The Orioles expressed interest in Maryland native Gavin Floyd earlier this month, but Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the veteran right-hander has agreed to a deal with the Blue Jays, pending a physical. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman previously reported that the two sides were closing in on a deal.
No word yet on the terms involved, but we might be talking about a minor league deal. Floyd was a solid mid-rotation starter with the White Sox for a long stretch, posting a 4.20 ERA (106 ERA+) from 2007-2012, but elbow issues have limited him to just 92 innings in the majors over the past three seasons. The 33-year-old required surgery last March to repair a re-fracture of the right olecranon bone in his throwing elbow. He spent 2015 with the Indians, so this is a reunion of sorts with Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro now in Toronto’s front office.
The Blue Jays already have plenty of options for their rotation going into spring training, so Floyd will have to earn his way back on the radar.
Marc Carig of The Athletic reports that the Mets have interviewed Dave Littlefield to fill the club’s GM vacancy. The position hasn’t exactly been a popular one for potential candidates, with many preemptively taking their name out of consideration.
Littlefield, 58, was the Pirates’ GM between 2001-07. It didn’t exactly go well. The club never won more than 75 games during his tenure. Littlefield was also infamous for the 2003 Rule 5 draft in which he carelessly left several valuable players unprotected, including Chris Shelton and José Bautista. Littlefield was also criticized for trades he made (e.g. Aramis Ramírez) and for trades he didn’t make (e.g. Kris Benson for Ryan Howard).
In the time since, Littlefield worked as a scout for the Cubs, then for the Tigers. Since 2015, he has worked as the vice president of player development for the Tigers. Littlefield’s successor, Neal Huntington, went on to have more success which didn’t help Littlefield’s cause any. Huntington was also comparatively much more open to analytics.
The Mets’ interest in Littlefield isn’t surprising. There are plenty of up-and-coming GM candidates — like Ben Cherington — the Mets could target, but Fred Wilpon (pictured above) doesn’t want that. He wants someone malleable who will adhere to payroll constrictions. Mets ownership’s involvement is an issue for the younger, analytics-oriented executives, Matt Ehalt of The Record reported earlier this month. Ehalt wrote, “There are rumblings that several candidates with progressive, analytics-oriented approaches do not believe they will be able to operate as they please should they take the Mets job, according to a source. That hesitation played a factor in why former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington bowed out of the mix, per the source.”
You have to feel bad for Mets fans, who seem relegated to having to root for a middling ballclub once again. And you have to feel bad for the likes of Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard, who will once again have to perform for a team that doesn’t have competing as its chief priority.