Jay Bruce Rumors: Mets, Rockies, Blue Jays, Mariners Among Interested Teams

Jay Bruce remains a free agent, but the market for the outfielder appears to be heating up.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, there is interest from the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. Bruce spent parts of the last two seasons with the Mets but ended the year with the Cleveland Indians after an August trade.

     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Jay Bruce Rumors: Mets, Rockies, Blue Jays, Mariners Among Interested Teams

Jay Bruce remains a free agent, but the market for the outfielder appears to be heating up.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, there is interest from the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. Bruce spent parts of the last two seasons with the Mets but ended the year with the Cleveland Indians after an August trade.

     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jay Bruce Rumors: Mets, Rockies, Blue Jays, Mariners Among Interested Teams

Jay Bruce remains a free agent, but the market for the outfielder appears to be heating up.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, there is interest from the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. Bruce spent parts of the last two seasons with the Mets but ended the year with the Cleveland Indians after an August trade.

     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Report: Pat Neshek, Phillies Agree to Contract After July Trade to Rockies

Free-agent reliever Pat Neshek and the Philadelphia Phillies reportedly agreed to terms on a new deal Monday, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. 

The deal is reportedly worth about $16 million over two years, with Heyman previously noting the pitcher had two similar offers.

After making several moves around the league over the past few years, Neshek now returns to a squad where he had significant success.

The 37-year-old was traded from the Houston Astros to Philadelphia last November, and he was one of the few bright spots for the National League East cellar dwellers before he was shipped to the Colorado Rockies

Prior to getting dealt at the trade deadline, Neshek sported a 1.12 ERA, 0.818 WHIP and 9.00 strikeout-to-walk rate over 40.1 innings. Thanks to those numbers, Neshek earned his second All-Star nod and boosted his trade value to the point where he was able to land with a postseason contender. 

During his half-season stint in Colorado, Neshek recorded a 2.45 ERA, 0.955 WHIP, 24 strikeouts and one walk through 22.0 innings. 

According to FanGraphs, those efforts propelled him to a career-high 2.5 wins above replacement.  

It also can't be overlooked that Neshek posted year-over-year improvements in left on base percentage (82.3%), ground ball percentage (36.4%) and home run-to-fly ball rate (4.2%). 

And while Neshek isn't going to blow away batters with velocity—his fastball averaged 90.3 mph last season—a bread-and-butter slider allows him to baffle opposing hitters on a regular basis. 

Look for the Phillies to implement Neshek as part of their revised bridge to closer Hector Neris in the months ahead as they continue to fortify their bullpen in advance of the 2018 season. 

 

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless noted otherwise. 

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Matt Harvey Trade Rumors: Rangers ‘Don’t Like’ Potential Jurickson Profar Swap

The Texas Rangers are reportedly interested in acquiring New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey but not willing to part with left fielder Jurickson Profar to make it happen. 

On Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the Rangers "don't like a straight deal" featuring the two players. Heyman called the potential trade "unlikely" and pointed to the fact Harvey is set to be a free agent after a season while Profar will not be an unrestricted free agent until 2021, per Spotrac.

Heyman's report comes after Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News cited sources Sunday who said the Mets discussed trading Harvey with "at least two teams" in an effort to improve at first base, second base and in the bullpen.

There was a time when the 28-year-old right hander was on the short list of pitchers with the brightest futures in baseball. He finished in fourth place in the 2013 National League Cy Young race with a 2.27 ERA and 0.93 WHIP and won the 2015 NL Comeback Player of the Year after missing the 2014 campaign and undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Unfortunately from Harvey, the health concerns didn't go away. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016 and missed significant time in 2017 with a broken bone in his shoulder.

He struggled as a result, posting a 4.86 ERA in 2016 and a 6.70 ERA in 2017.

Profar, 24, slashed just .172/.294/.207 with zero home runs in 22 games in 2017, but MLB.com named him the No. 1 prospect in the league in 2012.

While he hasn't fulfilled his potential yet, the Rangers apparently value Profar more than what an injury plagued Harvey would bring to the table at this point of his career.

