Extension talks heating up between Padres and Nick Hundley

6 Comments

The Padres and catcher Nick Hundley already avoided arbitration in mid-January by agreeing on a one-year, $2 million contract, but Corey Brock of MLB.com hears that negotiations on a contract extension have “heated up” this week and that a deal “could be close.”

Hundley has actually talked with the Padres about a possible extension dating back to before former general manager Jed Hoyer left San Diego to join Theo Epstein with the Cubs. The 28-year-old backstop is currently under team control through 2014.

Hundley appeared in just 82 games last season due to elbow surgery and a stint on the DL with an oblique injury, but he also enjoyed his best offensive season in the majors, batting .288/.347/.477 batting line to go along with nine homers, 29 RBI and an .824 OPS over 308 plate appearances. PETCO Park is a more favorable environment for right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters, but you might be surprised to learn that he has a .271/.340/.478 career batting line and an .818 OPS at home compared to a .240/.290/.367 career batting line and a .657 OPS on the road.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

Getty Images
2 Comments

Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.