Nick Groke of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies have transferred first baseman Justin Morneau to the 60-day disabled list. The freed-up roster spot allowed them to claim reliever Gonzalez Germen off waivers from the Cubs. They then optioned Germen to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Morneau, 34, hasn’t played since May 13 due to concussion symptoms. The move seems to indicate that the Rockies don’t expect Morneau to return anytime soon. He was hitting .290/.317/.450 with three home runs and nine RBI prior to hitting the disabled list.
Germen, 27, made only six appearances at the major league level for the Cubs this season, allowing five runs on eight hits and five walks with eight strikeouts in six innings.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.