The Mets were a popular pick for outfielder George Springer before he signed a six-year, $150MM contract with the Blue Jays in January. Team president Sandy Alderson “suggested” on Monday that the Mets were willing to sign Springer for five years, not six, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Alderson added that New York likely wouldn’t have been able to extend outfielder Michael Conforto had it signed Springer. “At some point, even Steve Cohen runs out of money,” Alderson said of the team’s owner. Conforto, who turned 28 today, is three years younger than Springer and coming off an even better season at the plate. He’s due to become a free agent next winter, but the Mets expect to begin talks on an extension sometime soon.
- With Springer no longer in Houston, the Astros appear likely to turn to Myles Straw at center field to open the season. If the Straw experiment doesn’t work out, though, it’s probable that Chas McCormick will be their fallback plan at the position, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic writes. The 25-year-old has a better chance to make the team than veteran outfielder Steven Souza Jr., whom the Astros signed to a minor league deal, as he’s already on their 40-man roster and capable of playing center, Kaplan notes. McCormick impressed during his most recent minors action in 2019, when he slashed .269/.386/.432 with 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 448 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A.
- Sticking with the Astros, ace Zack Greinke is entering the last season of his contract – his age-37 campaign – but is not thinking retirement, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com relays. Based on his performance in 2020, Greinke has plenty left in the tank. Although he posted a 4.03 ERA – one of the highest figures of his potential Hall of Fame career – Greinke registered a better 3.72 SIERA with a 24.5 percent strikeout rate and an elite 3.3 percent walk rate. Greinke also induced a fair amount of weak contact, evidenced in part by the 86.8 mph exit velocity hitters mustered against him.