MLB rumors: Trea Turner, Juan Soto talk about extensions; Scott Kazmir signs a contract after five years of absence

Pitchers and catchers have already reported to MLB Spring Training, and we are methodically working our way into Grapefruit and Cactus League action. Despite that relatively late hour, we still have a semi-constant supply of off-season waste to tackle. Speaking of which, here is Tuesday’s dose of MLB rumors.

NL East Extension Talk

In keeping with Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $ 340 million contract extension with the Padres, the focus has shifted from other young players to young players who could be candidates to re-sign with their current clubs. Recent examples come to us from the Eastern National League. First, there is Juan Soto of the Nationals, who thanks to his youth and tremendous level of production so far seems more directly comparable to Tatis:

While Soto is not on Tatis’ level in terms of defensive prowess and base run, he is still 22 years old with a 151 career OPS +. He also has slightly more service time than Tatis, which means he’s scheduled for free agency after the 2024 season. Any kind of extension that extends well beyond the free agency timeline would likely exceed $ 300 million. Given Soto’s tremendous skills at the plate, the Nats would do well to pursue that deal.

Also on the DC front, shortstop Trea Turner appears to be completely open to committing to the Nats for the long term:

Turner, who is entering his 28-year season, has become a pretty useful hitter at the plate while defending his position well and adding value on the bases. He is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, but there seems to be a mutual interest in him staying in Washington.

Now for the Mets:

Conforto, who will turn 28 on March 1, is a lifelong lifter for the Mets with an OPS + of 134 since his breakout season in 2017. Given that the Mets are well positioned for short- to medium-term contention , to lock up Conforto, who is in his year of hiking, would be prudent. Luckily for the Mets, it seems like he wants that to happen. The question is whether the Mets can do anything while putting a lot of organizational energy into signing Francisco Lindor to an extension. Developing!

Giants sign Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir, 37, left-hander, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016, but is trying to get back with the Giants, who according to ESPN’s Buster Olney signed him to a minor league contract Tuesday. The deal includes an invitation to Major League Baseball camp. For his career, Kazmir owns a 4.01 ERA with a 2.36 K / BB ratio in parts of 12 major league seasons. Along the way, Kazmir was a three-time All-Star. The rear end of the Giants’ rotation is currently in flux, so Kazmir will undoubtedly have every opportunity to return to the majors after an absence of nearly five years.

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