As first reported by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo, the Yankees have reached agreement on a minor league contract with veteran catcher Carlos Corporan.
Corporan batted just .178/.244/.299 in 121 plate appearances last season for the Rangers. And he owns a .218/.280/.342 career batting line in 780 total major league plate appearances.
But the 32-year-old will be nothing more than organizational depth at catcher for the Yankees, who figure to back up Brian McCann with Austin Romine. 23-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez is also still a highly-regarded prospect in the organization.
Corporan is likely to open the 2016 season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Cuban outfield prospect Lazaro Armenteros held a showcase for interested teams on January 8 in the Dominican Republic and was declared eligible for MLB free agency three days later.
The “five-tool” 16-year-old can officially sign with a team on February 10, and the expectation is that there will be a deal in place by then.
Here is the latest update from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal …
“Lazarito,” as he’s known in Latin American baseball circles, is subject to international spending limits, which means the team that winds up signing him might have to pay a penalty for overspending on their designated financial pool for 2016. But the reviews from his Dominican showcase weren’t all that inspiring, so it’s doubtful he commands the kind of money that Yoan Moncada received last spring from the Red Sox.
The annual BBWAA Awards in New York had to be canceled on Saturday night because of the massive snowstorm that blew across the East Coast, but Bryce Harper accepted his 2015 National League MVP plaque in a smaller, private ceremony and gave a heartfelt speech. He had to fight back tears when he brought up his father, a steelworker who laid rebar for many of the hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas strip and would spend his free time throwing batting practice to his boys.
You can watch part of Harper’s speech here …
Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon got sent home early last season because of a lack of effort. He was then involved in a crazy benches-clearing brawl in the Venezuelan Winter League. And he also recently contracted the chikungunya virus, which caused him to miss a scheduled appearance on the Tigers’ annual caravan tour around the state of Michigan.
An ugly string of events, but the hard-throwing 25-year-old right-hander is expected to report to spring training on time and should be a full participant from the get-go. Tigers GM Al Avila spoke this weekend with Aaron McCann of MLive.com …
“That virus, his virus, it’s a contagious thing,” Avila said Saturday during TigerFest at Comerica Park. “Even though right now he’s probably OK, our doctors felt why put the other guys at risk?
“It was more of a precaution to keep him there, because he’s still not 100 percent ready to go. But from everything our doctors are telling me, he should have no issues in spring training.”
Rondon was once considered the Tigers’ closer of the future and he earned five saves as a fill-in last season, but he has taken a tumble down the bullpen depth chart. He finished the 2015 campaign with a 5.81 ERA in 35 total appearances.
Washington bid close to $200 million on outfielder Jason Heyward before he signed in mid-December with the Chicago Cubs. And the Nationals front office then made a play for Justin Upton before he inked a six-year, $132.75 million contract earlier this week with the Tigers.
It’s pretty clear that the Nationals want to make a big splash, and there’s only one top-tier free agent remaining on the open market. Connect the dots.
Here is FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal …
Could the signing of free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes be the next bombshell out of Washington D.C.?
The exact market for Cespedes remains unclear, but the Nationals are indeed pursuing the slugger, according to major-league sources.
Rosenthal says the Nationals have made a formal offer to Cespedes, though it is “said to be for less than the Tigers gave Upton.” Would something in the five-year, $100-110 million range get it done?
Cespedes had the best year of his career in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 105 RBI in 159 games between the Tigers and Mets.
The 30-year-old Cuban slugger is not a great on-paper fit for the Nationals’ current roster given that veteran left fielder Jayson Werth is owed $42 million over the next two seasons, right fielder and 2015 MVP Bryce Harper is locked in through 2018, and Ben Revere was brought in this winter to share time with Michael Taylor in center field. But a trade or two could clear some room.
Cespedes is also being pursued by the White Sox and Mets, but both of those teams are reluctant to go beyond three years. It’s a winnable bidding war for the Nats, who were a major disappointment last season.