Update (7:13 PM EST): Heyman reports that the deal is official.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Mets and Braves are “close” on a trade that would send Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to New York. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Joel Sherman of the New York Post also reported that a deal is close.
Uribe, 36, has already been traded this season, as he joined the Braves from the Dodgers in late May along with pitcher Chris Withrow. The Dodgers received Alberto Callaspo, Eric Stults, Ian Thomas, and Juan Jaime from Atlanta. Uribe has hit well in a Braves uniform, posting a .285/.353/.464 triple-slash line with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 167 plate appearances.
Johnson, 33, has played first, second, and third base as well as both corner outfield positions while hitting .275/.321/.451 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 197 plate appearances.
Sherman reports that the Braves will be receiving “young arms” in the trade, including John Gant. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 3.52 ERA and a 91/36 K/BB ratio over 99 2/3 combined innings between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton.
Update (7:07 PM EST): Per Sherman, Rob Whalen is the other pitcher involved in the deal. The 21-year-old right-hander has a 3.36 ERA with a 61/34 K/BB ratio in 83 innings with Single-A St. Lucie.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.