New York Mets – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-01-15T23:05:13Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Sign Jed Lowrie]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143862 2019-01-15T21:41:18Z 2019-01-15T21:40:48Z Jan. 15: The Mets announced that they’ll hold a press conference to introduce Lowrie tomorrow at 2pm ET.

Jan. 10: In a fascinating development, the Mets have agreed to a two-year deal with veteran infielder Jed Lowrie, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Excel Sports Management client will earn $10MM in each of the two seasons of the deal, SNY.tv’s Andy Martino tweets.

The Mets previously acquired Robinson Cano to play second base, bumping interesting rookie Jeff McNeil off of the position and into a utility role. With Todd Frazier already in place at third base, J.D. Davis representing another recently acquired corner piece, and youngster Amed Rosario at short, it’s not immediately apparent where Lowrie will fit in.

It could be that future moves will help clarify the situation. Alternatively, the Mets might conceivably utilize Cano and/or Frazier at first base for at least part of the season. Davis and McNeil also represent options in the outfield. It could be, then, that the org will mix and match with the players it has assembled. Lowrie could certainly be moved around the diamond, with the team leaving it to skipper Mickey Callaway to allocate playing time and manage the competing priorities. Regardless, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how things materialize from here.

Lowrie, 34, has played almost exclusively at second base over the past three seasons with the A’s. Before that, however, he had lined up at short for the bulk of his career, while also logging over a thousand innings at the hot corner.

A former first-round draft pick, Lowrie never really stuck with his first team, the Red Sox, but established himself as a solid regular over the 2012-14 campaigns. Things turned south in the two years that followed, though, as Lowrie dealt with injury issues. His 2016 campaign ended with a pair of procedures, one on his foot and the other to address a deviated septum.

Ever since, Lowrie has been a (switch-)hitter reborn. He has posted consecutive 120 OPS+ campaigns, slashing a combined .272/.356/.448 with 37 home runs while compiling 151 walks to go with 228 strikeouts. Meanwhile, he has graded out as an average-to-very good defender, making Lowrie one of the game’s better second baggers for two years running.

Lowrie now becomes the latest player to join his former agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, in Queens. It’s a hefty price tag for a utility player, if that’s how Lowrie is utilized, though odds are the salary will also reflect extensive intended usage, even if it is at multiple positions. Aided by a market chock full of second base options, the Mets will get Lowrie for the same $10MM AAV that MLBTR predicted entering the winter, but for one less guaranteed season than we guessed would be required. It’s a nice price for a player of this quality, even if he is set to turn 35 years old just after the start of the season to come.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Extension Possibility Between Mets, deGrom]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144369 2019-01-14T16:06:28Z 2019-01-14T16:06:28Z
  • There’s still mutual interest in a contract extension between Jacob deGrom and the Mets, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. The 2018 NL Cy Young winner agreed to a record-setting arbitration raise on Friday when he inked a $17MM contract for the upcoming season, and Puma notes that there’s a belief that any extension would need to cover at least five seasons at rates roughly commensurate with the annual salaries afforded to Clayton Kershaw ($31MM), David Price ($31MM) and Zack Greinke ($34.4MM). That’s a lofty annual price to pay, of course, though after receiving nearly a $10MM raise in arbitration this time around, deGrom’s price tag could approach that point in his final trip through arbitration next season anyhow. He’s controlled through the 2020 season.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143898 2019-01-12T20:28:12Z 2019-01-12T20:19:32Z The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed at 1pm ET yesterday, meaning over the next few hours, there will be a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track today’s minor settlements from the American League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Yankees 1B Greg Bird will make $1.2 MM next season, per Bob Nightengale on Twitter.
    • The controversial Roberto Osuna will make $6.5MM next season, per Feinsand. Teammate Jake Marisnick, who again scuffled in ’18 after a promising 2017, will make $2.2125MM.
    • Per Mark Feinsand on Twitter, A’s lefty Sean Manaea $3.15MM in what’s sure to be an injury-marred 2019.
    • Hard-throwing reliever Mychal Givens will make $2.15MM, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), with additional incentives for making the All-Star team or placing in the Top-3 for the Rivera/Hoffman Reliever of the Year Awards, added MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter).
    • The Mariners agreed on a $1.95MM deal with outfielder Domingo Santana, per MLB.com’s Greg Johns (via Twitter). Santana is the second and last of the Mariners’ arbitration-eligible players.
    • The Angels agreed to contracts with a pair of players yesterday, per Maria Torres of the LA Times (via Twitter). Reliever Hansel Robles signed for $1.4MM. Robles threw 36 1/3 innings of 2.97 ERA baseball after the Angels claimed him off waivers from the Mets in June. Luis Garcia, acquired via trade from the Phillies this winter, signed for $1.675MM.
    • The Tigers and reliever Shane Greene settled on $4MM, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • The Yankees reached an agreement with Sonny Gray for $7.5MM, per Nightengale. Gray, of course, has been involved trade rumors most of the winter, but for the time being, he stands to play a role in the Yankee pen while providing insurance for the rotation.
    • Didi Gregorius has also come to an agreement with the Yankees on a one-year, $11.75MM deal in his final season before free agency, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links).
    • New Yankee James Paxton signed for $8.575, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Paxton is under contract for the 2020 season as well.
    • The Houston Astros came to an agreement with Collin McHugh for $5.8MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). McHugh could be moving back into the rotation after a stellar season in the pen, either way this will be his final season of arb eligibility before hitting the open market.
    • Jonathan Villar comes away with $4.825MM for what will be his first full season in Baltimore, per Nightengale (via Twitter).

