No decision has been made yet regarding Neftali Feliz’s role, but the Rangers announced today that Alexi Ogando will remain a reliever after trying out for a rotation spot alongside Feliz this spring.
Feliz was a full-time starter for most of his minor-league career, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three games as a professional, so keeping him in the bullpen makes plenty of sense after he went 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio in 42 innings as a rookie.
In fact, if the Rangers move Feliz into the rotation I think there’s a pretty good chance Ogando will emerge as their closer at some point this season. Or at least he should. Ogando has electric raw stuff, with a fastball that averaged 96.3 miles per hour last year, and has racked up 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings between the minors and majors.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.