As we noted earlier this morning, there are only eight days until pitchers and catchers start reporting. There are still a ton of free agents left on the market, however.
Most of them are journeymen, but there are still a couple of front line starting types left available, such as Matt Wieters and Mike Napoli. Chris Carter, the 2016 NL Home Run Champ is still looking for a job.
There are a ton of big names whose games have faded or whose careers are in their twilight, such as former Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum and Jake Peavy and former MVPs Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau. Chase Utley is banging around too. Some arms that, not long ago, were fixtures in big league rotations can still be had, including Colby Lewis, Jorge De La Rosa, Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon. Then there are guys like Coco Crisp, Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Franklin Gutierrez. Indeed, there’s an army of guys who once played some decent center field out there but who now are holding virtual “will shag flies for food” signs.
Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson are on the list too, but you damn well know the Braves are going to sign them so I almost didn’t include them here. They’re anciently beholden to Atlanta, sort of like Chay-Ara is beholden to Prince Khufu. I’m just gonna start calling those two the Hawkmen.
Anyway, this is the entire list of free agents per MLB Trade Rumors’ Free Agent Tracker. Bargain hunting is well underway, so shop fast:
Jorge De La Rosa
The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.
d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.
Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.