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MLB Rumors: Latest on Francisco Lindor Trade, Mets' Manager Search, More

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 30, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians looks on during the first game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on September 14, 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

The 2019 MLB season will end Wednesday night with Game 7 of the World Series and either the Houston Astros or Washington Nationals as champions. 

Afterward, Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar reportedly has a managerial interview awaiting him with the New York Mets. 

The MLB offseason will kick into high gear in November with Nov. 14 being the deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers from their respective current teams.

While we wait for that, rumors are swirling around the Los Angeles Dodgers' interest in Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, as well as South Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim's desire to play in the majors.

Delve into information regarding Lindor and Kim as well as the Mets' managerial search as a whole below.

      

Dodgers Expected to Pursue Francisco Lindor

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished the regular season with 106 wins, the most in franchise history, just to be upset in the National League Division Series by the Washington Nationals.

The Dodgers' premature ending in 2019 came after two straight World Series appearances (2017, '18) each failed to produce the team's first championship since 1988.

And so, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Dodgers could be looking for external reinforcements this winter: 

"Sources say the Dodgers are expected to pursue a trade for Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor as one possible addition to an offense that managed only a .303 on-base percentage during this month’s National League Division Series loss to the Nationals.

[...]

"Incumbent shortstop Corey Seager would become a trade candidate—though perhaps not to Cleveland—if talks between the Dodgers and Indians gain momentum."

Morosi noted that the Dodgers are only in the early stages of planning for 2020 but perceived "to be more open-minded to a shakeup than in recent offseasons."

Lindor and Seager have each been in the majors since 2015. Lindor has performed better the last two years, though Seager missed all but 26 games in 2018 due to Tommy John surgery.

Lindor was superior to Seager in several offensive statistics last season, for example. The 25-year-old posted a .284/.335/.518 slash line for 32 home runs and 74 RBI. Seager, comparably, posted a .272/.335/.483 slash line for 19 home runs and 87 RBI. An added difference Lindor brings is his production on the bases, as he was fifth in MLB with 22 stolen bases (Seager had one).

Morosi floated the idea that L.A. could theoretically keep Seager while also adding Lindor by moving Seager to third base and regular third baseman Justin Turner to first base. 

A lot has to happen in order for Lindor to suit up in Dodger blue, but the fact that the four-time All-Star is reportedly on L.A.'s radar shows just how dissatisfied the Dodgers are with squandering title opportunities the past three years.

        

Mets Will Bring Four Managerial Candidates in For Third Interview

The New York Mets still need a manager after firing Mickey Callaway on Oct. 3. 

According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman and Mike Puma, the Mets will welcome Minnesota Twins bench coach Derek Shelton for a third interview, with Washington Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez and retired MLB All-Star Carlos Beltran "also expected to return."

Puma and Sherman noted that the Mets are being more thorough than when they hired Callaway, whom the organization committed to after one round of interviews. Callaway served as manager for two years and posted a 163-161 record but failed to make the postseason.

Beltran played for the Mets from 2005 to 2011 and was named an All-Star in five of those years. More recently, on Oct. 3, SNY's Andy Martino reported that someone close to Beltran felt there was "no chance" he would manage the Mets or any other team.

On Oct. 13, Beltran contradicted that when he told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he would only consider managing if it were managing the Mets. "I just feel like living in New York is the right fit for me," he said.

Bogar also played for the Mets, though before Beltran from 1993 to 1996.

As for Perez, the 50-year-old played from 1993 to 2006 for six different clubs but never the Mets. On Oct. 25, USA Today's Bob Nightengale pegged Perez as "the clear front-runner" to became New York's next manager, while Martino named Perez and Bogar as the two most likely candidates:

SNY @SNYtv

.@martinonyc: "I pick up on the most buzz around Tim Bogar and Eduardo Perez, less so about Carlos Beltran and Derek Shelton" https://t.co/gTqGlLhE4W

However, the process might be slower because of Bogar coaching in the World Series:

Anthony DiComo @AnthonyDiComo

Carlos Beltrán, Eduardo Pérez and Tim Bogar (among potentially others) are all still involved in the Mets' managerial search, which is heading to a third round of interviews. Sounds like the process could get delayed in part due to Bogar, who is coaching in the World Series.

Bogar is finishing up his second season as the Nats' first base coach. His other experience includes Seattle Mariners bench coach (2016-17) and interim manager for the Texas Rangers in 2014.

Shelton, meanwhile, served his second year as Minnesota's bench coach in 2019. According to the team's official website, Shelton has been a major league coach "in some capacity" for 15 years. That includes being the Tampa Bay Rays' longest-tenured hitting coach in franchise history from 2010-16.

       

Kwang-Hyun Kim Wants to Make Jump to MLB

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal tapped 31-year-old Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim as "a name to keep in mind" as MLB's offseason draws nearer. 

Sources told Rosenthal that Kim "wants to play in the majors next season."

The southpaw plays for SK Wyverns of the KBO League in South Korea. He posted a 2.51 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 180 strikeouts opposite 38 walks across 190  innings pitched last season, according MyKBOStats.com.

In Nov. 2014, the San Diego Padres tried to acquire Kim. The Korean Baseball Organization accepted the Padres' bid for Kim's negotiating rights, the league announced at the time, but a deal was never made.

"Just couldn't agree on [a] contract dollar amount," Padres general manager A.J. Preller texted Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune in Dec. 2014.

Kim has played for SK Wyverns since 2007, and 2019 saw him tie his highest career win total (17).

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