New York Mets Rumors
Top Mets prospect Rafael Montero and Twins youngsters Oswaldo Arcia and Josmil Pinto have joined the Legacy Agency, according to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (subscription required). For Montero and Arcia, this marks a return to TLA after being gone for one year and for nine months, respectively.
Montero, who turned 23 in October, split the 2013 campaign between the Mets' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, compiling an impressive 2.78 ERA and 4.29 K/BB ratio (150 strikeouts, 35 walks) in 155 1/3 innings of work. Both Baseball America and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo agree that the right-hander is the No. 3 prospect in the Mets' minor league system, trailing only the highly touted Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud. Mayo also lists Montero as the No. 97 overall prospect in the game.
A consensus Top 100 prospect heading into the 2013 season, Arcia debuted in Minnesota as a 21-year-old this year and became the youngest player to hit a home run while donning a Twins uniform since Joe Mauer in 2004. Arcia was a bit overmatched by Major League pitching but held his own, slashing .251/.304/.430 with 14 home runs in 378 plate appearances. He also saw 155 plate appearances in Triple-A, illustrating that he has little to prove at that level by hitting .313/.426/.594 with 10 homers in 38 games.
Pinto, 25 in March, burst onto the scene in 2013 with a .309/.400/.482 batting line and 15 homers between Double-A and Triple-A this season. With the news that Mauer is shifting to first base full-time, Pinto suddenly appears to be the heir-apparent behind the plate in Minnesota. He made his big league debut as a September call-up and turned plenty of heads in a small sample size of 83 plate appearances by slashing .342/.398/.556 with four homers and five doubles. He ranks fifth among Twins prospects, per Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus.
The Legacy Agency has numerous high-profile Major League clients (e.g. CC Sabathia, Carl Crawford, Aaron Hill, Edwin Jackson) but also boasts some high-profile prospects. In addition to Montero, Arcia and Pinto, TLA also represents George Springer, Taylor Guerrieri and Jenrry Mejia, as can be seen in MLBTR's Agency Database, whiche contains info on 2,000+ Major League and Minor League players. If you see any omissions or errors within the database, please email us at email@example.com.
The Yankees are trying to schedule a meeting with Robinson Cano, but the two sides are still about $150MM apart, and the Yankees are looking at other targets in the meantime, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. Those include Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Drew and Hiroki Kuroda. Other possibilities for the Yankees include Joe Nathan and Masahiro Tanaka. The Yanks don't want to give Beltran more than two years, although it's possible that the Mariners or Royals could give him three. Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza aren't currently on the Yankees' radar, Heyman notes. Here are more notes from New York.
- With Jhonny Peralta headed to St. Louis, there's little left in the shortstop free agent market for the Mets, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin writes. The Mets don't want to spend the money it would take to get Stephen Drew, and after that, there isn't much available. The Mets therefore might pursue a trade for a shortstop, or just go with Ruben Tejada there.
- If the Mets aren't going to act like a big-market team, they need to behave like a small-market team and build from the bottom up, argues Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Smaller-budget teams like the Rays and Athletics have been successful in part because they have depth and don't waste roster spots, and Sherman says it's time the Mets did the same instead of giving away playing time to players who don't warrant it, particularly late in the season. That the Mets may be planning to have Chris Young play regularly at a corner outfield position does not bode well, Sherman suggests.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league...
- The Astros have signed righty Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with a Spring Training invite, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. After an injury-plagued 2013, Moylan recently elected to become a free agent rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Dodgers.
- Hansel Robles has cleared waivers and will remain under the Mets' control despite being removed from the 40-man roster, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). The 23-year-old has never appeared above the High-A level; throwing there last year, he put up a 3.72 ERA in 84 2/3 innings, posting 7.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Robles tossed 18 innings in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 19 batters and registering a 4.00 ERA in that span.
- The Athletics have outrighted second baseman/third baseman Scott Sizemore, according to the team's transactions page. The 28-year-old received crushing news when he was diagnosed with a torn ACL this Spring -- the second straight season in which that exact injury has shelved him for the whole year. Formerly a promising prospect in the Tigers organization, Sizemore is a career .238/.328/.381 with 14 homers in 160 career games.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Royals have signed right-hander Cory Wade to a minor league deal (Twitter link). The 30-year-old split the 2013 campaign between the Rays, Cubs and Mets Triple-A affiliates, totaling a 3.86 ERA in 67 2/3 innings.
- Cotillo also tweets that right-hander Josh Judy has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Judy, 27, posted a 6.75 ERA between the Angels' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2013 but has respectable minor league numbers in his career (3.83 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9). Judy's deal does not contain an invite to Spring Training.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
6:53pm: Peralta's representatives are indicating to teams that he already has four years and $52MM "in hand," three general managers told Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com (Twitter link).
