According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have engaged in talks with free agent right-hander Trevor Williams.
Puma notes, however, that these specific negotiations were led by former Mets general manager Jared Porter, who was officially fired early Tuesday morning following an ESPN report that he had sent lewd, unsolicited messages to a female reporter back in 2016. It's unclear whether the Mets' pursuit will continue post-Porter. Williams, 28, was cut loose by the Pirates in November after struggling to a 6.18 ERA across 11 starts in 2020.
MASN's Roch Kubatko reports that Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander is drawing trade interest.
Kubatko adds to "keep an eye out on the Marlins, who are looking for a right fielder." Santander missed the final three weeks of the already-condensed 2020 regular season because of a right oblique strain, but he registered an impressive .890 OPS with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 37 games before suffering that injury. As it stands right now, the 26-year-old slugger is under club control in Baltimore through the 2024 campaign.
Aaron Bummer (biceps) said Tuesday that he is a "full-go" for the start of spring training.
Bummer was limited to nine appearances in 2020 because of a left biceps strain and left biceps nerve issue that kept him out from August 8 to September 23, but he showed well when healthy and projects to serve as a key setup man for the White Sox in 2021 ahead of new closer Liam Hendriks. The 27-year-old boasts a 1.99 ERA and 74 strikeouts over his last 77 innings of work dating back to the beginning of the 2019 season.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets "were in pretty strong" on free agent utilityman Enrique Hernandez.
But it seems that pursuit was led by former GM Jared Porter, who was fired on Tuesday after a little over a month at the helm. It's unclear whether the Mets remain in touch with Hernandez now that president Sandy Alderson and assistant GM Zack Scott are making the baseball decisions. Heyman notes that the Red Sox have also shown serious interest in Hernandez, who's a fit for a range of clubs thanks to his defensive versatility.
Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith hears from a source that George Springer is "impressed" by the Blue Jays.
There are rumors floating around that Springer has a deal in place with the Jays, but no respected reporter is confirming (or even acknowledging) them. That said, Toronto does seem to be emerging as a possible favorite here, with MLB.com's Jon Morosi saying a final decision could come this week. The 31-year-old free agent outfielder is also being pursued by the Mets, though they just had to make a big change in their front office and owner Steve Cohen might be more focused on trying to extend trade acquisition Francisco Lindor. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the price tag on Springer could soar beyond $125 million.
Red Sox signed RHP Zac Grotz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Grotz had an ugly 7.30 ERA in 24 2/3 innings of relief with the Mariners between 2019-2020, but he's posted impressive numbers in the upper minors and may have a real shot of claiming a spot in Boston's bullpen.
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays are now the "frontrunners" to sign George Springer.
Morosi also acknowledges that a couple of Twitter users, one a Sportsnet employee, have stated that the Jays and Springer are already in agreement. Joel Sherman of the New York Post, meanwhile, is hearing that the two sides are "closing in" on a deal. This could fully come together within the next 24 hours, and perhaps even sometime late Tuesday night. Springer was a target of the Mets as well, but it seems their primary focus has shifted to a long-term contract extension for star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was acquired from Cleveland earlier this month. Springer, 31, registered an .899 OPS with 14 home runs and 32 RBI over 51 games with the Astros in 2020 and is said to be steering toward a free agent contract worth more than $125 million.
Pirates acquired RHP Drake Fellows from the Padres in a seven-player, three-team trade.
Fellows was a sixth-round pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2019 draft, so he's pitched in some big games. He's yet to throw his first pitch in pro ball, though. He didn't register in the Padres' Top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.
Pirates acquired LHP Omar Cruz from the Padres in the Joe Musgrove deal.
Cruz, 21, posted a 2.73 ERA and 76/19 K/BB ratio in 56 innings over 12 starts between Low-A Tri City and Class A Fort Wayne in 2019. He has a chance to make it as a back-end starter in the majors.
Pirates acquired C Endy Rodriguez from the Mets in a three-team trade.
The Mets gave up Rodriguez in order to land Joey Lucchesi from the Padres. Rodriguez, 20, hits from both sides of the plate and holds a promising .276/.389/.452 batting line through his first 66 games in pro ball. He's seen some time at first base and in the outfield, but obviously he'd be a lot more interesting if he sticks behind the plate. He's a name worth following for Pittsburgh.
Phillies signed RHP David Paulino to a minor league contract.
The 26-year-old Paulino was once a top-100 prospect, but he's dealt with an injuries and also served a PED suspension. He last pitched with the Blue Jays in 2019 and holds a 5.48 ERA over 16 appearances in the majors. The Phillies are willing to see what he can do.
