Last week the Yankees designated first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones for assignment and the 34-year-old veteran chose free agency, but now in the wake of Dustin Ackley’s back injury they’ve re-signed him.
Jack Curry of YES Network reports that Jones will rejoin the Yankees’ active roster, likely in the same part-time role he held prior to being let go. He hit just .215 with five homers and a .618 OPS in 57 games while making $5 million.
Ackley is expected to be out until at least September, putting on hold his Yankees career after just two games. He was acquired from the Mariners at the trade deadline.
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.