Derrek Lee is one of the bigger name free agents not to find a job this offseason, but the 36-year-old first baseman is not ready to retire.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Lee hasn’t called it quits and is “still open to the right opportunity.”
Last offseason Lee signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal with the Orioles and was later traded to the Pirates. He was a shell of his former self, but .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games is still reasonable production.
It’ll be interesting to see if he’s willing to accept a minor-league contract as Opening Day nears, because he might need an injury to a starting first baseman to snag a big-league deal.
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.