    Earlier Updates

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Poll: The LeMahieu And Lowrie Signings]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144233 2019-01-12T19:50:55Z 2019-01-12T19:47:39Z On Thursday, news broke that the Mets, one of the few teams who’d continued to kindle the Hot Stove throughout the winter, were again firing up, with the signing of 34-year-old Jed Lowrie. And then on Friday, amidst a chaotic deluge of arbitration settlements, the Yankees added to perhaps the league’s most crowded infield mix, signing second baseman (and now, perhaps, utility infielder) DJ LeMahieu.

    On the surface, both deals were head-scratchers: the Mets, of course, just replaced a pop-up option at the keystone with a potential hall-of-famer, and already seemed set at third and short. First base was tentatively reserved for a Peter Alonso/Dominic Smith/J.D. Davis mix, and the team had spent much of this month assembling depth options of every sort. So where would Lowrie fit? And why wouldn’t the team have used its (ostensibly) few remaining resources where it needed it most, viz. in center field, or to tighten a loose mid-relief corps?

    The Yankees, then, may have seized the enigmatic upper hand with Friday’s LeMahieu signing. Gleyber Torres, an early-season option at shortstop during Didi Gregorius’ absence, looked to have second-base on lock for the next half-dozen years at least, and the team has young, good, and very cheap options at the corner spots.  Plus, there’s the addition of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, brought in to hold down the early-season fort if he can make his way to the field, who seemed interested in New York only because of its clear path to playing time. LeMahieu has played positions other than his native second before, but none since 2014, since which time he’s entrenched himself as (arguably) the game’s premier defender at the position. Utility men don’t typically make $12MM a year, especially on the heels of two below-league-average offensive seasons, so perhaps the signing is a mere precursor to a move on a larger scale.

    Lowrie has been excellent over the last two seasons, accruing 8.5 fWAR in 310 games. He appeared in more games last season, though, than he did from 2015-16, and nearly as many games in ’17 as he did from ’10-’12. Injuries have always been a major part of the profile, and the soon-to-be 35-year-old had mostly dropped the utility moniker in recent years, appearing only in cameo roles at positions other than second. So where will the team deploy him?  Third base is an option, but that’d move Todd Frazier to first, where, after three middling offensive seasons, he seems a disjointed fit at best. Such a move, too, would likely keep Peter Alonso in the minors, where the recurrence of a demolition tour would seem of little benefit to anyone. Lowrie probably doesn’t have the range for short at this point in his career, and a utility role wouldn’t be appropriate for someone of his pay grade. Perhaps Frazier will shift full-time to the bench, where the club already has much younger and much cheaper options, or is sent away in a back-page trade, netting a fringe return at best. Steamer, for its part, forecasts Lowrie to be just two percent better offensively than Frazier next season, so hoping for a straight upgrade seems presumptuous.

    LeMahieu is part of the rare breed, since Statcast data was made public, to post well-above-average exit velocities and a well-below-average launch angle. The combo works for Christian Yelich, but for most others – Eric Hosmer, Ian Desmond – it spells disaster. If the Yanks can rework LeMahieu’s swing – he already boasts an opposite-field-dominated approach that should fit perfectly in their park – and transplant his defensive wizardry at second to another position(s), the club may have a bargain on its hand, but such an outcome seems unlikely. He doesn’t fit at first, and the club has now lost leverage in a potential Miguel Andujar trade. If the rookie-of-the-year runner-up can shore-up his defensive woes and find a bit better control of the strike zone, the Yankees are looking at a perennial all-star. With a value nowhere near his potential peak, shipping out Andujar now – or moving him to first base – seems altogether shortsighted.

