Free agent right-hander Carlos Torres is talking to several teams, per a report from SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Torres elected free agency in November and has yet to land another major league gig this offseason. No interested parties have been identified so far, though there appear to be plenty of potential landing spots for the reliever as a number of teams are still looking to bolster their bullpen ahead of the 2018 season.
Torres, 35, closed out 16 games for the Brewers in 2017 and produced a 4.21 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over 72 2/3 total innings in relief. As Cotillo points out, his main appeal lies in his consistency and remarkable durability. His 72+ innings were good for 10th-most among relievers in the National League last year, and he hasn’t sustained a serious injury since a left calf strain sidelined him for two weeks in 2015 (to that point, he’s never officially served time on the disabled list in eight seasons in the majors).
While Torres may not have the lights-out stuff that, say, the Astros and Dodgers are seeking this winter, that shouldn’t stand in the way of his next stint in the majors. He can still offer teams a relatively affordable veteran depth piece with enough proven experience to make a difference on the big league level.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.