The New York Mets are parting ways with fan favorite Wilmer Flores — for real, this time. New York reportedly elected not to tender a contract to Flores, freeing the way for the 27-year-old infielder to become a free agent.
Flores found his way into Mets’ lore on July 29, 2015, when he learned during a game that he would be traded. Flores became highly emotional and was seen weeping while playing in the infield.
But the deal that would have sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers fell apart when New York raised health concerns over outfielder Carlos Gomez and backed out of the trade.
Two nights later, after thinking he had played his final game for the franchise, Flores hit a dramatic walk-off homer in the 12th inning as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 2-1. New York went on to play in the World Series, falling to the Kansas City Royals.
—The Cleveland Indians have traded catcher Yan Gomes, one of the most talked-about players in the trade rumor mill, to the Washington Nationals.
The Indians will receive the Nationals’ No. 7 prospect as rated by MLB Pipeline, outfielder Daniel Johnson, plus right-hander Jefry Rodriguez and a player to be named later.
Gomes, a first-time All-Star in 2018, hit .266 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs. The 31-year-old is under club control for three more seasons and on the books for $7 million in 2019 with team options in 2020 and ‘21. He is also considered a strong defensive catcher, throwing out 32.8 percent of would-be base stealers the last two seasons, ranking seventh-best in the majors.
—Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton will become a free agent after the team did not offer him a 2019 contract, according to multiple reports.
According to MLB.com, the Reds sought to trade the 28-year-old Hamilton but couldn’t find a trading partner. He made $4.6 million in 2018 and signed a one-year contract a year ago to avoid arbitration.
Hamilton is known for his speed and defense but not his offense, which has been on the decline. In 2018, he batted .236 in 153 games and had four home runs, 29 RBIs and 74 runs scored. He had 34 stolen bases after four straight seasons of at least 56. He is a career .245 hitter.
—The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t tender contracts to right-handers Shelby Miller and Brad Boxberger or infielder Chris Owings, the team announced.
The decision will allow all three players to become free agents.
Miller didn’t pan out with the Diamondbacks after being part of a December 2015 trade with Atlanta in which Arizona sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves as part of the deal. The 28-year-old appeared in just 29 games (28 starts) in three seasons due to injuries and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017. He was 5-18 with a 6.35 ERA, including an 0-4 mark and 10.69 ERA in five 2018 appearances (four starts).
—The Chicago White Sox acquired right-hander Alex Colome from the Seattle Mariners on Friday for catcher Omar Narvaez, both teams announced.
Colome could potentially be the White Sox closer in 2019. He led the American League with 47 saves in 2017.
“We view Alex as a terrific addition to our bullpen given his experience in a number of relief roles, including closing very successfully for Tampa Bay in 2016-18 before moving into a setup role with the Mariners,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said of Colome. “Alex is going to be a very important bullpen piece for (White Sox manager) Ricky (Renteria) and our team over the next couple of years.”
—The Chicago Cubs tendered a contract to suspended shortstop Addison Russell to keep him from becoming a free agent, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that doesn’t guarantee his future with the club.
Russell, who turns 25 in January, was suspended for 40 games late in the 2018 season after his ex-wife accused him of domestic violence. He will miss the first month of the season while serving the remainder of that suspension.
Friday was the deadline to tender contracts to players under club control, but unsigned, for the 2019 season.
—Field Level Media