    Do you like the respective moves? Pick your answer in the poll below.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: National League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143896 2019-01-12T18:50:18Z 2019-01-12T18:15:47Z The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed yesterday at 1pm ET, and there has been a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track those settlements from the National League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Rounding out contract numbers for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dominic Leone will take home $1.26MM, Chasen Shreve will make $900K, and outfielder Marcell Ozuna will earn $12.25MM in his last season before free agency, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Ozuna has the most high-impact potential as he looks to rebound from a still-productive season in 2018 that saw his power output hindered at times by a balky shoulder. He still managed 23 home runs and a .280/.325/.433 slash line while playing just about every day outside of a 10-day DL stint late in August.
    • The Diamondbacks came to terms with a slew of players, per Feinsand (via Twitter), including Matt Andriese for $920K, Steven Souza Jr. for $4.125MM, shortstop Nick Ahmed for $3.6625MM, and potential closer Archie Bradley for $1.83MM.
    • The Rockies and starting pitcher Jon Gray have come to an agreement on a $2.935MM deal, per Feinsand (via Twitter). Gray had an up-and-down 2018 that is generally considered to be more promising than the optics of his 5.12 ERA make it seem.
    • The Pirates have come to terms on one-year deals with both of their arbitration eligible players, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Left fielder Corey Dickerson signs for $8.5MM, and reliever Keone Kela takes home $3.175MM. It’s a small arb class for the Pirates, whose list will grow next season as players like Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, and Joe Musgrove, among others, reach their first season of eligibility.
    • The Dodgers signed a couple of their remaining arbitration-eligible players yesterday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links). Utility man Chris Taylor has a $3.5MM deal, while outfield Joc Pederson settled at $5MM.

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

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    George Miller <![CDATA[Mets, Jacob deGrom Avoid Arbitration]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144111 2019-01-11T20:28:38Z 2019-01-11T19:41:51Z Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and the Mets have settled on a one-year deal worth $17MM, tweets Andy Martino of SportsNet New York. After earning $7.4MM in 2018, deGrom earns a $9.6MM raise from his 2018 salary, breaking the record for an arbitration raise set by Mookie Betts just hours ago. The $17MM figure represents the highest all-time salary for a pitcher in his third year of arbitration eligibility. deGrom, who will remain under team control through 2020, was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $12.9MM in 2019. It should be noted that the projections’ guiding algorithm cannot account for context, which made deGrom a near lock to eclipse his relatively light projection, as Matt outlined here.

    The 30-year-old righty enjoyed a season for the ages in 2018, posting a minuscule 1.70 ERA in 217 innings of work and striking out 269 batters. His efforts earned him 29 out of 30 first-place votes for the NL Cy Young Award despite an unremarkable 10-9 record. However, with the Mets making headlines as perhaps this winter’s most active team, new GM (and former deGrom representative) Brodie Van Wagenen hopes that the team’s offseason upgrades will translate to increased run support for the Mets’ stellar starting staff and vault the club into playoff contention. The staff ace, of course, is an integral part of that winning formula, though it remains unclear whether the team will be willing to dole out a hefty extension in future offseasons to keep deGrom around for years to come. Of course, the club may look to Noah Syndergaard, just 26 years of age, as an alternative, and a significant financial obligation to Robinson Cano over the coming five years may inhibit the team’s payroll flexibility. Regardless, the $17MM payday for deGrom will raise the bar for arbitration-eligible pitchers and lay the groundwork for what his earnings could look like next offseason, when he will be entering his final year of arbitration eligibility before reaching free agency.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Sign Luis Avilan To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143820 2019-01-10T20:14:23Z 2019-01-10T20:10:16Z The Mets announced Thursday that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Luis Avilan to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training, where he’ll compete for a bullpen job. Avilan is repped by SPS Sports Group.

    Non-tendered by the Phillies earlier this winter, Avilan will land with their division rivals in hopes of cracking a Mets bullpen that is light on left-handed options at present. Daniel Zamora represents the team’s primary 40-man option, while fellow veteran Hector Santiago was also recently inked to a minors pact with an invite to big league camp.

