Brian Cashman shot down any chance of the Yankees signing Johnny Damon to replace the injured Curtis Granderson and the general manager also ruled out Eduardo Nunez as an option to play left field, saying: “I don’t think he profiles as an outfielder with the bat.”
That may surprise some Yankee fans because the knock on Nunez has mostly been about his shaky defense, but Cashman is right. Nunez has hit just .272 with a .318 on-base percentage and .384 slugging percentage in 180 games as a big leaguer after hitting even worse at Triple-A.
He adds some value with his speed, but Nunez simply doesn’t have the power or plate discipline associated with corner outfielders. They can do better as a short-term fill in, or at least they should be able to.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.