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National League

ICYMI: Mets Sign Adrian Gonzalez, Invite Tim Tebow To Spring Training

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The New York Mets and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have agreed on a one-year deal, with it being finalized on January 18, two days after the team signed Jay Bruce.

New York will pay Gonzalez the Major League minimum of $545,000 this year. Gonzalez is owed $21.5 million overall in 2018 for the final year of his current contract; the remainder of those funds will be paid off by the Atlanta Braves, according to the Associated Press.

Gonzalez was traded to the Braves from the Dodgers in December, only to be released by Atlanta days later.

The 14-year veteran appeared in only 71 games in 2017 for the Dodgers due to elbow and back issues, making it the first time since 2005 that Gonzalez had failed to appear in at least 156 games.

Overall, Gonzalez is a career .288/.359/.488 hitter with 311 homers and 1,176 RBIs for four teams since his Major League debut in 2004.

Also making Met headlines recently was former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who New York invited to Spring Training on the 19th.

Eight additional players were invited to the Mets’ Grapefruit League squad:

Tebow, 30, began his pursuit of a baseball career in August 2016 before signing a professional deal with the Mets in September of that year. That month, he homered on the first pitch he saw as a professional baseball player while playing in the Mets’ instructional league (lefty on lefty as well!)

In 2017, Tebow hit .226/.307/.347 with eight homers and 52 RBIs across 430 at-bats split between two of the Mets’ minor league affilliates (single-A South Atlantic League, single-A Florida State League).

At 30, Tebow is an age when most professional baseball players’ skills begin to diminish. It’s like that in other sports too. Nevertheless, the former Denver Bronco will be battling for a spot on New York’s 25-man roster (Opening Day), or 40-man, in which case he could be called up at any point in the season.

Tebow was solely an outfielder in 2017, appearing in 80 games (77 in left field) while recording a .917 fielding percentage. Not good. Needless to say, that will have to improve if he has a chance at seeing the bigs.

Position players for the Mets are scheduled to report to Spring Training on February 17.

National League

Phillies Sign Andrew McCutchen to 3-Year, $50M Contract

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The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms with free agent veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen on a 3-year, $50 million contract, according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb.

McCutchen, 32, started the 2018 campaign with the San Francisco Giants before being traded to the New York Yankees ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

McCutchen performed well for the Yankees, and the Phillies are banking on that version of McCutchen moving forward.

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Miami Marlins

Marlins Outright Yadiel Rivera, Brett Graves

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The Miami Marlins have outrighted infielder Yadiel Rivera and right hander Brett Graves, according to the Sun-Sentinel’s Wells Dusenbury.

Rivera, 26, hit the majors this past season to the tune of a .173/.269/.216 batting line in 160 plate appearances.

Graves pitched for Miami this season, his first stint in the majors, and posted a 5.40 ERA.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks Sign Merrill Kelly To Two-Year Deal

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed right hander Merrill Kelly to a two-year, $5.5 million contract, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Kelly’s new deal will pay him $2 million in 2019 and $3 million in 2020 and includes a pair of club options. The 30-year old has never pitched in the major leagues but had an impressive four-year stint in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Kelly was a former prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

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