r.a. dickey mets getty

Mets on verge of trading R.A. Dickey to Blue Jays

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SUNDAY, 2:09 PM: The seven-player trade has been agreed to in principle. Bang it HERE for more.

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SATURDAY, 9:45 PM: Sherman says the trade, as it now stands, will send Dickey, Thole and a non-elite prospect to the Blue Jays for d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Buck and a non-elite prospect. Sherman guesses that the swap might not be finalized until Monday.

6:58 PM: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York heard from an “in-the-know” source that a resolution might not happen on Saturday night. It seems likely that talks will trail into Sunday.

3:04 PM: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that as of this morning, seven players were involved in the deal, including four coming to the Mets and three going to the Blue Jays.

Puma hears that the Jays want a catcher back and speculates that Josh Thole could be involved. He has a rapport with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, so that would make sense. If that happens, it’s possible the Mets could take John Buck in the deal.

Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger hears that Blue Jays prospect right-handers Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez have also been discussed. Those are two impressive prospects, so this deal could get a little crazy.

2:54 PM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Mets and Blue Jays are “inching toward the finish line” on the deal. Some players’ medicals have been reviewed and OK’d, but there’s still work to be done. R.A. Dickey and Travis d’Arnaud are the centerpieces of the deal, but still no word on the other players involved.

12:55 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Mets rejected a package of Gose and Arencibia. The two sides have since agreed on d’Arnaud as the center piece in a deal for Dickey, but they are currently trying to finalize the last piece. Assuming they can agree on the other players in the deal, it’s now thought that Dickey is willing to talk about an extension.

11:42 AM: Hold the phone. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Anthony Gose is NOT part of the trade talks for R.A. Dickey. However, Travis d’Arnaud is.

11:19 AM: Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that if the Blue Jays are to include d’Arnaud and Gose, they need to have Dickey signed to a two-year extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets.

9:30 AM: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News confirms that the Blue Jays are willing to offer d’Arnaud and Gose in a trade for Dickey. We’re still awaiting word on the other players involved.

8:15 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the Mets and Blue Jays have reached agreement on the players involved. No word yet on the full scope of the trade.

Meanwhile, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Blue Jays have been looking at the medicals on Dickey since at least yesterday afternoon. It’s yet another indication that a deal is close to being finalized.

1:27 AM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Mets and Blue Jays are “on the verge” of a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto and d’Arnaud to New York. The teams are currently looking at medicals, so it sounds pretty close.

As Rosenthal mentioned earlier, Passan hears that more players are involved in the deal.

11:55 PM, Friday: Rosenthal and his colleague, Jon Paul Morosi, are reporting on FOXSports.com that Gose is likely to be included in the deal while the Mets are also expected to receive either d’Arnaud or Arencibia. As Rosenthal noted earlier, if d’Arnaud is included, the deal is likely to be expanded.

11:36 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com confirms that d’Arnaud is “very much in play” in trade talks for Dickey. However, he notes that the deal would be bigger, with multiple pieces going both ways.

You may recall that the trade talks between the Marlins and Blue Jays began with Josh Johnson and morphed into something much larger. While it’s unlikely 12 players will be involved this time, it probably won’t be a simple swap.

10:30 PM: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News was told by “a person with direct knowledge of the discussions” that during the Winter Meetings, d’Arnaud was a “must have” for the Mets to do a trade with the Blue Jays. Toronto resisted at the time, but a person involved in the potential trade has expressed a “gut feeling” that d’Arnaud may be involved. Again, nothing confirmed.

Contrary to earlier reports, Martino hears that Dickey is willing to sign a contract extension if he’s traded to the Blue Jays. This could have a major impact on the return package.

8:00 PM: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that the Mets may be getting prospect catcher Travis d’Arnaud back from the Blue Jays, though he cautions that the information is unconfirmed. However, he was discussed “heavily” in trade talks along with fellow catcher J.P. Arencibia.

6:07 PM: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was told by “two people involved” to not expect resolution with Dickey tonight. Things could always change, but it appears he’ll remain with the Mets for at least one more day.

5:45 PM: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a possible trade involving Dickey. However, it’s not a done deal yet.

Also, updating a previous story by Joel Sherman, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that reports suggesting Dickey wouldn’t sign a contract extension with the Jays are false.

4:29 PM: Jon Heyman is hearing that the players coming back from Toronto — assuming a deal can get done — are J.P. Arencibia and Anthony Gose, though that may just be speculation, as those two have been talked about in trades involving the Blue Jays for some time. And let’s keep in mind that this is all fluid and depend on Dickey being willing to sign an extension. We think. As we learned with the Shin-Soo Choo trade earlier this week, early reports may only be capturing part of the story.

Rosenthal says the Rangers are OUT on Dickey.

4:05 PM: Joel Sherman reports that the Mets and Blue Jays are far along in trade talks for Dickey — and a deal could be close — but that things are being held up by Dickey’s refusal to agree to sign a contract extension with Toronto. Now, he needn’t sign off on the trade — he has no no-trade protection — but obviously the Jays would be far more willing to give up real value to the Mets if they can lock up Dickey for what will, presumably, be three years instead of just 2013.

