FanHouse’s Ed Price reports one thing we knew — Omar Minaya is on his way out — and one thing we didn’t — the Mets would rather hire an “experienced GM” than promote assistant GM John Ricco.
This surprises me somewhat because I had assumed that the Wilpons would want someone from inside, whom they’ve known and controlled to some degree for a while. That’s Ricco who — whatever his merits as an executive — is certainly more of a creature of the Wilpons than an outside candidate would be.
So what “experienced GMs” are floating around out there? Kevin Towers has been discussed by many, but he’s been linked with the Diamondbacks. Some have suggested Jon Daniels, who is from New York and who can opt-out of his Rangers deal due to the ownership change, but he has also said that he’d like to stay in Texas. And it would certainly seem like a better situation for him, competitively speaking.
I’m sort of blanking on available, experienced baseball GMs right now. Most candidates these days are assistants. At least any who are considered hot candidates, as opposed to folks who’ve been out of the top spot for a while.
The best I could think of right now — and it would actually be a great pick — is Paul DePodesta. Any others?
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.