    Avilan, 29, has turned in consistently solid numbers at the MLB level over the past three seasons but struggled to stick on various 40-man rosters. Dating back to 2016, he’s pitched to a sharp 3.32 ERA with averages of 10.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a pristine 0.4 HR/9. He posted a grounder rate well north of 50 percent from 2016-17, though that plummeted to 36 percent this past season. Regardless, Avilan has been a useful big league reliever and generally been a nightmare for opposing lefties, who have managed just a .205/.302/.289 slash against him across the past three seasons. Right-handers have fared better but haven’t exactly thrived against him, hitting .263/.349/.386.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Have Had Recent Discussions Regarding Brian Dozier]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143233 2019-01-09T05:05:03Z 2019-01-09T05:05:03Z
  • The Mets are among the teams to “have talks regarding Brian Dozier lately,” tweets Jon Heyman of Fancred, though there’s no indication that the Mets plan to make a serious pursuit of Dozier. Both the Nationals and Rockies have been linked to Dozier over the past couple of weeks, and Heyman notes that the market for the longtime Twins slugger is beginning to pick up a bit of steam. Regarding the link between the Mets and Dozier, it’s worth pointing out that Mike Puma of the New York Post reported just yesterday that the Mets don’t have much more money to spend this offseason, although they’ve spent very little since GM Brodie Van Wagenen publicly stated that they “still have some real money to spend.”
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Mets Roster Plans]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143056 2019-01-08T15:42:19Z 2019-01-08T02:45:01Z
  • As Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen continues to tinker with the club’s 40-man roster, Rosenthal adds, it’s possible there’ll be a few more departures. Backstops Travis d’Arnaud and Tomas Nido have drawn interest and could follow Kevin Plawecki out the door. In such a scenario, it seems, the Mets would go onto the open market for another catcher. Dumping d’Arnaud would have the added benefit of clearing some real payroll space, though obviously a replacement would cost something as well.
  • Notably, as he continues to seek ways to upgrade the Mets bullpen, Van Wagenen seems largely to have run through his available funds, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). It seems the organization will mostly be bargain-hunting the rest of the way. That also explains the fact that the Mets have seemingly bowed out of the market for expensive outfielders. Per Andy Martino of SNY.tv, via Twitter, the club isn’t shopping Juan Lagares in trades — though a deal still hasn’t been ruled out entirely — and expects him to line up in center field, where he’ll be supplemented by the just-acquired Keon Broxton. Presumably, Broxton will also spell the team’s left-handed-hitting corner outfielders as well.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets, David Wright Mutually Agree To Release; Wright Joins Front Office]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142934 2019-01-07T21:34:41Z 2019-01-07T21:28:54Z 3:28pm: Per a club announcement, the Mets and Wright have “mutually agreed” upon his release from the active roster. He’ll take on a new role as a special advisor to COO Jeff Wilpon and Van Wagenen. Though the specifics of his new position were not divulged, SNY’s Andy Martino tweets that Wright will spend less time in uniform as a coach/mentor than other retired players-turned-front office advisors and will spend more time actually in the front office.

    “David attended the recent Winter Meetings at the suggestion of myself and Brodie Van Wagenen where he contributed throughout with our baseball operations group and wanted to pursue this route,” said Wilpon in a statement accompanying the press release. “We are thrilled he will remain close to the Mets family and will be a great asset in this new role.”

    There’s no mention of the remaining money on his contract, though presumably the Mets reached a buyout agreement with the insurance company. The new role for Wright opens up a spot for Wright on the 40-man roster, which had previously been full.

    12:30pm: David Wright’s playing days are done, but the Mets icon will transition into a front office role with the team and serve as a special assistant to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen moving forward, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports.

    Wright, of course, is still under contract with the Mets for another two seasons but made clear upon his emotional return to the field in late September that the lone game he started would be the final one of his career. After more than two years of grueling rehab from neck, shoulder and spinal injuries, medical professionals informed Wright that his condition simply would not improve to the point where he could safely resume the rigors of playing baseball professionally. Wright is owed $27MM through the 2020 season, though that sum is heavily insured, and the Mets are working toward a buyout arrangement that would not require Wright to be on the 40-man roster throughout the remainder of this offseason and next offseason. (Simply releasing him would mean paying the whole $27MM sum.)

