Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that right-hander Steven Wright has settled for a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Red Sox, effectively avoiding arbitration. The team has yet to confirm the settlement.
Wright, 33, made it through just five starts before a left knee sprain cut his season short in April. He underwent a cartilage restoration procedure and is presumed to be out of commission until spring 2018. Prior to his injury-shortened campaign with the Red Sox in 2017, the knuckleballer put up All-Star numbers in 2016, going 13-6 in 24 starts with a 3.33 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 156 2/3 innings.
Complicating matters, of course, is Wright’s arrest on domestic assault charges last month. The case will be retired for one year, which Wright’s law firm says is “the first step toward a dismissal,” but the league can still hand down a separate punishment if they see fit to do so.
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.