding Gee, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets.

3:31pm: Another set of reports links the Rockies to Gee, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) and Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reporting that there is present interest from Colorado. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported last night that the Rockies had expressed interest in Gee.

2:38pm: The Mets do not expect to land a shortstop in a deal involving Gee, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Instead, the team is looking to add a left-handed reliever, right-handed bench bat, prospects, or some combination of the above.

2:05pm: GM Sandy Alderson says the Mets are not confident they will make a deal involving a starter in San Diego, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. But the club does expect to strike a deal of some kind soon.

1:20pm: The Mets are confident they will find a deal to move starter Dillon Gee this week, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports on Twitter. There has been a lot of chatter on Gee with multiple teams, he notes, reflecting other recent reports.

We have already heard several teams mentioned in relation to Gee, among them the Twins. But Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) says a deal between those teams looks unlikely, with New York not terribly interested in shortstop Eduardo Escobar. The Royals, Padres, Rockies, Rangers, and Giants have also been noted as having interest.