The White Sox acquired minor league middle infielder Yeyson Yrizarri from the Rangers, per a team announcement on Saturday. Yrizarri is the nephew of former major league shortstop Deivi Cruz and signed as an international free agent in 2013. The Rangers will receive international signing bonus pool money in return.
Yrizarri, 20, split the first half of his 2017 season between Single-A Hickory and High-A Down East. He slashed a cumulative .258/.285/.399 with seven home runs and a .684 OPS through 479 PA. Although his plate discipline and defensive skills still need considerable fine-tuning, his power potential and strong arm made him one of the more valuable prospects in the Rangers’ farm system, ranked No. 6 and No. 17 by Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com, respectively.
The extra bonus pool money should allow the Rangers more wiggle room for upcoming international signing periods, as they racked up over $3 million in signing bonuses for Venezuelan shortstop Keybar Rodriguez, outfielder Wilderd Patino and Mexican right-hander Damian Mendoza.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.