Curtis Granderson was among the free agents given a qualifying offer, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the center fielder is expected to reject the one-year, $14.1 million deal from the Yankees in favor of the open market.
That’s certainly not a shock–the Yankees were likely banking on that decision when they made their decision–but Rosenthal writes that even though the attached draft pick compensation will hurt Granderson’s market value he “will get paid” and speculates that it may come from a team with a first-round pick high enough to be protected.
Granderson is from Chicago and that list of teams with a protected first-rounder includes the Cubs and White Sox. Giving up a second-rounder to sign Granderson would no doubt be a lot more palatable to some teams.
Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.
Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.
Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.