When the Braves traded Jason Heyward and Justin Upton the assumption was that they did so in part because they wanted to shift Evan Gattis from catcher to left field, but now Mark Bowman of MLB.com says they continue to shop Gattis on the trade market as well.
Nothing is imminent, according to Bowman, but the Astros, Royals, and Rangers are among the teams to express interest. Gattis would seemingly be a much better fit as a designated hitter or perhaps catcher/designated hitter, which is why it’s no surprise to see American League teams in the mix for him.
Through two seasons he’s averaged 33 homers per 600 plate appearances while posting a .791 OPS, and moving out from behind the plate full time could potentially help him boost those numbers even further. The question is whether the Braves or any other teams want to take the defensive hit required to make him anything but a DH.
Yesterday the Royals and manager Ned Yost agreed to a one-year contract extension that keeps him at the helm through 2016 and Yost revealed to the local media that he didn’t want any additional years tacked on.
Why? Because he might retire after 2016.
Yost, who did the conference call announcing the extension while literally sitting in a deer stand on comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s property–seriously, re-read that sentence–explained to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star:
[General manager] Dayton [Moore]’s got this year and next year, and that’s all I wanted. One extra year, I’m happy with that. And we’ll just play it out, and see what happens after that.
Moore replied “of course” when asked if he would have been willing to add more than one year to the extension. Yost’s previous deal was a two-year extension signed after the 2013 season. He’s now 60 years old.
Yost is 38 wins away from becoming the winningest manager in Royals history, but early last season he was on the hot seat and even after the World Series run his overall record as Kansas City’s manager is 373-402 for a .481 winning percentage.
David Wright has made enough progress in his recovery from a season-ending shoulder injury that the Mets third baseman has begun hitting off a tee.
Wright opted against surgery to repair ligament damage in his left shoulder that played a big part in a career-worst season in which he hit just .269 with eight homers and a .698 OPS in 134 games before being shut down.
Here’s what Wright told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post about his current status:
I feel really good. I’m 100 percent confident that I will be physically ready to go. … Now it’s just a matter of me trying to get my left shoulder on a par with my right shoulder, just strength-wise. I feel pain free, which is good, feel like the shoulder is healthy, and now it is just a matter of building up that strength. In my eyes, I’m not too far behind from where I am normally at this time of year.
Wright also predicted “I fully expect us to be in the playoffs” and admitted “for me, personally, last year sucked.”
Wright, who turned 32 years old in December, is under contract for $20 million in 2015 and a total of $107 million through 2020.
Journeyman outfielder Carlos Peguero has signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers that includes an invitation to spring training.
Peguero spent part of last season with the Royals, but was primarily at Triple-A hitting .266 with 30 homers and a .912 OPS in 104 games.
His power has always been impressive, but Peguero strikes out a lot, struggles to control the strike zone, and has hit just .196 in 69 games as a big leaguer through age 27.
He’ll compete for a bench gig in Texas.
Wandy Rodriguez was reportedly set to sign a minor-league deal with the Phillies two weeks ago, but the contract was voided when the 36-year-old left-hander failed a physical exam.
And now David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Rodriguez has signed a minor-league deal with the Braves.
Rodriguez was limited to just six starts last season due to knee and forearm injuries and also made just 12 starts in 2013. Prior to that he was a solid mid-rotation starter, posting a sub-4.00 ERA every season from 2008-2012.
He’ll compete for the fifth spot in Atlanta’s rotation and according to O’Brien the deal will be worth $2 million if he makes the team, which has apparently has lower standards for pitcher health than Philadelphia.