Jon Heyman reports that the Blue Jays and infielder Brandon Drury have agreed on a one-year, $2.05 million contract for the 2020 season, avoiding arbitration. Drury was in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Drury, 27, posted a meager .218/.262/.380 slash line along with 15 home runs and 41 RBI over 447 plate appearances this past season. He played all over the diamond, including the corner outfield. He spent most of his time, however, at third base.
Drury is likely to play a similar role in 2020, going wherever the Jays need him to go.
The Jays have two outstanding arbitration cases remaining with Ken Giles and Matt Shoemaker.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders 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 already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, 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.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.