Some people might say this is a slow news day, but I beg to differ because the Mets have signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor-league contract.
Johnson figures to compete with Mike Nickeas for the job backing up starter Josh Thole.
Johnson spent the first seven years of his pro career with the Mariners before joining the Padres this past season, hitting .190 with three homers and a .544 OPS in 67 games. And as ugly as those numbers look they’re basically equal to Johnson’s career marks, which include a .197 average and .573 OPS.
Of course, Nickeas has very little major-league experience and hasn’t even hit much in the minors, so Johnson seemingly has a legitimate chance to win the backup gig in camp.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.