The latest on a pair of East Coast franchises…
- Even if the Mets trade Jose Bautista this month, it’s “likely” they’ll attempt to re-sign the soon-to-be free agent prior to next season, Mike Puma of the New York Post hears (Twitter link). Signing Bautista, whom New York added May 22 shortly after the division-rival Braves released him, is one of the few moves that have paid off in a disastrous season for the Mets. The Blue Jays legend has slashed a useful .215/.364/.390 with six home runs in 214 plate appearances during his two-plus-month run with the Amazins. If he does continue his career in 2019, Bautista – who has primarily lined up in the outfield with the Mets after a short-lived third base experiment with the Braves – will play his age-38 campaign.
- The belief is Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has cleared waivers, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. If true, the Rays could trade Hechavarria to any team. Tampa Bay designated Hechavarria this week after watching the 29-year-old offer his usual blend of weak offense and strong defense in 2018. Hechavarria hit just .258/.289/.332 in 237 PAs, but he did total four Defensive Runs Saved in the field. He’s due around $1.9MM for the rest of the season, Topkin notes.
- Back to the Mets, who are in the midst of increasing catcher Kevin Plawecki’s playing time as they look toward 2019, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. Plawecki started for the fourth time in five games Saturday and, per DiComo, is a lock to return to the Mets next season. The only question is whether the 27-year-old will start or serve as a backup. Current starter Devin Mesoraco is set to hit free agency in the offseason, meaning he’ll cede playing time to Plawecki down the stretch. The Mets can still control catcher Travis d’Arnaud for another season via arbitration, but injuries have long haunted the 29-year-old – including in 2018, which ended for him in early April on account of a UCL tear in his right elbow. Shortly after, the Mets lost Plawecki to a hairline fracture in his left hand, but he was able to return in late May. Injury aside, this has been a decent offensive season for Plawecki, who has slashed .231/.345/.372 in 142 PAs. Plawecki is scheduled to go through his first of four potential trips through arbitration over the winter.