New York Mets – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-07-04T23:31:10Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Betances, Coronavirus]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200327 2020-07-01T03:28:47Z 2020-07-01T03:28:47Z
  • The Mets are “extremely excited” about the progress reliever Dellin Betances has made, and they expect him to be a full participant in summer camp, according to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen (via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). Betances, whom the Mets signed to a $10.5MM guarantee during the winter, missed almost all of last season as a Yankee because of shoulder problems. In his lone appearance of the year, on Sept. 15, the right-hander struck out both batters he faced before suffering a partial left Achilles tear while hopping off the mound. If Betances returns to his typical form this season, though, he should be an enormously helpful pickup for the Mets. The 32-year-old’s a four-time All-Star who has logged a 2.36 ERA/2.31 FIP with 14.64 K/9, 4.01 BB/9 and 117 holds during his 381 2/3-inning career.
  • More on the Mets, who have had one player on their 40-man roster test positive for the coronavirus, Van Wagenen told Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News and other reporters Monday. They’ve also had positive tests among minor leaguers. But the 40-man player is recovering well, and Van Wagenen believes the Mets have been been “incredibly fortunate” to have so few positive tests to his point.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Sign Jared Hughes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200310 2020-07-01T00:44:55Z 2020-07-01T00:44:47Z 7:44pm: Hughes’ contract is worth a prorated $700K (about $260K over a 60-game season), DiComo tweets.

    7:05pm: The Mets have signed reliever Jared Hughes to a major league contract, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was among those to report. Financial details of the deal aren’t yet known, but Hughes will join the Mets’ 60-man player pool. The right-hander is a client of ISE Baseball.

    Hughes, who will turn 35 on July 4, was most recently with the Astros, but he opted out of his minor league contract with them in March. He divided 2019 between the Reds and Phillies, with whom he combined for a 4.04 ERA/5.29 FIP with 6.81 K/9, 3.41 BB/9 and a bloated home run-to-fly ball percentage of 28.9 across 71 1/3 frames.

    Last season was the first time Hughes was victimized by the home run ball over a large sample of work. He has long been adept at inducing ground balls, having done so at a 61.5 percent clip during a 519-inning major league career that has also included runs with the Pirates and Brewers. Hughes’ ability to keep the ball out of the air has led to a 13.9 percent HR-to-FB rate and a quality 2.88 ERA, despite an underwhelming K/9 of 6.07.

    While Hughes has never flashed the most exciting skill set, he looks like a worthwhile flyer for the Mets, who are banking on a better performance from a bullpen that was a major disappointment in 2019. Along with Hughes, they’ve since added Dellin Betances and Brad Brach to the unit.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLB Pre-Approves 7 Bidding Groups For Mets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200237 2020-06-30T16:48:32Z 2020-06-30T16:48:32Z While it’s fun to imagine Alex Rodriguez and Jenifer Lopez overseeing the Mets from an ownership suite, they’re not alone in their bidding group … and there are plenty of other competing outfits eyeing the New York organization. At the moment, it’s far from clear just how the ownership transition will turn out.

    Seven different groups have received pre-approval from Major League Baseball to pursue the Mets, Scott Soshnick reports at Sportico.com. That includes the three primary bidding groups that have already emerged publicly. The identity of the four other potential suitors remains unknown.

    In recent years, we’ve seen teams change hands via differing mechanisms. Last year, John Sherman purchased his hometown Royals in a very quiet, tidy process. The 2017 Marlins sale occurred after a very public, long-running bidding process involving quite a few famous names.

    It appears we’re headed for the latter scenario here. While the Mets had seemingly lined up an agreement with minority owner Steve Cohen, that prospective deal collapsed and left the Wilpon ownership group in need of outside bidders.

    Under the circumstances, the Wilpons are surely interested in maintaining the interest of a fair number of reasonably serious bidders, at least for the initial phase of the process. First-round bids will be solicited in July, according to Soshnick.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets To Sign Second-Rounder J.T. Ginn]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200176 2020-06-29T23:07:08Z 2020-06-29T23:07:08Z The Mets have inked second-round draft pick J.T. Ginn, Tim Healey of Newsday reports on Twitter. He’ll receive a $2.9MM bonus, per Joe DeMayo of SNY.tv (Twitter link).

