New York Mets Rumors
The Mets and David Wright have officially finalized the largest contract in franchise history. The Mets have extended Wright for seven years and $122MM in new money, which can be considered an eight-year, $138MM deal if the value of Wright's previously-exercised 2013 club option is included. In that sense, Wright passes Johan Santana's $137.5MM deal from February 2008. Wright is represented by ACES.
Wright, 30 in December, frequently stated his desire to remain with the Mets for his entire career. The Mets drafted him 38th overall in 2001, as a supplemental pick for the loss of free agent Mike Hampton. Wright has a .301/.381/.506 career line with 204 home runs in 5,453 plate appearances, totaling 47 wins above replacement. With six All-Star Game appearances and six seasons worthy of at least one MVP vote, Wright is the face of the franchise. He already holds franchise records in most offensive categories. This is Wright's second extension with the Mets, as he signed a six-year, $55MM contract in August 2006.
Longtime shortstop Jose Reyes left the Mets as a free agent after last season, increasing pressure from the fans for Mets ownership and GM Sandy Alderson to lock up Wright. Remaining on the agenda: a new contract with 38-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who won the 2012 NL Cy Young award and will not negotiate during his contract season. Currently, Wright and starting pitcher Jonathon Niese are the only Mets under contract beyond 2013.
We checked in on the AL East already this morning, so let's head to the National League to round up the latest out of the NL East....
- As they continue to consider their options regarding R.A. Dickey, the Mets are also considering trading pitching prospects like Logan Verrett or Darin Gorski for outfield help, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
- Martino adds in a second tweet that Bobby Parnell has drawn trade interest, but is unlikely to be moved.
- Rival officials consider the Phillies the team most desperate for outfield help this week, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link).
- Despite the Phillies' need for an outfielder, the "consensus in baseball circles" is that a reunion between Shane Victorino and the Phils is unlikely, writes ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- When it comes to finding a left fielder, the Braves will continue to explore trade options, but the team doesn't have much interest in the remaining free agent outfielders, and don't mind moving forward with their internal options, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
With Day Two of the Winter Meetings underway, let's round up a few notable links related to AL East clubs....
- As they continue to search for a big bat, one name on the Orioles' shopping list is Mike Morse, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who tweets that the O's have interest in the Nationals slugger. We heard yesterday that Baltimore's interest in Morse was "lukewarm" and that GM Mike Rizzo hadn't been in contact with the Orioles yet in Nashville, though that could change.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com examines the possibility of the Red Sox trading a catcher in the wake of the Mike Napoli signing, noting that the Mariners, Mets, Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers are among the teams looking to add a backstop.
- While Joel Sherman of the New York Post acknowledges that the Yankees would listen to offers on Curtis Granderson and Phil Hughes, he notes that team executives say the goal is still to win in 2013, and that replacing Granderson's and Hughes' production in the short-term would be tricky (Twitter links).
As Day Two of the Winter Meetings rapidly approaches, here are some miscellaneous links to get all of you insomniacs out there through the night...
- The Athletics had a fair amount of talks with the Marlins about Yunel Escobar yesterday but will be meeting on Stephen Drew today, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington didn't sound very open to the idea of Gerrit Cole breaking camp with a spot in the Major League rotation when he talked to reporters (including MLB.com's Tom Singer) yesterday. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft reached Triple-A for one start last year.
- The Mets consider Bobby Parnell to be "virtually untouchable" right now, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. The Tigers tried to acquire Parnell last season but were rejected, according to Rubin. That could explain the report shortly after last year's Winter Meetings that the Mets had considered dealing the flamethrower to an unknown team.
- The Padres had "very rough" extension talks with Chase Headley earlier this year and would like to keep him long-term, writes Scott Miller of CBS Sports. There's no great urgency since he's controlled for two more seasons, GM Josh Byrnes said Monday, but they'll continue talking over the winter and could work something out in the spring.
- Danny Espinosa isn't bothered by trade talks speculating that the Nationals could deal him to the Rays, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Such a trade would reunite Espinosa with his college teammate, Evan Longoria.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will be focused on smaller moves to add depth at the Winter Meetings as the team's payroll is "in the dust, the rear-view mirror" of where he thought it was going to be for 2013 (Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reporting). Toronto opened 2012 with an $83.7MM payroll but projects to be in the $120MM range for 2013 as things stand right now.
