Jose Contreras may still pitch in Japan, but it probably won’t be for the Softbank Hawks. According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, citing a Nikkan Sports report, the Hawks have moved on from Contreras, citing a roster crunch and uncertainty about what role he would play with the club.
According to the report, SoftBank could re-consider Contreras in the event that imports Brian Falkenborg, D.J. Houlton and Justin Germano aren’t retained or if the staff suffers an injury during the season.
It’s hard to believe that Softbank
would rather have three pitchers who combined for a 5.22 ERA in the
majors as opposed to Contreras, so the Hawks may be hoping he’ll bring
his asking price down.
However, if negotiations have truly
broken down, Contreras’ next best bet may be with the Hiroshima Carp,
based on the proximity to his son’s school, though it is not known if they have interest.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.