NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Mets manager Mickey Callaway has reportedly been in touch with free agent first baseman Mike Napoli, a player he knows well from their days in Cleveland.
According to the New York Post, the Mets are looking to sign to a one-year contract a veteran first baseman who can either serve as a placeholder for or platoon with Dominic Smith.
Napoli, 36, was a key figure in the Indians’ 2016 World Series season, when he batted .239 with 34 homers and 101 RBIs.
Napoli returned to the Texas Rangers as a free agent last season. Battling a hand injury, he hit just .193, but with 29 homers and 66 RBIs. The Rangers declined to pick up the $11 million option on his contract for 2018.
Callaway was the Indians’ pitching coach from 2013-17.
At least three teams have expressed interest in trading for Matt Harvey, according to reports.
WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, also of FanRag Sports, reported that the Mets and Rangers have discussed a trade involving Harvey for infielder Jurickson Profar. However, because Harvey will become a free agent after next season and Profar is under team control until 2020, Texas likely won’t agree to an even swap, Heyman reported.
Once considered the No. 1 prospect in baseball, Profar, 24, has batted .229 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 206 games on the major league level.
According to The Athletic, the Mets and Orioles also have discussed a potential trade that would send Harvey to Baltimore in exchange for right-handed reliever Brad Brach, a native of Freehold, New Jersey.
In 67 appearances last season, Brach had a 3.18 ERA and 18 saves. He is eligibile for arbitration this season and will become a free agent next year.
Meanwhile, SNY’s Andy Martino reported the Cubs have, too, expressed interest in Harvey.
Asked about the rumors Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings in Florida, general manager Sandy Alderson cast doubts that the Mets will move Harvey.
“All I’m weighing right now are the opinions of Mickey Callaway and (pitching coach) Dave Eiland, and they don’t want to lose him,” Alderson told reporters.
Harvey’s once-promising career has been derailed by injuries and poor performance in recent years. Last season, the right-hander was 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA. He struck out a career-low 67 batters while walking a career-high 70.
According to The New York Times, the Mets are showing interest in free agent reliever Juan Nicasio. The 31-year-old right-hander split time last season between the Pirates, Phillies and Cardinals, leading the National League in appearances while registering a 2.61 ERA.