UPDATE: Blue Jays, Diamondbacks pursue Gio Gonzalez

18 Comments

6:10 p.m. EDT: Susan Slusser is back with a report that the Blue Jays are trying to acquire Gio Gonzalez. Add them to the list that includes the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Reds and maybe still the Tigers and Yankees.

12:25 p.m. EDT: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Tigers weren’t prepared to pay the price for Gonzalez, which started with top pitching prospect Jacob Turner and had to include more.

Along with the Phillies’ interest, it’s also known that the Diamondbacks are making an effort to land Gonzalez, which is interesting, since the A’s are probably looking for the same kind of return they got when they sent Dan Haren to Arizona (Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Chris Carter and more).

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal adds that the Nationals and Reds are also in the mix.

///

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser has heard from three different sources that the Tigers have engaged the A’s in talks for left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

The price will surely be high for the left-hander, who is a full four years away from free agency. The word earlier in the day was that the A’s wanted Jesus Montero and either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances from the Yankees for Gonzalez.

The Tigers aren’t capable of providing that kind of haul. Any trade would almost surely start with their top pitching prospect, right-hander Jacob Turner, and could also include third baseman Nick Castellanos or left-hander Casey Crosby. The A’s might also have some interest in outfielders Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks. Dirks is more their kind of player, but while Jackson is on-base challenged, his ability to run down balls in center is still pretty attractive.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

Getty Images
1 Comment

Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.