Rockies ‘aggressively pursuing’ Kris Bryant
Here is the latest buzz surrounding potential free agents and trade targets who could fit the Mets…
March 14, 4:04 p.m.
The Colorado Rockies are “aggressively pursuing” INF/OF Kris Bryant, with talks at the ownership level, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Bryant, 30, is among a handful of top position player free agents who remain unsigned with spring training underway.
In addition to Bryant, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Nick Castellanos, Seiya Suzuki, Kyle Schwarber, and Michael Conforto are still on the market.
The Mets expressed interest in Bryant earlier this offseason, but a match now appears unlikely.
SNY’s Andy Martino recently reported that the Mets are being opportunistic with the remaining players on the market. And the odds of Bryant falling in the Mets’ lap if talks with the Rockies are at the ownership level seems remote.
March 14, 10:54 a.m.
The Philadelphia Phillies are signing Mets target Brad Hand, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Hand will be getting a one-year deal worth $6 million.
After New York signed Adam Ottavino over the weekend, SNY’s Andy Martino reported that the Mets were still seeking a left-handed reliever.
“Mets have been looking for bullpen,” he said. “I would say that’s their top priority.”
Along with Hand, Martino listed free agent Andrew Chafin as a possibility for the Mets.
March 13, 1:09 p.m.
Another veteran has been added to the Mets’ bullpen, as the New York Post’s Joel Sherman first reported Adam Ottavino is headed to Queens. The deal is only for this year, worth $4 million with $1 million in performance incentives as well.
Ottavino obviously knows New York well, having spent time with the Yankees. But he has struggled these past couple seasons, owning a 5.89 ERA with the Yanks in 2020 followed by a 4.21 ERA with the Boston Red Sox last season.
It’s command issues that did Ottavino in, but the 36-year-old still has filthy stuff, especially his slider. If he can find the command again, he could be a very good bullpen arm in any situation Buck Showalter uses him.
March 13, 9:36 a.m.
Is a reunion with Brad Hand afoot (sorry I couldn’t help myself with that one)?
Seriously, though, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says the veteran lefty reliever is on the Mets’ radar.
With Aaron Loup out of the picture, the Mets could use a solid left-hander out of the bullpen. Hand spent 16 games with the Mets in 2021, his third team during a struggling year. But he found better luck in Queens, pitching to a 2.70 ERA and 1.2 WHIP.
Heyman also adds that Andrew Chafin, another veteran lefty, could be an option for the Amazins’ as well.
March 12, 8:36 p.m.
Jeurys Familia is reportedly on his way out of Queens, but he won’t be going all that far.
Per multiple reports, the 32-year-old right-hander is signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, keeping him in the NL East.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports Familia is signing a one-year deal worth $6 million, though it can be worth up to $7 million.
Familia, who ranks third in Mets franchise history with 124 saves, has spent just about all of his 10-year big league career with the franchise, except for a half-season with the Oakland A’s in 2018. His 469 regular season games also rank third in Mets history, trailing only John Franco and Pedro Feliciano.
In 2021, Familia appeared in 65 games, pitching to a 3.94 ERA and 1.416 WHIP. He struck out 72 batters and walked 27 in his 59.1 innings.
March 12, 3:18 p.m.
Much has been made of the so-called “Steve Cohen Threshold” of the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT), which would come into play if a team’s payroll hits $290 million.
It sounds like Cohen himself would have no problem hitting that number, but only for the right players.
SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reports the Mets would likely exceed that threshold “if the right opportunity came along.”
Martino adds that while the Mets “didn’t get far down the road” on Yusei Kikuchi, who signed a three-year deal with Toronto, the team is looking at the trade and free agent market for depth pitching, while remaining opportunistic about anything that comes about.
March 11, 6:38 p.m.
MLB free agency is in full swing, but that’s not the only way clubs are looking to upgrade.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mets are said to be “actively working” in the trade market trying to move some of their veteran position players.
Olney’s report did not mention any players by name, but it’s logical to think the Mets may be looking to trade veterans like Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis or even Dominic Smith.
SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reports that the Mets are getting plenty of calls about those three, but are not actively shopping those players.
Meanwhile, one name the Mets are looking into, per Martino, is Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed starter Luke Weaver.
March 11, 4:14 p.m.
Carlos Rodon, whom SNY’s Andy Martino noted would’ve been a “nice fit” for the Mets, is in agreement with the San Francisco Giants on a two-year, $44 million deal that includes an opt-out after the first season, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Martino had reported that clubs that had seen his medicals said they’re “actually very good.”
March 11, 3:41 p.m.
The Miami Marlins are among the teams interested in signing Michael Conforto, reports Joe Frisaro of Man on Second.
Meanwhile, Mike Puma of The New York Post reported that the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks were among the teams interested in Conforto before the lockout.
The Yankees have a crowded corner outfield and DH situation, so it’s unclear where Conforto would fit.