4:32pm: Jhonny Peralta's asking price has been said to be significant, but to this point, reports have only indicated that he's seeking "much more than $45MM." Joel Sherman of the New York Post sheds some light on his demands, reporting that he's seeking something in the four-year $56MM to five-year, $75MM range (Twitter link).
That asking price is sure to induce sticker shock to front offices and fans alike, as most had pegged Peralta for something like half that. For example, the Mets reportedly had hoped to land Peralta on a two-year deal. In my free agent profile for Peralta, I pegged him at $36M on a three-year deal.
Peralta and agent Fern Cuza of SFX do have some leverage on their side, as he's the only notable free agent shortstop not tied to draft pick compensation and the third base market is even more bleak. He's coming off a solid .303/.358/.457 season but also served a 50-game suspension for involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal.
As Sherman notes, the Mets and Yankees are interested, but not at that price. The Mets have already met with Peralta, as have the Mariners. Earlier today, it was reported that the Orioles have some interest in Peralta as a left fielder.
Earlier today, the Mets inked outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25MM contract, marking their first Major League signing of the offseason. Here's more on Young and some other Mets-related issues...
- GM Sandy Alderson flew to Houston to meet with Young personally last week and promised him regular playing time, though maybe not in center field, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).
- ESPN's Keith Law breaks down the signing, calling Young an "imperfect fit" for the Mets (Insider subscription required and recommended). Young hasn't been the same since injuring his shoulder last April, writes Law, pointing out his .203/.282/.375 slash line since that time. In order to mitigate the risk of a replacement-level offensive performance from Young, Law argues that a team should be playing him in center field says. But for the Mets, he notes, Juan Lagares is too defensively gifted to move.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, meanwhile, sees things somewhat differently. He argues that Young "will likely go down as one of the best free agent signings of the off-season," even though his contract landed at the same dollars, but only half the years, of that predicted through Fangraphs reader crowdsourcing. Noting that Young suffered from a low BABIP last year, and arguing that his past platoon split may not be as much of an issue as some believe, Cameron says that this contract compares favorably to those given last year to Cody Ross (three years, $26MM), Ryan Ludwick ($15MM over two years) and Jonny Gomes ($10MM for two seasons).
- Mike Puma of the New York Post reminds that the Mets' offseason shopping list has consisted of two bats, a starting pitcher and a reliever. Young likely qualifies as one of those bats, and Puma wonders if the Mets have backed off their pursuit of Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta due to their asking prices (Twitter links). Peralta is said to be seeking a surprising $56-75MM guarantee.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
The Mets have reached an agreement with outfielder Chris Young on a one-year deal, but that won't preclude the team from pursuing other outfield options, apparently. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mets are still in the mix for Nelson Cruz (Twitter link).
Cruz, 33, slashed .266/.327/.506 with 27 homers in 109 games (456 plate appearances) but saw his season cut short by a 50-game suspension due to his involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal. As I noted in his free agent profile, Cruz was candid about his mistake, admitting that prior to the 2012 season, he had lost nearly 40 pounds as a result of a bacterial infection that led to his usage of a banned substance. He accepted his punishment without appeal.
Cruz rejected a qualifying offer from the Rangers, so the Mets would have to forfeit their second-round pick in order to sign him (their first-round pick is protected). At last week's GM Meetings in Orlando, special assistant J.P. Ricciardi told me that the Mets would be willing to make such a sacrifice for the right player and that the team's highest priority was adding offense. As one of the most powerful bats on the market, Cruz would certainly provide a boost to a Mets team that finished 26th in the Majors in home runs and 29th in slugging percentage.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league...
- The Yankees have outrighted infielder Corban Joseph, according to the International League transactions page. Joseph made his big-league debut in 2013, collecting seven plate appearances. He spent much of the season at Triple-A Scranton, where he hit .239/.329/.383 in 213 plate appearances.
- The Indians have signed lefty reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets. Zagurski pitched in the Pirates, Yankees and Athletics organizations in 2013, posting a 3.04 ERA with a ridiculous 14.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He did, however, get shelled in 6 1/3 big-league innings.
- The Orioles signed infielder Sharlon Schoop and outfielder Ronald Bermudez to minor league contracts, according to a team release. Schoop last played in the minors in 2012, when he was in the Royals organization. He is the brother of Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop. Bermudez hit .261/.299/.329 in stints at Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox organization in 2013.
- Infielder Brandon Snyder has re-signed what appears to be a minor league deal with the Red Sox, the infielder tweeted himself the other night. Snyder collected 52 plate appearances with the Sox in 2013, hitting .180/.212/.360.
