UPDATE: Rubin now says the deal is done, pending Cedeno passing a physical exam, and will be worth around $1.1 million for one season.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York the Mets are talking to free agent infielder Ronny Cedeno and negotiations have reached a “critical” stage.
Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy are slated to be the Mets’ starting middle infield and earlier this week the team signed Omar Quintanilla to a minor-league deal to provide more depth, but Cedeno would be a more viable starting alternative after serving as the Pirates’ everyday shortstop for the past two seasons.
Cedeno didn’t hit much, batting just .254 with a .297 on-base percentage and .367 slugging percentage in 313 total games for the Pirates, but the 29-year-old is solid defensively at both shortstop and second base.
New York has been linked to Jack Wilson as a veteran utility man for much of the offseason, but he’d presumably no longer be an option if Cedeno was signed.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.