Eury Perez is early favorite to replace Melvin Upton in center field

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On Friday afternoon, Braves outfielder Melvin Upton was diagnosed sesamoiditis, inflammation in the bone behind the ball of his foot. He’ll be in a walking boot for six weeks and will miss most or all of spring training.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman suggests that Eury Perez is the early favorite to become the Braves’ Opening Day center fielder with Todd Cunningham as a contender as well. And as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, should Perez get the nod, the Braves will open the 2015 season with an entirely new outfield, having traded away Jason Heyward and Justin Upton over the offseason.

Perez, 24, joined the Braves in late January when the club grabbed him off waivers from the Yankees. He has accrued only 23 plate appearances in the major leagues and hit just .174, but has stolen five bases in as many opportunities. Perez doesn’t portend to hit much, but should play solid defense and add value with his speed.

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.