While the Angels’ baseball people are said to have moved on from the idea of keeping John Lackey around, owner Arte Moreno is not letting go:
Club officials had all but decided to part with Lackey during the
team’s organizational meetings at the end of the regular season,
according to multiple major-league sources.
But Moreno, after
watching Lackey pitch well in his three postseason starts against the
Red Sox and Yankees, decided that the Angels should renew their efforts
to sign him, the sources said.
What I said just an hour ago about owners making baseball decisions notwithstanding, the best argument for letting Lackey walk is financial, not competitive. Since Arte Moreno holds the purse strings in Anaheim, his interest in keeping Lackey trumps all. If he’s willing keep Lackey in the fold without sacrificing the team’s other needs — like, say, a cleanup hitter — more power to him.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.