Here’s the latest from the Big Apple…
- The Yankees had a scout watching Johnny Cueto’s last start, and George A. King III of the New York Post reports that same scout (Jeff Datz) also saw Mike Leake pitch the next day for the Reds. King adds that Cincinnati has also been scouting the Yankees’ farm system, and he speculates that prospects like Mason Williams, Ramon Flores and Bryan Mitchell could interest the Reds as part of a package for one of the two starting pitchers. The Reds are sure to ask about top prospects Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, though King doubts the Yankees would move either for Cueto or Leake since both hurlers are free agents this winter.
- Also from King, the Phillies had scouts watching the Yankees/Orioles game on Sunday. King isn’t sure the Yankees would want to either cover Cole Hamels’ substantial remaining contract or give up the prospects Philadelphia wants for the ace southpaw. Some in the industry believe Hamels is an ideal fit for the Orioles, who have received some shaky outings from their rotation this season.
- The perception of the Mets around the league is that they won’t be willing to take on salary in midseason trades, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (subscription required). Club ownership also hasn’t given any indication that it’s willing to extend payroll. It “makes no sense” to Olney that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to spend on some needed reinforcements for what looks like a playoff contender.
- The Mets have been rumored to be exploring infield upgrades, though they may have found an internal solution in Dilson Herrera. Manager Terry Collins told reporters (including Adam Rubin of ESPN New York) that Herrera is likely to retain the starting second base job once Daniel Murphy returns from the DL next week. This would mean that Murphy would play third, which would address the Mets’ need at the hot corner with David Wright out of action.