All offseason I’ve been wondering if the Marlins are nuts for thinking Chris Coghlan can hack it defensively as an everyday center fielder, but it may be a while before we find out.
Coghlan has been sidelined by a inflammation and tendinitis in his rotator cuff and recently suffered a setback, with Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post now reporting that he “might not be ready for Opening Day.”
Here’s what Coghlan said about his current status:
My arm is just not ready to go. I can’t keep going out there and kind of baby-ing my arm. Hopefully it gets better and I’ll be ready to go April 1. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go before then and play the last couple of games with the team. That’s what I want. Time will tell.
In the meantime Coghlan’s only game action will come against minor leaguers and Capozzi reports that he’ll avoid “testing his throwing arm.” So, to any Marlins prospects reading this: Feel free to take that extra base on anything hit to center field!
Capozzi speculates that DeWayne Wise would get the nod in center field if Coghlan begins the season on the disabled, which shows the Marlins’ lack of depth and the risk of trusting that Coghlan can handle center field even setting aside the injury. Wise is a career-long journeyman with a .222 batting average and .260 on-base percentage in 362 games. He’s a much better defender than Coghlan, but overall he’s Triple-A caliber.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.