A reigning Cy Young winner is on the trade block, and we've got all of today's updates on R.A. Dickey right here, with the newest items added to the top throughout the day:
- The Diamondbacks met with the Mets on Dickey, but talks didn't get far, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino hears the Mets' asking price is very high. He also notes that there's not much happening between the Mets and Blue Jays.
- The Dodgers have talked to the Mets about Dickey, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick notes that Dickey could be a fallback for Zack Greinke, or maybe the team will just sign both to have three Cy Young winners on the staff. The question is whether the Dodgers have the right players to pull off a deal.
- Talks for Dickey between the Mets and Red Sox were "very preliminary," a Major League source tells WEEI's Alex Speier, and a deal is extremely unlikely.
- There has been strong interest in Dickey today, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, but he's heard the Mets did not ask the Red Sox for specific players.
- The Mets met with eight teams today about Dickey, according to Adam Rubin and Joe McDonald of ESPN. The Red Sox were one of those teams, and the Mets wanted Xander Bogaerts andJackie Bradley Jr. in return. We heard earlier that the Sox didn't have interest in Dickey, so perhaps the Mets' exorbitant asking price is playing a part in that lack of interest.
- GM Sandy Alderson acknowledged that he's had "preliminary talks" with multiple teams about Dickey and other players, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. According to Alderson, there have been more conversations about Dickey than Niese, though that could change (Twitter link).
- Fair or not, Dickey's age and repertoire is making teams reluctant to give up significant talent for him, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Of course, as Martino adds in a second tweet, it just takes one club to step up and change that. Still, for now, Jonathon Niese is viewed as the more appealing Mets arm, according to Martino.
- Although the Mets are "more than willing" to discuss Dickey, the Red Sox haven't shown any interest, says Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, noting that the Mets could do better than Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Twitterlinks).
- The Mets have gotten "serious" about trading ace knuckleballer Dickey as soon as this week, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark after hearing from a source. Stark says the Rangers and Royals are seen as the most logical fits.
- Earlier today, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweeted that he believes the Mets "genuinely don't know right now if they'll sign or trade" the NL Cy Young winner. The 38-year-old can become a free agent after the 2013 season.
Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:
- Roy Oswalt is unsure about whether he'll pitch in 2013, one of his agents tells Morosi.
- The Mariners checked in on Delmon Young, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi reported previously that Young might wait until January to sign given his November ankle surgery.
- Grady Sizemore had been drawing interest from a few clubs, including the Red Sox, but he won't be a real option until midseason, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. Agent Joe Urbon confirmed to Castrovince that his client underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September.
- Besides being interested in Scott Hairston, the Yankees are also eyeing Cody Ross, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- The Mariners have checked in on Ryan Ludwick, among other hitters, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- Cesar Izturis' reps are expected to meet with the Mets this week and there could be a match there, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Orioles' interest in righty Brett Myers appears minimal, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, and they have no meetings set up with his reps.
- The Twins are one team with early interest in southpaw John Lannan, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The Pirates also have an eye on Lannan, reported Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier today.
- The Cubs are talking to many agents about bullpen help and they like Jason Grilli, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.
- Solid interest in Jason Bay (from teams other than Boston) may lead to a Major League deal, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.
- The Marlins are interested in utility man Mark DeRosa, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 37-year-old had indicated at season's end that he was unsure what his future held.
- The Royals are "sending out signals" that they have the money and the motivation to pursue a pitcher who could be considered a No. 1, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. A run at Anibal Sanchez isn't out of the question for Kansas City, according to Knobler.
- Tigers people continue to say the team isn't even considering Rafael Soriano, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. However, Sherman notes that owner Mike Ilitch's great relationship with Scott Boras still makes Detroit a wild card in the Soriano sweepstakes.
- Rival executives view the Nationals as a good fit for Mike Pelfrey, especially considering GM Mike Rizzo and Scott Boras have a history of working out deals, says Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitterlinks).
- Teams are showing "no hesitation whatsoever" in pursuing Jeff Keppinger, who underwent surgery to repair a right fibula fracture, agent Keith Grunewald tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitterlinks).
