Seattle Mariners Acquire Luis Castillo in Trade with Cincinnati Reds

Luis Castillo is heading west…

The Seattle Mariners, looking to end a postseason drought that stretches to 2001, acquired the best arm on the trade market on Friday night in a deal for the 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the Cincinnati Reds.

Luis Castillo“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game — he’s really established himself as a dominant starter,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve got a chance to do something really big here this year. You have to step out and take a chance once in a while if you ultimately want to get the reward, take a little risk. Dominant starting pitcher, and I’m anxious to meet him.”

Minor leaguers Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore are headed to Cincinnati, the teams announced.

Marte, a shortstop, is the highest rated of the group, with ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranking him the 12th-best prospect in baseball ahead of the season.

“We felt this was the best return we could get for Luis,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.

The Mariners, led by star rookie Julio Rodriguez, are 54-47, 12 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West. They are in the second of three AL wild-card spots, a half-game in front of Tampa Bay (53-47) and two games ahead of Cleveland (51-48). Seattle won its final 14 games before the MLB All-Star break, one short of the longest winning streak in team history and the best run by any club heading into the break since 1933. But the Mariners are 3-5 since, following an 11-1 loss at Houston on Friday night.

Now, they’ve added the best available arm ahead of the Tuesday trade deadline, one who will join an already-solid rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert.

It’s a massive pickup for a Mariners organization that has not reached the postseason since 2001, the longest active drought among the four major North American pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).

Castillo is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for the Reds this season, striking out 90 and walking 28 in 85 innings. His fastball averages 97 mph. He has a career 3.62 ERA in six seasons, all with Cincinnati.

“It has been a beautiful experience,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “To have my name in the fans’ mouth and having them cheer me on, it is something I will treasure forever.”

Castillo won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, so the Mariners would have him for at least the rest of this year and all of next.

Castillo has bounced back from a career-worst season in 2021, when he lost 16 games and walked a league-high 75 batters. His changeup has been his best pitch for most of his career, but this year, he is actually throwing his four-seam fastball more, and doing so with a lot of success. Opponents have whiffed on 39% of their swings against his four-seamer, the highest rate of Castillo’s career and the highest of any pitcher in the majors (minimum 300 four-seamers thrown).

Castillo has a 1.38 ERA in four starts against the AL this year, second to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (0.69) among qualified pitchers.

The Reds have been moving veteran players for prospects since the end of the lockout earlier this year. In March, they traded Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Mariners, and Thursday, they traded outfielder Tyler Naquin and reliever Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets.

They’re getting a haul from Seattle in this trade, with Marte and Arroyo ranked among the team’s top 10 prospects ahead of the season by ESPN’s McDaniel.

Marte, 20, has spent the year for High-A Everett, hitting .275 with 15 home runs and a team-best 62 runs scored and 55 RBIs to go along with 13 steals entering Friday.

McDaniel ranked Arroyo, also a shortstop, as Seattle’s eighth-best prospect entering the season. The 18-year-old has spent the season at Single-A Modesto, hitting .316 with 76 runs, 67 RBIs, 13 home runs and 21 steals.

Stoudt, a 24-year-old right-hander and a third-round draft pick in 2019, is 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Arkansas this season.

And Moore, 22, has a 1.95 ERA in 25 relief appearances at Modesto this season.

“Noelvi Marte has a chance to be an impact middle of the order bat who can play shortstop,” Krall said. “Edwin Arroyo same thing — he has power/speed combo, who can play shortstop. Levi Stoudt has a chance to be a major league starter. Andrew Moore just started to pitch. He was drafted last year. He has explosive, explosive stuff. His fastball is up to 102 with a plus slider.”

Cincinnati infielder Brandon Drury also could be moved before the Tuesday deadline, along with several Reds relievers.

Juan Soto Wins This Year’s Home Run Derby

Juan Soto is officially a batting champion…

The 23-year-old Dominican professional baseball outfielder won $1 million on Monday with a swing that’s worth much more.

