Rick Ankiel entered today’s marathon ballgame against the Marlins in the 13th inning, taking reliever David Aardsma’s spot at #9 in the lineup. In his four at-bats, he struck out three times and fouled out weakly to Placido Polanco at third base. Since coming over to the Mets after the Astros cut him, Ankiel came to the plate 71 times, getting hits in only 12 of them.
The Mets designated Ankiel for assignment and have recalled Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas, reports ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Nieuwenhuis is hitting .232 in the Minors, but has a .339 on-base percentage thanks to 22 walks in 167 PA. He has a .486 slugging percentage as well, thanks in large part to ten home runs.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.