Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times suggested earlier this month that the Rays might be open to a marriage with free agent shortstop Ian Desmond if he is willing to accept a one-year contract, and now SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo says there is legitimate interest on the part of the Tampa Bay front office.
But the Rays are reluctant to give up a draft pick for Desmond, who rejected a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Nationals in November, and Cotillo’s source calls that a “huge obstacle in getting a deal done.”
Desmond, 30, has struggled to attract a healthy market this offseason after batting .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 156 games last year for Washington. He averaged a .275/.326/.462 batting line, 23 homers, and 22 stolen bases per season between 2012-2014.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have signed veteran infielder Danny Worth to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Worth spent the entire 2015 season with the Triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks, batting .314/.394/.469 with six home runs and 47 RBI in 106 games while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and shortstop.
The 30-year-old is doubtful to crack the Opening Day roster with Houston, but he can provide quality organizational depth at multiple positions on the Astros’ infield.
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 …