Juan SotoShaking off trade rumors that threatened to sully his MLB All-Star week, Soto beat a legend and held off a rookie to win the Home Run Derby and the big-money prize that accompanied it in front of a sold-out Dodger Stadium crowd.

After recently turning down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals, Soto arrived in Los Angeles early Monday morning with his future in doubt ahead of the August 2 trade deadline. He emerged unbothered. When asked before the Derby whether he was going to win it, his answer was characteristically Soto: “Probably.” And on that prediction he came through, vanquishing Albert Pujols in the semifinals and Julio Rodriguez in the finals.

“I’m a lone survivor,” Soto said. “I’ve been going through all this stuff, and I’m still here standing up and with my chin up, all the time. And that shows you I can go through anything.”

Anything, in this case, included a day of answering questions he can’t possibly answer, including whether the Nationals will trade him before the August 2 deadline or where he might wind up. Soto instead worried about his powerful left-handed swing, shooting balls to all fields and finishing the finals with 19 home runs to the 18 of his Dominican Republic countryman Rodríguez.

Juan SotoAt 23 years, 266 days old, Soto became the second-youngest Derby champion — just a day older than 1993 winner Juan Gonzalez.

Until the finals, the Derby had been the latest episode of the J-Rod Show. Rodriguez, the precocious 21-year-old Seattle Mariners outfielder, ambushed the field Monday night, ousting the two-time defending champion and smashing 81 home runs.

The first hitter of the night, Rodriguez set the tone for his showing with 32 home runs in his first-round matchup against the Texas Rangers Corey Seager. Then came Pete Alonso, the New York Mets slugger who won the last two competitions in 2019 and 2021 but mustered only 23 home runs in the semifinals, well short of Rodriguez’s 31.

Then came his matchup with Soto, against whom, Rodriguez said, he used to play Call of Duty games. Rodriguez was better at COD. Soto, at least on Monday, was superior at HRD.

“What did I show the fans?” Rodriguez said. “Who I am, I guess. They know a little bit now.”

Rodriguez, who is earning the MLB minimum salary of $700,000 this year, received a $500,000 bonus as the runner-up.

Soto was locked in from the beginning, beating Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez in the first round and St. Louis Cardinals great Pujols in the semifinals.

Pujols, 42, is in his final season — and upset Philadelphia‘s Kyle Schwarber, the No. 1 seed, in the first round, beating him in an overtime period. He couldn’t keep up with Soto, whose 482-foot home run in the first round was the longest of the night.

“I wasn’t sure if I should beat him or let him beat me, but just the respect — I respect him a lot,” Soto said. “Even though I beat him at the end of the day, it’s just a competition. He knows how much I’m proud of him and how much talent he brings to all the generations and advice that he gives to us.”

Whatever Soto’s future, wherever he winds up, whether he’s moved before this deadline or after, he said he would walk away from this All-Star week sure of one thing.

“I will be a Home Run Derby champion forever,” he said.

Pete Alonso Vying to Win Third-Straight Home Run Derby Crown

Pete Alonso is hoping for a three-peat…

The 27-year-old part-Spanish American professional baseball player and New York Mets first baseman will take part in this year’s Home Run Derby next week in Los Angeles.

Pete AlonsoMajor League Baseball made the announcement on Monday on its official Twitter page, confirming the return of one of the Derby’s most successful hitters.

“It’s a really fun event,” Alonso told reporters in the Mets clubhouse Monday before their 4-1 win over the Braves in Atlanta. “It’s going to be super exciting, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Also before the game, the Braves announced that star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will participate in the Derby. And later Monday, St. Louis Cardinals veteran Albert Pujols entered into the Derby as well, giving the former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger a chance participate in a familiar park.

“It’s an honor to be back in the All-Star Game and to have a chance to be part of the Home Run Derby, that’s something I enjoy a lot and my kids will have a blast,” Pujols said Monday night. “Hopefully, I can put on a good show for them, because at the end of the day, it’s not about us, it’s about putting a good show for the fans.”

