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National League

Despite Recent Moves Mets Still Have Void At Third Base

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Christmas came and went over three weeks ago.  However, the disgruntled allegiance of New York Mets fans this past week must have felt like the second coming of the December holiday.

The majority of this offseason has been uneventful in the eyes of many Mets fans.  Categorizing the acquisitions of Asdrubal Cabrera’s 2018 option and the signing of ex-Brewer Anthony Swarzak aren’t slight towards either individual.

Nevertheless, when Mets fans peer across town at the Bronx to see division foe Giancarlo Stanton being acquired for relatively little in terms of talent it tends to add to their agitation.

This agitation subsided to a degree over the past week with the return of Jay Bruce and the pennies on the dollar signing of former Los Angeles Dodgers first basemen Adrian Gonzalez.  Bruce and the Mets reached an agreement on a 3 year, $39 million deal on January 10th.

Jay Bruce took his physical today and is expected to be introduced tomorrow at a press conference at Citi Field.  Adrian Gonzalez’s path to Queens was slightly different.

Gonzalez was released by the Atlanta Braves last month after he was acquired in virtual salary dump with the Dodgers that included outfield Matt Kemp among other players.

The expectation with these recent moves is that the Mets fill an outfield that was ironically vacated by Bruce through an August trade with the Indians, and that Gonzalez gives the Mets a contingency plan if Dominic Smith isn’t ready to take the job at first base.  Smith showed little offensive prowess last season to the tune of a .198 batting average in 167 at bats.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson has taken a methodical approach to addressing the Mets needs, and this approach has been the theme of this offseason for many clubs.  The total number of free agents available at press time is over 100 unsigned players.

No free agent player that has signed has received more than three years on a contract.  Players like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, JD Martinez, Jake Arrieta, and Yu Darvish all remain without a team with a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Alderson’s patience hasn’t hurt the Mets up to this point, and the slow developing market could work in the Mets favor when it comes to other needs the team has to address.

The status of David Wright is always a question which leaves a void at a key production spot in the lineup.

Former Yankee Todd Frazier’s name has surfaced in reports linking him to the Mets.  Frazier’s knack for the longball would certainly appeal to Alderson’s home run heavy philosophy.  Todd Frazier inability to do much more than hit home runs makes his upside limited.  And do the Mets want to get locked into such a limited player with an already tight budget?

A player the caliber of Mike Moustakas would normally be out of the Mets price range (That’s a whole different rant for another time).  But with Moustakas’s market dwindling and his options limited might be inclined to take less money to capitalize on his value.

A pillow deal could be reached between the Mets and Moustakas, but next season’s third basemen market will include the likes of Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado.  Moustakas’s opportunity to get years with dollars is probably this offseason.

The Mets would be getting a 29-year old third baseman who is a superb defender and is coming off of year in which he blasted 38 home runs.

The time is right for the Mets to make a move to get a very good major league player for a very affordable price…even by the frugal Mets standards.

Miami Marlins

Marlins Have “No Intention” Of Trading Caleb Smith

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Caleb Smith

The Miami Marlins don’t plan on dealing left-hander Caleb Smith as the trade deadline approaches, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

The Marlins have been stuck in what seems to be a never-ending rebuild and have traded off a ton of assets in recent seasons, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them selling off more talent at the deadline.

Smith, 27, who is currently on the 10-day IL due to some inflammation in his hip, has posted a 3.41 ERA through 66 innings this season.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers Place David Freese On Injured List

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David Freese

The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed infielder David Freese on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick.

Freese, 36, has had a solid season for the Dodgers, posting a slash line of .308/.407/.592, which is a career best.

Freese has often played first base for the Dodgers this season.

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American League

Finally: Where Will Keuchel & Kimbrel Sign?

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(Sporting News) Where will the MLB's two biggest remaining free agents wind up on Monday?

The 2019 MLB Draft will take place from tomorrow June 3 to Wednesday June 5. In addition to many teams drafting players that will go on to become superstars, it will be notable because the two most high-profile free agents from this past offseason may finally sign.

Former Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel and two-time Reliever of the Year Craig Kimbrel have been free agents since last season ended and are still without homes as the 2019 season gets closer and closer to the midway point. No team was willing to accept either man’s asking price after both turned down $17.9 million qualifying offers from their former teams (Houston and Boston, respectively).

Tomorrow will be the turning point for both men. Starting on the first day of draft proceedings, the team that signs either of them will not have to forego a compensatory draft pick. And since many teams could use the services of either/or, there’s no reason to believe both will not sign quickly.

Keuchel, 31, was the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner with the Astros after leading the the league with 20 wins and a 1.02 WHIP and placing second with a 2.48 ERA. 2018 wasn’t the best season of the lefty’s career but still solid overall (12-11, 3.74 ERA). The team that could use him the most at this point is the New York Yankees.

Duking it out with the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East, the Yankees have gotten a monumental and unexpected pitching lift from the previously unknown Domingo German, who might just be the AL Cy Young winner if it was awarded today. However, Aaron Boone’s rotation still lacks both depth and reliability with the absence of Luis Severino.

Keuchel could fill that void and then some. CBS Sports reports that the Bombers are in on Keuchel and that the two-time All-Star is willing to sign a one-year deal. Will Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman make the move and give his manager a big boost?

The Rays could too be a logical landing spot for Keuchel. Though far less talented on paper than Eastern rivals New York and Boston, Tampa Bay has been one of the best teams in baseball this year and are right in the thick of it with the Yankees. Adding Keuchel might make even more sense for Rays GM Erik Neander.

25-year-old Tyler Glasnow got off to a terrific start this season but was placed on the DL with a forearm strain on May 11 and isn’t expected back until July. 35-year-old Charlie Morton has carried the slack admirably alongside ace Blake Snell, but they both would benefit from having their loads reduced. Keuchel’s agent Scott Boras confirmed that his client has been throwing simulated games every fifth day, so it may not take him very long to get game ready.

As for Kimbrel, also 31, the team that he walked away from appears to be his most-likely destination. The Boston Red Sox’ bullpen has been better than most people thought it would be this season, with journeyman Marcus Walden of all people being the biggest standout. However, it has still struggled, especially of late. Neither Ryan Brasier nor Matt Barnes have proven capable of truly shouldering the closer’s role.

Though he was still a large piece of Boston’s fourth World Championship since 2004, Kimbrel didn’t look his best at times throughout 2018, which is likely why Boston didn’t even consider the five-year deal he was asking for. The seven-time All-Star has reportedly acquiesced on that, however, and is now seeking three-years. Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski would be wise to accept this and bring his stud closer back. The Sox are 29-29 as of today and may struggle to keep pace with Tampa and New York if its relief core doesn’t improve.

Another former home of Kimbrel’s, Atlanta, has also been long rumored as a destination. The Braves were the surprise of the year in the MLB last season and earned Brian Snitker Manager of the Year honors, but the young team hasn’t been able to keep pace with rival Philadelphia after the latter’s offseason spending spree. If GM Alex Anthopolous were to bring the team’s 2011 Rookie of the Year back, it would give fans an instantly recognizable face and shore up a bullpen that, like Boston, has been rocky. It looks as if Kimbrel may have a reunion with a former team either way, but where does he end up?

Think Keuchel and Kimbrel will end up some place different? Be sure to let us know on Twitter at @HomeRunDaily!

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