Oakland hasn’t wasted any time making moves this offseason, bidding $17 million to win the exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, trading Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks to the Royals for David DeJesus, and now spending $800,000 to sign 16-year-old prospect Vicmal De La Cruz out of the Dominican Republic.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that De La Cruz is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound, left-handed-hitting outfielder who “scouts said … had some of the best all-around tools of any prospect from this year’s international signing class.”
BA also has some footage of De La Cruz hitting.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.