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.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.