Andy Martino writes that Jayson Werth’s Phuture is uncertain:
The Phillies rightfielder arrived at spring training yesterday with
long hair and a thick beard, entering the final season of a two-year,
$10 million contract. With the Phillies saying they have limited
payroll flexibility beyond the approximately $140 million currently
committed, Werth might have priced himself out of Philadelphia.
“I think everybody knows the situation,” Werth, 30, said yesterday in his first public comments on possible free agency . . . Werth said that his agent had engaged in “preliminary” talks with the
Phillies on a contract extension, but that they had amounted to
Cliff Lee had “preliminary” talks with the Phillies too. He was shipped out of town, like, a week later. I don’t think that Werth will get the same treatment — he’s quite popular in Philly and it’s not like the Phillies can just go out and grab the a rightfield equivalent of Roy Halladay to take his place — but it’s going to be a little complicated.
My guess: Philly will look to lock him up with some sort of backloaded deal in which the real money kicks in after Raul Ibanez’s, Brad Lidge’s and maybe even Ryan Howard’s money comes off the books in 2012.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.