According to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Braves, Giants, Phillies, Rangers and Red Sox have all had scouts watching Carlos Beltran this weekend as the Mets take on the Marlins.
They should be liking what they’re seeing. Beltran just drove in a run for the third straight game with a first-inning sac fly versus the Marlins. He also walked once Friday and three times Saturday. He entered Sunday’s game hitting .291/.393/.520 in 344 at-bats.
While the Giants and Phillies have been labeled as the favorites for Beltran by Jon Heyman, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says the Rangers are “coming hard.”
Passan, though, labels the Giants the front-runners and says outfielder Francisco Peguero could be part of a deal. The Giants are likely trying to get Beltran without losing either their No. 1 position prospect, Gary Brown, or their No. 1 pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler.
Peguero a toolsy 23-year-old center fielder, has hit .269/.283/.417 with three homers in 108 at-bats for Double-A Richmond this season. Last year, he hit .322 with 10 homers, 16 triples and 40 steals for Single-A San Jose, but it came with an 88/18 K/BB ratio in 510 at-bats.
2:20 p.m. EDT update: Heyman hears that the Phillies have said no to including either outfielder Domonic Brown or top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart in a deal for Beltran. They have other quality pieces, such as first baseman Jonathan Singleton, RHP Brody Colvin and RHP Trevor May, but the Mets may be able to do better.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.