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D.J. Short

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Trading Thor?

Thursday, November 22, 2018


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Despite back-to-back losing seasons, the Mets think they can contend next season. And with the quality of the top of their starting rotation, it’s understandable why they think there’s a path. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler are right there with the best big three of anyone else the game, assuming health cooperates. If they can add the right pieces to their bullpen and lineup this winter — and we’re not even talking about Manny Machado, necessarily -- it’s reasonable to think they could be a contender in 2019. However, new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is willing to consider a bold route to get them back to prominence.

According to Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, the Mets are “seriously considering” trade offers for Syndergaard in order to address other areas of need. So far, at least six teams “are believed to be real players” in talks. According to multiple reports, the Padres are one of them.

What could the Mets’ plan be here? As opposed to the recent James Paxton trade between the Mariners and Yankees, they want pieces directed more at helping them win as soon as next year. That’s an interesting needle to thread, right there. There’s even been some speculation that the club has done some background work on the top starting pitchers on the free agent market — Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, J.A. Happ, Nathan Eovaldi — in the event that the club finds the right deal for Syndergaard.

Syndergaard possesses ace-ability, but he has never thrown more than 182 2/3 innings in a season. And that was two years ago. He was limited to just 30 1/3 innings in 2017 due to a partially torn lat muscle before missing several weeks this year due to a strained ligament in his right index finger. He’s under team control for three more years, but his salary will continue to rise through arbitration after making $2.975 million in 2018. Will the Mets be offered enough in the way of immediate help in order to part with him? We’re about to find out.

If anything, the 26-year-old Syndergaard is an intriguing alternative for teams seeking a top-of-the-rotation starter this offseason. We already know that Corey Kluber (owed $13 million in 2019, with a $13.5 million option for 2020 and a $14 million club option for 2021) and Carlos Carrasco (owed $9.75 million in 2019, with a $9.5 million option in 2020) are being shopped by the Indians. It appears that the Indians could also be looking for major league pieces with their outfield a notable area of need. The Winter Meetings are going to be interesting.

Reds, Iglesias Agree on Extension

It was announced Wednesday that the Reds and closer Raisel Iglesias agreed to a three-year extension through 2021. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that the deal, which buys out Iglesias' arbitration years, is worth $24.125 million.

Iglesias originally signed a seven-year, $27 million deal with the Reds out of Cuba in 2014, but he had the ability to opt into arbitration after the 2018 season. The deal locks in some cost-certainty for the Reds and also takes away trepidation about how his yearly salary could be impacted by how the team uses him.

While Iglesias has been a solid closer, Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said that the club will discuss whether to use him in a variety of roles and not just at the end of games. Maybe they won’t go full-Josh Hader with him, but Iglesias has previous starting experience and is capable of going multiple innings. It can’t be ignored that new pitching coach Derek Johnson worked with Hader in Milwaukee and could be an influence on the plan here.

Iglesias turns 29 in January and holds a 2.42 ERA over 163 relief appearances in the majors. He posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 saves and an 80/25 K/BB ratio over 72 innings this past season. While it was another solid year, he was more homer-prone than previous years, surrendering 12 roundtrippers after allowing just 12 in his previous two seasons combined.

Quick Hits: Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Phillies are interested in the Mariners’ Jean Segura and Edwin Diaz … According to Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, the Reds and Athletics are among the teams thought to be in the running for free agent right-hander Matt Harvey … Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports that the Mets are interested in Indians catcher Yan GomesDanny Farquhar has been medically cleared to return to baseball activities following a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm back in April … The Angels acquired left-hander Dillon Peters from the Marlins for right-hander Tyler Stevens … The Angels designated right-hander Alex Meyer for assignment … Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Pirates have hired Jacob Cruz to serve as their assistant hitting coach … Jared Hoying is staying in the Korea Baseball Organization after agreeing to a new one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Hanwha Eagles … Zach Neal has signed with the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League … Tyler Wilson agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization …



D.J. Short is a Rotoworld senior baseball writer and hosts the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.
Email :D.J. Short



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