- Jason Giambi would like to continue his playing career, and is drawing interest from three or four teams, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
While the Dodgers have been linked to just about everyone this offseason, they won't be the only NL West club active in Nashville this week. Here are a few updates from around the division:
- Chris Haft of MLB.com (Twitter link) heard from an agent earlier today that the Giants were "bending over backwards" to re-sign Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro. Haft wonders if Scutaro is next, now that the team has reached an agreement with Pagan.
- The Rockies are targeting late-inning and closer-type pitchers this week, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers would be "shocked" if Shohei Otani declares for MLB and doesn't sign with them, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). However, the Dodgers are skeptical that Otani will come stateside. We heard this morning that the 18-year-old was leaning toward remaining in Japan.
- In discussing Dexter Fowler with the Braves, the Rockies asked for Mike Minor, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link).
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the Yankees had some interest in Chris Nelson last season, and wonders if their interest in the Rockies' infielder could be renewed now that Alex Rodriguez is undergoing hip surgery.
- The Giants are one of five teams with "real interest" in Scott Hairston, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Cardinals, Tigers, Indians, and Yankees round out the list, and Hairston himself hasn't ruled out a return to the Mets.
- At or near the top of Sandy Alderson's shopping list during the Winter Meetings is a catcher who can share the job with Josh Thole or even take it outright, says Mike Puma of the New York Post. If the team were to sign a free agent, the most likely scenario would be a right-handed hitter like Miguel Olivo, who could platoon with Thole. A.J. Pierzynski figures to be out of the Mets' price range, says Puma.
- The Mets have been underwhelmed by the offers they've received for R.A. Dickey so far, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino adds in a second tweet that the Mets genuinely don't seem to know whether they'll trade Dickey or extend him.
- While Mets GM Sandy Alderson acknowledges that Dickey's situation needs to be resolved, he says that resolution doesn't necessarily need to happen during the Winter Meetings, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
- The Mets are a team whose direction this offseason has yet to be determined, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney in his Insider-only blog.
- One minority owner of the Mets has been accused of fraud, as a New York Times report details.
The Mariners are looking for offense and are "in on everybody", a rival GM tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That includes big fish like Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton and they're also considering Mike Napoli and Nick Swisher. Cody Ross, Ryan Ludwick, and Mark Reynolds may also be fits in Seattle. More from around baseball..
- Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (via Twitter) that the club hopes to sign Mike Napoli, though it has to be on a three-year deal, not a four-year deal. Lucchino added that the club is in on Hamilton (Twitter link) but they won't go to six, seven, or eight years to make it happen. It has been well documented that the Red Sox are leery of long-term deals as they look to spend responsibly going forward.
- Asdrubal Cabrera has a six-team no-trade clause allowing him to block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Giants, Mets, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Indians have reportedly set the bar high in their demands for Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo.
- Zack Greinke's agent Casey Close told Heyman (via Twitter) that he'll know in the next 24-48 hours if a deal can get done in Nashville. Close added that nothing is close for his client just yet. Meanwhile, Braves GM Frank Wren says that it's "probably unlikely" that he will sign Greinke (Twitter link).
- The market for Ryan Dempster may develop more this week with the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Twins in the mix, Morosi tweets. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter) classifies Dempster as the Brewers' top free agent target.
- One source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he wouldn't rule out the Nationals trading for a pitcher like James Shields of the Rays. The Nats could potentially use Mike Morse in a deal for Shields as the Rays are in need of offense.
Items on the Nationals and Mets..
- One industry source tells Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com that it's more likely the Nationals land another starting pitcher via a trade involving Michael Morse than by picking someone off the free agent market. The first baseman/left fielder is a valuable trade chip and will make $6.75MM in 2013, the final year of his deal.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson confirmed that he met with R.A. Dickey for about ten minutes today, but said that the talk was purely social, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Alderson said that he wouldn't negotiate without the knuckleballer's agent present. Alderson also stressed that a resolution on Dickey doesn't have to come during the meetings, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday.
- No big surprise, but Alderson expects to focus on the trade market as he doubts there are sufficient free agents at Mets' spending capacity to meet all of their needs, Rubin tweets.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter) overheard at the meetings that the Nationals had Denard Span rated above Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton, without even considering their contracts.