Maybe Starlin Castro’s emergence has something to do with it, but after often sitting out the early-July spending spree in Latin America in recent years, the Cubs have invested in three significant prospects these last few days.
The most notable of the bunch is 16-year-old shortstop Enrique Acosta, who received $1.1 million to sign out of the Dominican Republic. He’s expected to outgrow his current position, but he had one of the most promising bats of this summer’s class of 16-year-olds.
The Cubs also added two 16-year-olds out of Venezuela in catcher Mark Malave and third baseman Ricardo Marcano.
Castro’s emergence likely has opened some eyes and showed the Cubs brass that it’s worth buying a few lottery tickets. Castro, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic without any fanfare in 2006, just made his first All-Star team as a 21-year-old.
For some quotes and more info on the prospects, check out David Kaplan’s article on CSNChicago.com.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.