According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York the Mets “have expressed interest” in Rockies utility man Eric Young Jr.
Rubin notes that the two teams have had talks regarding Jon Niese, but indicates that the Young discussions may be unrelated and quotes a source as saying that the Mets may be able to get him for second baseman Justin Turner.
Young has very little power and hasn’t hit in the majors yet, but the 27-year-old switch-hitter batted .309 with a .399 on-base percentage and 85 steals in 210 games at Triple-A. It’s unclear where he fits defensively long term, but if things break right for Young he profiles as a potential leadoff man with solid on-base skills and 50-steal speed.
Turner, who was claimed off waivers from the Orioles in May of 2010, hit .260 with four homers and a .690 OPS in 117 games for the Mets while seeing action at second base and third base.
First baseman José Abreu and starter Jake Odorizzi have accepted their $17.8 million qualifying offers from the White Sox and Twins, respectively, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Reliever Will Smith signed a three-year contract with the Braves ahead of Thursday’s 5 PM ET deadline to accept or reject the qualifying offer.
The remaining seven players — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, and Marcell Ozuna — have rejected their qualifying offers, per Passan. They are officially free agents and will have draft pick compensation attached to them, a potential deterrent for some interested teams.
The QO is unlikely to materially affect the fates of Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg, but it could limit the markets for the other four players. Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel both had draft pick compensation attached to them after the 2018 season and didn’t end up signing until June. It seems unlikely that Wheeler, Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Ozuna would have to wait until June next year to sign but it may take a while for their markets to develop.