New York Mets slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is expected to opt-out of his current contract following the conclusion of the World Series, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.
In a move that was hardly unexpected, Cespedes will hit the free agent market for the second consecutive offseason.
The Mets inked Cespedes to a three-year, $75 million deal in January. The opt-out after the first season, though, seemed to be almost a given to be exercised assuming Cespedes stayed healthy and continued to produce.
In reality, with the news, the contract becomes a one-year, $27.5 million deal.
Going forward, Cespedes now becomes one of--if not the--best free agents on the bleak 2016-17 market. Two GMs told Heyman that they see him earning in the range of $100 million over four years on his next contract.
Whether this deal will be with the Mets remains to be seen, though Cespedes has gone on record saying he enjoys playing for New York and would like to stay.
This past season, Cespedes hit .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 runs batted in over 543 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 3.2 Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).
The Arizona Diamondbacks have hired Mike Hazen as their executive vice president and general manager, they announced on Sunday.
Arizona fired ex-GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale on Oct. 3 after a poor showing this season.
Hazen, 40, comes from Boston, where he had been serving as the Red Sox's general manager since September 2015. Despite his title, Hazen did not have complete personnel control, as President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski truly ran the front office.
With Arizona, it's likely that Hazen will have the final say when it comes to player decisions.
Prior to the Red Sox, Hazen had been in a few different roles around baseball. After graduating from Princeton, Hazen played minor league baseball with the Padres but went to work in the Cleveland Indians' front office once his playing career came to an end. He was the Indians' assistant director of player development from 2004 to 2005.
In addition to Hazen, the Diamondbacks also interviewed J.J. Piccolo, Kim Ng, Peter Woodfork, Mike Bell and Bryan Minniti for the position, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The next step for Arizona is hiring a manager, and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo appears to be a prime candidate to follow Hazen out west.
The Atlanta Braves have settled upon three candidates for their open managerial position.
Bud Black, Ron Washington and Brian Snitker are the finalists for the Braves' manager spot, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heyman reports that a final decision is expected this week.
The Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on May 17 after leading the team to a 9-28 start. Replacing him was Snitker, who finished the season with a much more respectable 59-65 record.
As for Washington and Black, neither have managed since 2014 and 2015, respectively. Both would come with much experience; Washington had a successful tenure as manager of the Texas Rangers, and Black had something similar with the San Diego Padres.
Whomever is hired, they will be expected to continue in the Braves' rebuilding process. With the team moving to a new ballpark in 2017, they hope they can contend sooner rather than later.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have fired General Manager Dave Stewart and Manager Chip Hale on Monday, according to a team announcement.
The swift movement of Diamondbacks’ management has been expected for some time now; it was widely believed a regime change would be put in place following a dismal 2016 season.
Despite the firings of both Stewart and Hale, Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa may still have a job in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and other media reports. Arizona is reportedly undecided as to whether La Russa will be a part of the team’s future plans.
The Diamondbacks promised a competitive 2016 season after the front office signed ace starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal and traded for Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, among other moves. However, the team did not live up to hefty expectations, finishing 69-93, ranking fourth in the NL West.
The Shelby Miller trade, in particular, is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory. The Diamondbacks’ traded former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, along with other valuable pieces, in order to get Miller, who stumbled to a 6.15 ERA in 101 innings at the big league level (Miller was actually demoted to Triple-A during the season).
There has been no word on possible replacements for Stewart and Hale, though Ray Montgomery and Phil Nevin could be fits, as Robert Murray of FanRag says.