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Report: Marlins ‘Threatened’ Giancarlo Stanton to Accept Giants, Cardinals Trade

The New York Yankees officially announced Monday they acquired Giancarlo Stanton in a trade, but the Miami Marlins apparently wanted their star player to go elsewhere.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports provided the details:

Stanton had refused to waive his no-trade clause for potential deals to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

The National League MVP admitted his growing up a Dodgers fan helped sway his decision against going to the Giants.

"I'd say a little bit. I wouldn't base a decision off that, but I also wouldn't want to go to the team that they disliked the most," Stanton said Monday, per Daniel Brown of the Mercury News. "And I wasn't sure if they were going to beat that team, either. But at the same time if they were in the right position that I wanted, I would have done it."

While neither the Giants nor the Cardinals made the playoffs last season, the Yankees went to the American League Championship Series before losing to the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros in seven games. 

Pairing Stanton with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and others makes an already elite offense arguably the best in the majors.

Considering the 28-year-old has never reached the playoffs with the Marlins, it's understandable for him to want to go to a ready-made contender.

On the other hand, Stanton did sign a 13-year deal with Miami with a no-trade clause that would have kept him in town through at least 2027. Threatening him to stay in his current deal that he already agreed to was a weird strategy that clearly didn't work out for the front office.

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Yankees Trade Rumors: New York Interested in Dealing for Pirates’ Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees apparently aren't finished making moves this offseason. 

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the team is interested in a trade for Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole. However, Heyman also reported the Pirates don't intend to deal the 27-year-old.

Cole is coming off a disappointing season by his standards, finishing with a 12-12 record and a 4.26 ERA, the highest of his career. He was able to stay healthy—pitching 203 innings after an injury-filled 2016—but he was far from the dominant force he was a few years earlier.

The Pirates ace showcased his talent in 2015 when he finished fourth in the Cy Young voting, posting a 19-8 record 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

With two more seasons under team control before he can reach free agency, it's easy to understand why the Pirates would want to hold onto their talented young player.

Conversely, the Yankees are clearly looking for the final few pieces to make them into a World Series favorite after adding Giancarlo Stanton in a trade with the Marlins. With an offense that could be one of the best in the league and a rotation that already has Luis Severino and Sonny Gray, adding a top-flight talent like Cole could make this team even more dominant.

The Yankees drafted Cole out of high school in 2008 before he eventually landed in Pittsburgh's organization three years later, and it seems like they could be aggressive in trying to add the high-upside player.

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Giancarlo Stanton Introduced by Yankees, Excited to Play with Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees introduced new slugger Giancarlo Stanton in a press conference Monday afternoon, and Stanton made it clear he was happy to be in New York.

"I gave them the teams I wanted," he said of his conversations with the Miami Marlins after he requested a trade, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. "New York was definitely at the top of the list."

He also expressed his excitement for getting the opportunity to play with fellow slugger Aaron Judge:

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Giancarlo Stanton Thanks Fans, Talks ‘Unprofessional, Circus Times’ with Marlins

The newest member of the New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton, thanked the Miami fans in an Instagram post Monday but also took a jab at his former organization on the way out.

He wrote, in part, "I feel for u fans, you've stuck with me as we've shared some roller coaster years. I've always tried to be as professional as possible during the unprofessional, circus times there!"

During his introductory press conference as a Yankee on Monday, he further elaborated on those comments, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Derek Jeter: ‘I Had No Feeling’ About Trading Giancarlo Stanton to Yankees

Miami Marlins co-owner and CEO Derek Jeter spoke about the decision to trade Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees on Monday afternoon, noting there was nothing he would have done differently in the trade talks, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Jeter, who spent the entirety of his playing career with the Yankees, added that his history with the organization had nothing to do with the deal.

"I had no feeling about trading him to the Yankees," Jeter said. "I wanted the best deal."

                  

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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MLB Winter Meetings Rumors: Astros Linked to Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta

The Houston Astros aren't resting on their laurels after winning the World Series.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Monday that the Astros "have shown interest in free-agent righties Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta" and that Houston may "explore the trade market if a pitcher such as Tampa Bay righty Chris Archer becomes available."

           

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Jackie Bradley Jr. Trade Rumors: Royals Interested as Red Sox Target Power Bat

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly let teams know that outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is available in trade talks as they pursue power in the middle of their lineup.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported "several" teams have had discussions with the Red Sox regarding Bradley. Rob Bradford of WEEI added the Kansas City Royals have interest, but there does not appear to be an obvious fit.

