The Mets made a run at James Paxton, but they were outbid by the Mariners, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman suggests the Mets will now turn their attention to Taijuan Walker or Jake Odorizzi. Frankly, it seems unlikely they would find the right price point on Odorizzi with the righty coming off a very similar season to Paxton (but with a longer track record of good health). Besides, the list of players the Mets “were in on” includes Jake Arrieta, Rich Hill, George Springer and others, notes Andy Martino of the SNY Network (via Twitter). That’s not a knock on the Mets, of course, who have been one of the more active teams this winter. Let’s check in some other free-agent pitchers…
- Reliever David Robertson threw for a handful of teams on Friday, but the price on his long-term future remains unclear. His old pals from New York were in attendance, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter), but the Yankees are far from the only team that might have interest. Despite the dumb-luck turn of his Philly tenure, Robertson is an intriguing buy-low candidate. Injuries limited the right-hander to seven appearances over the past two seasons, but in his 10 previous seasons, Robertson should be proud of a 2.67 ERA/2.77 FIP while striking out an excellent-for-the-era 32.6 percent of hitters and walking a near-average 9.5 percent of batters. The Yankees probably remember better than most just how good Robertson was in his prime. Approaching his age-36 season, Robertson is decidedly on the downslope of his career – but he has a long way to fall before losing his utility.
Aaron Sanchez also headed back to the hill to throw for scouts on Saturday, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). The Mets were among those present, as they continue to keep their hand in the starting pitching market. Sanchez is on record as wanting a spot in the rotation, which could limit his potential landing spots. It now seems like ages ago that Sanchez led the American League with a 3.00 ERA over 30 starts for the Blue Jays in 2016. Since that All-Star campaign, Sanchez has compiled a 5.29 ERA/5.12 FIP across 55 starts totaling 272 1/3 innings with a worm-killing 47.8 percent ground-ball rate. An 18.1 percent strikeout rate and 11.7 percent walk rate are less than inspiring figures, however.