Johan Santana Reuters

Johan Santana throws first no-hitter in Mets’ history


UPDATE: He did it! Johan Santana has done it. He has thrown the first no-hitter in Mets’ history. Unbelievable.

9:31 PM: Santana has now held the Cardinals hitless through eight innings.

He got Tyler Greene to pop up to Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the first out and struck out Shane Robinson looking before issuing a two-out walk to Rafael Furcal. Mets manager Terry Collins came out to the mound to check his temperature, but he was able to get Carlos Beltran to pop out for the final out of the top of the eighth.

Santana is the first Met since Tom Seaver to complete eight no-hit innings. He’s now at 122 pitches. Any way he doesn’t get a chance to finish this one off?

Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and David Freese are due to bat for the Cardinals in the top of the ninth.

9:15 PM: Santana dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning, so it appears he will get a chance to pitch the eighth inning.

9:12 PM: The Mets have never had a no-hitter in their history, but Johan Santana is trying to change that.

Santana has held the Cardinals hitless over the first seven innings tonight. The Mets currently lead the ballgame 5-0.

Santana has walked four and stuck out six while throwing 107 pitches. He hasn’t thrown more than 108 pitches (May 5 against the Diamondbacks) since returning from shoulder surgery, so he’ll be going into uncharted territory in order to get a chance to finish this one off.

Santana nearly lost the no-no in the top of the seventh when Yadier Molina lifted a fly ball near the warning track in left field, but Mike Baxter was able to make a tremendous running catch before slamming into the wall. He left the game with an apparent injury to his left arm. If the Mets do this, Baxter will never have to buy a drink in New York for the rest of his life.

There will be some controversy if the Mets finish this one off, as third base umpire Adrian Johnson botched a call on a Carlos Beltran liner in the top of the sixth inning. Beltran hit a would-be double down the third base line, but Johnson called the ball foul. He continued the at-bat and eventually grounded out. The missed call could eventually become a part of franchise lure.

Stay tuned to see if the Mets will make history.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.

The Diamondbacks met with Johnny Cueto’s agent

AP Photo/David Goldman
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.

Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.

Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.

As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is reportedly trying to trade Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe

Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.

Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.

Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.

Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.

Ben Zobrist is the “Mets’ No. 1 target”

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.

His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …

It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?

Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.