The latest on a few East Coast clubs…
- The Mets have reportedly shown interest in free-agent catcher Robinson Chirinos, but a union between the two sides doesn’t look realistic. Chirinos a starting-caliber catcher, after all, and the Mets already have a somewhat expensive No. 1 backstop in Wilson Ramos, who’s slated to earn $10.75MM through 2020 (including a $1.5MM buyout for ’21). While Ramos didn’t have a great year in 2019, his first as a Met, the team’s “committed to” him heading into next season, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. The 32-year-old Ramos was subpar behind the plate this season, evidenced by a 15 percent caught-stealing rate and a low ranking in Baseball Prospectus’ Framing Runs Above Average metric, but he did turn in another fine offensive campaign. Barring an unexpected turn, it seems he’ll start again next year for New York, though the team could bring in someone who – unlike Chirinos – is suited for a backup role.
- The Red Sox reached out to free-agent utilityman Brock Holt about a new deal after the season, but there haven’t been discussions since they hired Chaim Bloom as their chief baseball officer Oct. 28, Holt told Barstool Sports’ Section 10 podcast (hat tip to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com). Although other teams have contacted Holt, he revealed there’s “nothing serious” brewing between him and any clubs. MLBTR predicts a two-year, $8MM contract for the versatile Holt, who’s coming off back-to-back solid seasons at the plate. The 31-year-old batted .297/.369/.402 in 295 PA in 2019, which is looking more and more like his last season as a member of the Red Sox.
- The Rays made the decision to designate third baseman Matt Duffy for assignment Thursday after failing to find a trade partner for the 28-year-old, according to general manager Erik Neander (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). But moving on from the oft-injured Duffy was a tough call for the Rays, per Neander, who stated: “Wish that his health and his time with us would have gone different in that regard and we could have had him on the field more. He really is a special player and there’s the obvious stuff you can measure in how he impacts a game. His intangibles, his leadership, his influence on a younger impressionable clubhouse like we have is worth a lot.” Despite the respect the organization has for Duffy, Neander noted the Rays are happier with their current third basemen (including No. 1 option Yandy Diaz).
- Much like his previous deal with the Rangers, the two-year, $14MM contract reliever Chris Martin signed with the Braves gives him the opportunity to become a free agent at the end of it, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. Martin will only have three-plus years’ service time then, meaning he’d remain eligible for arbitration under normal circumstances, but there’s language built into the pact that will allow him to return to the open market when it expires.