Hey, what say we kick of this stove with an actual Major League signing of a real-life player, eh? Get the juices flowing:
#Mets in agreement with Jose Reyes on one-year contract, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Reyes returning with understanding he will fill utility role. Mets still looking for regular second baseman.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 25, 2018
- It’s not the most significant (re-)signing in the world, but it appears that the Mets have come to an agreement with free agent middle infielder Jose Reyes on a one-year deal worth roughly $3 million, according to Joel Sherman. Interestingly, as Rosenthal and others have indicated, Reyes is not meant to be the Mets’ everyday second baseman, a position they’ve been looking to fill all winter, which means they might still be in the market for someone like Josh Harrison of the Pirates (who should be available).
- At The Athletic, Theo Epstein discussed the slow free agent market with Jon Greenberg, mentioning that it’s been a topic of conversation not only within the walls of the front office, but also among the players. On top of that, he mentions that while most fans feel like nothing has happened, the Cubs have actually been among the busiest teams this offseason (that’s very much true). They may not have landed the big fish yet, but they added a starter (Tyler Chatwood), three significant relievers (Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek, and Brian Duensing), a potential backup catcher (Chris Gimenez), and other pieces like Drew Smyly and Dario Alvarez. Interestingly, Epstein says that the Cubs thought they’d be able to get Chatwood for cheaper (the projections had him far below the three years and $39 million he ultimately received), but he was a popular target early in the winter.
- Among many other bits in the excellent piece that you should read, Epstein said that the Cubs entered the offseason very open to the possibility of trading a position player, but nothing really came together: “We have two extra starting-caliber position players on any given night and we were going into the offseason short on pitching. If it was something we weren’t open to, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs. We explored a lot of a different possibilities, but in the end there just wasn’t a deal available that would give us a fair return back.” In the end, if the only deal for starters that the Cubs could find were ones with fewer years of control or prospects in the Minors, that wasn’t going to be the right deal for them right now. At some point (even in the competitive window), I believe it might become time to trade a bat for prospects (if possible), but we’re not there yet.
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticCHI) January 25, 2018
- Sticking directly with the Cubs for a moment, Bruce Levine hopped on 670 The Score this afternoon, and Luis tuned in to take some notes. Among the most interesting bits, Levine apparently mentioned that Yu Darvish had alluded to getting a deal done by tomorrow (momentum has been building), but I haven’t seen that anywhere else publicly yet (so it’s possible the reference was simply to the report that had a deal “probably” happening this week). Levine also went on to say that despite public speculation surrounding Darvish’s deal ultimately landing around five or six years and $25 million annually, there’s not actually much basis for that. Six years and $150 million does feel a little high, given everything that’s happened and the time of year, but, as always, who knows in this market.
- And finally, Levine reports that Lance Lynn won’t budge on his desire to land a four-year deal, but it sounds like the Cubs are not particularly involved. There’s always a chance, if everything goes to hell, that the Cubs can swoop in on Lynn at the last minute, but let’s just hope it doesn’t get to that.
- To the extent that Darvish is looking for something in the $25M AAV range, it would seem that takes the Yankees well out of the market absent a big trade. At MLB.com, Jon Morosi writes that while the Yankees current payroll commitments (for luxury tax purposes) add up to about $162M, they really only have about $15M more to spend (after accounting for $10M more in potential performance bonuses and another $10M or so to use at the deadline). Adding someone like Mike Moustakas, however, remains a distinct possibility.
- Earlier this morning, we all had a good laugh when we thought the Padres preemptively reported their deal with free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer on Instagram. But, as it turns out, it was not a jump of the gun, but a true-to-life hack of their social media accounts (a well-informed hack, at that, as Hosmer has been connected to the Padres all offseason). And unfortunately (for us), team officials claim that there is no imminent deal with Hosmer. I still think he ends up there, but this isn’t our exit.
- And finally at MLB.com, Mike Petriello tries to make you feel better with a little series exploring the unexpected free agent fits for the top remaining players. Among the various connections, he sends J.D. Martinez to the Indians, Jake Arrieta to the Phillies, Lorenzo Cain to the Rockies, and Neil Walker to the Yankees.