Now that Starlin Castro is up, is Mike Stanton next?

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Mike Stanton.jpgDuring an interview with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald on Friday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria had some high praise for prospect outfielder Mike Stanton and hinted that we will see him in the majors very soon.

“He could hit 500 home runs. When he’s ready to come, he’s going to be
here. When he’s ready and the baseball people tell me he’s ready to do
it, we’ll do it. I gather the baseball people don’t want him to come and
fail. If he’s going to come here, he’s going to come here to stay. We
always want to provide the foundation for success, not temporary
success.He’ll probably be here this summer, that’s all I can tell you.
He’ll be very exciting to come around. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of
pressure to put on a 20-year-old man.”

Stanton, 20, is batting .340/.477/.840 with an incredible 14 home runs and 31 RBI in 100 at-bats with Double-A Jacksonville this season. His OPS? 1.317! His home run on Thursday? Yeah, it just landed.

As for the current Marlins outfielders, they’ve combined to hit just four home runs in 370 plate appearances entering Friday’s action. Stanton still strikes out a little too much, but he’s at least balanced his 31 strikeouts with 26 walks. But he’s a little less likely to be feared in the major leagues, at least initially. In any case, you can bank on seeing him in the bigs after Memorial Day.
 

Angels sign Kole Calhoun to three-year, $26 million extension

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first base during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.

Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).

The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.

Bryce Harper lobbies for Matt Wieters and Greg Holland

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a single in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.

As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:

Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!

Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:

I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.