The Mets had a meeting with Wilson Ramos and his camp today, the New York Post’s Mike Puma reports (via Twitter). While the Mets are known to be exploring the catching market, some reports characterized Ramos as something of a secondary target for New York due to concerns about his lengthy injury history and his defense. Still, it can’t hurt for the club to touch base with Ramos to see if there’s a fit, especially since talks between the Mets and Martin Maldonado (reportedly atop the team’s list) had yet to develop as of last week.
Here’s more from around the NL East…
- Like pretty much every Phillie not named Aaron Nola or Rhys Hoskins, Cesar Hernandez has been mentioned as a potential trade chip this offseason. The Phillies, however, aren’t looking to deal Hernandez since they feel the second baseman will rebound in 2019 with better health, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports (Twitter link). Hernandez spent much of the second half playing through a broken foot, which certainly contributed to his drop in production after posting above-average numbers in 2016-17. With Hernandez seemingly remaining at the keystone, Scott Kingery will remain as a super-utility player.
- The Phillies have kept up an “ongoing dialogue” with free agent southpaw J.A. Happ “over the last several days,” The Athletic’s Jayson Stark tweets. Philadelphia isn’t the only NL East team in on the veteran lefty, as Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman describes the Braves as an “under the radar” contender for Happ’s services. Atlanta still seems to be in the running as Happ’s market is beginning to narrow. Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos has already acquired Happ once before, trading for the pitcher in 2012 when Anthopoulos was the Blue Jays’ general manager.
- Some teams have the impression that the Braves would be open to trading Mike Foltynewicz and Ender Inciarte, though Foltynewicz isn’t available, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (Twitter links). While Atlanta has enough young pitching that a Foltynewicz deal is palatable on paper, moving a controllable young arm coming off a breakout season is highly unlikely. The team wouldn’t make such a move unless it received a ton in return, or unless the Braves had confidence that they would acquire another frontline pitcher in a separate trade. Moving Inciarte is perhaps more feasible, as Ronald Acuna could take over in center field. Speaking to reporters (including Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) today, Anthopoulos indicated that he hadn’t closed the door on deals involving players on the Braves’ 25-man roster.
- In a mailbag piece from Burns, he notes that Carlos Gonzalez has interest in joining the Braves, “though that may not be mutual at this time.” Atlanta has an outfield vacancy due to Nick Markakis hitting free agency, though Gonzalez might not be one of the top choices on the Braves’ board, if he’s under consideration at all. Gonzalez rebounded from a very poor 2017 season, though his 2018 numbers at the plate (96 wRC+, 99 OPS+) were still below-average.
- There haven’t yet been any talks between Don Mattingly and the Marlins about a contract extension, the manager tells MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Mattingly is entering the final year of his current deal, and indicated that he is more focused on the upcoming season than his future status. “I like it here. I want to be a part of what we’re doing and building it,” Mattingly said. “But, again, I’m just kind of at a point where I’m pretty comfortable with myself, where I’m at.” Mattingly, of course, was hired when Jeffrey Loria owned the Marlins, rather than the current Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter regime, though the veteran skipper wasn’t one of the many in-house names replaced during the new ownership group’s wide-ranging overhaul of the franchise, both on and off the field.