Donovan Tate, the third overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, was a no-show this spring at Padres camp due to what was described by club officials as a personal matter. Now more than four months later, that personal matter has apparently been resolved.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that Tate finally arrived at the Padres’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona on Monday to begin working his way back into baseball shape. He spoke with reporters Tuesday: “I left baseball in order to gain a grasp on some personal issues in my life,” said Tate. “It’s been the same kind of things that I’ve been dealing with in my life for a long time. I’ve been very blessed to be part of the Padres. They’ve been very supportive of everything I’ve gone through and haven’t given up on me.”
Tate, who received a $6.25 million signing bonus soon after being drafted, was suspended 50 games in June 2011 following a second positive test for a drug of abuse (not a performance-enhancer). The athletic outfielder is a .241/.358/.320 career hitter in the minor leagues and will turn 23 years old in September.
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.