ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers have mild interest in outfielder Michael Saunders and have checked in with the Mariners about a potential trade. The Mariners are expected to shop Saunders heavily this off-season.
Saunders, 28, had what would have been considered a breakout season if he had logged more playing time. He hit .273/.341/.450 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 263 plate appearances, but missed 15 games in mid-June due to inflammation of the A/C joint in his right shoulder, and 50 games between mid-July and early September after straining his left oblique.
Saunders’ injury woes caused GM Jack Zduriencik to publicly criticize the outfielder on the radio in October. Saunders’ then-agent, Mike McCann, fired back, expressing his displeasure that Zduriencik chose to air his grievances publicly. Saunders hired new representation last week.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.
2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.