MLBPA president Tony Clark is open to seeing Cuba host spring training games, writes Tom Withers of the Denver Post. Details could not be arranged in time for this season. Cuba was once the home of the Reds‘ Triple-A affiliate, the Havana Sugar Kings. Clark says the players understand the role baseball could play in the healing process between the United States and Cuba.
- The Diamondbacks will have Yasmany Tomas split time between third base and the outfield this spring, writes Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The club is still expressing optimism about his ability to handle third base, although manager Chip Hale acknowledged it’s a work in progress. Instead, the move is designed to maximize Tomas’ time against competitive pitching. Said Hale, “we’ve told Tomas that if there’s a day when he is not going to play third, we’re going to put him in the outfield just to get at-bats.“
- The Pirates should consider another contract extension for Andrew McCutchen, but it’s not a slam dunk, writes Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. McCutchen is under contract for another four seasons through age 31. Sawchik compares McCutchen to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. He was also four years from free agency when he signed a nine-figure extension to remain with the Rays through the 2022 season. A similar extension for McCutchen is liable to run about $22MM to $25MM per season. As a small market club, it’s reasonable to wonder if the Pirates should pay premium dollars for post-prime seasons.