UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson plans to meet with Arroyo at the pitcher’s home in Florida next week. Alderson contacted Arroyo’s representatives on Wednesday to arrange the meeting.
3:00 p.m. ET: It was reported on Thanksgiving that the Twins were still pursuing Bronson Arroyo even after adding Ricky Nolasco and now Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish hears that the Mets are “heavily involved” in talks with the free agent right-hander.
No deal is believed to be imminent, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has expressed interest in meeting with Arroyo in the near future. That could happen before or during the Winter Meetings, which will take place from December 9-12 in Orlando.
As of now, the only locks for the Mets’ rotation are Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Zack Wheeler, so adding a veteran innings-eater like Arroyo could make sense if the price is right. However, it’s unclear where he falls on their priority list this winter, as they also have a clear need for offense.
Cotillo hears that the Angels are also involved for Arroyo, though they haven’t been nearly as aggressive as the Twins and Mets. Meanwhile, the Yankees intend to wait things out with Masahiro Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda before seeing where they stand.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.