MLB Player News
A.J. Pollock agreed to a two-year, $10.25 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday to avoid arbitration, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.
Pollock is coming off arguably the best season of his four-year career after compiling 192 hits, 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 111 runs on 157 games in 2015. Those numbers make the 28-year-old a viable option to be taken within the first two rounds of standard leagues in 2016, especially since he averaged .315 at the plate last season and tends to bat ahead of Paul Goldschmidt.
The San Diego Padres signed Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract Monday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Schumaker spent last season serving in a situational role, which translated to a .242/.306/.336 slash line, one homer, and two stolen bases in 244 at-bats across 131 games. After turning 36 years old last week, he's clearly in the twilight of his career, but the opportunity afforded by the Padres could result in an outfield depth role at the major league level at some point in 2016.
Roger Bernadina signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets on Monday that includes an invitation to spring training.
While Bernadina does have a lengthy MLB resume, he spent much of the 2015 season playing for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque. The veteran managed to post a .276/.383/.466 batting line with 15 home runs and 62 RBI at that level, but that's likely inflated due to playing in the Pacfic Coast League. Still, Bernadina will get a chance to join the Mets in spring training, though he'll almost certainly be destined to serve as organizational depth once again.
Alex Guerrero might not make the 25-man roster when the 2016 season rolls around, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Guerrero briefly appeared to be a breakout star in the early stages of 2015, but a .206/.242/.286 second-half slash line and a lack of natural position left him without a regular role by the end of the season. Now, the Los Angeles Dodgers ' build-up of depth in the corners could leave him without a roster spot. The 29-year-old is still owed $10 million over the next two years, but certain clauses in his contract make things much more complicated. He can declare free agency if he is left off the 25-man roster and he can also end his deal after the season if he is traded away from Los Angeles, so moving him would be very tricky. The power he showed in 2016 should give him a role wherever he ends up, but there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding him right now.
Juan Duran was suspended 80 games for testing positive for Drostanolone, Stanzolol, and Nandrolone, C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Duran hasn't excelled so far in the minors, hitting a .243/.304.415 line in a professional career that hasn't moved past Double-A. He certainly won't get any help from a suspension that will wipe out half his season. He's still on the Cincinnati Reds ' 40-man roster, but that could change in the next few months.
Tyler Massey signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies , Baseball America reports.
He finally broke through to Double-A in his age-25 season, but the results for Massey over 293 plate appearances were unsightly (.227/.298/.315). Massey has flashed some speed and a little power in the past, but the power disappeared in 2015 and that does not bode well at all for a player limited defensively to an outfield corner.
Ryan Braun said Sunday that he is behind schedule in his recovery from offseason back surgery, MLB.com reports. "I won't be 100 percent at the start of spring training, no," Braun said. "I think it will kind of be a gradual process to work my way back to 100 percent. But I feel pretty good. I don't foresee any reason that it wouldn't be [ready for Opening Day], but until I get out there and start doing things at full speed, it's hard to say."
The 32-year-old estimated that he's about two weeks behind schedule, having just been cleared to resume swinging a bat a little over a week ago. Braun went under the knife days after the end of the regular season to repair a bulging disk in his lower back, an issue which kept him out for the final few weeks. On a positive note, Braun suggested his right thumb is no longer a concern, saying he is pain-free and has no plans to undergo another cryotherapy procedure.
Jesse Winker will probably begin the 2016 season at Triple-A Louisville, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
This is the obvious strategy for the Cincinnati Reds - Winker spent all of 2015 at Double-A Pensacola, coming on strong after initially struggling. He's not yet on the 40-man roster, and the team won't contend, so there's no rush to start his options clock.
Jon Sanchez signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Sanchez hasn't pitched in a major league organization since last April, when he allowed five earned runs over 0.2 innings with Triple-A Iowa. He'll now join the Reds on a minor league deal, most likely lining him up to start 2016 in Triple-A once again.
Kyle Parker cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.
Parker was designated for assignment on January 20 to make room for Gerardo Parra on the 40-man roster, and no suitors stepped forward during his waiver period. If he chooses to accept, he'll spend 2016 mostly in Triple-A sitting behind a logjam in the Colorado outfield. Otherwise, he can choose to decline the assignment and see if a change in scenery is what he needs to succeed. Either way, it'll be tough for Parker to find his way back into the major league conversation soon.