After the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager last month, he declared the team expected to be “in on every free agent” this offseason. Van Wagenen’s comment led some to wonder whether the Mets, who could stand to upgrade the left side of their infield, would pursue Manny Machado. However, considering Machado figures to sign for $300MM-plus and the Mets have never even handed out a contract worth half that much, a marriage between the two always looked like a long shot. It appears to be fully out of the question now, as Jon Heyman of Fancred hears that the Mets have decided they’d rather spread their money around to various areas than splurge on Machado. As far as New York’s position player group goes, Heyman lists catcher, second base and center field as spots the team could spend on this winter. As for infielder Wilmer Flores, a non-tender candidate, Heyman notes that the Mets will “likely” tender him at a projected $4.7MM if they’re unable to trade him.
Here’s more from Heyman:
- The reigning World Series champion Red Sox may soon lose free-agent right-handers Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel, who finished first and second among their relievers in innings last season. With the futures of Kelly and Kimbrel in question, the bullpen is Boston’s primary focus this offseason, according to Heyman. Given that the 30-year-old Kimbrel is in line to sign one of the richest contracts in the history of relievers this winter, he’ll be harder than Kelly to retain. While the Red Sox do have interest in re-signing Kimbrel, per Heyman, he adds that the team “seems adamant about not wanting to go five years” for the highly accomplished closer. Meanwhile, to no one’s surprise, the Sox also hope to re-up free-agent starter Nathan Eovaldi. The 28-year-old righty had a terrific run in Boston last season after it acquired him from Tampa Bay in July, and he’s now one of the most appealing starters on the open market.
- The Dodgers, whom Boston defeated in the World Series, are looking to address the bullpen, the catcher position and possibly second base, Heyman relays. One of Los Angeles’ highest-profile free agents is catcher Yasmani Grandal, who rejected a $17.9MM qualifying offer from the Dodgers and, according to Heyman, now appears likely to head elsewhere. If Grandal does walk, the Dodgers may end up replacing him with a short-term option, observes Heyman, who notes that two of their top prospects – Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith – are catchers.
- The Marlins are hoping to add a left-handed hitter via free agency or the trade market, Heyman writes. No team scored fewer runs in 2018 than the Marlins, in part because they slashed a meager .241/.304/.361 (85 wRC+) against right-handed pitching. As of now, they’re slated to feature a righty-heavy lineup next year, with utilityman Derek Dietrich and light-hitting shortstop JT Riddle the only lefty batters on their projected roster.