Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Times reports that the Padres are expected to promote catching prospect Austin Hedges on Monday.
With Derek Norris hitting well — he owns a .337/.352/.494 triple-slash line — Hedges likely won’t be seeing regular playing time. Instead, Hedges will probably take Wil Nieves’ role as back-up catcher and he should also get some at-bats as a pinch-hitter.
Hedges, 22, is batting .343/.413/.552 with two home runs and 15 RBI with Triple-A El Paso. He’s considered one of the best catching prospects in baseball along with Blake Swihart (recently promoted by the Red Sox), entering the season rated as the #27 overall prospect by Baseball America.
Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.
The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.