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Mets are talking to A.J. Pollock, inquiring about J.T. Realmuto

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Earlier this week, at the press conference announcing the Robinson Cano trade, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said that this would not be the last move the Mets made as they approach what is looking like a win-now 2019 season. Today Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports that the Mets have been in contact with the agents of outfielder A.J. Pollock. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mets have made contact with the Marlins regarding a possible trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Those would certainly be interesting next moves.

Pollock has been rumored to be seeking a five-year, $80 million deal, which is what Lorenzo Cain signed for last winter with the Brewers. Pollock certainly has some durability issues, but he has been a very productive all-around player when healthy, hitting .281/.338/.484 while playing excellent defense over the course of his seven-year career.

Realmuto, meanwhile, is generally considered the best catcher in the game, with several teams reportedly trying to take him off the Marlins’ hands. Given that New York gave up top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners as part of the Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz trade, it’s hard to see the Mets having enough to get Realmuto, but it’s interesting to see Van Wagenen trying.

Smoke or fire? Either way, the Mets’ offseason has been a pretty interesting one so far.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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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.