There have been some reports about roadblocks in the contract negotiations between the Rangers and Yu Darvish, but according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com they “expect to sign” the Japanese right-hander before tomorrow’s late-afternoon deadline.
There’s also been some speculation that the Rangers could sign Darvish to a huge long-term deal and then add Prince Fielder as well, but Sullivan reports that “they are not expecting to sign” Fielder if Darvish agrees to terms.
Fielder and agent Scott Boras met with the Rangers in Dallas last week, leading to all kinds rumors about how far along they were in talks, but Sullivan calls the get-together merely “a preliminary meeting.” Connecting the dots, it sounds like the Rangers have Fielder in place as a fallback option should Darvish not sign, but unless Fielder’s demands drop significantly it’s unlikely they’ll both wind up in Texas.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.