It’s not exactly major news, but Frank Catalanotto has announced his retirement.
When last we heard from him he was being designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Chris Carter after 25 dismal games last spring. But before that Catalanotto was the kind of player it was hard not to root for. He played everywhere — left, right, first base, second base and third base — he got on base at a really darn healthy clip, hit left handed and was never terribly expensive. Not quite good enough to demand a set place in the lineup 160 games a year but far better than your average platoon or utility guy, Catalanotto was totally the kind of complementary player who could help out a championship team.
Of course he never actually played on a championship team, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there was that guys with Catalanotto’s skills are kind of fun to have around, and it’s quite remarkable when they hang in the game for as long as Catalanotto actually did.
Enjoy retirement, Frank!
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.