Los Angeles Dodgers, open your checkbooks. Danny Knobler reports:
The Angels, once considered the favorite to keep free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke, are now unlikely to sign him, according to sources.
The issue is money, it seems, as Knobler reports that the Angels don’t want to go to the top of the market where Greinke seems to be heading.
Of course there was also no indication last year at this time that the Angels would go top dollar for Albert Pujols, but they did, and in every other year lots of teams put themselves in play for free agents at the Winter Meetings or soon thereafter. The point: don’t bank on the Angels being out of it.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.