Free Agent Notes: Baez, Pham, Mariners
The Mets’ interest in re-signing Javier Baez reportedly didn’t end with the club’s agreement with Eduardo Escobar yesterday, yet Baez and the Mets are still “apart on price” in contract talks, according to SNY’s Andy Martino (Twitter link). With Starling Marte and Mark Canha also joining the roster, it would seem as though the Mets are already bolstering the lineup in the event that Baez doesn’t return, and their current focus on pitching upgrades could at least temporarily put an end to their efforts to land Baez or any other position players.
Timing could be an issue with Baez, as there has been speculation that he would prefer to get his next contract finalized before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on December 1. (Martino is among those who believes Baez will indeed sign prior to that date.) If the gap between Baez and the Mets is too large to overcome in the next few days, that could open the door for one of the other teams known to be interested in the shortstop’s services. The Tigers and Red Sox have been linked to Baez, with the Mariners, Rangers, and Yankees somewhat more speculatively attached to Baez via their interest in the shortstop market as a whole.
More on other free agent situations around baseball….
- Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller said earlier this month that his club had interest in re-signing Tommy Pham, and The Athletic’s Dennis Lin writes that the Padres are indeed still considering Pham for their left field vacancy. After subpar performance in his first two years in San Diego, Pham wouldn’t be too expensive, which Lin notes is still a consideration for a team trying to manage its payroll under the luxury tax threshold if possible. Today’s trade of Adam Frazier to the Mariners cleared some projected salary off the books, and if the Padres do succeed in unloading Wil Myers and/or Eric Hosmer’s contracts, that will ease an even more substantial amount of the financial burden from Preller’s maneuverings.
- Speaking of the Mariners, the Frazier trade represents Seattle’s first big strike of the offseason, though the club has been rumored in connection with multiple prominent free agents. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer and other reporters that the Mariners currently offers on the table to two free agents, with Dipoto noting that one of the two players is “notable.” Reading between the lines, it would seem as if Dipoto was implying that one of the two offers was a significant multi-year pact, while the other offer may have been a shorter-term, less-expensive deal.