In his “10 questions” piece for MLB.com, T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers are in the market for backstops:
1. What will happen with the catching situation?
The Rangers will bring in at least one and possibly two veteran
catchers to push Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. The
Rangers clearly have concerns about Saltalamacchia’s right shoulder and
they clearly have doubts that Teagarden is ready for everyday duty.
Rod Barajas, Yorvit Torrealba,
Bengie Molina and Miguel Olivo are the “best available” catchers, and I put that
in quotes for obvious reasons, but all four are believed to be seeking
multi-year contracts. Instead, Sullivan sees the Rangers going after
secondary options like Jose Molina, Michael Barrett and Mike Redmond.
He also mentions Josh Bard as a possibility, however he signed a minor
league deal with the Mariners earlier this week. Devastating news, I
know, but Jon Daniels will just have to pick up the pieces and move on.
Update: Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that the Rangers have shown interest in Dioner Navarro of the Rays. Navarro was a non-tender candidate last month before he agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mets aren’t looking for long-term investment pieces in a trade for right-hander Noah Syndergaard, per unnamed sources. Instead, any deal the club makes will likely center on players who can make a difference for them in 2019 as they attempt to rise from last year’s fourth-place finish in the NL East and make a run at the postseason.
The 26-year-old starter has been a fixture of the Mets’ rotation since he got his start in the majors in 2015. Despite missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a torn lat muscle in his throwing arm, he returned to pitch his third full season in 2018 with a winning 13-4 record in 25 starts, 3.03 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 154 1/3 innings and finished the year with his first complete game shutout, to boot. After receiving a $2.975 million salary in 2018, he’s slated for another three years in arbitration before entering free agency in the 2022 season.
So far this offseason, the Padres have been the only team linked to the righty, though they didn’t come close to completing a trade when they first inquired about him back at the July deadline. If the Mets are serious about dealing Syndergaard, as Rosenthal seems to suggest, they could very well look at acquiring another couple of arms to round out their rotation. Assuming Syndergaard is moved this winter, the team will enter 2019 with right-handers Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, lefties Jason Vargas and (the oft-injured) Steven Matz — and relatively little depth behind the four.