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Free Agent Notes: LeMahieu, Realmuto, Arihara, Hand

The Mets “recently contacted” infielder DJ LeMahieu, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The fight for LeMahieu appeared to be between his previous team, the Yankees, as well as the Blue Jays, but it would be difficult to count the deep-pocketed Mets out of the mix. Signing LeMahieu would enable the Mets to send Jeff McNeil from second to third base, though it’s unclear what that would mean for J.D. Davis, who started the majority of Mets games at the hot corner in 2020.

  • New Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and Jeff Berry, the agent for free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, had a discussion Monday, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic relays. Negotiations did not occur during that talk, but Dombrowski made sure to mention that the Phillies want Realmuto back, per Montemurro.
  • The Rangers are among the teams “believed” to have interest in right-hander Kohei Arihara, Mark Feinsand of tweets. The 28-year-old Arihara, whom the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball posted earlier this offseason, logged a 3.74 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 over 836 innings. MLB teams have until Dec. 26 to sign Arihara.
  • Minnesota native Brad Hand, one of the top relievers on the open market, told Darren Wolfson of SKOR North that he’d “love to play”  for the Twins in 2021. However, the southpaw isn’t sure if the Twins are interested in signing him. Hand reached free agency when the division-rival Indians declined his $10MM club option after last season, which came as a surprise considering the 30-year-old was one of baseball’s top relievers in 2020.
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