    This puts a bow on the Mets’ 2020 draft class. The club had already inked their other five draftees, with its four selections after Ginn all going for well under the slot values attached to their picks.

    The New York org needed every penny to reel in Ginn. He was taken 52nd overall, a position that came with a $1,403,200 pool allocation. Clearly, he wasn’t willing to turn pro for that amount.

    Ginn, a draft-eligible sophomore out of Mississippi State, is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. But the Mets obviously feel the talent is compelling enough to roll the dice on a full recovery.

    Most draft watchers graded Ginn as a first-round talent, in spite of the obvious risk. He was already selected there once before, but spurned the Dodgers back in 2018. Ginn is said by some to possess a potentially front-of-the-rotation arsenal — a big heater, compelling slider, and promising change-up — though others anticipate he’ll settle in more as a back-of-the-staff starter or late-inning reliever.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Sign Melky Cabrera, Erasmo Ramirez, Gordon Beckham]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200106 2020-07-01T18:10:07Z 2020-06-29T17:14:08Z JULY 1: Cabrera can earn at a $1.1MM annual rate if he makes the roster, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.

    JUNE 29: The Mets’ signing spree continued Monday with the additions of outfielder Melky Cabrera, infielder Gordon Beckham and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez. All three have been announced by the club, and all are “expected” to be added to the 60-man player pool, according to the team. They join earlier signees Hunter Strickland and Ryan Cordell in that regard.

    At 35 years old, Cabrera isn’t the hitter he once was.  That said, the Melk Man also hasn’t batted lower than .273 in the past decade, and his contact skills generally make him a source of a respectable OBP even though he doesn’t walk much.

    The switch-hitting Cabrera’s .280/.313/.399 slash with the Pirates last year was below-average on the whole (88 OPS+, 85 wRC+), but he was an average or better hitter in the three preceding seasons. Cabrera carried an .807 OPS into the All-Star break last year, but he hit just .231/.257/.306 down the stretch as his role shrunk. To his credit, he struck out at just a 10.3 percent clip in 2019. He’s no lock to make the roster, but if he can shake off last year’s second-half slide, the Mets could conceivably work him into the DH mix and not need to worry about his glove.

    Beckham, 33, inked a minor league pact with the Padres in February but had a rough showing in their initial camp that led to his release. Although he drew five walks, Beckham was hitless in 14 at-bats. He spent the 2019 campaign with the Tigers, hitting .215/.271/.372 with six homers, a dozen doubles and a pair of triples in 240 trips to the plate.

    Beckham made his big league debut just one year after being selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 draft by the White Sox. He wasn’t able to replicate a strong rookie campaign, though, and eventually settled in as a journeyman utility infielder. He’s appeared in the big leagues each year since 2009, but Beckham carries a tepid .237/.300/.367 slash in 3782 plate appearances as a big leaguer.

    Ramirez, 30, was a quality arm with the Mariners and Rays from 2015-17, pitching to a combined 3.97 ERA (4.22 FIP) with 7.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 385 1/3 big league innings. A teres major strain wiped out most of his 2018 season, though, and Ramirez has yet to really regain his footing. He spent the 2019 season with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate, for whom he posted a 4.74 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Sign Hunter Strickland, Ryan Cordell]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200095 2020-06-29T16:26:25Z 2020-06-29T16:15:28Z The Mets announced Monday that they’ve signed right-hander Hunter Strickland and re-signed outfielder Ryan Cordell, whom they’d previously released. Both received non-guaranteed deals, and both players are “expected” to be added to the Mets’ 60-man pool, per the club.

    Strickland, 31, joins the Mets with nearly five years of big league service time under his belt. He was limited by a Grade 2 lat strain last year and struggled enormously when on the mound, pitching to a combined 5.55 ERA in 24 1/3 frames between the Mariners and Nationals. His track record on the mound prior to that unsightly campaign, however, was strong. From 2014-18, Strickland worked to a combined 2.91 ERA (3.40 FIP) with averages of 8.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9.

