The Mets were reportedly unwilling to trade outfielder Juan Lagares as of November, but teams are continuing to show interest in the soon-to-be 28-year-old, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether New York is now open to moving Lagares, who’s far and away the most qualified center field candidate on a team loaded with corner outfielders. Dealing the defensively adept Lagares and getting rid of his $4.5MM for 2017 would perhaps give the Mets the financial freedom to address their bullpen, though, as Puma notes. Lagares, who’s fresh off back-to-back underwhelming offensive seasons, has four years and either $20.5MM or $29.5MM left on his contract – depending on what happens with his 2020 club option.
More from the market:
- Free agent reliever Sergio Romo has spent his entire career with the San Francisco organization since it took him in the 28th round of the 2005 draft, but the 34-year-old could head to the archrival Dodgers. Romo’s currently choosing between Los Angeles and an unidentified club, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). The Dodgers are also in talks with other relievers, including free agent Joe Blanton – who was among their top bullpen options last season.
- If a long-anticipated reunion between the Rangers and free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli is going to happen this offseason, Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) could be a date to watch, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. As Grant explains, the Rangers will no longer have to carry the retired Prince Fielder or the ailing Jake Diekman on their 40-man roster that day, which is when pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training. By waiting until then to ink Napoli, the Rangers would afford themselves some roster flexibility and wouldn’t have to expose any of their pitching depth to waivers.
- “Several teams” remain in contention for free agent catcher Matt Wieters, tweets the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, who relays that “there’s no good read” on whether he’ll sign with the Rays. Along with the Rays, the Orioles (Wieters’ only MLB employer to date), Angels, Rockies, Reds, Nationals and Astros have drawn recent connections to the 30-year-old.
- Before re-signing with the Rockies on a minor league deal Wednesday, first baseman Mark Reynolds turned down $3MM to play in Korea, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Accepting that offer would’ve easily made Reynolds the highest-paid player in Korea, topping former major league right-hander Dustin Nippert’s $2.1MM, notes Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency (Twitter link). It’s likely that the powerful Reynolds also would’ve had his way in the hitter’s paradise known as the Korea Baseball Organization, but neither that nor the payday could entice the 33-year-old to leave the States.