Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he has made a contract offer to the arbitration-eligible Joe Saunders. Piecoro hears that it’s likely a two-year deal, which jibes with what Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported last week.
Saunders, who was acquired from the Angels as part of the Dan Haren deal in 2010, earned $5.5 million this season while posting a 3.69 ERA and 108/67 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. The 30-year-old southpaw stands to make over $8 million in arbitration this winter, which makes him a candidate to be non-tendered or traded.
If the two sides agree on a two-year deal, it would cover his final year of arbitration and his first year of free agency. While Saunders is unlikely to duplicate the success he had in 2011, he remains a pretty useful middle-of-the-rotation starter.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.