Washington Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto and Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber, who leads the National League in home runs with 28, also will participate in the event, their teams announced Tuesday.

Last year, in Denver, Alonso outlasted Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini to become the third back-to-back Home Run Derby champion.

Alonso recorded 74 home runs — totaling 6.35 miles in distance — en route to the crown.

“I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet,” Alonso said after the win last year. “Being able to showcase that, and really putting on a fun display for fans, I just think it’s a dream come true for me because when I was young, my parents let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this. That was one of the few nights per year I actually got to stay up past my bedtime, just watch incredible feats that you don’t see in a regular baseball game.”

And now Dodger Stadium will be his stage next Monday, as he takes a break from a regular season that has New York fans thinking about a postseason run. The Mets enter play on Monday with a 53-33 record and a first-place standing in the National League East. Alonso leads the team with 23 home runs to go along with a .273 batting average and 70 RBIs.

Last year — with New York bench coach Dave Jauss pitching to him — Alonso wowed the crowd at Coors Field with a final-round total of 23, in joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) in winning consecutive titles.

“This is just surreal,” Alonso said at the time. “It’s just truly a blessing.”

Alonso confirmed Monday that Jauss will again be his pitcher next week.

“Just need to give him about two pots of coffee for before and a case of Bud Light for after, and he said he’s good to go,” Alonso said.

Atlanta Braves Acquire Robinson Cano from San Diego Padres

Robinson Cano believes he’s still got game…

The 39-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball remains confident in his skills as he has been given an opportunity to revive his career while starting — at least on a fill-in basis — for the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

Robinson CanoCano carries a .301 career batting average with more than 2,600 hits, but he struggled in short stints with the New York Mets and San Diego Padres this season.

The Braves, in need of a left-handed hitter who can help at second base, obtained Cano for $1 in a minor league deal with the Padres on Sunday.

Cano instantly joined Atlanta’s starting lineup, playing second base and batting ninth as the Braves opened a series on Monday night against his former team, the NL East-leading New York Mets.

“I know what work I’ve put in the offseason and I’ve always believed in myself and the stuff that I do to prepare myself,” Cano said following batting practice on Monday. “I feel that I can still play this game.”

The Braves trailed the Mets by 1½ games going into the three-game set at Truist Park.

Cano gives the Braves another option at second base after Ozzie Albies went down with a broken foot.

With the Mets in town, Cano attracted a large crowd of reporters with no shortage of questions about his past and future.

Asked if he felt he received a fair shot with the Mets, Cano said “I don’t want to go back to the past. … There’s no hard feelings. I’ve got friends on the other side and I always wish them the best.”

Cano hit .256 with New York in 2019 and .316 in only 49 games in 2020.

Cano hit a combined .149 with one homer and four RBI in 74 at-bats for the Padres and Mets this season. He batted .333 with three homers and 20 RBI in 96 at-bats for Triple-A El Paso after the Padres released him and re-signed him to a minor league deal last month.

“I think he was rusty when he was here for the first two times,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Cano’s early season struggles. “You’re just hoping you get what Robinson Cano is capable of. It’s worth a try. He’s been playing a month in Triple-A and doing well, so we’ll see. He’s in a great shape.”

Snitker managed Cano’s father, Jose Cano, who was a minor league pitcher for the Class A Durham Braves in 1984.

“He was one of my starters in Durham,” Snitker said.

The younger Cano arrived in Atlanta equipped with stories about Snitker from his dad. He said he’s also heard about the Braves from friends on the team, including his offseason workout partner Marcell Ozuna.

“Everything they’ve said about this team is good,” Cano said.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and also happy to be here. I’ve seen from the other side, the energy and the chemistry and the fans show up every day to support this team.”

Albies fractured his foot last month in an at-bat, and Atlanta has been relying on Orlando Arcia as his replacement.

Arcia was hitting .252 with three homers and 17 RBI in 123 at-bats this year. Snitker said he’s been pleased with Albies’ replacement, especially his defense.

