(Chris Soto: Gotta tip your cap to the Cubs...despite not making the best offer, they made a better pitch to Zobrist and had his former coach Jon Maddon on the staff to entice him even more. Zobrist certainly has better numbers than Castro, but he is 10 yrs older than him. In addition, the return they received for Castro was not pretty bad considering he is cost controlled high end hitting SS.)
Maria Guardado | NJ Advance Media- Now that Ben Zobrist has signed with the Chicago Cubs, the Mets must search for a Plan B. With a hole still left to fill at second base, the Mets will circle back to free agent Daniel Murphy, who turned down the club's one-year, $14 million qualifying offer last month. Like Zobrist, Murphy is a versatile player who can play first, second and third base. Having drafted and developed him, the Mets also know exactly what kind of player they'd be getting. However, Murphy is a below-average defensive second baseman and he is also prone to blunders on the base paths.
(Chris Soto: Zobrist's deal with the Cubs sets a benchmark for Murphy. If Zobrist is worth $14M per season than Murphy is likely to sign a deal for possibly the same amount of years at a $12M per season rate. This is a figure that I personally would be very comfortable giving Murphy to be my everyday 2B as well as my "Oh Shit" plan for 3B in case David Wright gets hurt again. One thing a lot of folks are overlooking is that Murphy worked heavily with Kevin Long this season to make a tweak to his swing in an effort to develop more power. As a result, Murphy posted the best "power" season of his career posting an ISO rate 33 points above his career average.)
Associated Press | Yahoo Sports- Mets infielder Wilmer Flores broke his left ankle last month when he was hit by a pitch playing winter ball in Venezuela. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Tuesday at the winter meetings that Flores does not need surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training. Flores was injured in his season debut with the Bravos de Margarita in his home country. He took several days off then returned to the lineup for three games before being shut down for the winter. The Mets originally thought the injury a bruise but learned Tuesday it was a nondisplaced fracture.
(Chris Soto: Here is the danger with letting guys play in oversea Winter Leagues. The medical technology available to them is no where near what the Mets have sitting in Citi Field alone. Flores figured it was just a bruise and tried to gut it out. He even performed well in his 3 games back, but something still didn't feel right so he returned back to the States where an X-Ray was done and the fracture was found. It's certainly not too bad of an injury since it's non-displaced. It basically amounts to just a crack. He'll be fine in about 4-6 weeks.)
HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
- The Braves fire sale continues. They traded RHSP Shelby Miller and minor league LHRP Gabe Speier to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2015's 1st round pick and team #1 prospect SS Darby Swanson, #3 prospect RHSP Aaron Blair, and MLB OF Ender Inciarte.
- The LA Dodgers seem to be the most aggressive team trying to convince the Miami Marlins to trade RHSP Jose Fernandez. The club is now trying to involve a 3rd party to try and get the necessary second high level prospect they need to acquire Fernandez without having to give up SS Corey Seager.
- The Mets have received offers for LHSP Jon Niese. According to Mike Puma, the club feels comfortable enough with Rafael Montero's health progress to use him in the #5 SP role in the event Niese is traded until Zack Wheeler is ready to return.