When it comes to a potential Mets reunion with Conforto, SNY’s Andy Martino reported on March 10 that there are some in the organization who want Conforto back, but that the “prevailing sentiment” is that it’s an unlikely fit.
March 11, 9:22 a.m.
Clubs who have seen free agent LHP Carlos Rodon‘s medicals say they’re “actually very good,” reports SNY’s Andy Martino, who adds that Rodon would be a nice fit for the Mets.
Rodon, 29, was in the Cy Young conversation last season while pitching for the Chicago White Sox before issues with his shoulder interrupted his year.
Those shoulder issues led to an alarming drop in velocity, and Rodon made just six starts between July 30 and the end of the season, never going more than five innings.
Overall in 2021, Rodon had a 2.37 ERA (2.65 FIP) and 0.95 WHIP with 12.6 K/9 in 132.2 innings over 24 starts.
If healthy, Rodon would be a near-perfect fit for the Mets, who are in need of a starting pitcher with upside who can slot in behind Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
Dec. 16, 2:36 p.m.
The Cubs “are not interested in a reunion” with Kris Bryant unless it’s on a short-term deal for “much smaller dollars” than Bryant is seeking, per David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago.
Chicago shipped Bryant to the San Francisco Giants at last season’s trade deadline with Bryant a few months away from free agency.
The Cubs also dealt pending free agents Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez at the deadline.
Before the lockout, the Mets were among the teams interested in the versatile Bryant, who can play third base, first base, and both corner outfield spots.
With the lockout now in effect, all MLB player-related business is frozen, meaning Bryant and all other free agents must wait until after the lockout ends to sign with a new team.
Dec. 15, 12:37 p.m.
Per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, “sources believe the Giants aren’t looking to go after nine-figure targets,” which could take them out of the running for Kris Bryant and similar players.
Bryant will likely be seeking a deal well in excess of $100 million.
In addition to Bryant, there are a handful of players still on the free agent market — including Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Freddie Freeman — who would likely be out of the Giants’ price range under the above parameters.
Dec. 2, 8:46 a.m.
Before MLB owners locked out the players early Thursday morning, the Mets, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres were among the teams that expressed interest in free agent INF/OF Kris Bryant, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Per Heyman, the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, and Colorado Rockies also checked in on Bryant.
Speaking Wednesday while introducing Max Scherzer, Mets GM Billy Eppler discussed the possibility of adding another position player this offseason, saying the team will continue to consider improvements while “being mindful” of not harming the long-term future for a short-term gain.
“We do feel pretty good about this position player group, but want to remain opportunistic as we navigate the rest of the winter and look for areas that we can improve the club,” Eppler said.
Nov. 30, 11:36 a.m.
Kris Bryant is drawing interest from the Colorado Rockies, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported earlier Tuesday that the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays could be the favorites for Bryant.
As far as the Mets, SNY’s Andy Martino reported Tuesday that New York is “probably set on the position player side” unless they trade Jeff McNeil after the expected MLB lockout.
If the Mets sign Bryant, he would conceivably play third base, with Eduardo Escobar sliding to second base.
Bryant can also play both corner outfield positions, but the Mets appear set there with Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha.
Nov. 29, 3:39 p.m.
The Mets are still looking to upgrade their rotation and free agent Yusei Kikuchi is a “possibility” according to SNY’s Andy Martino.
A dialogue between the two sides has been had, and Martino points out that Kikuchi is the type of pitcher the team is looking for right now.
In 29 starts last season, Kikuchi pitched had a 4.41 ERA while making it to his first All-Star Game.
Nov. 29, 1:48 p.m.
Gary Sanchez may not be tendered a contract by the Yankees on Tuesday and that could create an opening for the Mets.
According to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, the Mets could be paying attention to the Sanchez/Yankees situation.
Puma points out that new general manager Billy Eppler is connected to Sanchez from his time inside the Yankees organization, and that the catcher has been discussed along with Detroit Tigers pitcher, Matthew Boyd who may also be non-tendered.
Nov. 29, 12:43 p.m.
The Mets are signing Max Scherzer to a three-year deal worth $130 million that contains an opt-out after the second season, reports SNY’s Andy Martino.
The average annual value of roughly $43 million is the highest ever for an MLB player.
Scherzer’s deal also includes a full no-trade clause, per multiple reports.
Nov. 28, 10:13 p.m.
Free agent pitcher Jon Gray has agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with the Texas Rangers, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Gray, 30, has gone 53-49 with a 4.59 ERA over seven big league seasons with the Colorado Rockies. He went 8-12 with a 4.59 ERA and 157 strikeouts over 149.0 IP during the 2021 season.
Nov. 27, 9:27 a.m.
With the Mets focused on pitching after three free-agency additions on Friday, Jon Gray is a “name to watch.”
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman says the team is part of the group trying to land the 30-year-old right-hander. SNY’s Andy Martino reported the same, but added that the team seems to be focused on Kevin Gausman.
Gray is a player John Harper suggested the Mets could go after, as someone who “won’t quite be in the bargain bin but he won’t be getting top dollar, either.”
