The Mets shortstop situation is still in flux. Or a mess. Or a tire fire. Or is being overly-focused upon because nothing else is going on. Take your pick. Just know that it’s what everyone who goes to Port St. Lucie is talking about.
The latest being John Harper of the Daily News. Who, after noting that Ruben Tejada has been struggling at short this spring, reports on one possibility at Sandy Alderson’s disposal:
Meanwhile, a source affiliated with another ballclub, who has past ties to GM Sandy Alderson, said the Mets are continuing to monitor the Diamondbacks’ shortstop competition, and “could jump in” to try to make a trade for either Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings before spring training ends.
That would cost the Mets a catching and a pitching prospect, Harper says. Which seems high to me when Stephen Drew is literally sitting around waiting for his phone to ring.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.