While there’s some thought out there that they’ve soured on a potential Carlos Beltran deal, the Phillies have been the most aggressive suitors for Houston’s Hunter Pence, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports.
Rosenthal also tweets that the Red Sox have inquired about Pence, but that they’ve had a tough time finding a match with the Astros, and that the Braves aren’t currently involved in the chase.
The Astros will want an awful lot for Pence, but the Phillies have exactly the type of player Houston should desire in return in Domonic Brown. The Phillies won’t part with Brown for two months of Carlos Beltran, but two years and two months of Pence could be a different story. Pence will get expensive in arbitration, but he’s not going to be a free agent until after the 2013 season.
Pence has hit .308/.356/.470 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this season. With his name involved in trade rumors, he has struggled since the All-Star break, going 6-for-36 in 10 games.
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.