5:25 pm: The Yankees are interested in a trade for RHP Jeff Samardzija, but may need a third team to get involved (Loxas).
5:00 pm: The Astros have signed free agent reliever Chad Qualls to a two-year contract, the team announced.
12:40 pm: The Red Sox are more likely to trade a starting pitcher in order to acquire a new one (MacPherson).
5:08 pm: The Yankees are shopping OF Ichiro Suzuki (Jennings).
1:05 PM: OF/1B Logan Morrison is drawing significant trade interest (Morosi).
1:03 pm: The Yankees are not actively shopping OF Brett Gardner, but there have been a lot of inquiries about his availability (McCullough).
12:00 am: The agents for Dodgers OF Matt Kemp believe he could get traded during the Winter Meetings (Edes).
Yesterday, the Mets agreed to sign free agent OF Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract, according to multiple reports.
Granderson did not receive a no-trade clause in his contract with the Mets (Heyman).
Michael Baron, ContributorThis is a little thing in the end – hopefully Granderson is a part of a more positive short-term future with the team and doesn’t get traded over the next four years. But, Alderson always talks about wanting payroll and roster flexibility, and having this as an option and an advantage speaks to that desire.
The Mets – and other teams – are expected to send scouts to the Yankee complex in the Dominican Republic this weekend to watch SS Erisbel Arruebarruena, who recently defected from Cuba (Martino).
“He’s a very good defensive player. His glove is very close to the big leagues. The bat, you kind of think he’s one of those guys who’ll bat down in the order,” A scout recently told Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. “He’ll be a quality defensive shortstop in the Major Leagues, but you wonder if he’s going to hit.”
Michael Baron, ContributorThe Mets are looking for more production from any shortstop they acquire, and for good reason. Their shortstops hit .215 with a .561 OPS in 2013, and that’s just not acceptable. It sounds like Arruebarruena is a defensive-oriented player who may or may not have a big league bat. Given how uncertain his offense might be at this level and what they’re looking for, I’d be curious to see what the Mets interest is in Arruebarruena after they watch him. If he’s ultimately going to project as a backup, the Mets might need to look elsewhere to fill the hole.
Read more: MLB.com (Mayo)
Tweet from Mike Piazza…
Yesterday afternoon, David Wright spoke with reporters about the Mets agreeing to sign free agent OF Curtis Granderson, and said he reached out to Granderson unsolicited early in the off-season to express his desire for him to join the Mets this winter.
“I’ve always been a fan,” Wright said, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.
Wright believes Granderson’s history in New York and his character makes him a very good fit for the Mets.
“He’s played in New York, he’s thrived in New York, he’s won in New York,” Wright explained. “He knows what it’s all about. … Everywhere he’s been, teammates have loved him, fans have loved the way he plays the game. He’s got just a presence about him.”
Wright doesn’t believe Citi Field will hinder Granderson, despite it’s larger dimensions to that of Yankee Stadium.
“He’s proven he can be successful in Detroit, he’s proven he can be successful in Yankee Stadium, and he’s going to prove he can be successful at Citi Field,” Wright said. “The ballpark does not matter to him.”
Read more: Newsday (Carig)
Michael Baron, ContributorBetween his diminished defensive abilities and the awkward history between Beltran and the Mets, I just never saw him coming back to Queens. I always thought he was a good fit for the Yankees, and they were reportedly his first choice throughout the off-season. I bet he will DH for them a lot of the time, which will help preserve his legs over the course of the long season.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Yankees do with their excess outfielders. They now have Beltran, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Ichiro Suzuki on the roster. I could see them cutting Wells, but I also wonder if they might consider trading someone like Gardner. If so, he’s a good fit for the Mets as insurance to Juan Lagares and a left-handed option to Chris Young - perhaps the Mets would consider a deal involving Daniel Murphy for Gardner (even though the Yankees just signed Kelly Johnson).
Either way, it’s hard to envision them being in on Shin Soo-Choo right now…
4:40 pm: The Nationals agreed to sign free agent OF Nate McLouth to a two-year contract. He will be their fourth outfielder (Rosenthal).
12:00 am: The Royals have no offered free agent OF Carlos Beltran a three-year contract (Rosenthal).
12:00 am: The Red Sox are looking for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder (Lauber).
12:00 am: The Marlins are interested in re-signing free agent OF Chris Coghlan, even though they non-tendered him earlier this week (Frisaro).
2:40 pm: The Rangers agreed to sign free agent C JP Arencibia to a one-year, $1.8 million contract (Rosenthal).
2:10 pm: The Twins have expressed interest in free agent C John Buck (Puma).
11:20 am: The Rangers have agreed to sign free agent C JP Arencibia (Grant).
5:10 pm: Juan Lagares’ knee issue is nothing serious (Puma).
Dec. 5: Lagares tweeted that he is on his way back to New York to have his knee looked at.
Lagares’ tweet was in Spanish, but translates to, “On my way to New York to get my knee checked out. Putting everything in God’s hands.” (h/t @SusiMJK on Twitter)
Lagares followed up with a tweet that reads, “Everything is good my people.”
Lagares has been playing in winter ball for Las Aguilas Cibaenas and is hitting .342 with a .379 OBP in 28 games, with five doubles, a home run, 16 RBI and seven walks.
Lagares hit .242 with a .281 OBP and .633 OPS in 121 games for the Mets in 2013.
4:40 pm: The Phillies are shopping RHP Jonathan Papelbon (Rosenthal).
12:38 pm: The Mariners believe they have the prospects to acquire LHP David Price from the Rays (Morosi).
10:30 am: The Astros have signed free agent RHP Scott Feldman to a three-year, $30 million deal (Rosenthal).
9:30 am: The Yankees have re-signed free agent RHP Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $16 million contract (Sherman).
9:20 am: The Orioles will sign RHP Ryan Webb to a two-year contract (Keri).
MetsBlog Q&ACast, pres. by Verizon: Hardball Talk’s DJ Short talks Mets hot stove
In this week’s MetsBlog Q&ACast, pres. by Verizon, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone catches up with old friend D.J. Short, who is a passionate Mets fan that once wrote for MetsBlog, but is now a featured contributor on NBCSports.com’s Hardball Talk…