MLB Player News
Minnesota intends for Miguel Sano to begin the season as the starting right fielder, GM Terry Ryan told MLB.com. "He's bought in," Ryan said. "But we've certainly asked that question. You have to be on board with it and he's on board."
Sano has been working on his outfield defense in his native Dominican Republic and the Minnesota Twins say they'll bring Torii Hunter in as a special assistant in spring training to help him to learn the new position. It may have looked like a ploy to increase Trevor Plouffe's trade value early in the offseason, but Sano's move to the outfield looks set to happen with the Twins recently agreeing to a one-year, $7.25 million deal with Plouffe. Of course, Sano will still have to demonstrate he can play the outfield in spring training and not be a major liability on defense.
Miguel Sano decided to shut it down in winter ball in order to work on his conditioning and outfield defense for the rest of the offseason, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports.
He is not hurt, but simply felt it would be a better use of his offseason to work on what appears to be an impending position change to the outfield. Working on his conditioning will also prove key to a move to the outfield, so it is good to see that Sano is being proactive about this switch. However, there are still a variety of scenarios that would result in Sano playing more third base or DH than outfield in 2016. Regardless of where he plays, Sano will probably hit cleanup and serve as a great source of home runs and RBI.
Evan Gattis was tendered a contract by the Houston Astros on Wednesday, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports.
This makes it official that the 29-year-old slugger will return to the Astros. Gattis acted as the Astros primary designated hitter in 2015, and although his batting average wasn't great at .246, his 27 home runs, 88 RBI, and 11 triples were all career highs, making it a no-brainer for the Astros to bring his production back for another season.
The Minnesota Twins continue to insist that Miguel Sano will play in the outfield in 2016, with Trevor Plouffe remaining at third base, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
This should be met with a lot of skepticism, as it seems like the Twins current roster construction calls for Plouffe to be traded. Joe Mauer, Byung-ho Park, Max Kepler, Kennys Vargas, and Oswaldo Arcia are all limited to either first base, DH or corner outfield, so there are simply too many pieces on the roster right now. Eddie Rosario appears to have a firm hold on left field, and if Sano can handle third, that makes the most sense. Kepler certainly looks like an everyday player, and Sano is obviously one too, so conventional wisdom suggests the team will find a way to make room for both of them. Still, according to the team, if the roster remains unchanged, Sano would start the year in right field.
David Ortiz will retire at the end of the 2016 season, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.
It's important to note Ortiz has not yet confirmed the news, however considering he will turn 40 years-old Wednesday, it wouldn't be a surprising development. The designated hitter just finished recording his third straight 30+ home run, 100+ RBI season so it's clear his skills at the plate haven't diminished much with age, but he's played just 20 games at first base over the last three years and he vehemently expressed disinterest in seeing more time at that position earlier this season. As long as Ortiz stays healthy, he should be in line for another stellar season at the plate.
Ryan Raburn 's club option for 2016 was declined Wednesday.
Raburn was used almost exclusively against left-handed pitching this season, and for good reason too -- he hit all eight of his home runs and recorded a .589 slugging-percentage in 151 at-bats against southpaws in 2015. The 34-year-old actually posted career-high averages across the board, but he also recorded the fewest amount of at-bats in a season since his rookie year. However, considering his power against left-handed pitching he will likely have a myriad of options heading into the offseason and should catch on with another team looking for a platoon outfielder.
Edwin Encarnacion 's club optioned was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Encarnacion was excellent once again this season, mashing 39 home runs and 111 RBI while putting together a solid .277/.372/.557 slash line, so it comes as no surprise that he will rejoin the Blue Jays in 2016. He should command early-round consideration from fantasy owners heading into re-draft leagues next season.
Kansas City Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales will start Game 3 of the World Series on the bench, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports.
With the Series transitioning to Citi Field, the Royals will be without his spot in the lineup. First baseman Eric Hosmer wasn't expected to give way to Morales, meaning the latter will likely enter the game as a pinch-hitter.
Edwin Encarnacion had surgery to repair a sports hernia Wednesday, John Lott of the National Post reports.
Encarnacion had been dealing with a sprained finger for much of the ALCS, but it appears as if he was hampered by more than just that injury to end the season. The 32-year-old should be fully healed by the start of spring training and will likely carry an early-round price-tag heading into re-draft leagues next year.
Edwin Encarnacion (finger) is in the lineup for Monday's Game 3 against the Royals.
Encarnacion was able to play in Game 2 after suffering a ligament sprain in his left middle finger in the first game of the series, and he'll be back out there Monday batting cleanup as the team's DH.