Bradley, 27, hit .245/.323/.402 with 17 home runs and 63 runs batted in last season. Those numbers were a bit of an offensive downturn from his breakout 2016, which saw him perform like one of the best players in baseball.

The Red Sox were never serious suitors for Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning NL MVP who was traded to the rival New York Yankees last week. However, they're known to be in the market for some additional power in their lineup. Their designated hitter spot was one of the weakest in baseball last season, and no Red Sox player hit more than 24 home runs.

Boston's 168 home runs as a team were the fourth-worst total in baseball and by far the lowest for a playoff team. The power outage was one determining factor in the Red Sox being eliminated in the ALDS for the second straight season.

Bradley is perhaps the best defensive center fielder in the sport, with his brilliance atoning for oftentimes inconsistent play in the batters box. Andrew Benintendi, also a stellar defensive outfielder, would likely take over in center field if the Red Sox parted with Bradley.

“We like our outfield,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said last month, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Now, again, you’re always open-minded to anything. That’s why you have to sit down with clubs, you have conversations with them, hear what they have to say.”

The Yankees' acquisition of Stanton, which gives them MLB's top two home run hitters from last season, may have led to a change of heart from Dombrowski. 

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Sick Of Gingerbread Houses? Make Some Chocolate Dinosaurs Instead

Forget about that boring old gingerbread house, what is gingerbread anyway? I’ll tell you, it’s an abomination of a food which it’s only decent purpose is to serve as construction material. Forget about it all together, and this year make things a bit more Jurassic.

This is the Chocolate Construction Mold: T-Rex version. Just by melting some chocolate and cooling it in the mold, you can piece together your own prehistoric predator to museum-like replication. Imagine the look on everyone’s face as you roll up to Uncle Jack’s house for Christmas and show up with a Tyrannosaurus made out of chocolate indiscriminately eating gingerbread people.

There’s not much more that I can say expect it’s really cool, and why didn’t anyone buy me a chocolate t-rex chocolate mold as a kid? My life could’ve been so different, but I was stuck with gingerbread (boo).

Available on Amazon for $20. Order soon or your chances of getting one before Christmas will go extinct (I’m sorry).

Amazon ]

Someone Made An Awesome Lego Mechanical Keyboard

Whether you’re a fan of Lego, mechanical keyboards or just cool things, someone made a pretty slick looking mechanical keyboard with Lego pieces.

In his video, Youtuber JK Brickworks shows off how he made his keyboard, which is taken from a Cooler Master Quickfire. Basically, he took the circuit board off and stuck it in his own Lego base. He even had 3D Lego keycaps made so that he could stick just about any 2×2 piece on top and use it as the keycap.

The final product is great homage to Lego, though it looks like a total pain to type on. Especially since some of us still stare at our keyboards when we type. What, it’s not like I’m a writer or anything.

More info can be found on his site, JK Brickworks, and there’s a video after the jump of him showing off the keyboard.

UberGizmo ]

 

 

Ready Player One Gets Its First Trailer

In more awesome trailer news, Ready Player One just released its first trailer. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book of the same name, Ready Player One is a about a future where a virtual reality world has become super massive and a crazy popular way to escape the awful day-to-day soul-sucking grind (I know, totally unrealistic).

The trailer looks pretty fun, and I can’t wait to see it for myself. And hey, Tracer from Overwatch is in it for a split-second, and that makes me unreasonably happy.

Ready Player One hits theaters on March 30.

Hit the jump for the trailer.  

NES Controller Welcome Mat Lets Everyone Know You’re A Gamer

If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for that nerdy friend this Christmas, check out the NES Controller doormat. It’s just like any ordinary doormat, but this is no ordinary doormat, it’s NES themed to warn people let everyone know that your friend is an adult-child who probably spends too much on video games.

The mat itself comes in at 15″ x 36″ and comes with a non-slip backing. I wish my controllers had a non-slip backing so I couldn’t throw them at the wall everytime I die and then feel a weird sense of guilt like I caused it physical pain.

Other than that, it’s a pretty standard welcome mat, I don’t have a lot of people coming over, but I’m sure the pizza guy would enjoy seeing it. Available on Etsy for $30 plus shipping.

