With Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and the newly-acquired Collin Cowgill as the top internal options on their 40-man roster, the Mets don’t have a legitimate everyday outfielder at this point. Now they are looking at someone who hasn’t played in the majors since September 22, 2011.
SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt hears that the Mets are “very interested” in free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore. The 30-year-old didn’t play at all with the Indians in 2012 and is expected to be out until midseason next year following microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, so patience will be required by any team that signs him. The Mets aren’t expected to contend in 2013, so they might be one of those clubs willing to roll the dice on a possible rebound.
Sizemore was once one of the game’s brightest young stars, but he has missed 382 of a possible 486 games over the past three seasons. After having microfracture surgery on both of his knees since 2010, his days as a center fielder are likely over. Chances are he’ll have to settle for a one-year deal with a low guarantee or possibly a minor league deal.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.