UPDATE: It’s done. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Mets have signed Carrasco to a two-year contract.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that he’ll make $2.5 million in the deal, so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape about this one. Good value signing.
5:17 PM: Free agent reliever D.J. Carrasco and the Mets “are working on a two-year deal,” according to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
General manager Sandy Alderson has said that the Mets are likely to be mostly bystanders this winter, shopping for low-cost role players instead of trying to make a big splash, and Carrasco fits the bill as an underrated pickup.
Arizona had MLB’s worst bullpen ERA by a full run this season and Carrasco was only due for a raise to around $1.5 million, so it’s tough to explain why they non-tendered him. After spending 2006 and 2007 in the minors and transitioning to the bullpen full time he’s had ERAs of 3.96, 3.76, and 3.68 with 157 strikeouts in 210 innings and a .255/.327/.356 opponents’ line in the past three years.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.