The Mets hire Wayne Krivsky

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets have hired Wayne Krivsky to be a special assistant to Omar Minaya. Krivsky is a former Reds GM and is currently a special assistant to Orioles GM Andy MacPhail.

Krivsky’s real baseball bonafides, however, come from his time with the Twins.  As assistant GM to Terry Ryan in Minnesota, Krivsky tended to handle the business end of things: negotiating long-term deals and salary arbitration stuff. He was given a lot of credit for being Ryan’s right hand man, and Ryan made a lot of good moves during that time. Hard to say how much of that is on Ryan and how much on Krivsky but at the very least he was standing around while a lot of success happened.

Krivsky’s time in Cincinnati was a real mixed bag. A widely-panned trade (Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Nats for some bullpen arms and pitching prospect Daryl Thompson) and some inexplicable contracts (Corey Patterson? For $3 million?) are widely cited. He did a pretty good job early, however, picking up Bronson Arroyo and Brandon Phillips in one-sided deals. He was always good for one or two value moves a season like signing Scott Hatteberg or something.

Krivsky is certainly not a perfect executive, but he is a smart, experienced and generally respected one.  Given the caliber of Omar’s previous assistants, those sorts of guys are certainly welcome in the Mets front office.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.