While appearing on WFAN radio in New York today Peter Gammons said that he thinks Bobby Valentine will be the Mets’ next manager. Thanks to Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com, here’s the transcript:
I think there are two things: One, he has a history and a good working relationship with Omar Minaya. And two, he is one guy that, though Jeff Wilpon will not always like what he hears from Bobby, I think they can have a relationship where Bobby could say to Jeff, “No, we’re not doing this, that’s the wrong thing,” and in the end they’ll win out together, because they have a mutual respect. I just think now is the right time to bring Bobby back.
Valentine is at the point now where he’s basically linked to every managerial opening and he was nearly hired by the Marlins earlier this season.
He managed the Mets from 1996 to 2002 and made the playoffs just twice in six full seasons, but one of the playoff appearances was a trip to the World Series and he had a .534 winning percentage overall. Cerrone would be on board with the move, saying that Valentine “is exactly the type of person you mold your team around” and “he embodies everything Mets fans are about.”
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
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.
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.
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.