Red Sox sign Craig Breslow, Mets still seeking LH relievers

The Red Sox will sign left-handed reliever Craig Breslow to a one-year, $2 million deal (Bradford, Dec. 19).

The Mets met with Breslow at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, but reports later indicated they were not going to sign him (Martino, Dec. 9).

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that he’d like to add a second left-handed reliever to his bullpen next season, but any further additions will likely be players signed to minor-league deals.

The team re-signed LHP Scott Rice to a minor-league deal last week. Rice is expected to compete in Spring Training with minor league relievers Darin Gorski, Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich, among others, as well as LHP Sean Gilmartin, who was acquired from the Twins in the Rule 5 draft.


Rockies and Mets talks about Tulowitzki, Syndergaard is inactive

The Rockies and the Mets have been having been talking for weeks about a deal involving SS Troy Tulowitzki and RHP Noah Syndergaard (Heyman, Dec. 19). However, later in the day, two sources said trade talks between the teams are no longer active (Harding, Dec. 19).

The two sides have been talking about a possible deal all offseason, but discussions have yet to gain traction (Rosenthal, Dec. 19), with neither side discussing high-level players or how much of Tulowitzki’s contract might need to be covered in a deal (Harding, Dec. 19).

The Rockies are looking for young, controllable pitching, but also would want a shortstop in return, and there is no indication Colorado is interested in Ruben Tejada or Wilmer Flores (Ackert, Dec. 19).

The Rockies are among teams to show interest in acquiring RHP Dillon Gee and LHP Jon Niese.’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin both said the chance a deal gets done is between five and 10 percent.

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: The team’s window to win should officially begin this coming season and acquiring Tulowitzki would be a HUGE addition. Watching how other teams and GMs are behaving this winter, it’s clearly going to take creativity and guts to compete, not just money.

This would be a massive and welcomed course correction >> Read More.

In terms of an actual trade, I have no idea where I stand on trading a group of meaningful prospects for Tulowitzki. My understanding is that any deal will require at least Wheeler or deGrom, plus Syndergaard. I’m more comfortable trading Wheeler than deGrom.

Assuming Tulo is healthy, even if he plays in just 70-80 games, he’ll be worth his $16-20 million salary. Frankly, he becomes a bargain every game he plays after that. So, the annual dollar amount should not be a concern in terms of paying for what you get. The bigger issue is that he’s 30-years-old and who knows what he will be following last year’s hip surgery. I suppose he could be better than ever, but I can’t know that until I at least see him on field. Plus, he has six years left on his contract. I’m OK with having this type of player earning this type of money on my team. The thing is, do I want to give up Syndergaard, a catcher, another arm or two, and who knows what else to get him? It’s the kind of move that can make or break a rebuilding process…

In the end, it’s going to come down to the deal. From what I can gather out of people close to both teams, Alderson’s staff conveyed legit interest to the Rockies last summer about trying to get Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez. Mets ownership OK’d exploring the “idea,” but they have yet to OK accepting the contract in question. The Rockies dedicated resources to scouting Alderson’s top prospects. The two sides agreed to resume talks this winter.

My hunch is that, while they may get close to a deal, they’ll agree it makes more sense to wait, see how Tulowitzki plays in Spring Training, and then revisit trade talks not long after that…

In early December, at the Winter Meetings, the Rockies were again asking around, wondering if the Mets were a match for their star shortstop, according to Daily News reporter Andy Martino. (Twitter, Dec. 8). However, he was later told by a team source that a deal was “not happening.”

An earlier report had the Rockies asking the Mets to take on all of Tulowitzki’s remaining $114 million, plus give up at least Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard. However, the Mets are unwilling to pay this much of his salary and they’re not interested in trading Wheeler or deGrom (Cerrone, Nov. 26).

Tulowitzki has missed nearly half his games the last three season and had his 2014 season cut short due to hip surgery to repair a tear in his left hip labrum.

The Rockies and the Mets have been having discussions for weeks about a deal involving SS Troy Tulowitzki and RHP Noah Syndergaard, according to reporter Jon Heyman >> Read More.

Mets will not be signing Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang

The Mets did not put a bid in on Korean SS Jeong-ho Kang (Puma, Dec. 19).

Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that the Mets were unlikely to place a bid on Kang due to concerns about his defense and the transition to MLB.

More information and scouting reports on Kang...

That said, a talent evaluator with a background in scouting Kang said he possesses a good enough feel for the strike zone to make the necessary adjustments in America (Newsday, Dec. 15).

Similarly, ESPN’s Keith Law recently said, “I see a swing that will generate legit plus power. … The swing is rotational. … It’s a power swing more than a hitting-for-average swing.”

In terms of his fielding, there are questions about whether he can play a big-league shortstop on grass not turf. Wilmer Flores may actually be better on the infield, a talent evaluator recently said (Newsday, Dec. 15).

In the end, “He has very good bat speed and the potential for power, but I worry he’ll struggle to catch up to big-league fastballs,” an international scout told MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone last week, comparing Kang to free-agent SS Asdrubal Cabrera. “He’s an adequate fielder with decent reactions and a below-average arm who is probably best suited for right field or second base.”

In addition to the estimated $10-15 million posting fee, which goes to the team in Korea, Kang is expected cost at least a two- to three-year deal, according to MLB insiders (MetsBlog, Dec. 10).

Kang’s agent, Alan Nero, has said his client is willing to accept a four-year, $20 million deal, three-year, $17 million deal, or a two-year, $12 million deal, according to a source privy to player transactions in the big leagues (Korea Herald, Dec. 18)


Troy Tulowitzki’s contract is a relative bargain

mangan avatarBrian P. Mangan: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki is owed $118 million during next six seasons, which is actually a bargain when compared to prices on the current free-agent market.

Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval just signed new contracts in Boston that will pay them $6.76 million and $5 million per expected Wins Above Replacement respectively (Fangraphs). Similarly, the Yankees will be paying Chase Headley around $5 million per expected WAR, while the White Sox will pay Melky Cabrera around $8 million per expected WAR.

Meanwhile, Tulowitzki, who is the best of the players mentioned here, is owed $20 million per year over the next five seasons and $14 million in 2020. He has been worth 5.4 and 5.1 WAR over the last two seasons, despite averaging just 108 games played per year.

A standard aging projection for Tulowitzki expects him to post 25.8 WAR over those six seasons, meaning he’s being paid only around $4.5 million per expected WAR. Even if you think that’s too optimistic of a projection for him, and that he’s likely to return only 15 WAR over the life of the deal, that’s still only on par with what the Red Sox are paying Ramirez. Not to mention, the Mets also would own any potential upside should he stay healthy. To read more of this story, click here

Gonzalez Germen 1

Mets trade Gonzalez Germen to Yankees for cash considerations

The Mets have announced that Gonzalez Germen has been traded to the Yankees for cash considerations.

Germen, 27, did not record a decision in 25 games out of the bullpen last year while compiling a 4.75 ERA (16 earned runs/30.1 innings). The righthander is 1-2 for his career and owns a 4.31 (31 earned runs/64.2 innings) lifetime ERA in 54 games.

The Mets designated Germen for assignment on Monday, December 15.

The deal is the 15th between the Mets and Yankees and first since December 3, 2004, when the clubs swapped Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia.

Daniel Murphy addresses trade rumors, making adjustments to his swing, new hitting coach Kevin Long, and his expectations for 2015.