No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and with the Braves’ plans quickly becoming inoperative, they may be jumping in to the Ervin Santana uncertainty. Dave O’Brien of the AJC reports:
Initially I didn’t think there was anything to the idea of the Braves pursuing him, but now with Beachy having more issues (he left today’s start against the Phillies after two innings due to biceps tightness), I’m hearing from a person connected to the Royals that the Braves are making a run at the free agent. How serious that is, I don’t know yet.
It’d hard to figure the Braves giving a multi-year deal to a guy who wasn’t on their radar until literally yesterday, but if Santana’s other alleged options fall through, a one-year deal for a contender in a pitcher’s park may not be a bad fallback for him.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.