According to beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, there was “some chatter last week” around the Rays organization that a trade could be in the works involving utility infielder Reid Brignac.
Brignac is a steady defender and is capable of playing all around the diamond, but he batted just .095 with a .136 on-base percentage in 22 plate appearances last season for the Rays and owns a weak .227/.268/.317 career slash line in the majors.
Brignac is only 27 years old but probably wouldn’t fetch much of a return package.
The Rays are expected to start Yunel Escobar at shortstop this year and Kelly Johnson at second.
The Cleveland Indians have released Mike Napoli.
This is not terribly surprising as he was seen as a depth move to begin with. Injury insurance for Yonder Alonso at first base and Edwin Encarnacion at DH, neither of whom are injured at the moment. Napoli was on a minor league contract and the Indians made it clear that, if he can’t find a major league job elsewhere, he’s welcome to come back and cool his heels in Columbus in the event he’s needed later.
Which may be what happens if he wants to keep playing because, after a season in which he hit .193/.285/.428, and a spring in which he hit .218/.310/.431, there aren’t likely to be a ton of takers.