MLB rumors: Yankees still talking to Didi Gregorius; Mets plan to keep Noah Syndergaard
Plus the latest on the Rockies, Royals, and Mark Trumbo
The 2010-20 offseason is not even three weeks old and we've already had our first major free agent signing:. Atlanta invested heavily in their bullpen at the trade deadline and they're at it again this offseason. , and Saturday's hot stove rumors begin now.
Yankees talking to Gregorius about reunion
Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed he has spoken to the representatives for Didi Gregorius about a possible reunion, reports Dan Martin of the New York Post. The Yankees did not make Gregorius the qualifying offer and thus will not receive a draft pick should he sign elsewhere. Here's what Cashman told Martin:
"I can't tell you (a reunion is) less likely or more likely,'' Cashman said. "... He has been a great player for us. He's a free agent now. There's competition for his services. We'll continue to engage and see if we can continue the relationship or not. I can't predict it."
Gregorius, 30 in February, was limited to 87 games this past season after having Tommy John surgery last October. He had a down year by his standards, but with a healthy elbow and a normal offseason, there is reason to believe he can return to his prior form next year, especially since he's still at a prime age. Should Gregorius sign elsewhere, the Yankees can slide Gleyber Torres to shortstop and install DJ LeMahieu at second base full-time.
Mets plan to keep Syndergaard
The Mets plan to keep right-hander Noah Syndergaard, GM Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters earlier this week, including MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Syndergaard has been a regular on the trade rumor circuit for more than two years now. Here's what Van Wagenen told reporters:
"We have made it very clear that we're not going to engage on Noah," Van Wagenen said. "We have received inquiries, but we have been proactive in letting people know that what I said publicly back earlier this summer, and again in October, that he's going to be with us going forward."
Syndergaard, 27, is under team control through 2021. Even with Zack Wheeler likely to leave as a free agent, the Mets boast a strong rotation led by Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, and two-time defending Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. .
Royals unlikely to go on spending spree
According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Royals have a "very limited budget" this offseason. They have a few million bucks to spend and hope to re-sign Alex Gordon, and add a reliever or two. Indians vice chairman John Sherman purchased the team from longtime owner David Glass for $1 billion several weeks ago. Clearly, Sherman is not ready to invest heavily in the roster.
The Royals went 59-103 this past season and have needs in the outfield and at first base. They could also use more pitching -- every team can use more pitching -- though Kansas City does have several top starting pitching prospects who could make their MLB debuts next season, including Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch. The Royals opened 2019 with a $96 million payroll after sitting in the $112 million to $143 million range from 2015-18.
Rockies want a catcher, pitching depth
The Rockies are seeking a catcher and pitching depth this offseason, GM Jeff Bridich said during a recent MLB Network appearance, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. , but even if they keep him, they always need more pitching in Coors Field. Here's what Bridich told MLB Network:
"We will look for a complementary catcher, maybe, to Tony Wolters. See if we can figure that out. Being in Colorado we will always see if we can upgrade pitching in one way or another."
Wolters, 27, is not much of a hitter, and his pitch-framing numbers went from elite in 2018 to among the worst in baseball in 2019. Clearly, the Rockies believe the 2018 version is the real him, otherwise Bridich wouldn't be so willing to stick with him behind the plate. As for pitching, luring free agent hurlers to Coors Field won't be easy. The Rockies may have to turn to the trade market.
Trumbo open to being two-way player
Free agent slugger Mark Trumbo is willing to become a two-way player, he told The Athletic's Dan Connolly. He understands it is a long shot, but he wants to improve his chances of landing a job this offseason and contributing to his next team. Here's what Trumbo told Connolly:
"My arm is still in pretty good shape and some of my thought was, with the 26th man, I think a lot of teams are gonna explore the possibilities for two-way players if they are actually capable of doing it," Trumbo said. "So, I think that was part of where my head was at. Add some value, eat some innings when the games might get away from the team. If you can have a guy that can do a little bit of both (hitting and pitching), I think that is immensely valuable. But it needs to be at a high enough level to get the job done."
Trumbo, 34 in January, was a top pitching prospect in high school before becoming a full-time position player in pro ball because he has so much power. Free agency has not been kind to one-dimensional sluggers like Trumbo in recent years. Becoming a two-way player could help keep him in the league another few years. Trumbo was limited to 12 games in 2019 by knee surgery.
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