Bengie Molina gave the Daily News some inside dish on his offseason courtship by the Mets:
“Yesterday, I was talking to my cousin, she’s from New York, and she
said, ‘Do you think they just did it for the heck of it, just so people
don’t say they didn’t (try to make a big signing)?’ In my opinion, I think they did, because I think
if they really wanted me, they would have made a better offer so I
could be happy to go to New York . . . If they would’ve offered me two
years, I would’ve been there already. Right from the beginning, I told them, I said, ‘Hey, listen. You’re
gonna have to give me two years at least, because that’s the only way
I’m going over there. They knew, they knew from the
beginning . . . I told them, they knew, and for three months, they
didn’t move the offer. They didn’t move to anything but one year, $5.5
(million). That told me that they weren’t really interested in me.”
Despite everything that happened this offseason, this should give Mets fans some hope regarding their front office. Multiple years and many millions to Bengie Molina would have been a dumb play, and good for the Mets for apparently not even entertaining the notion.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.