Quiet GM meetings end without hint of CBA resolution

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — A looming lockout at the expiration of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement Dec. 1 didn’t change much at the MLB general manager’s meetings this week.

“I’m not part of the negotiating team, so I mean, business as usual for us,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

“Business as usual,” Indians baseball boss Chris Antonetti echoed. Credit the same quote to Seattle’s Jerry DiPoto, Houston’s James Click and Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn, among others.

“Same thing we say every year,” the Cubs’ Jed Hoyer said.

Despite an offseason that figures to be different than any since baseball’s last labor stoppage in 1994-95, the GM meetings went on as planned in Southern California.

Heads of baseball operations departments sat for presentations from league officials on the progress of rules experiments in the minor leagues, were pitched by Players Alliance reps – including former players CC Sabathia and Curtis Granderson – on ways to help diversity efforts, and laid the groundwork for deals that might be struck later this winter.

Agents roamed the premise as usual, too. Scott Boras said he was meeting with teams until 3 a.m. most nights, and of course, he came ready with his usual quips for his scrum with reporters. Given that next month’s winter meetings may be impacted by a lockout, this might have been his only chance for a high-profile news conference.

Just four roster moves were made during the two-day meetings – the Dodgers finalized a deal for left-hander Andrew Heaney, the Yankees brought back lefty Joely Rodriguez, the Rays released lefty Adam Conley and righty Drew Carlton was assigned outright to Triple-A by Detroit.

Of course, the GM meetings aren’t usually where deals are finished.

“It’s the same,” Cashman said. “You try to connect, try to get as much information usually at the beginning of the process.”

The Yankees are searching for a shortstop, and there are five big ones on the open market – Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien. Cashman said he’s met with reps for most of them and will soon get to the rest.

“I don’t think anybody ever tells me at the outset, you never hear, `I don’t want to come to New York,”‘ Cashman said.

Unless, it seems if you’re the Mets. Team President Sandy Alderson departed Wednesday night with the club still mired in a search for a head of baseball operations.

Several candidates have been unable to get permission from their current teams to interview, and others have declined because they are too comfortable personally or professionally where they are. Alderson claimed most of the hesitation has been due to the New York market.

“It’s a big stage and some people would just prefer to be elsewhere,” he said Tuesday.

The most crucial meetings happened without the GMs. League and union officials bargained Tuesday and Wednesday, and indications are a deal is not anywhere close.

Next up on the baseball calendar is the owners’ meetings in Chicago next week. After that, the Nov. 19 deadline to add players to 40-man rosters and protect them from the winter meeting draft. The winter meetings are still slated for Dec. 6 in Orlando, Florida, but those are in jeopardy without a new CBA in place.

Business as usual, as they say, at least until its not.

“They’ll obviously come to a resolution at some point,” Cashman said. “We’ll find commond ground. They’ve always done it in the past, mostly. So at some point, optimistic they’ll do that again. Otherwise, I just do what I gotta do.”

Padres claim 2-time All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from Mets

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — The scuffling San Diego Padres claimed catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from the New York Mets.

The two-time All-Star was designated for assignment after playing in three games for the Mets. He went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI, looking shaky at times behind the plate.

With the disappointing Padres (24-29) getting meager offensive production at catcher, they hope Sánchez can provide a boost. Austin Nola is batting .131 with three extra-base hits and a paltry .434 OPS in 39 games. His part-time platoon partner, second-stringer Brett Sullivan, is hitting .170 with four extra-base hits and a .482 OPS in 21 games since getting called up from the minors April 16.

Luis Campusano has been on the injured list since April 17 and is expected to be sidelined until around the All-Star break following left thumb surgery.

San Diego is responsible for just over $1 million in salary for Sánchez after assuming his $1.5 million, one-year contract.

The star-studded Padres have lost seven of 11 and are 3-3 on a nine-game East Coast trip. They open a three-game series at Miami.

San Diego becomes the third National League team to take a close look at the 30-year-old Sánchez this season. He spent time in the minors with San Francisco before getting released May 2 and signing a minor league contract a week later with the Mets, who were minus a couple of injured catchers at the time.

After hitting well in a short stint at Triple-A Syracuse, he was promoted to the big leagues May 19. When the Mets reinstated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list last week, Sánchez was cut.

Sánchez’s best seasons came early in his career with the New York Yankees, where he was runner-up in 2016 AL Rookie of the Year voting and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 and 2019.

He was traded to Minnesota before the 2022 season and batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games last year.

With the Padres, Sánchez could also be a candidate for at-bats at designated hitter, where 42-year-old Nelson Cruz is batting .245 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .670 OPS, and 37-year-old Matt Carpenter is hitting .174 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .652 OPS.