While there has been some conflicting information on the Mets’ interest in a meeting with right-hander Bronson Arroyo, general manager Sandy Alderson has another free agent on his radar.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Alderson had a meeting with Curtis Granderson yesterday. We heard about a month ago that the Mets had “preliminary interest” in the free agent outfielder, so this latest report would seem to indicate that they could be serious about making a run at signing him. Or at the very least, that they haven’t ruled out the possibility.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that Granderson wants a minimum of three years on his next contract. He is attached to draft pick compensation, but one possible advantage for the Mets is that they would only have to surrender their second-round pick in order to sign him.
The Mets already signed Chris Young to a one-year deal late last month, but they are said to still be on the lookout for other outfielders, preferably of the power-hitting variety. Granderson would satisfy both criteria. While the 32-year-old was limited to just 61 games this past season due to a pair of freak injuries, he amassed 84 home runs from 2011-2012. Granted, his age and strikeout rate are concerns and he would likely lose a few homers making the switch from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field, but he would give the Mets a legitimate power threat behind David Wright.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.