Some rumblings from around the NL East…
- The Mets were linked to Martin Maldonado in early November, though talks “haven’t materialized” as of yet between the team and Maldonado’s camp, the New York Post’s Mike Puma writes. Catcher remains a position of need for the Mets, though they’ve already seen one trade target (Yan Gomes) get dealt to a division rival in Washington, while their impending trade of some top prospects in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal could mean New York doesn’t have the minor league depth to acquire J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins. Puma wonders if this means the Mets could circle back to Yasmani Grandal, another player that drew some early interest from the Amazins as the free agent market opened.
- In regards to Realmuto, the Mets and Phillies may not be realistic contenders for the catcher’s services, as the New York Post’s Joel Sherman hears from an official with the Nationals or Braves that “Miami is not trading him in the division.” It had previously been surmised that the Marlins’ huge asking price in a Realmuto trade was what turned D.C. and Atlanta to alternate catching solutions (i.e. Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, and Brian McCann), though it stands to reason that the Marlins could’ve wanted a particularly big premium in order to send Realmuto elsewhere in the NL West.
- Also from Sherman’s piece, he is “surprised how many executives and agents I speak to feel” Bryce Harper will re-sign with the Nationals and Manny Machado will sign with the Phillies. The Machado/Philadelphia connection is no surprise (45.8% of readers in the MLBTR Free Agent Prediction Contest chose Machado to the Phillies), though there has much less speculation about the possibility of Harper staying put. The general consensus has been that the Nats would go forward with an outfield mix of Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, and Victor Robles, and that they would recoup the draft pick compensation owed to them via the qualifying offer once Harper signed elsewhere. On the flip side, only a few teams would fit as potential candidates for Harper given his $400+ asking price, and the Nats do have a long history of handing out big money to Scott Boras clients.
- The Mets have longtime Yankees minor league pitching coach Scott Aldred on their list of bullpen coach candidates, according to Puma (Twitter link). Aldred is currently working a roving pitching coordinator in the Yankees’ farm system after spending the previous decade as a pitching coach at multiple minor league levels, including a lengthy stint at Triple-A.