Chris Cotillo reports that Luke Scott is working out for some major league teams today.
Scott is 36 and, last time we heard anything about him, he was being kicked off his Korean team, SK Wyverns, after verbally berating his team’s coach, calling him a “liar” and a “coward” following a dispute regarding Scott being placed on the disabled list.
Scott hit .241/.326/.415 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 91 games the Rays in 2013. He’s 36 now and is a .258/.340/.481 career hitter who can only play a corner or DH. I doubt he gets anything more than a courtesy invite, and may more likely be slated for an independent league team if he wants to continue playing.
Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada is able to sign with any team now after officially being declared a free agent by MLB and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Padres are preparing to make a strong push for him.
San Diego’s entire offseason has been filled with headline-grabbing moves, including signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million contract that figures to be announced shortly.
Moncada has held private workouts for interested teams and the 19-year-old is expected to land a big contract, perhaps in excess of $40 million. And by signing him for that type of money teams would forfeit their ability to spend significant bonuses on international prospects for the next couple seasons. According to Passan the Padres “are working out Moncada today.”
They will take the bat away from Julio Franco when they pry it from his cold, dead hands:
The Million Stars are part of Japan’s independent “Challenge League.” Also on that team: Eri Yoshida, the woman knuckleballer who made some headlines stateside a few years back.
Franco is 56. Last year he served as a player-manager for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United Baseball League. He last played in the bigs in 2007 at 49. He was still a very useful big leaguer back when he was with the Braves between the ages of 43 and 47. After the nuclear war, he’ll be the last ballplayer standing, I guarantee it.
The Padres had a club record $90.1 million payroll last season, but the team currently projects to be around $89 million for 2015 even after a very active offseason from new general manager A.J. Preller. Part of this is because the Dodgers are paying the great majority of Matt Kemp’s salary for this season. However, they might not be done making moves.
Team chairman Ron Fowler recently indicated to Dennis Lin of UT-San Diego that Preller still has some wiggle room with his budget, which could push the payroll over $100 million:
In an email to the U-T, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler confirmed a general payroll range for 2015: It will open above last season’s figure and could top out at a little more than $100 million.
Fowler added an important disclaimer: “However, with A.J. in the GM seat, things could change quickly. He continues to look at options to strengthen the team.”
First-year general manager A.J. Preller has landed an unprecedented haul of right-handed power, remaking baseball’s worst offense while keeping the pitching staff largely intact. Yet his most resourceful maneuvering occurred within the financial parameters of those deals; as of Feb. 5, the Padres’ payroll projects to open at roughly $89 million, a tick under the 2014 figure. (If a trade partner is found for Carlos Quentin, the club could trim a couple million or so.)
As for what could push the Padres over $100 million, many have begun to consider them the favorites to land free agent right-hander James Shields. They have also expressed interest in a trade for Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels. One non-pitcher possibility is Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera, who Preller recently scouted while in the Dominican Republic.
Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada has been in regulatory limbo for some time, unable to sign a deal with a big league team due to federal regulations, MLB regulations or both, but now that looks to be over:
Moncada has already worked out with multiple teams, so it may not take long for him to be signed. The Yankees and Red Sox are thought to be favorites. Moncada, 19, is expected to get a deal in the $30-40 million range.