In their search for outfield help the Mets have acquired Collin Cowgill from the A’s for minor leaguer Jefry Marte.
Cowgill, who went from Arizona to Oakland in last offseason’s Trevor Cahill deal, is 26 years old and has hit just .255 with a .631 OPS in 74 games as a big leaguer.
He put up huge numbers at Triple-A in 2011, but slumped this year and the former fifth-round pick is a career .291 hitter with a .371 on-base percentage and .470 slugging percentage in the minors.
He’s capable of playing all three outfield spots and hits right-handed, so Cowgill has a good chance to fill a bench role for the Mets or perhaps work his way into a platoon gig versus lefties.
Marte is a 22-year-old third baseman who spent this season hitting .251 with a .687 OPS in 129 games at Double-A. He’s yet to crack a .750 OPS in four full seasons, so the price tag for Cowgill wasn’t much.
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.
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.