The Phillies are giving Cody Asche some work in the outfield

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The possibility has been discussed in the past, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has confirmed that the Phillies have begun to give Cody Asche some work in left field at the team’s complex in Clearwater, Florida.

The 24-year-old Asche has exclusively played third base in the majors, but top prospect Maikel Franco is knocking on the door for an extended opportunity. Franco could be a candidate to play first base if the Phillies trade or release Ryan Howard, but testing Asche’s versatility gives them more options this season.

“He’s still our third baseman,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com on Monday. “We view him as our opening day third baseman.

“But we have introduced him to some outfield. He’s doing some light drills out there, getting acclimated to outfield drills, rudimentary stuff.”

Asche owns an underwhelming .247/.307/.390 batting line in the majors, which wouldn’t exactly stand out in left field, but the Phillies are in rebuild mode and they might as well look for as many opportunities as possible to find out what their young players can do.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.