In terms of headline-grabbing it’s a step down for the Mets after bringing in Michael Cuddyer yesterday, but they’ve signed infielder/outfielder Alex Castellanos to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training
Castellanos played briefly in the majors for the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013 after being acquired from the Cardinals for Rafael Furcal in 2011, but spent last season at Triple-A for the Padres.
He’s hit .286 with 44 homers, 43 steals, and an .869 OPS in 312 total games at Triple-A, which along with the ability to play second base, third base, and the outfield corners could make him a decent bench option at age 28.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.