Some general manager shy away from naming the players they're targeting during the offseason. Brodie Van Wagene, the new general manager of the New York Met, is not one of those guys, as he spoke to MLB Radio Netowork about the team's interest in outfielder A.J. Pollock, "A.J. fits us really well. He's a guy that we have been in touch with his agent the way we have many of the free agents out there. It's a little unclear at this point where those conversations go, but I will continue to have dialogue with his agent." Expect the Mets to push hard to get a deal done with Pollock at the meetings so they can move forward with their trade pursuits.
Mets trade talks involving right-hander Noah Syndergaard and Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto have lost steam, reports SNY's Andy Martino. The Mets had been trying to acquire Realmuto and were said to be open to moving Syndergaard in separate trades. Trades are still possible, of course, but are now seen as unlikely.
National's GM Mike Rizzo confirmed to Jesse Doughtery of the Washington Post that he has checked in on free agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Rizzo also cautioned that he's checked in on many players this offseason. Washington has been very busy this winter but it still needs second base help.
The Pirates are willing to listen to trade offers for catcher Francisco Cervelli, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Pittsburgh does not have much payroll flexibility this winter and shedding Cervelli's $11.5 million salary in 2019 is a consideration. The Astros, Dodgers and Mets are among the teams known to be seeking catching help this winter.
After losing out on Patrick Corbin and watching Nathan Eovaldi return to the Red Sox, the Yankees are in pursuit of left-hander J.A. Happ, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. Happ finished this past season in New York and went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts with the Yankees. Several teams are in the mix for the veteran southpaw at this point.
The Yankees reportedly bid five years for Corbin, who received a six-year contract, and three years for Eovaldi, who received a four-year contract. Happ turned 36 in October and could be in line for a three-year contract, though it'll be interesting to see whether the Yankees are willing to sign him through his age 38 season after balking at paying Corbin and Eovaldi into their mid-30s. It took a three-year, $36 million deal to sign Happ the last time he hit the open market, and though he's three years older, he could top that total value on another three-year pact.
The Braves reportedly have veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel atop their wish list. Atlanta wants a starter, a corner outfielder and at least one reliever heading into the Winter Meetings this week. The Braves are loaded with young pitching, and signing Keuchel or another free-agent starter would free up some of those youngsters for bullpen work or even to be used as trade bait.
Kyle Schwarber is not available. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cubs are telling interested teams they will not trade Schwarber this offseason. That could be posturing, of course, but it's worth nothing Schwarber is a Theo Epstein favorite and Epstein has resisted trade overtures for years, most notably refusing to trade Schwarber for Andrew Miller at the 2016 deadline.
Sources: Cbssports.com and Bleacherreport.com