Heyman: Mets would consider Castillo for Pierre

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SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Mets would consider swapping Luis Castillo for Juan Pierre if the Dodgers are up for it.
Both players have two years left on contracts their teams have long regretted handing out. Pierre is owed $18.5 million, while Castillo is due $12 million. The Mets would probably want some cash involved in a straight-up deal.
A trade makes some sense, in that the Dodgers need a second baseman and the Mets are looking for a left fielder. Still, if the players were strong options at those spots, their teams wouldn’t be trying so hard to get rid of them. The Dodgers may prefer getting an overpaid pitcher for Pierre than committing to Castillo at second base. Castillo was an asset with his .387 OBP for the Mets last season, but his defense has fallen off a cliff and he’d be a big downgrade from what Orlando Hudson gave them with the glove last season.

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.