Back in November of 2007 the Mets agreed to a three-year, $14.4 million contract with free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba, only to nix the deal when a pre-signing physical exam raised concerns about his right shoulder.
Torrealba and the MLB players’ association later filed a grievance, but yesterday an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Mets, determining that the team had the right to void the contract due to the medical risk involved.
Torrealba went on to re-sign with the Rockies for $7.25 million over two seasons and then spent last year earning $1.25 million with the Padres, meaning the nixed deal cost him approximately $6 million. Brian Schneider took his place as the Mets’ primary catcher and hit just .244 with a .680 OPS while earning $9.8 million, so the deal didn’t work out particularly well for New York either.
Texas signed Torrealba to a two-year, $6.25 million deal this offseason and he’s expected to replace Bengie Molina as the Rangers’ starting backstop.
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.