Bronson Arroyo

Bronson Arroyo “would definitely consider” signing with the Mets

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After spending the last eight seasons with the Reds, Bronson Arroyo will almost certainly be pitching elsewhere next season. And while the Hot Stove is just getting warmed up, Dan Martin of the New York Post brings the following tidbit about a potential landing spot for the free agent right-hander:

The Mets’ hopes for the backbone of their team next season to be starting pitching suffered a crushing blow when Matt Harvey was lost following Tommy John surgery.

If they are going to have any chance of staying relevant in 2014, the Mets will almost certainly have to lure someone like Bronson Arroyo to help the rotation.

While the Mets have not contacted Arroyo yet, that should change.

“Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”

It would be silly to rule out any team, so this ultimately doesn’t mean much. Still, the Mets expect to be active in free agency with a lot of money coming off the books, and could use a veteran arm with Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee as the only locks for the starting rotation.

Arroyo, 36, posted a 3.79 ERA and 124/34 K/BB ratio over 32 starts this season and has logged at least 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons. He’s looking for at least a two-year deal and should have no problem finding it.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a designated hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.