Back in January the Angels were said to be interested in long-term contract extensions with impending free agent middle infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar.
They got a deal done with Kendrick, signing the second baseman for $33.5 million over four years, but talks with Aybar have stalled. Until now perhaps, as Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Aybar’s agent is in Arizona to meet “face-to-face” with general manager Jerry Dipoto this week.
Aybar avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.075 million contract and can hit the open market next offseason as a 29-year-old free agent at a position where the pickings are usually very slim, so getting him to sign long term may be tough at this point.
He also hit .279 with a .743 OPS last season, posting new career-highs in homers (10), doubles (33), runs (71), RBIs (59), and steals (30).
The Mets have reportedly offered their managerial position to Indians’ pitching coach Mickey Callaway, according to multiple reports from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The three-year deal was accepted and is expected to be finalized today, though the team has yet to make an official announcement.
Callaway, 42, got his start in coaching back in 2010 for the Indians’ Single-A affiliate, where he helped the Lake County Captains to their first Midwest League title. He was promoted to a coaching position in High-A in 2011 and finally advanced to a big league role in 2013, where he helped guide the Indians’ pitching staff through five winning seasons and three postseason runs. Their success serves as a ringing endorsement: they’ve consistently ranked among the top ten rotations in MLB and led the league with a collective 23.1 fWAR and second-best 3.52 ERA in 2017.
The timing couldn’t be better for the Mets, whose cadre of powerhouse pitchers has weathered numerous injuries to Noah Syndergaard (torn right lat muscle), Matt Harvey (stress reaction in right shoulder), Zack Wheeler (stress reaction in right arm) and Steven Matz (ulnar nerve irritation) over the last year. While they’re preparing to take on a manager with no prior managerial experience, it doesn’t look like that’ll be an issue for Callaway.