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February 3, 2017

Rumor Roundup

Mets Machinations

by Demetrius Bell


White Sox pit Texas teams against each other for Quintana

Apparently, the baseball world couldn’t go much longer without some Jose Quintana trade rumors. Things must have been too quiet on that particular front, because there were rumblings originating from Bob Nightengale that the Rangers are stepping up their pursuit of the top man in the White Sox’s rotation. However, the rumor appeared to die about as quickly as it came to life when Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported that he hadn’t heard anything recently about the Rangers approaching Chicago about Quintana.

In fact, Grant pointed out something that makes plenty of sense—the White Sox could be leaking information to the press in an effort to help revive the market for Quintana. We haven’t heard too much about the left-hander when it comes to a possible trade with either the Astros or Pirates, so this could be a veiled message to those teams to come back to the table.

The message was probably directed at the Astros in particular, since they’ve now got some more assets at their disposal following the end of the Cardinals' hacking scandal. We’ll just have to wait see if this move on Chicago’s part will entice Houston to revive trade talks.

Mets show interest in reunion with Blevins

There have been rumors that the Mets are in the market for a reliever, and while it seemed like they may have been players for Sergio Romo, it appears that—according to Ken Rosenthal—the Dodgers (and one of those spooky mystery teams) may be trying to swoop in for him. However, the Mets have also been linked to left-hander Jerry Blevins, who spent last season in their bullpen with a 2.79 ERA and 51/15 K/BB ratio in 42 innings.

The New York Post is reporting that the Mets are definitely in favor of a reunion with the 33-year-old reliever, but the running theme for the Mets this offseason has been their budget issues. Per Rosenthal, Blevins has dropped his asking price since the offseason began, with the market starting to get smaller and smaller for him, and that’s probably what’s encouraged the Mets to get in on this action. Still, it’ll probably take them getting creative with finances if they intend to get Blevins to come back to Citi Field this season.

Lagares could be dealt from Mets’ outfield surplus

One way the Mets could potentially go about clearing up some payroll room for Blevins (or any other relievers) is trading one of their outfielders. Again, there’s been plenty of chatter along those lines all offseason, and the latest outfielder to get named in those rumors is Juan Lagares.

Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted out that Lagares was garnering interest, and specifically noting that getting his $4.5 million salary for 2017 (and a long-term contract that’s only going to get more expensive) off the books would go a long way in helping the Mets achieve their aforementioned goal of shoring up the bullpen. The Mets are probably going to go with Curtis Granderson as the starter in center field, which leaves Lagares as a fourth outfielder.

When you consider that Lagares has been banged up often and on a decline over the past two seasons—the days of him putting up numbers like 20.2 FRAA are long gone—it does make sense that he could be traded if New York gets the right call.

Demetrius Bell is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Demetrius's other articles. You can contact Demetrius by clicking here

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