    Of course, Strickland has drawn as much if not more attention for other reasons. He incited a benches-clearing brawl in 2017 after throwing at Bryce Harper — an incident most believe to be the result of a years-old grudge against Harper for homering twice off Strickland in the 2014 NLDS. The next year, upon being pulled from a game after blowing a saved, Strickland punched a door out of frustration and sustained a broken right hand. He required surgery and missed the next six weeks.

    Cordell, 28, was once a fairly well-regarded prospect with the Rangers and Brewers but hasn’t put it together in the Majors. He’s had 287 plate appearances at the game’s top level but managed just a .205/.267/.335 slash line in that time. Cordell does possess a more solid .266/.323/.455 slash in three Triple-A seasons, and he’s capable of playing any of the three outfield slots.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[MLB, MLBPA Still Discussing Vesting Options, Retention Bonuses]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=200071 2020-06-29T14:22:43Z 2020-06-29T14:22:43Z The length of the season, prorated salaries and protocols for health and safety are finally all set in place, but Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are still negotiating the manner in which contractual options, performance incentives/bonuses and escalator clauses will be handled, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required).

    Fortunately, an agreement is believed to be “within reach,” per Rosenthal. The league had initially sought to prorate the value of 2021 options using the same formula as 2020 salaries, although the MLBPA obviously pushed back against that notion. There’s still some debate over the handling of vesting options — particularly those that are triggered by reaching a set number of games pitched or plate appearances over the life of multiple seasons. The two sides also must determine how those options would be treated in the event that the season is canceled at any point due to health concerns.

    There aren’t too many vesting options in MLB this year, although some of the notable ones include:

    • Jon Lester, LHP, Cubs: Lester’s $25MM mutual option ($10MM buyout) for the 2021 season would become guaranteed with 200 innings pitched in a normal season.
    • J.A. Happ, LHP, Yankees: Happ’s $17MM club option for the 2021 season would’ve become guaranteed upon making 27 starts or totaling 165 innings in 2020.
    • Andrew Miller, LHP, Cardinals: Miller’s $12MM club option for 2021 would have been guaranteed if he totaled 110 games between 2019-20. As Rosenthal explores, there are various ways to interpret how many more games he’d need to pitch to trigger that option — some more beneficial to Miller and others to the Cardinals.
    • Charlie Morton, RHP, Rays: Morton’s option is another that comes with a multi-year criteria. His contract calls for a $15MM club option in 2021 if he spends fewer than 30 days on the injured list between 2019-20. The option value decreases if he spends additional time on the injured list. Morton avoided the IL entirely last year. Unlike Miller, who surely hopes the number of appearances he needs to make in 2020 can be prorated, it’d be beneficial to Morton for that number (30) to remain as is. That seems unlikely, but the disparity between the clauses of Miller and Morton illustrates that this isn’t exactly straightforward for the player side. The value of his option
    • Kelvin Herrera, RHP, White Sox: Herrera, too, needed 110 games between 2019-20 for his $10MM club option to become guaranteed. He pitched in 57 games last year, leaving him 53 shy of his target.
    • Wade Davis, RHP, Rockies: Davis’ $15MM mutual option would’ve converted to a $15MM player option in the event that he finished 30 games. He’d only need to finish out 11-12 games in the shortened 2020 season if the two sides go with a strictly prorated interpretation of the qualifiers.
    • Bryan Shaw, RHP, Rockies: Shaw has the same 110-game target for 2019-20 that Miller and Herrera have. He pitched 70 times in 2019 and needed just 40 appearances in 2020 to lock in a $9MM salary for the 2021 campaign.
    • Jake McGee, LHP, Rockies: With 60 games pitched or 40 games finished in 2020, McGee would’ve locked in a $9MM salary for the 2021 season. His contract also allowed the option to vest with a with 110 games between 2019-20, but he only pitched in 45 contests last year.
    • Stephen Vogt, C, Diamondbacks: Vogt’s contract included a $3MM club option that not only vests but increases to a $3.5MM base upon starting 45 games and appearing n a total of 75 games overall.
    • Dee Gordon, 2B/SS/OF, Mariners: Gordon would’ve been guaranteed a $14MM salary for the 2021 season with 600 plate appearances this year. That, of course, was extremely unlikely in the first place, though.