Pirates acquired OF Hudson Head, LHP Omar Cruz, and RHPs David Bednar and Drake Fellows from the Padres for RHP Joe Musgrove.
The Pirates didn't manage to land one of the Padres' top prospects, but Head has some potential. The 19-year-old received $3 million as a third-round pick in 2019 before hitting .283/.383/.417 with one homer and three steals over 32 games in rookie ball. With excellent speed and the ability to hit for average, he's a name to watch in dynasty leagues.
Pirates acquired RHP David Bednar from the Padres in the Joe Musgrove trade.
Bednar, 26, has made 17 relief appearances with the Padres over the past two seasons while posting a 6.75 ERA and 19/7 K/BB ratio over 17 1/3 innings. Still, he has a solid arsenal and has a chance to emerge as a trusted bullpen arm.
Tigers signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The 30-year-old had a 0.63 ERA in six relief appearances with the Mets in 2020. He'll give the Tigers some veteran depth going into camp.
Free agent reliever Kirby Yates is in Dunedin, Florida to meet with the Blue Jays on Tuesday, per Scott Mitchell of TSN Sports.
Mitchell says Yates is "firmly" on the Jays' radar and that he isn't just "visiting" on Tuesday, which would seem to indicate that the two sides are involved in serious talks. The Blue Jays have also been connected to free agent reliever Brad Hand as they attempt to solidify their closer situation. Yates missed a large portion of the 2020 season due to an elbow issue which eventually required surgery to remove bone chips, but he's expected to be fine for the start of spring training. There's huge bounceback potential here. Odds are it will be a one-year deal, as Yates could cash in big with a good showing this season.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan and Mina Kimes, new Mets general manager Jared Porter "sent explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016."
"I have spoken directly with Jared Porter regarding events that took place in 2016 of which were were made aware [Monday] for the first time," Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "Jared has acknowledged to me his serious error in judgement, has taken responsibility for his conduct, has expressed remorse, and has previously apologized for his actions." Porter began sending the messages when he was serving as the Cubs' director of professional scouting. The exchange "started casually," per Passan and Kimes, before Porter started complimenting the female reporter's appearance and invited her to meet him in various cities. In total, there were 62 unanswered texts -- including seven photos -- sent from Porter to the woman. One of them was an image of an erect, naked penis. Reached by ESPN on Monday, Porter stated, "The more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images." He asked whether ESPN was planning to run a story about it, then requested more time before eventually declining further comment. Yikes.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that free agent outfielder George Springer could make a decision this week on where to sign.
Buckle up. Morosi cites "multiple industry sources" and names the Blue Jays and Mets are the two frontrunners at the moment. In other words, nothing has really changed over the past few weeks. The one thing that has changed is the Mets' addition of Francisco Lindor. He's set to make $22.3 million this year and the Mets would surely like to extend him, so it's unclear if they want to make another major investment with Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman all due to be free agents next offseason. They could turn to Jackie Bradley Jr. instead. The Blue Jays have yet to make a big addition this offseason despite being connected to several top names. This could be their best chance. There was a recent report suggesting that Springer would prefer to be close to his home state of Connecticut, but we suspect the money will matter most in the end.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers have considered free agent Marcus Semien for their opening at third base.
This could be a bit of a negotiating ploy as the Dodgers continue to discuss terms with Justin Turner. Semien hasn't played third base since back in 2014 with the White Sox and he struggled to a .223/.305/.374 batting line over 236 plate appearances with the Athletics in 2020. He did, however, enjoy the best year of his career in 2019. The 30-year-old infielder has also been connected to the Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, and A's.
Jon Lester is "in talks" with the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal and Jon Greenberg of The Athletic.
Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times adds that the two sides are "closing in on a deal" and that it's "headed toward the finish line." Lester struggled to a 5.16 ERA in 61 innings (12 starts) last season with the Cubs, who then declined his $25 million option for 2021. The 37-year-old left-handed starter is probably nothing more than a depth piece at this point in his career, but the Nats could certainly use that depth.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Padres are still trying to re-sign Jurickson Profar.
Padres GM A.J. Preller simply refuses to take a day off, and good for him. This offseason has presented a great opportunity for the few teams in Major League Baseball actively trying to improve. Profar put up a decent .278/.343/.428 batting line with seven home runs and seven stolen bases over 56 games last year for San Diego while appearing defensively at second base, first base, and all three outfield spots.