UPDATE: Scott has come to an agreement pending a physical, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The deal is beleived to be one year plus an option.
1:15 PM: Topkin just tweeted that the Rays are “moving closer” to signing Scott.
10:32 AM: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said yesterday that the Rays are considering Luke Scott for the DH role. It doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily serious — Seth Smith is also being discussed — but my ears always perk up when Luke Scott is mentioned because there’s always a chance of crazy.
As for the baseball merits, he might be a pretty good value signing. Granted, he only hit .220/.301/.402 in 209 at-bats last season, but his shoulder was obviously bugging him and his season was eventually ended by surgery. The year before he hit .284/.368/.535. Big risks, to be sure, because shoulder problems can just destroy a player, but if he bounces back it could be pretty sweet for whoever signs him as the money will likely be low.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.