The Mets owe Cano nearly $45 million remaining on his original contract signed with Seattle. He was earning a prorated share of the $700,000 minimum in his major league deal with San Diego. He sat out last season in serving a second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Cano was an eight-time MLB All-Star while with the New York Yankees and Seattle. He is a two-time Gold Glover with 335 home runs and 1,306 RBI in 17 seasons.

The San Diego Padres signed him to a minor league deal on June 10, eight days after releasing him.

In addition to adding Cano to the 26-man roster, the Braves reinstated outfielder Adam Duvall from the paternity list.

First baseman Mike Ford was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett and infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment.

Francisco Alvarez Headlines Roster for MLB’s Futures Game at Dodger Stadium

Francisco Alvarez’s future(s) looked bright…

The 20-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball catcher and New York Mets catching prospect headlines the rosters announced on Thursday for the 2022 SiriusXM Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on July 16.

Francisco AlvarezAlvarez, the No. 9 prospect on ESPN’s preseason top 100 list, is hitting .272/.364/.540 with 18 home runs and received a promotion to Triple-A earlier this week after bashing several mammoth home runs for Double-A Binghamton.

Mets fans are calling for his promotion to the majors given that the team’s catchers are hitting just .195 with two home runs. While installing a rookie at catcher on a first-place team in the middle of the season is unlikely, the Mets could also use Alvarez at designated hitter, where J.D. Davis and Dom Smith have delivered subpar production.

With many of the preseason’s top prospects already in the majors — including Julio RodriguezBobby Witt Jr.Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene — Alvarez has ascended to ESPN’s top spot of those still in the minors.

The overall top performer in the minors so far might be Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who is hitting .298/.429/.548 with 13 home runs and 15 steals between Double-A and Triple-A and has made a huge leap from his preseason ranking of No. 96.

Other top prospects to watch in the game, to be played on July 16 at 7 p.m. ET, include Cardinals power-hitting third baseman Jordan Walker; Pirates catcher Henry Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft; and Rangers right-hander Jack Leiter, the No. 2 in last year’s draft.

The game will be divided into American League and National League rosters.

American League pitchers: Bryan Bello, Red Sox (recently promoted to majors); Taj Bradley, Rays; Hunter Brown, Astros; Ky Bush, Angels; Wilmer Flores, Tigers; Emerson Hancock, Mariners; Jack Leiter, Rangers; Ricky Tiedmann, Blue Jays; Ken Waldichuk, Yankees; Yosver Zulueta, Blue Jays

American League position players: C Yainer Diaz, Astros; C Dillon Dingler, Tigers; C Shea Langeliers, A’s; SS Gunnar Henderson, Orioles; 3B Curtis Mead, Rays; 3B Jhonkensy Noel, Guardians; 1B Nick Pratto, Royals; SS/CF Ceddanne Rafaela, Red Sox; IF Spencer Steer Twins; SS Anthony Volpe, Yankees; OF Denzel Clarke, A’s; OF Oscar Colas, White Sox; OF Jasson Dominguez, Yankees; OF George Valera, Guardians; OF Matt Wallner, Twins

National League pitchers: Andrew Abbott, Reds; Mike Burrows, Pirates; Cade Cavalli, Nationals; Kyle Harrison, Giants; Antoine Kelly, Brewers; Bobby Miller, Dodgers; Erik Miller, Phillies; Eury Perez, Marlins; Jared Shuster, Braves

National League position players: C Francisco Alvarez, Mets; C Diego Cartaya, Dodgers; C Henry Davis, Pirates; C Logan O’Hoppe, Phillies; 2B Darren Baker, Nationals; SS Elly De La Cruz, Reds; SS Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies; 3B Miguel Vargas, Dodgers; 3B/2B David Villar, Giants (recently promoted to majors); 3B Jordan Walker, Cardinals; SS Masyn Winn, Cardinals; OF Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks; OF Jackson Chourio, Brewers; OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cubs; OF Robert Hassell III, Padres; OF Zac Veen, Rockies.

Robinson Cano Signs Deal with San Diego Padres

Robinson Cano has landed a padre deal…

The 39-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball second baseman and veteran infielder has signed with the San Diego Padres.

