Bill Bray had to cut a bullpen session short after aggravating a groin injury and if he’s unavailable for Opening Day the Reds may shift Aroldis Chapman back to the bullpen.
All offseason the Reds talked about stretching out Chapman for a potential move to the rotation, but they have plenty of starter depth even without him and Bay’s injury could leave a key hole in the left-handed setup corps.
Or as manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer: “That’s a pretty good backup plan.”
For now Fay reports that Chapman remains scheduled to start tomorrow’s game against the Giants, so he’ll probably stay in limbo until the Reds have a better idea of Bray’s recovery timetable.
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.