    Ackert notes that Wright’s role will be a part-time position that allows him to stay involved in the game and with an organization to which he remains extremely loyal, while still affording him ample time to spend with his family. Such roles are hardly uncommon for retired players — particularly those who had a long history with a specific organization. Ichiro Suzuki moved into that type of role with the Mariners early last season, and the Twins gave Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins comparable positions a couple years ago. Michael Young holds a similar position in the Rangers organization, and a look through the front-office directories throughout the game would reveal dozens more familiar names.

    Responsibilities involved with special assistant roles vary case by case, though it’s common for former players turned special assistants to be on-hand as a coach/mentor in Spring Training. They also frequently visit minor league affiliates throughout the season to work with younger players as they rise through organizational ranks. Some also have a hand in evaluations leading up the amateur draft each June and also in various player development and in internal player evaluation.

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Mets, Hector Santiago Agree To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142680 2019-01-07T21:15:05Z 2019-01-07T21:15:38Z Jan. 7: Santiago’s deal comes with a $2MM base salary in the Majors and allows him to earn an extra $100K for every fifth start up through 25 total starts, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The contract contains an out clause that stipulates the Mets will release Santiago on July 31 if he’s not on the MLB roster and if another club is willing to put him on its 25-man roster.

    Jan. 5: The Mets have reportedly picked up some rotation and bullpen depth, adding veteran left-hander Hector Santiago on a minor league deal. He’ll head to Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Santiago is repped by Excel Sports.

    Santiago, 31, appeared in 49 games (7 starts) for the White Sox last season, pitching to a sub-replacement-level 4.41 ERA/5.09 FIP/5.38 xFIP in 102 IP. The journeyman lefty apparently brought back one of the league’s only screwballs last season – which he featured regularly in his first stint on the Southside – in an effort to rejuvenate a floundering career. He was, yet again, quite homer-prone, surrendering 1.41 big flies per nine, a mark just slightly above his career average of 1.37 HR/9 a season.

    The lefty has shown occasional aptitude for the strikeout over the course of his career, but it’s too often been offset by command issues – Santiago walked 5.29 men per nine last season, and has yet to finish a single big-league campaign with a total under 3.5 BB/9 in that category. He’ll look to compete for the 5th-starter role in the Mets’ rotation, currently occupied by Jason Vargas, with Seth Lugo, Corey Oswalt, and others – P.J. Conlon, Drew Gagnon, Chris Flexen, and more – also in the mix.

    In 887 career MLB innings pitched with the ChiSox, Angels, and Twins, Santiago sports a career 4.05 ERA/4.88 FIP/5.05 xFIP.  The lefty, it should be noted, is one of the rare pitchers to outperform his fielding-independent marks in every career season, owing in large part to his stellar 77% career strand rate.

    Rich Mancuso first reported that the Mets and Santiago had a deal (Twitter link), and SNY’s Andy Martino clarified that it was a minor league pact (Twitter link).

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Luhnow On J.D. Davis Trade, Pitching Moves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142849 2019-01-07T04:30:50Z 2019-01-07T04:29:42Z Astros GM Jeff Luhnow spoke to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links) and other reporters about today’s five-player trade with the Mets, noting that New York “was aggressive” in asking about J.D. Davis.  The Astros weren’t originally thinking of moving Davis, but Luhnow explained that “there was enough of a market for him that we decided to go ahead and explore it because there’s no obvious spot for him on our 25-man roster next year, at this point.”  The Mets’ inclusion of catching prospect Scott Manea as part of the return going back to Houston “was a big part of it for us,” Luhnow said, due to the Astros’ lack of catching depth.  In terms of future moves, Luhnow also said that the Astros are still considering the starting pitching and bullpen markets.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Indians Acquire Kevin Plawecki]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142812 2019-01-06T20:21:30Z 2019-01-06T19:49:28Z The Indians have acquired catcher Kevin Plawecki from the Mets for right-hander Walker Lockett and infielder Sam Haggerty, Cleveland announced.

    This is the second trade of the day for the Mets, who previously acquired infielder/outfielder J.D. Davis in a five-player swap with the Astros. Plawecki became expendable to the Mets when they signed Wilson Ramos in free agency last month, and Sunday’s trade leaves them with three catchers – Ramos, Travis d’Arnaud and Tomas Nido – on their 40-man roster.

    The Indians entered Sunday in need of reinforcements behind the plate, as they traded Yan Gomes to the Nationals in November. The subtraction of Gomes left the Indians with Roberto Perez and Eric Haase as the only catchers on their 40-man roster. Perez was a dreadful offensive player in 2018, though, while Haase has totaled a meager 17 major league plate appearances.

