Getty Images

Cardinals to announce a contract extension for Stephen Piscotty later today

5 Comments

The Cardinals have announced a news conference for 2PM ET/1PM CT this afternoon. While they have not yet revealed the purpose of the presser, Ken Rosenthal reports that the club will use it to announce a contract extension for right fielder Stephen Piscotty.

Piscotty has played only one full season in the bigs and part of a second, but he has already established himself as the man who will man right in St. Louis for a long time. In 2016 he hit .273/.343/.457 with 22 homers and 85 driven in. In 2015 he hit .305/.359/.494 in 62 games.

Piscotty would not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season and would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. That means he’ll get some money now without the uncertainty of the next few years. It also means, of course, that he will get a lot less money than if he were to remain healthy and effective and hit those milestones without a long term deal.

But such are the tradeoffs of every young player.

UPDATE: Piscotty will be guaranteed $33.5 million in his extension, which will likely be a six-year deal with a team option.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.

Report: Phillies making Maikel Franco available in trade discussions

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.

Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.

It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.

Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.