Tyler Naquin goes to 1st-place Mets from last-place Reds

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Tyler Naquin went to the first-place Mets from the last-place Reds and was on the bench for  series opener at Miami.

New York acquired the left-handed-hitting outfielder and lefty reliever Phillip Diehl in a deal for two teenage minor leaguers, outfielder Hector Rodriguez and right-hander Jose Acuna.

“It’s fun, exciting news. It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of hours,” Naquin said. “We have a good ballclub. It’s cool to look forward to that.”

Naquin, a first-round draft pick 10 years ago, was batting .246 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 56 games for the Reds. He homered and drove in two runs Thursday afternoon in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins.

“Whatever they need, just take it day by day, and wherever I fit in,” Naquin said.

Outfielder Travis Jankowski was designated for assignment by the Mets, who also recalled left-hander Sam Clay and right-hander Stephen Nogosek from Syracuse and optioned left-hander David Peterson to the Triple-A farm team.

Naquin was drafted 15th overall by Cleveland in 2012 and made his major league debut in 2016, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting after posting an .886 OPS in 116 games. While in Cleveland, he was teammates with current Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.

Beset by injuries throughout his career, Naquin signed with Cincinnati as a free agent in February 2021 and batted .270 last year with career highs of 19 homers, 70 RBIs and 127 games.

He entered Thursday a .269 career hitter with a .774 OPS in 507 games over seven seasons with Cleveland and Cincinnati. He had an .805 career OPS against right-handers, including an .811 mark this year.

“He’s a guy that can play all three outfield positions, good defender, good thrower, runs the bases,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “He brings some things that all clubs need. Just another piece that we can maneuver and present a tough lineup.”

Naquin has a $4,025,000 salary and is eligible for free agency after the season. His acquisition pushed New York’s luxury tax payroll above $290 million, the new fourth tax level named after free-spending Mets owner Steve Cohen.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.