Adam Rubin reports that the Mets may not be too confident with Frank Francisco as their closer and thus may be pursuing … Papa Grande:
Sandy Alderson, who expressed serious concern with Frank Francisco as his closer, is trying to remedy the situation. Alderson is pursuing Jose Valverde to compete — or more likely unseat — Francisco as closer, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.
Unless the money is minuscule I can’t see why they’d bother. Maybe hoping he puts a good first half up, everyone forgets how unreliable he was late last season and then tries to trade for him at the deadline? Eh, I guess there are worse ideas.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.