File this under: things we never would have guessed before the season began: the Indians just announced that they have signed Ryan Raburn to a two-year contract extension thru the 2015 season with a club option for 2016.
Raburn has one pretty darn well for a minor league signing with a camp-invite this past winter. He’s hitting .277 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 66 games for a line of .277/.370/.565 and has played all over the diamond.
Those numbers wildly exceed his career numbers and aren’t at all likely to be sustainable, but I’m sure Cleveland is smart enough to figure that out. It would seem that they do see Raburn as a capable super-sub for the long haul, however. And there is a lot of value in that. $4.85 million worth of value in that in the Indians’ eyes, reports Paul Hoynes.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.