Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
The first big free-agent signing of the offseason is here, but there’s no team switching necessary: Yoenis Cespedes has decided to stay with the New York Mets, for four years and $110 million. After rumors last week that Cespedes wanted a longer and more expensive contract than the team would be willing to offer, the Mets managed to net him for just about what they reportedly wanted—which is still the most expensive free-agent signing in team history. And it’s worth it, allowing the Mets to keep their best hitter and one of their biggest superstars in Queens through his 34th birthday.
Exciting as the signing is for the Mets, it does leave them with one issue: What do they do with all their outfielders? The plan is reportedly to have Cespedes in left field, which then gives them five players to fill their other two outfield spots. Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo are all still around; of the five, Granderson and Lagares are most credible in center field. That gives the Mets one other corner outfield spot and more than one guy to fill it. So who’s most likely to get traded?
Bruce stands out as an easy choice. He certainly didn’t make much of a positive impression after being traded to the Mets at the deadline, as his first-half stat line of .267/.315/.538 melted into a second-half .226/.301/.462. Though the team picked up the one-year option on his contract earlier this winter, that seems to have been as insurance in the event that they couldn’t keep Cespedes, as early reports indicate that they’re certainly open to parting with Bruce now. While he’s perhaps the most obvious choice for the trading block, he’s not the only one, as Granderson is also drawing interest. Either way, this isn’t such a bad problem to have, and it’s definitely a far-better situation than any imaginable one without Cespedes.
- The deadline for the league and union to work out a new collective bargaining agreement is tomorrow, and the latest reports from Tuesday night are somewhat optimistic.
- Regardless, here is why there is no rational argument for a labor stoppage in baseball.
- In other free-agent signings, the Chicago Cubs have brought on Jon Jay for one year at $8 million.
- The Brewers dropped Chris Carter in order to pick up Eric Thames from the KBO, and Grant Brisbee is all about it.
- As free agent Edwin Encarnacion gets closer to making a decision, staying with the Toronto Blue Jays and heading down to the Houston Astros are both possibilities.
- The Blue Jays are looking for outfield depth, and they have a couple of options (Bruce and Granderson included).
- The Reds are reportedly open to dealing Billy Hamilton, and Athletics Nation has a case for why he might be a good fit in Oakland.
- Mitch Haniger may not be the most exciting name in last week’s Diamondbacks-Mariners trade, but this analysis of his swing adjustments over the years makes for some interesting reading.