Robinson Cano

The New York Mets released the 39-year-old Cano on Sunday after designating him for assignment a week earlier. He was not in the Padres’ lineup for Friday’s 11-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.

The Padres plan to use Cano as a left-handed bat off the bench. Acting manager Ryan Christenson said he could get some occasional starts at second base and designated hitter.

“I’ve got a lot left in the tank,” Cano said. “I know I can still play this game and just go out on top.”

Entering Thursday’s games, Padres designated hitters were batting .206 with two home runs and 12 RBIs this season. Both home runs came via Luke Voit, who bats right-handed, in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

When Cano plays second base, it would move Jake Cronenworth to shortstop and Ha-Seong Kim to the bench.

Cano sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He batted .195 (8-for-41) this season with one home run, three RBIs and a .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances for the National League East-leading Mets.

He is owed $44,703,297 by the Mets from the remainder of the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He has lost $35,741,935 because of the two drug suspensions.

He will earn a prorated share of the $700,000 minimum with the Padres.

Cano, who was acquired in a multiplayer trade with the Mariners that also sent closer Edwin Diaz to New York, ended up playing 168 games for the Mets, batting .269 with 24 homers, 72 RBIs and a .765 OPS.

An eight-time MLB All-Star, Cano has a .302 career batting average with 335 home runs, 1,305 RBIs and an .842 OPS in 17 seasons. He has 2,632 hits, including 571 doubles.

Carlos Correa Agrees to Three-Year, $105.3 Million Contract with Minnesota Twins

Carlos Correa is Twinning

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins that includes opt-outs after the first two seasons, according to ESPN.

Carlos Correa

Correa’s deal, which was first reported by Fox 26 Houston, will pay him $35.1 million in each of the three years, sources said.

Correa’s choice to play with the Twins comes as a surprise, given the team has lost 18 consecutive postseason games and finished last in the AL Central a year ago at 73-89.

His average salary makes him the highest paid Latino in the MLB, as he becomes baseball’s fourth highest behind New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.3 million), New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout ($35.5 million).

 

A two-time MLB All-Star who was the first pick in the 2012 amateur draft, Correa led the Houston Astros‘ turnaround. Houston lost more than 100 games each year from 2011-13, then won its first World Series title by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in 2017.

He’s coming off perhaps his best season, posting a career-best 7.2 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.com, which ranked third in the American League. He hit .279 with 26 homers, 92 RBIs and 104 runs for the Astros. The oft-injured Correa played in 148 games, his most since the 2016 season.

It was also Correa’s most decorated season. He appeared in the All-Star Game, finished fifth in AL MVP balloting, won his first Gold Glove at shortstop and was awarded a Platinum Glove by Rawlings as the AL’s top overall defender. Since Correa broke in for the Astros in 2015, he ranks sixth among all position players in WAR (34.1).

For all his regular-season exploits, Correa has been even more accomplished during the postseason. Since his first appearance for Houston in 2015, Correa ranks third among all players in postseason homers (18). His 59 RBIs in the playoffs are 10 more than any other player during that span.

Still, Correa remains a controversial figure because of his association with the sign-stealing scandal that tainted the Astros’ 2017 World Series title, and his adamant defense about the legitimacy of the championship. Before the 2020 season, he told reporters, “When you analyze the games, we won fair and square. We earned that championship.”

Despite the controversies, Correa is respected around the game as a clubhouse leader.

“If your best player is not a good leader, they can take you down the wrong road,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said of Correa during the 2021 playoffs. “Carlos is in the great category.”

Minnesota has not been to the World Series since winning the 1991 title and has lost its past eight postseason series since beating Oakland in a 2002 AL Division Series.

Correa has enjoyed great success in Minnesota as a visiting player, though. He has a .413 batting average (26-for-63) at Target Field with five homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games. His 1.205 OPS is his highest at any ballpark where he has played four or more games.

