Mets and Yankees: Winter Meetings Tuesday Notebook

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD –   As of Tuesday evening the Yankees were looking to make a big splash at the Winter  Meetings with reports of offers exceeding $62 million going to elite closers Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.  One or the two could end up in the Bronx, with Chapman the Yankees obvious preference.  

Chapman just a few days ago was seeking a five year-deal, and the Yankees made it known that was out of their ballpark. In other words there was the assumption of the Yankees and Chapman going in another direction.

Sources say it is highly unlikely that Chapman would get five-years, so the four year offer is very possible.  General manager Brian Cashman came to these meetings looking at Chapman and a return, also realizing again that Dellin Betances is better suited in the bullpen in a setup role.

If the Yankees do land two coveted names for their bullpen, and if the reported offers are valid, that would break precedent of signing pitchers to long term contracts. And this summer, Hank Steinbrenner who does not have a significant presence in negotiations, said the days of the Yankees and signing pitchers to long term deals are over.

But hearing $ 80 million for Jansen and $90 million for Chapman?  By all standards it is conceivable in baseball economics, and the Yankees have done this in the past. But  it goes against the Yankees philosophy now to spend that way unless something sles is in the plan before these meetings close on Thursday….

How about another “Three-Headed Monster” in the Bronx out of the pen? Betances, Jansen, and Chapman bringing back the constructed plan of the Yankees this past April of Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman?  We all know, that did not last long as the Yankees traded off contracts to get younger and more athletic.

Reports early Tuesday that Nationals lefthander Gio Gonzalez was headed to the Bronx, a deal that was knocked down when the Nationals failed to acquire lefthander Chris Sale, who went to Boston, are valid. The move would make sense for the Yankees as Gonzalez, with family in the Union City area of New Jersey, would be in the last of a six-year $53 million contract with the Nationals.

As of late Tuesday, the Yankees are  not commenting about a possible move of Gonzalez  for two or three prospects.  Cashman is talking, but nothing is close to being signed, sealed and delivered about a trade before the meetings conclude for Gonzalez  ow with other teams.

COLLINS ADDRESSES METS PLAN:  Mets manager Terry Collins who has been up and down hallways and escalators of two main lobbies at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, met with media Tuesday afternoon and he was obviously pleased that Yoenis Cespedes is returning to his lineup.  With GM Sandy Alderson not closing in on a deal to trade Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce, Collins said in the event Granderson is still with the team, he will get the bulk of playing time in centerfield.

And the Mets continue their pursuit for help in the bullpen, especially with the expected suspension of closer Jeurys Familia for domestic violence, that could take effect at the start of the season.  

Other around the horn comments from Collins: On the health and plan for David Wright: “David knows himself better than anyone, if he is ready to play games or ready to get in the line-up we’re going to get him in there.”

“Optimistically I’d like to see him play four-games and get a day off. If he’s healthy enough to play, why couldn’t he play four? I think he’s going to need more days off then in the past. But they’re no reason if he gets out of spring training. One thing about David, he will look you in the eye and tell you we’re he’s at. I’m anxious to get it done in January.”

Collins said about a healthy return of the pitching rotation: “We’ve got to be careful that they are rested, we don’t overwork them, not just their pitch counts but they are not near their innings limit.”

On Jose Reyes: “When he gets to camp were going to have him take ground balls at all three infield positions and I am going to have him do some things in centerfield. I think with what I said at the beginning, we have to have some options, some athleticism. “

And Tim Tebow drew some response though Collins said, he has not talked with the link that was a part of Cespedes returning to the Mets.

“I will tell you if he isn’t in our camp, I’ll get him over there. He’s a name; he was a star in Florida. I think it would be fun to have him come over. Here’s a guy that’s not into himself. He’s into being an athlete and being a teammate, a tremendous teammate.”

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter: @Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich has covered countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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