Etsy ]

Sprint Is Offering Customers Who Switch $100 In Pokémon Go Coins

For those looking to get a new cell service provider, and who happen to still have Pokémon Go, Sprint is now offering $100 (14,500 PokéCoins) in credit towards the game when your switch over to their service.

It’s a weird promotion for sure. First, I can’t imagine how many people still play Pokémon Go, and second, people shouldn’t make major contractual agreements based on an app about catching cartoon monsters. Like I said, it’s weird.

I haven’t played Pokémon Go since 2 hours after its release, but maybe this is a really good deal, personally I’m more of a My Little Pony: Magic Princess gamer myself. And maybe instead of offering $100 in PokéCoins, Sprint should try offering reliable service. Hey-oh!

[ UberGizmo ]

Hit the jump for a commercial of the odd promotion.

MLB Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Surrounding Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis

The New York Mets are in the market for a second baseman.

According to Marc Carig of Newsday, the team has "had trade talks with Detroit Tigers about Ian Kinsler and also with Cleveland about Jason Kipnis." He added: "I hear they may also use winter meetings to explore deal with Pittsburgh Pirates for Josh Harrison."

Let's focus on Kinsler and Kipnis.

The former is on the trade block, as Katie Strang of The Athletic reported:

"A source involved in the front office discussion told The Athletic earlier this week that efforts to move the veteran second baseman have intensified recently.

"A few teams have surfaced this offseason in connection with Kinsler—primarily the Mets and the Los Angeles Angels—and there has even been talk about additional teams entering the mix for the sure-handed defender if he was willing to play third base."

Kinsler, 35, hit .236 with 22 homers and 52 RBI in the 2017 season. But as Strang noted, the Tigers have the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft but need to clear roster space to land a player that may intrigue the organization. Kinsler has emerged as the most likely trade chip to accomplish that goal.

And the Tigers likely would be fine moving on from his $11 million salary as well.

Kipnis, meanwhile, played in just 90 games for Cleveland in the 2017 season, hitting just .232 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. It was a disappointing campaign for the 30-year-old, especially after his excellent 2016 season that saw him blast 23 homers and 82 RBI.

Kipnis also slumped in the postseason, hitting .182 with an RBI in five games. Meanwhile, Jose Ramirez had a breakout season (29 homers, 83 RBI) and is more than capable of playing second base, and Cleveland moved Kipnis to center field at the end of last season.

Add in the $13.5 million owed to him in 2018, and it isn't hard to see why Cleveland may deem the two-time All-Star expendable. 

As for the Mets, addressing the infield is absolutely a priority this offseason, as Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote: 

"...It remains more likely the Mets will acquire a second baseman, first looking to a trade market that includes Kipnis, Kinsler, Harrison and Cesar Hernandez. And team officials plan to speak with the Marlins about Starlin Castro, who will be traded from the Yankees in the Stanton deal.

"Another possibility is a reunion with free-agent Neil Walker, whose tenure with the Mets ended last August, when he was traded to the Brewers."

As Puma added, the team could consider adding a third baseman like Todd Frazier and playing Asdrubal Cabrera at second base. But with so many potential options on the trade market—and Kipnis and Kinsler almost certainly available for the right price—the Mets should be able to address the position via a trade. 

Swinging such a trade may not be as sexy as their New York counterparts, the Yankees, landing Giancarlo Stanton, but it would be a solid upgrade for a team looking to return to the postseason in 2018 after missing the 2017 edition.

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Brian Cashman, Yankees Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $25M+ Contract Extension

The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman agreed to a five-year contract extension that will pay him more than $25 million.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the news. The deal will put Cashman's compensation in the "upper echelon" of MLB executives.

Cashman, 50, has been the Yankees' general manager since 1998.

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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CC Sabathia Rumors: Angels Considering 37-Year Old After Shohei Ohtani Signing

After losing out to the Los Angeles Angels on Shohei Ohtani, the New York Yankees might also see CC Sabathia make a move to SoCal.

George A. King II of the New York Post reported the Angels have had contact with Sabathia's representation about joining Ohtani in Anaheim.

Sabathia, 37, is a free agent after spending the last nine seasons in New York.

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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