Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves have $7 million to play with and still plan on making a move or two. Possibilities: going after another bat, such as Xavier Nady, who would be useful because he could fill the hole in left and cover for Glaus if he continues to be fraglie (or by playing first and allowing Glaus to cover third when Chipper gets hurt).
Another option that has been discussed before is Dan Uggla. This is problematic inasmuch as Uggla doesn’t want to come off second base and Martin
Prado won the second base job last year and appears to be a favorite of Bobby Cox. But again, there’s the flexibility play here in that there’s a decent shot that Glaus or Jones will be get hurt, and Prado can play first and third. Of course you’re still light in left field then, especially if, as O’Brien suggests, they’d get Uggla by trading Melky Cabrera.
As we’ve discussed at length, the Braves’ offseason moves have been sub-optimal thus far. But unlike in previous years when their sub-optimal moves would leave them with, say, a left fielder who can’t play anywhere else, this year’s weak moves have left them with some flexibility.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.