As D.J. said last night, the Mets announced their second round of interviews, and they include Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Chip Hale and Wally Backman. But Joel Sherman is throwing cold water on the notion that this is truly a four-man race:
I guess Hale, in particular, has a chance to throw a Hail Mary and get the job. But this is as close to a rigged event as possible with Collins as the favorite and Melvin as a very in-the-competition second choice.
Sherman also notes that, while Backman and Hale are coming back for second interviews, in some ways it’s just an extension of his first because “his two main new assistants, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi, were not yet on board” when those two were first interviewed. In contrast, DePodesta and Ricciardi were both involved in earlier discussions with Melvin and Collins.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.