MLB free agency

MLB Rumors: Rick Porcello, Mets agree to one-year contract worth $10M

MLB Rumors: Rick Porcello, Mets agree to one-year contract worth $10M

The Rick Porcello reunion is off the table.

The free-agent right-hander has agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Mets pending a physical, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris reported Thursday.

The one-year deal is worth $10 million, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

The Red Sox were rumored to be interested in re-signing Porcello after his contract expired in 2019, but New York also was eyeing the 30-year-old veteran and appears to have gotten its man.

Porcello was a workhorse during his five seasons in Boston, starting 32 or more games in four of those campaigns. His brilliant 2016 season -- 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA -- earned him American League Cy Young Award honors.

The New Jersey native struggled to a 5.52 ERA last season, though, and with the Red Sox looking to cut payroll, it seemed unlikely they would open their checkbooks for a starter north of 30.

Porcello's departure leaves a hole in Boston's rotation behind Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi.

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When it comes to Mookie Betts' future with Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts is just as clueless as rest of us

When it comes to Mookie Betts' future with Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts is just as clueless as rest of us

SAN DIEGO -- Xander Bogaerts was born within a week of Mookie Betts in October of 1992, but that doesn't stop him from feeling like the former MVP's big brother.

And so it is that All-Star shortstop -- named a starter on the inaugural all-MLB team on Tuesday -- finds himself conflicted about Betts' future.

On the one hand, Bogaerts wants what's best for Betts, and if that means scoring a record payday in free agency, then so be it. On the other hand, if the Red Sox decide they're not the team to pay him, then Betts could be traded this winter.

"Obviously he's been a huge part of our organization and coming up through the system, and playing so many years with him, and the type of player that he is on and off the field," Bogaerts said. "He's so good on the field, but he's just even better off the field. I know we're pretty much the same age, but I still feel like I'm his older brother by a little bit. He's one of the best players in the game. It would be sad to see him leave. Hopefully, they can find a way to work things out, but Mookie's a grown man now, and he knows what decisions are in his best interests."

What the Red Sox plan to do with Betts remains the most pressing question at the winter meetings, but they don't seem to be feeling much urgency. On Tuesday, an executive with a team that has interest in the right fielder expressed mild surprise that the Red Sox hadn't yet engaged, suggesting that the Sox aren't aggressively shopping him, at least not yet.

It's possible the market for Betts will heat up once the best free-agent position player -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon -- finds a new home. The Dodgers have been linked to both Rendon and Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who could be traded. If they miss out on both, Betts would be a natural target.

The same goes for the Angels, who reportedly offered right-hander Gerrit Cole nearly $300 million before he signed a record deal with the Yankees. The Angels are also reportedly in on Rendon as they look to upgrade a roster that desperately needs to add talent around MVP Mike Trout, although neither Betts nor Rendon would upgrade their biggest weakness, which is starting pitching.

Bogaerts will watch the saga unfold from afar like the rest of us, hoping against hope that the Red Sox find a way to keep the five-tool outfielder who's technically six days his junior (Oct. 1 vs. Oct. 7).

"I know there's a lot of stories, a lot of stuff being said about the team and what moves we should and shouldn't do," Bogaerts said. "I know there's a lot. I can't keep up with it all, but we'll see what happens. Once spring training comes around, we'll have a better idea obviously of where we are as a team. As of now, I'm also waiting."

And if this is it for Betts, at least Bogaerts will have one final memory. When Betts scored from first on a deflected single to walk off the Orioles on the final day of the 2019 season, Bogaerts was the first player to greet him at the plate.

"I was in that picture when he got the last run of the year last year," he said, "so that will be a nice picture if he's gone."

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J.D. Martinez is officially on the clock, and here's where he could end up if he opts out

J.D. Martinez is officially on the clock, and here's where he could end up if he opts out

Let the J.D. Martinez countdown begin.

With the World Series officially over, the Red Sox DH now has five days to decide if he'll opt out of the final three years of his contract and become a free agent.

Because the Red Sox have no plans at the moment to offer him anything more than the $62.5 million remaining on his deal, he's expected to opt-out and see what the market might bear.

The question he and agent Scott Boras must ask, though, is what kind of interest he'll realistically generate. Luckily for them, we're here to help!

Thanks to Martinez's unique set of skills (and weaknesses), narrowing the field is easier than you might think.

For one, let's just throw out the entire National League. Martinez can play the outfield in a pinch, but it's hard to imagine anyone committing three or four years of big money for him to play there every day at age 32, with some back troubles in 2019.

That leaves the American League. He's as good a DH as the game has seen since David Ortiz, and even in an era when teams seem disinclined to devote major resources to the position, Martinez's impact on an offense means he'll have suitors. It just probably won't be as many as he deserves.

Playing the process-of-elimination game in the AL doesn't leave too many teams standing.

First off, there's money. Martinez's contractual demands -- three years and $75 million feels like the floor -- should take half of the league out of contention.

That means the Rays, Indians, Tigers, Royals, and A's. I'd add the Orioles to the list, because what's the point? And if the Red Sox are intent on cutting costs to drop below $208 million, then we should put them here, too, as ludicrous as that sounds.

Next up: teams with DHs. The Twins just picked up Nelson Cruz's option, so they're out. Same goes for the Angels (Shohei Otani) and Astros (Yordan Alvarez). Unless the Rangers can find a taker for Shin-Soo Choo's $21 million salary, then they lack an opening, too.

I'd argue that the Yankees should be on this list, thanks to uncertainty over Giancarlo Stanton's ability to stay healthy, as well as no shortage of internal candidates to share at-bats: Gary Sanchez, Mike Tauchman, etc. . . . The Yankees so desperately need starting pitching, it's hard to imagine they'd make Martinez a priority, but the Red Sox are nonetheless uneasy that New York could end up being stealth bidders to create a monster offense.

So who's left? The Blue Jays, White Sox, and Mariners.

The Blue Jays intend to spend this offseason, but after trading ace Marcus Stroman to the Mets, they're desperate for pitching. They can't be entirely discounted, though, because their young core of children of former big leaguers -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio -- could use not just a mentor, but an alpha in the middle of the lineup to let them develop without carrying the load.

Martinez would be that guy, but the Jays won't win anything without more pitching. That's where their resources will likely be directed.

The Mariners have signed massive free-agent deals before, be it Adrian Beltre or Robinson Cano. They also reportedly tried to acquire Martinez from the Tigers in 2016, so there's a history of interest. But it's hard to see how Martinez, who turned 32 in August, fits the long-term plans of a team that just won 68 games and isn't close to contention.

That leaves one team, and it's the most intriguing of the bunch: the White Sox.

Like the Jays, Chicago boasts a promising young core built around AL batting champ Tim Anderson, former Red Sox farmhand Yoan Moncada, and slugging outfielder Eloy Jimenez. Martinez could fill the mentor/alpha role described above.

Like the Mariners, the White Sox have shown an occasional willingness to spend in free agency. Just last year, they made a legitimate run at Manny Machado before he signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres.

The White Sox are close, thanks to one of baseball's best farm systems. Martinez's arrival would dovetail nicely with the integration of top prospects like outfielder Luis Robert and second baseman (and Dustin Pedroia clone) Nick Madrigal.

Like the Yankees, Chicago should probably be focusing its resources on pitching, but that's going to be a competitive market. The Martinez Sweepstakes, by contrast, could end up being a much quieter affair, which makes the White Sox, at least from this standpoint, the best fit to land him in free agency.

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