Not gonna say there is nothing happening on the hot stove again today, but this is literally the most substantial news I’ve seen: Matt Joyce has signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.
Which, why not? He stands a slim chance of making most contenders’ rosters, but the Indians’ outfield situation is sufficiently slim to where he might make it happen if everything breaks just right.
Joyce had a bad 2018, hitting just .208/.322/.353 in 207 at-bats for the A’s, but he was more than decent the previous two seasons, posting an .866 OPS in 2016 for Pittsburgh and an .808 OPS in Oakland in 2017. He’s a platoon guy with some pop, and if he looks rejuvenated enough this spring he may constitute an improvement over the corner guys the Tribe is currently featuring on their depth chart: Tyler Naquin and some combination of Jake Bauers and Jordan Luplow.
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.