Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke to Adam LaRoche about his ongoing contract talks with the Nationals and the impending free agent first baseman said “there’s nothing definitive” but “they’ve laid a little bit of the groundwork.”
LaRoche will decline his half of a $10 million mutual option following a strong bounceback season that saw him hit .271 with 33 homers and an .853 OPS after being hurt for most of last year.
LaRoche is 32 and not quite an elite hitter, but because the free agent market is weak for big bats he should have no trouble landing a multi-year deal.
“I would like to stick around for a few years,” LaRoche told Kilgore. “Whether that’s two or four, that’ll be up to these guys. I would like to stay. I haven’t changed my position at all since I made it clear I wanted to stay here. I hope they get it done.”
Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.
Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.
The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.
Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.
Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:
Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.