    Beyond those options, there are myriad escalator clauses throughout baseball that could be impacted by the shortened schedule. It’s fairly common for club options and/or future salaries to be boosted by steady performance — particularly among players returning from injury. Take Dellin Betances, for instance. His contract with the Mets calls for the value of next year’s $6MM player option to increase by $800K upon pitching in 40 games. He’d receive additional $1MM boosts to that figure for appearing in 50, 60 and 70 games apiece.

    The league and the union are also still discussing potential retention bonuses for six-year veterans on non-guaranteed deals. In a typical year, any player with six-plus years of service who finished the preceding season on a 40-man roster qualifies as an Article XX(B) free agent. Such players must either be added to the 40-man roster, released five days prior to Opening Day or paid a $100K retention bonus to remain with the club in the minor leagues. Many players in that situation are released and quickly re-signed to a new minor league deal, but that won’t be possible in 2020 due to the fact that players who are removed from a team’s 60-man pool become ineligible to return to that team this season.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Mets Announce Initial 60-Man Player Pool]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199893 2020-06-29T01:18:02Z 2020-06-29T01:18:02Z Today marks the deadline for teams to submit their initial spring training player pools, which can comprise up to 60 players. Players are not eligible to participate in either a spring training or regular season game until they are included in the pool. Teams are free to change the makeup of the pools as they see fit. However, players removed from a team’s 60-man (for reasons unrelated to injury, suspension, etc.) must be exposed to other organizations via trade or waivers.

    Not all players within a team’s pool are ticketed for MLB playing time, of course. Most teams will include well-regarded but still far-off prospects as a means of getting them training reps with no intention of running them onto a major league diamond this season. A comprehensive review of 2020’s unique set of rules can be found here.

    The Mets’ initial 45-year player pool consists of…

    Right-handed pitchers

    Left-handed pitchers

    Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Sign First-Rounder Pete Crow-Armstrong]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199686 2020-06-25T20:39:41Z 2020-06-25T20:21:08Z The Mets have signed first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com tweets. He’ll earn the full slot value of his selection, No. 19, with a $3,359,000 bonus.

    The 18-year-old Crow-Armstrong, an outfielder from Los Angeles, committed to Ohio State prior to the draft. He entered the proceedings as a top 25 prospect according to Keith Law of The Athletic (No. 10), Baseball America (No. 17), ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (No. 18), MLB.com (No. 20) and FanGraphs (No. 25). Law, the biggest fan of Crow-Armstrong among the bunch, praised his all-around game, especially his defense in center field, writing, “The defensive and positional value give him a higher floor than most teenagers in the class have, and the possibility for a 60 bat with 50 power gives him a star ceiling.”

    The Crow-Armstrong deal leaves the Mets with just one unsigned draft pick, second-rounder J.T. Ginn, whose selection (No. 52) comes with a recommended value of $1,403,000. The Mets still have about $2.6MM left in their draft pool, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, so it seems they’re in good position to sign Ginn.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Sign FIFth-Rounder Eric Orze]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199641 2020-06-25T03:20:02Z 2020-06-25T03:20:02Z
  • Mets fifth-rounder Eric Orze landed a deal for just $20K, Callis reports. His pick, No. 150, was worth a much more lucrative $357,100. As Callis notes, it’s easy to root for Orze, who has overcome cancer twice. On the mound, the righty from the University of New Orleans offers “an above-average, 92-95 mph fastball, an average slider and an above-average splitter,” Baseball America writes.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Third Bidder For Mets Emerges]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199432 2020-06-23T17:13:34Z 2020-06-23T17:13:34Z As Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez bolster their group to bid on the Mets and a group led by the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils also eyes a bid, a third potential buyer for the Mets appears to have surfaced. Scott Soshnick of Variety reports that brothers David and Simon Reuben, whose combined estimated worth is a whopping $14 billion, are now “exploring” a bid. Real estate opportunities in the area surrounding Citi Field are likely a driving factor in the interest, per the report.

    The Reuben brothers, both in their mid- to late-70s, have built their empire through a series of real estate endeavors, investments in tech companies and in retail over in the United Kingdom. David Hellier and Natalie Wong of Bloomberg reported less than two months ago that the Reubens purchased a retail condo near Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center as they looked to expand their enterprise to New York, and a bid for the Mets would seemingly align with that interest. They’ve also expanded their residential real estate efforts into Madrid (via Bloomberg) and expressed interest in purchasing a stake in an English Premier League club.

