East Notes: Lindor, Yankees, Springer, Mets, Jays, Braves (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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The Yankees never made a formal offer to the Indians in talks regarding Francisco Lindor, writes Buster Olney of ESPN. The two teams kicked around frameworks involving Lindor before Cleveland dealt him and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the Mets, but the Yankees evidently never put an official proposal on the table. It seems the Yankees were deterred by Lindor’s lofty projected arbitration salary for 2021, which eventually landed at $22.3MM. New York’s main focus all winter has been agreeing to a long-term deal with DJ LeMahieu, which the team finally pulled off this week.

More out of the East divisions:

  • The Mets and Blue Jays have been the two teams most closely connected to George Springer this winter. Jon Morosi of MLB.com feels the Mets have the geographical upper hand, noting that the Connecticut native and former UConn star would prefer to play close to home. (Springer’s home town of New Britain is approximately a two-hour drive from Queens, compared to seven-plus hours to Toronto). Of course, geographical ties of this sort are often discussed as potential tiebreakers for prominent free agents but are rarely enough to overcome significant discrepancies in teams’ respective contract proposals. Indeed, Morosi acknowledges the possibility the Mets eventually turn their attention elsewhere, particularly if they manage to sign reliever Brad Hand.
  • More from Olney, who notes that the Braves “appear highly unlikely” to re-sign outfielder Marcell Ozuna. The 30-year-old slugger had an incredible season in Atlanta after signing a one-year deal last offseason. Ozuna is now in line for a much bigger multi-year accord this winter. That doesn’t fit the general approach of Braves’ GM Alex Anthopolous, who has tended to shy away from longer-term deals since taking over baseball operations. Just last winter, the Braves watched Josh Donaldson, who had starred on a similar pillow contract in 2019, walk for a four-year deal with the Twins. MLBTR projects a $72MM accord over that same length for Ozuna.

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