We heard about the Yankees’ willingness to listen to offers for Curtis Granderson the other day, but Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York says that they’re willing to listen to offers for Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova as well.
I can see dealing Nova, but Hughes is, at present anyway, the team’s third or fourth starter. And in a rotation that is depending on Andy Pettitte, depth is going to matter too, so it seems strange that they’d be willing to peddle both of them. And as we mentioned the other day, someone has to play outfield for the Yankees in 2013, so trading Granderson doesn’t make a ton of sense. Unless, that is, the Bombers are willing to punt this season for a rare New York rebuild.
I’m going to assume it’s mere chatter, as all teams listen to almost all offers that come their way.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.