    With the Wilpon family reportedly looking to complete a sale of the team — but, according to Newsday, not the SNY Network — by year’s end, we’ve seen increased interest surfacing over the past month. Of course, the Mets believed they were already on the cusp of a gradual, five-year sale to billionaire Steve Cohen last December. At the time of the agreement, Cohen would’ve taken over an 80 percent stake of the club by 2025. However, that deal crumbled in February and left the Wilpons seeking a new buyer.

    The economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic complicates matters and will significantly cut the valuation of the franchise, but the extent isn’t yet known — nor is the level of bid which any of three potential buyers is planning. The two most recent sales of MLB clubs, the Royals in 2019 ($1 billion) and the Marlins in 2017 ($1.2 billion) both illustrate the demand for franchises, though. And as we saw with the Marlins’ sale, it’s possible that several permutations of ownership groups headed by the same principal figures could come together and fizzle thereafter before a deal is ultimately agreed upon.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Mets’ Sale Efforts]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199408 2020-06-23T03:08:38Z 2020-06-23T02:48:24Z Reporting earlier today made clear that Alex Rodriguez and Jenifer Lopez have had success lining up some wealthy investors to join them in pursuit of the Mets.

    It seemed initially that there was another deep-pocketed participant in the A-Rod-J.Lo group. Per Charles Gasparino of FOX Business (Twitter link), Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola had joined the fray along with previously rumored Mike Repole.

    It turns out that is indeed the case, but that Viola’s public emergence doesn’t really add to the pot. As Tim Healey and Jim Baumbach of Newsday report, Viola is actually working with Repole. The pair are said to be willing to invest to the $250MM level.

    It seems there could be other contributors as well — as one might expect, given the anticipated cost of a New York baseball franchise. While the sale price will obviously droop due to the coronavirus uncertainty, it’s still a marquee asset in the sports world.

    The current Wilpon ownership group is interested in wrapping up a deal by the end of 2020, per the Newsday report. And it seems the current package of assets would not include the revenue-producing SNY network, which will obviously bear on the level of outside interest and price that can be achieved.

    That timeline is of interest, as it makes clear that this is a near-term proposition. Those who followed the recent sale of the Marlins will recall that there was still plenty of uncertainty at this point on the calendar. A deal was consummated in August, in time for the new ownership group to prepare for a full first offseason.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A-Rod, J. Lo Reportedly Add Billionaire Mike Repole To Mets Bid]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199367 2020-06-23T02:34:32Z 2020-06-22T19:34:05Z Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have added some more clout to their bid to buy the Mets, bringing billionaire Mike Repole into their group, per ESPN’s Darren Rovell (Twitter link). The 51-year-old Queens native co-founded Glaceau/Energy Brands, the original creator of Vitamin Water, in addition to co-founding the BODYARMOR sports drink company. Repole also owns his own stable which has several notable racehorses.

    It’s not the first time that Repole has expressed an interest in purchasing his hometown club, per Josh Kosman and Zach Braziller of the New York Post. He previously expressed interest in 2011 but did not make a formal bid. And while Repole’s roughly $1 billion net worth eclipses the combined worth of Rodriguez and Lopez by most calculations, Kosman and Braziller report that A-Rod and J. Lo are still expected to be the designated control owners of the team.

    According to the Post, Repole is one of two investors working with Galatioto Sports Partners — an investment bank that could contribute approximately a quarter billion dollars to the bid. The A-Rod/J. Lo group has also been working with JPMorgan in their efforts to compile a bid, and other investors could yet join the fray. Rovell notes that the bid from Rodriguez and Lopez is “very real.”

    The Rodriguez/Lopez group is up against a group headed up by Philadelphia 76ers/New Jersey Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer in their pursuit to buy the Mets. No other suitors are known right now, although other groups could yet emerge. Regardless, it’s become increasingly clear in recent months that Mets ownership, led by the Wilpon family, are amenable to a sale of the team. Back in December, New York billionaire Steve Cohen reportedly agreed to a framework on a gradual sale that would see him increase his stake in the club to 80 percent by 2025. However, that deal fell apart in February, when Cohen officially pulled out of the deal.

