Source: Harden to join Rangers on one-year, $7.5 million deal

Leave a comment

Update 2: Craig has confirmed that the deal is with the Rangers. One year, $7.5 million with the option for 2011.
*****
Update: Craig’s source is hearing one-year, $7.5 million with an $11.5 million option for 2011. Possibly with the Mariners.
*****
Sources are telling ESPN’s Buster Olney that free agent Rich Harden is on the verge of an agreement with a mystery team.
Speculation had the Rangers being very interested in Harden if they could move Kevin Millwood first, so given the timing, Texas would seem to be a possibility. The Red Sox, Yankees and Mariners are among the other teams considering Harden, who is believed to be willing to accept a one-year deal so that he can attempt to rebuild his value and go back onto the market.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.