Report: Carlos Beltran going to the Giants

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UPDATE III: The AP reports that the deal has been agreed to, pending Beltran signing off on it.  Assuming that Beltran gives his approval, it will become offical Thursday afternoon.  The Mets will send Beltran and $4 million to help cover his salary to the Giants in return for Wheeler.

UPDATE II:  Now it’s being reported that it’s just Zack Wheeler heading to New York — maybe with some lesser prospects — but not Gary Brown.

Not that Mets fans can or should complain at all.  Wheeler is only 21 and he’s already one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Since being drafted in the first round in 2009, he has an ERA of 3.99 and 168 strikeouts in 146 and two-thirds innings.

UPDATE:  Whoa, this could be a better deal for the Mets than anyone thought.  With center fielder Gary Brown as the centerpiece it’s a fine enough deal, but Buster Olney just said that the Giants are also going to include Zack Wheeler, the Giants’ top pitching prospect.

If it’s just Wheeler, that makes it an even better deal than just Brown.  If it’s Wheeler AND Brown, mercy, Sandy Alderson has committed highway robbery, especially given how little leverage he had by virtue of Beltran’s no-trade clause.

1:23 PM: It’s not done yet, but Jon Heyman is reporting that the Giants are “in position” to land Carlos Beltran, and Tim Brown of Yahoo! says that says that there is a “good likelihood” of Beltran going to San Francisco. Joel Sherman quotes an executive of a team that fell out of the bidding for Beltran saying “”He is as close to being a Giant as you can be.”

Obviously the talent they have to give up will determine whether this is a good deal — we’ve heard names ranging from Zack Wheeler to Gary Brown to Francisco Peguero to Charlie Culberson mentioned — but getting Beltran makes oodles of sense for the offensively-challenged Giants. For what it’s worth, Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Giants are going to include the center fielder Brown, which would be super appealing to the Mets.

Updates as they happen, but everyone seems to think it’s happening today.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.