Correa became a free agent after rejecting the Astros’ qualifying offer, worth $18.4 million. As a result of his departure, Houston will recoup a compensatory draft pick.

Correa was the top overall pick of the 2012 amateur draft after being selected by Houston out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He then went on to win AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

Major League Baseball Hires Former Mets General Manager Omar Minaya as Amateur Scouting Consultant

Omar Minaya has scouted a new opportunity…

The 63-year-old Dominican former New York Mets general manager has been hired by Major League Baseball as a consultant for amateur scouting.

Omar MinayaHe’ll advise the baseball operations department on both domestic and international scouting initiatives.

Minaya will report to Morgan Sword, the executive vice president of baseball operations.

Minaya became a scout with the Texas Rangers in 1984 and signed Sammy Sosa. He moved up eventually to director of professional and international scouting and left in September 1997 to become an assistant general manager with his hometown Mets.

He joined the Montreal Expos as major league baseball’s first Hispanic GM in February 2002.

Minaya returned to the Mets as GM from September 2004 until October 2010, then was fired and became the San Diego Padres‘ senior vice president of baseball operations from December 2011 until January 2015.

He served as senior adviser to players’ association head Tony Clark until December 2017, then rejoined the Mets as a special assistant until November 2020.

Elian Soto Reportedly Verbally Agrees to Join Brother Juan Soto’s Washington Nationals Team

Elian Soto is heading to The District

The 16-year-old Dominican baseball outfielder and third baseman, the younger sibling of Juan Soto, has verbally agreed to join his brother’s Washington Nationals.

Elian SotoThe announcement comes just days after he declared his intentions to sign with the New York Mets, according to ESPN.

Elian Soto wouldn’t be eligible to formally sign until next year’s international free agent class in January 2023.

The younger Soto posted an Instagram video of himself working out in full Mets gear on December 31 and had reportedly been given a $50,000 bonus but has since changed course.

Soto’s decision was first reported by Washington City Paper.

The Nationals’ offer is believed to be larger. The discrepancy in money and a greater familiarity with the Nats’ minor league system — as opposed to a Mets system seemingly in transition under new general manager Billy Eppler — were the main factors in Soto’s decision, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

The presence of Juan Soto, a superstar who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, certainly didn’t hurt, either.

Elian Soto, a left-handed hitter, isn’t considered a premium international prospect but is still young enough to develop into one. Amateur players and their trainers in the Dominican Republic often make handshake agreements with teams long before they’re old enough to officially sign a contract, allowing them to intermittently train at the team’s facility and preventing them from showcasing themselves to evaluators from other organizations.

There appears to be a strong possibility that an international draft will be baked into the new collective bargaining agreement, which is still being negotiated between the owners and the players. But the current international signing rules could still be in place next year in order to give teams and prospects more time to get acclimated.

Elian Soto, like his brother, is represented by the Boras Corporation, and adding him could play in the Nationals’ favor when it comes to extending Juan Soto, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season under the current CBA.

Eric Chavez To Join New York Mets as the Team’s Hitting Coach

Eric Chavez is headed crosstown…

The New York Mets have reportedly agreed to hire the 44-year-old Mexican American professional baseball coach and former third baseman as their hitting coach, just weeks after he joined the New York Yankees as an assistant hitting coach, according to ESPN.

Eric Chavez

Neither team has spoken publicly on the matter, but the transition, while uncommon, was said to have been executed in good faith.

Chavez, who was announced as part of Aaron Boone‘s staff with the Yankees on December 20, now will help make up the burgeoning staff of longtime manager Buck Showalter and join Mets general manager Billy Eppler for the third time.

Chavez, a six-time Gold Glove third baseman during a playing career that spanned 17 years, was hired by the Yankees as a special assignment scout in 2015 when Eppler served as assistant GM.

When Eppler presided over the Los Angeles Angels‘ baseball-operations department shortly thereafter, he hired Chavez as a special assistant and later named him manager of the team’s Triple-A affiliate.

The Mets have also brought in Joey Cora to be their third-base coach and will reportedly add Wayne Kirby as first-base coach.