    Given the economic crash that has been brought about by the ongoing pandemic, it’s all but certain that the Mets would sell well shy of the $2.6 billion figure that was reported back in December. However, the lost revenue to date — and any further projected losses even if a 2020 season commences — could also increase the Wilpons’ urgency to sell a majority stake in the team.

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    George Miller <![CDATA[Four Members Of Yankees Organization Test Positive For COVID-19]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199238 2020-06-20T21:45:45Z 2020-06-20T21:41:09Z Four people in the Yankees organization have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. Training in Tampa, the Yankees are the latest team based in Florida to have reported positive tests, along with the Phillies (Clearwater) and the Blue Jays (Dunedin).

    After administering tests on Friday, further results are pending and the number of cases in the organization could very well climb in the coming days. Needless to say, Yankees facilities in Tampa have been closed and private workouts held at George M. Steinbrenner Field have been suspended.

    According to King III, at least three of the people who have contracted are staff members, two of whom work at Steinbrenner Field while the other two “have ties to the nearby minor league complex.” In March, two players in the Yankees minor league system tested positive for the virus shortly after Spring Training was put on hold.

    Earlier today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that any potential continuation of spring training for the Yankees and Mets will take place in their home ballparks in New York rather than their typical stations in Florida. While New York has seen a lower infection rate than other states, Florida is in the midst of a substantial increase in cases.

    It’s worth mentioning that the Mets have had one player test positive for the virus in recent months—as reported by Andy Martino of SNY—though that player was away from the team’s spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, so as of today there is no requirement for further testing of those at the camp. Nonetheless, they will transition their workouts back to their home ballpark, and quite soon: Cuomo stated that the organization will move forward with a “soft training camp reopening” next week.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Spring Training Sites, James Loney, Alex Cora]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=199231 2020-06-22T12:53:31Z 2020-06-20T17:10:17Z Given the spike of coronavirus cases in Florida and Arizona, the Mets and Yankees are both planning on moving their spring facilities to New York for the time being, per MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman. Any potential 2020 season is likely to be heavily dependent upon regional play, so it makes a certain amount of sense for both New York franchises to get settled into their home state (especially considering the rash of breakouts that caused all 30 teams to shut down their training facilities for the time being). The Mets and Yankees might not be the only clubs making this move, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that all MLB clubs will be moving their spring training to their home cities. Nightengale does add the caveat that the Blue Jays may stay in Florida for the time being, and there were as many as five teams on Friday with thoughts of staying in Florida (Twitter links).

    Let’s check in on other news from around the game…

    • Former Dodgers first baseman James Loney has been hired by the GEM Agency in an advisory role, tweets Robert Murray. GEM launched in October 2019 based out of Dallas, Texas. They rep current big leaguers Justin Turner, Tommy Pham, and Roberto Osuna – which are all tracked in MLBTR’s Agency Database. Loney played 11 seasons in the big leagues, with his most productive years coming with the Dodgers from 2006 to 2012. He was eventually traded to the Boston Red Sox in the Dodgers’ monster deal for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto. Loney would play just half a season in Boston before going on to post a pair of productive years with the Rays. He finished his playing career in 2016 as a 32-year-old with the New York Mets. For his career, the southpaw first baseman put up a line of .284/.336/.410 with 108 home runs in 5,487 plate appearances.
    • Alex Cora will be eligible to return to Major League Baseball in 2021, and the former Red Sox skipper would love to return to the managing ranks, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe writes. How soon there will be interest in Cora as a manager remains to be seen given his role in the investigations into both the Astros and Red Sox sign-stealing allegations. Still, he has a tremendous track record in his short time as the Red Sox manager. Like many of us, Cora remains in wait-and-see mode for the time being. Said Cora, “If this was a regular time and they were playing games, I would say yes [to managing in 2021]. I would love to be back in 2021 in some capacity. I love managing at the big league level.  But right now, I’m still kind of like putting my game plan together. It’s not where I want it to be. But obviously with everything that’s going on, with my daughter going into her senior year of high school, we as a family have to see what we want to do.”
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