Now that Michael Bourn has his $48 million deal from the Indians the last unsigned free agent with draft pick compensation attached is Kyle Lohse.
There’s been little in the way of reports that he’s in negotiations with any teams, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that the Nationals “may try to swoop in and sign” Lohse as rotation depth in case Gio Gonzalez faces a 50-game suspension in connection to the Biogenesis clinic.
Because the Nationals already forfeited their first-round pick to sign Rafael Soriano the cost for adding Lohse would be a second-rounder, and of course no team has a better relationship with Lohse’s (and Soriano’s) agent, Scott Boras.
Washington already has a stacked rotation and good starter depth, so signing Lohse would very much be a luxury for a team with a $110 million payroll already. Still, if Lohse’s price tag drops low enough and Boras gives Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo another call the best on-paper team in the National League could get even stronger.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.