- The Rays announced yesterday that they have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Sam Runion. The 25-year-old Runion, a client of Dishman Sports Group, was the Royals' second-round pick in 2007. He has a career 3.41 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 at Double-A and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2013. Runion converted to a relief role full-time in 2010 and has enjoyed success since, yielding just eight homers and posting a 3.80 ERA in 170 1/3 frames.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed Yamaico Navarro to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training (Twitter link). The Wasserman Media Group client appeared in eight games for the Orioles last season and slashed .267/.354/.418 at Triple-A.
- The Nationals inked righty Daniel Stange to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter link). The 27-year-old posted a 4.52 ERA in 65 2/3 Triple-A innings with the Angels and also made it into three big league games for the Halos in 2013.
- The Dodgers announced that they've signed former No. 4 overall pick Daniel Moskos to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Now 27 years old, Moskos spent last season with the White Sox' Triple-A affiliate, pitching to a 4.97 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 29 innings of relief.
- The Dodgers also signed Clint Robinson to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reported earlier in the week. The 28-year-old first baseman split the 2013 campaign between the Blue Jays' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, slashing .254/.353/.421 with 13 homers.
- The Mets announced that they have signed right-hander Miguel Socolovich to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training (Twitter link). The 27-year-old Venezuelan fired 11 1/3 one-run innings for NPB's Hiroshima Carp last season and owns a career 2.99 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 129 1/3 Triple-A innings. He has some brief Major League experience, having allowed 11 runs in 16 1/3 innings between the Cubs and Orioles in 2012.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Thursday: Hawkins has passed his physical, and the deal is now official, Hawkins himself tweets.
Monday: The Rockies have agreed to terms with right-hander LaTroy Hawkins on a one-year, $2.25MM deal, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter links) The contract also carries a $2.25MM option for 2015 with a $250K buyout and will be official if Hawkins passes a physical on Thursday. Hawkins is represented by Reynolds Sports Management.
Hawkins will serve as the Rockies' closer, Nightengale reports. The club was known to be looking for back-end relief help, and though Rex Brothers pitched well as a replacement close for Rafael Betancourt, Colorado will instead use Brothers as a setup man with an eye towards slowly easing him towards the closer's job (according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post). Since Hawkins is a righty and Brothers is a lefty, it's possible manager Walt Weiss could platoon his two closing options depending on the situation.
This is the well-traveled Hawkins' second stint in Colorado, as the veteran righty threw 55 1/3 relief innings for the Rockies' pennant-winning team in 2007. Hawkins turns 41 in December but is coming off one of his stronger seasons --- he posted a 2.93 ERA, 5.50 K/BB and 7.0 K/9 in 70 2/3 IP with the Mets in 2013. Hawkins has done a good job of keeping the ball on the ground over his career, with a 47.8% grounder rate and an 8.6% HR/FB rate over his 19 Major League seasons, so he projects well at Coors Field.
There was solid demand for Hawkins, as Nightengale reports that the Mets, Braves and Indians were all interested in his services and 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson notes that the Twins "had [a] brief talk" of signing the veteran as well.
Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (Twitter link) that the club still likes Bronson Arroyo, even after signing Tim Hudson. "Bronson Arroyo is not out of our picture," Evans said. The Giants made a two-year, $23MM commitment to Hudson yesterday. Here's tonight's look around the majors..
- Kelvin De La Cruz is out of options, so the Orioles must be planning on having him in their big league bullpen, tweets Tim Dierkes of MLBTR. The O's won't be able to remove him from the 40-man roster without him passing through waivers, and they signed him to a Major League deal despite his lack of MLB experience.
- In his latest mailbag, Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that while the Braves will certainly make every attempt to move Dan Uggla and a piece of the $26MM he is owed over the next two seasons, they understand it will not be easy. Teams that can't afford to sign top second baseman Robinson Cano can look into signing Omar Infante or trading for the likes of Ian Kinsler or Howie Kendrick.
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News says that the Mets should be serious players for Cano. The Mets met with Cano's agents, Brodie Van Wagenen and Jay-Z, last night, but all indications are that they won't be in the mix for his services.
- Catcher Henry Blanco, 42, is looking to play one more season, Tim tweets. The veteran is likely to have a career in coaching once he's through playing. Blanco saw 50 games of big league action for the Blue Jays and Mariners last season.
The Mets are currently dealing with sticker shock when looking at free agent demands, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. One example, says Puma, is Jhonny Peralta, whom the Mets initially believed they could land on a two-year deal. Peralta, however, is said to be seeking more than $45MM on at least a three-year deal. Here's more out of the Big Apple...
- The Mets are more interested in Phil Hughes than they are Bronson Arroyo, Puma tweets. That would make sense if they're unhappy with free agent prices, as Arroyo figures to command a healthy two-year deal at minimum and could get to three years.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the 2014 payroll will not be lower than the 2013 mark of $87MM, according to Newsday's Marc Carig (on Twitter).
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees are interested in Joe Nathan but are addressing their more pressing needs first, such as their pursuit of Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann.