The Cardinals are on the lookout for center field help, and while free agents Dexter Fowler and Ian Desmond could be possibilities, the team could also turn to less obvious solutions, ESPN’s Mark Saxon writes. One of those is Carlos Gomez, who excelled down the stretch with the Rangers, and could be a riskier, but perhaps also more upside-laden, alternative to someone like Fowler. Ender Inciarte, Marcell Ozuna and Jarrod Dyson could also be possibilities via the trade market, Saxon suggests. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Mets have spoken to Jerry Blevins about a return, but the lefty is likely to find a free agent deal beyond the team’s price range, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes. Ackert also feels that catcher Rene Rivera and utilityman Kelly Johnson probably won’t be back with the Mets next season — Rivera’s projected $2.2MM arbitration salary is pricey for a backup catcher, while Johnson is “not a priority,” though New York could see if Johnson is available on a low-cost one-year deal. Ackert also covers other Mets offseason topics as part of the mailbag piece.
- The Diamondbacks have hired former Cardinals international crosschecker Cesar Geronimo Jr. to serve as their new Latin American scouting director, writes Baseball America’s Ben Badler. Geronimo, the son of former Astros, Reds and Royals outfielder Cesar Geronimo, had success with St. Louis after becoming international crosschecker early in 2012, as the Cardinals signed good prospects like Alex Reyes, outfielder Magneuris Sierra, shortstop Edmundo Sosa, and righties Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez. The hire is a significant one for the Diamondbacks’ new front office — beginning July 2, the team figures to be free of international bonus penalties for the first time since their seemingly poor decision to sign Yoan Lopez for $8.26MM in the 2014-15 signing period. Depending on the terms of the next CBA, the Diamondbacks could also have a large pool to work with after winning just 69 games in 2016.