The Mets can't walk and chew gum at the same time

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That’s not just some jerky Braves fan saying that, according to Murray Chass, the people that try to deal with them are saying it:

But more than one agent cited the Mets’ inability to deal with more
than one free agent at a time as the primary reason they lost out on
free agents. “We’re interested in your guy,” more than one agent
recalled the Mets saying, “but we have to deal with this other guy
first.”

In one instance, the Mets were a player’s first choice, an agent
said, but he was one or two down on the Mets’ pecking order – a phrase
used by another agent – and the player and the agent weren’t going to
wait for the Mets to deal with them. They went elsewhere.

Another agent said that Omar Minaya, the Mets’ general manager, told
him at the winter meetings in December that the Mets would address
their catching need in January. “How can they wait and be sure what
will be there?” the agent asked.

All of this squares with Ken Rosenthal’s report from last week that the team hasn’t approached the offseason with a coherent plan.  Indeed, Rosenthal suggested that everything is being micromanaged by Jeff Wilpon and that Omar is being bypassed. Chass notes that none of the agents he spoke to negotiated directly with Wilpon, but even if he’s not handling the actual negotiations doesn’t mean that he’s not running the show. Indeed, the worst micromanagers I’ve ever dealt with came up with the stupid plans themselves but made me carry them out so that they wouldn’t take the heat.

But regardless of who’s calling the shots here, it seems pretty clear that the Mets’ basic approach is totally screwed up. Too linear. It’s like Khan getting pwned by Kirk in the final battle because he thinks of space in two-dimensional terms. And Omar and the Wilpons don’t even have a Genesis Device they can activate to at least make their competitor’s victory a costly one.

Report: Mark Trumbo signs three-year, $37.5 million contract with Orioles

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.

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Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.

Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.

Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.