Report: Mets “heavily involved” in talks with free agent Bronson Arroyo

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UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson plans to meet with Arroyo at the pitcher’s home in Florida next week. Alderson contacted Arroyo’s representatives on Wednesday to arrange the meeting.

3:00 p.m. ET: It was reported on Thanksgiving that the Twins were still pursuing Bronson Arroyo even after adding Ricky Nolasco and now Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish hears that the Mets are “heavily involved” in talks with the free agent right-hander.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has expressed interest in meeting with Arroyo in the near future. That could happen before or during the Winter Meetings, which will take place from December 9-12 in Orlando.

As of now, the only locks for the Mets’ rotation are Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Zack Wheeler, so adding a veteran innings-eater like Arroyo could make sense if the price is right. However, it’s unclear where he falls on their priority list this winter, as they also have a clear need for offense.

Cotillo hears that the Angels are also involved for Arroyo, though they haven’t been nearly as aggressive as the Twins and Mets. Meanwhile, the Yankees intend to wait things out with Masahiro Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda before seeing where they stand.

Two of 10 players accept $17.8 million qualifying offers

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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.