    A former top-1o0 prospect, the 27-year-old Plawecki debuted in 2016. He has been a respectable hitter since 2017, having batted .225/.330/.379 (97 wRC+) with 10 home runs in 395 PAs. But Plawecki hasn’t been as useful on the defensive end, as Baseball Prospectus ranked him near the bottom of the majors in 2018, when he threw out 23 percent of would-be base stealers (28 percent was the league-average mark).

    The 24-year-old Lockett had a short stint with the Indians, who acquired him in a November trade with the Padres. A fourth-round pick of the Padres in 2012, Lockett debuted in the majors last year, though the results weren’t pretty. Lockett pitched to a 9.60 ERA in 15 innings in San Diego, but he has been better at the Triple-A level, where he has put up a 4.60 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 over 206 2/3 frames. Haggerty, also 24, joined the Indians as a 24th-round pick in 2015. He has since hit .244/.349/.373 in 1,341 minor league PAs.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Acquire J.D. Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142791 2019-01-06T18:34:15Z 2019-01-06T18:20:06Z The Mets and Astros have swung a five-player trade centering on corner infielder/outfielder J.D. Davis, according to both teams. New York has acquired Davis and minor league infielder Cody Bohanek in exchange for three minor leaguers – second baseman Luis Santana, outfielder Ross Adolph and catcher Scott Manea.

    A third-round pick of the Astros in 2014, Davis ranked among the team’s top-15 prospects at Baseball America through the 2017 campaign. Davis has shown plenty of promise by raking in the minors, particularly at the Triple-A level, where he debuted in 2017 and has slashed .335/.400/.589 with 22 home runs in 450 plate appearances. He has also picked up experience at all four corner positions at Triple-A, though most of his professional work has come at third base.

    While Davis held his own in Houston’s system, he wasn’t much of a factor in the majors for the club. The right-handed batter performed decently across 68 PAs in 2017, the year the Astros won the World Series, but was ineffective across 113 trips last season. Thus far, Davis is just a .194/.260/.321 hitter with five homers in 181 major league PAs. Thanks in part to Davis’ big league struggles, not to mention the Astros’ collection of talent at the corners, they deemed him expendable.

    In New York, the soon-to-be 26-year-old Davis will provide depth behind third baseman Todd Frazier, whichever first baseman the Mets choose (be it Peter Alonso, Dominic Smith or Jeff McNeil) and corner outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. With two minor league options remaining, the Mets won’t be under pressure to place Davis on their Opening Day roster. Bohanek, meanwhile, will surely start in the Mets’ minor league system, as the 23-year-old has totaled just 43 PAs above the High-A level since the Astros chose him in the 30th round of the 2017 draft.

    Of the players going to Houston, only Santana, 19, ranked among New York’s top 30 prospects at MLB.com. The 5-foot-8 Santana placed 24th, with the outlet lauding his “very advanced approach at the plate” and his makeup. Santana was dominant last season in rookie ball, where he hit .348/.446/.471 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (23) over 242 PAs. He’s a “shrewd” addition for the Astros, Keith Law of ESPN observes.

    Adolph, 22, joined the Mets in the 12th round of last summer’s draft. He then proceeded to slash .276/.348/.509 with seven homers and 14 steals in 264 PAs at the Low-A level. The 23-year-old Manea had been with the Mets since they grabbed him in the 40th round of the 2014 draft. He hasn’t yet gotten past Single-A, though Astros president Jeff Luhnow said Sunday (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle) that the team believes Manea “can move pretty quickly and has a chance to be a big league catcher.”

    Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first reported the Mets were close to acquiring Davis. Andy Martino of SNY tweeted the Mets would get Davis and that the Astros would receive minor leaguers in the swap. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets May Be Done Adding Major League Outfielders]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142700 2019-01-06T16:07:02Z 2019-01-06T16:07:02Z
  • After acquiring center fielder Keon Broxton from the Brewers on Saturday, the Mets “aren’t so sure” they’ll pick up another major league outfielder this offseason, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. The club could still scoop up a free-agent outfielder(s) on a minor league deal – as it did Saturday with Rymer Liriano, who followed Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco in that regard – but it doesn’t seem as if New York is in play anymore for a high-profile addition in the grass. The Mets have frequented rumors for free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock as much as any other team, though it’s questionable whether there’s room for him on the roster. Along with Broxton and Juan Lagares in center, the team has everyday outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto in the corners, not to mention the rehabbing Yoenis Cespedes.
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