NL Notes: Turner, Mets, Cubs, Reds, Pirates (

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The Mets are interested in free-agent third baseman Justin Turner, though the two sides aren’t seeing eye to eye on either contract length or value, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It’s quite unlikely the two will bridge the gap, according to Andy Martino of SNY. Turner has at least four teams after him, but as Rosenthal notes, the Dodgers – his longtime club – remain the favorites to sign him. A Mets deal would be interesting, though, as they let Turner go after he spent 2011-13 with them. The 36-year-old has since blossomed into a star with the Dodgers.

Now for a few items from around the National League Central…

  • The Cubs are planning on discussing contract extensions with some of their important veterans during spring training, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer revealed (via Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago). It’s “almost” certain they’ll talk new deals with first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Javier Baez, Wittenmyer reports, though it’s unclear whether the Cubs will make a spirited effort to retain third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant for the long haul. All three players are only under team for one more season. Bryant has been part of plenty rumors in recent weeks, so he seems the most likely of the trio to be part of a trade.
  • Reds general manager Nick Krall said right-hander Lucas Sims would be “delayed” heading into 2021 because of elbow tightness, per C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. However, Sims tweeted Monday that he’ll be ready for opening day. That’s welcome news for the Reds, as the 26-year-old Sims turned in a quality season out of their bullpen in 2020. He threw 25 2/3 innings of 2.45 ERA/3.34 SIERA ball with a well-above-average strikeout rate of 33 percent. Sims also averaged a career-best 94 mph on his fastball.
  • Although he was involved in a car crash that took three lives in his native Dominican Republic in September, Pirates infield prospect Oneil Cruz should be with the club for the start of spring training, according to Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic. We are not aware of anything that should prevent him from being on time at this point,” a team spokesperson said.

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