Nov. 24, 3:48 p.m.
On MLB Network Radio’s Power Alley, Mets GM Billy Eppler spoke about the team’s lack of farm system depth, but the openness and willingness of the team to address that by potentially tying high-level prospects to player contracts that “are a touch underwater.”
He went on to discuss pitching depth as something “engrained” in his mind that has “guided” his approach this winter, saying he’s “engaged in a ton of starting pitching right now.”
Nov. 24, 12:32 a.m.
Just a few hours after it was reported that left-hander Steven Matz had at least one two-year deal on the table, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Long Island native has agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Passan reports that Matz can make up to $48 million and will receive a signing bonus.
Nov. 23, 9:26 p.m.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, Steven Matz has at least one two-year offer on the table that he could accept in the next 24 hours.
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported earlier this week that the Mets have made Matz an offer to bring him back to Queens.
Nov. 23, 12:53 p.m.
Jeurys Familia, who became a free agent after the season, is drawing interest from the Boston Red Sox, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.
Familia, 32, posted a 3.94 ERA (4.40 FIP) and 1.41 WHIP while striking out 72 batters (10.2 per 9) in 65 appearances over 59.1 innings for the Mets in 2021.
A valuable member of the Mets’ bullpen last season, Familia was one of the team’s late-game options, along with Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Miguel Castro, and Aaron Loup.
The Mets recently lost Loup to the Los Angeles Angels, with whom he signed a two-year deal worth $17 million.
Familia earned $10 million last season, during what was the final year of a three-year deal.
Nov. 23, 10:04 a.m.
The Baltimore Orioles have made LHP John Means available via trade, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.
Means was one of the best pitchers in baseball during the first half of the 2021 season, but struggled in the second half after missing time due to a left shoulder issue.
Overall, Means had a 3.62 ERA (4.62 FIP) and 1.03 WHIP with 134 strikeouts in 146.2 innings over 26 starts in 2021.
The Orioles said in June that there were no “long-term concerns” with Means’ shoulder, which the team said was structurally sound.
Means, 28, is arbitration-eligible for the next three seasons, and is projected to earn $3.25 million in 2022.
Because of Means’ affordability and years of control, the Orioles will likely be asking for an absolute haul in return.
Nov. 22, 8:49 p.m.
The Mets have reportedly made an offer to bring Steven Matz back to Queens.
The Mets have shown interest in Matz this offseason, who spent his first six seasons with New York.
However, MLB.com also notes that he has eight offers in total; Jon Heyman noted that seven other teams are interested in the lefty.
Matz struggled big time in 2020, but went back to his old self in 2021, pitching to a 3.82 ERA (64 earned runs/150.2 innings) and a 3.79 FIP with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Nov. 22, 7:28 p.m.
According to the NY Post’s Mike Puma, the Mets “have eyes” on Minnesota Twins reliever Taylor Rogers.
Rogers is arbitration-eligible and is due more money than the $6 million he received last season. Puma believes the Twins may want to save some money.
The Mets are certainly in the market for a lefty reliever after Aaron Loup signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
The 2021 All-Star pitched to a 3.35 ERA (15 earned runs/40.1 innings) and struck out a career-high 13.2 batters per nine innings last season.
Nov. 18, 8:04 p.m.
Following the departure of Noah Syndergaard, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Mets have interest in bringing back Steven Matz after his season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Heyman adds that the Blue Jays are among several other teams pursuing the Long Island native.
Nov. 13, 6:26 p.m.
While the Mets are seemingly in the mix for free agent outfielder Starling Marte, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Houston Astros have met with Marte’s agents.
Heyman notes that the Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Marlins and others are all in on Marte, who proved to be a valuable mid-season addition for the Oakland A’s last season.
Nov. 12, 12:15 p.m.
The Mets have shown interest in outfielder Starling Marte, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
With Michael Conforto a free agent, the Mets may have to find his replacement.
Marte’s .841 OPS last season was the second highest of his career (.845 in 2019 with the Pittsburgh Pirates), and his .383 on-base percentage was the best mark of his career. His 41 stolen bases led the majors.
Marte spent his first eight seasons with the Pirates before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks before the 2020 season. He was then traded to the Miami Marlins at that trade deadline, but was sent to the Oakland A’s at this past season’s deadline.
Nov. 11, 11:20 a.m.
The Mets may have to battle the Philadelphia Phillies for Aaron Loup, reports Jon Heyman.
The 33-year-old, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Mets last offseason before going on to post a 0.95 ERA, said on Sept. 9 that he wants to remain a Met.
“Many teams,” according to Heyman, are in on the lefty.
Nov. 8, 1:20 p.m.
The Mets, who are in need of starting pitching, had two scouts attend Justin Verlander‘s recent workout.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner is a free agent for the first time in his career, but it’s coming at a rough time, as he missed most of 2020 and all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He won his second Cy Young Award in 2019, and then pitched just six innings the following season.
Verlander threw all his pitches, 15-20 teams were there to witness it, and it reportedly went well.