Updates, obviously, as warranted.

3:30 PM: In case you didn’t think that the Mets were serious about trading R.A. Dickey:

The Rangers have been talked about as a possible trade partner with the Mets for a couple of days. The Jays and Orioles, not so much.

Should Dave Roberts have taken Clayton Kershaw out of Sunday’s game?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will likely be second-guessed heavily during tomorrow’s news cycle. Starter Clayton Kershaw had pitched a terrific ballgame, as is his tendency, but with 114 pitches to his name, Roberts decided to pull him from the game in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first base.

Roberts opted not for closer Kenley Jansen, who hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, but for another lefty in Adam Liberatore. He was playing the numbers, with the left-handed-hitting Curtis Granderson coming up. Liberatore, much to Roberts’ chagrin, served up what turned out to be a game-tying triple to Granderson, hitting a rocket to right-center just out of the reach of a leaping Yasiel Puig.

Jansen has, for six years, been one of the game’s elite relievers. Kershaw, though at a high pitch count, doesn’t seem to suffer from the times through the order penalty like most pitchers. Kershaw’s opponents’ OPS facing him for the first time was .525 coming into Sunday. Twice, .597. Three times, .587. Four times, .526 (but this suffers from survivorship bias so it’s not exactly representative).

Furthermore, Kershaw held lefties to a .546 OPS over his career. Liberatore, in 99 plate appearances against lefty hitters, gave up a .575 OPS. Jansen? .560. It seems that, faced with three decisions, Roberts arguably made the worst one. Playing conservative with Kershaw at 114 pitches is defensible, but only if Jansen comes in. If Roberts wanted the platoon advantage, Kershaw should have stayed in.

Luckily for the Dodgers, Mets closer Jeurys Familia didn’t have his best stuff. He loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth on a single and two walks, then gave up a two-run single to Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Jansen came on in the bottom half of the ninth and retired the side in order to pick up his 15th save of the season.

Royals sweep White Sox over the weekend on three late rallies

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 28:  Brett Eibner #12 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his game-winning RBI single with teammates in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on May 28, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals won 8-7. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Royals had themselves a pretty good weekend. The quickly fading White Sox, not so much.

On Friday, the Royals fell behind 5-1 after the top of the sixth. They would score once in the bottom of the sixth, four times in the seventh, and once in the eighth to steal a 7-5 win facing pitchers Miguel Gonzalez Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and Nate Jones.

On Saturday, the Royals entered the bottom of the ninth down 7-1. They scored seven runs on closer David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to win 8-7.

On Sunday, the Royals were down 4-2 after the top of the eighth. They plated three runs in the bottom half of the eighth against Jones and Albers, going on to win 5-4.

Coming into the weekend, the Royals were 24-22 in third place. The White Sox were 27-21, a half-game up in first place. Now the Royals are in first place by a game and a half, and the White Sox are in third place, two games out of first.

Here’s video of the Royals’ comeback on Saturday, since it was so unlikely:

Report: Ryan Braun is “the hot name out there”

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 24: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers waits to hit during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 24, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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In Saturday’s column for The Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo notes that, according to a scout, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is “the hot name out there.” Braun has been bothered by neck and back issues this year, missing on Sunday his eighth start out of the Brewers’ last 14 games, but he has still put up a quality .351/.424/.583 triple-slash line in 170 plate appearances this year.

More importantly for an acquiring team, Braun is in the first year of a five-year, $105 million contract. He’s earning $19 million this season and in the ensuing two seasons, and then his salary decreases slightly to $18 million in 2019, $16 million in 2020, and $15 million if both sides pick up his mutual option (else a $4 million buyout would be exercised).

Per Cafardo, the Astros, Cardinals, Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, Giants, and White Sox are potential landing spots for Braun.

Mets unhappy with Dodgers’ request to make outfield markings to position fielders

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28:  The 1986 New York Mets are honored before the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field on May 28, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.The New York Mets are honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1986 championship season.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mets have asked MLB for clarification on the Dodgers’ use of a laser rangefinder for defensive positioning over this weekend’s series at Citi Field. The Dodgers notified the Mets’ ground crew that they wanted to mark certain positions in the outfield grass after determining positions with the rangefinder. The grounds crew said they could leave two marks in center field and one in left field.

However, the grounds crew then went to their superiors and told them that the Dodgers threatened to dig holes in the outfield grass with their cleats, so the grounds crew was then instructed to “erase or obliterate” any of the Dodgers’ markings.

According to Rosenthal, Major League Baseball reinforced a few weeks ago that teams aren’t allowed to use markers to aid defensive positioning. The Dodgers haven’t been accused of doing anything nefarious during a game. Howie Kendrick was seen pulling something out of his pocket in the outfield, but Brett Anderson clarified on Twitter that it was just a piece of paper with notes for defensive positioning.

The series between the Mets and Dodgers has been heated, as Noah Syndergaard was ejected for throwing at Chase Utley on Saturday. Utley then responded by hitting two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. The Mets may have a legitimate concern, or it may just be gamesmanship.