Phillies, Yankees eyeing impending free agent Cody Ross

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that a market is already beginning to develop for corner outfielder Cody Ross, who will hit the free agent market in early November:

He has three major-market teams — the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox — very interested in him. Ross has made it clear he’d negotiate with the Red Sox right now and would stay in Boston if he had his druthers. The Sox are starting preliminary talks, but if something isn’t worked out before free agency begins, the Yankees and Phillies — at least — will be eager to talk to him. Ross played for Yankees manager Joe Girardi in Florida.

Cafardo has suggested in recent weeks that Ross will probably be on the hunt for a three-year contract worth more than $20 million.

The 31-year-old has posted a .269/.332/.489 batting line with 21 home runs, 33 doubles and 76 RBI in 122 games played this season. He signed a bargain one-year, $3 million deal with Boston this past winter.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.