Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks at the two non-Melkys in the Vazquez deal. He says Arodys Vizcaino “looks like a high-end rotation prospect with a ton of upside.” Of course at 19 it’s way too early to know what he’ll turn into. As for Michael Dunn: he sounds like Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. Well, maybe not that extreme, but definitely a good stuff, bad command kind of guy.
Meanwhile, everyone who wants to dump on the Braves end of the trade seems to forget that in addition to Melky and the pitchers, the Braves got $9-10 million bucks to play with as a result of not having to pay Vazquez. Jayson Stark suggests Dan Uggla or Xavier Nady. Ken Rosenthal wonders whether Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd or Adam LaRoche could sign with Atlanta.
Not sure how I feel about any of those guys, but the point is this: the Braves may not have gotten the best deal from the Yankees and should have tried to do better, but unless they really screw up the spending of the Vazquez dividend, they are likely to be a stronger team on opening day than they were when we woke up this morning, and that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.
The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.
It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.