Here are a few highlights from the latest column by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
- Cafardo begins with a discussion of why many of the top available hitters on the free agent market haven’t signed yet (a question we also discussed a bit today). Cafardo quotes Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, who argues that part of the problem might be a reluctance to spend big given the spotty history of “mega-deals” for hitters. Cafardo notes, however, that there are a number of teams with holes, and that the likes of Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes Chris Davis and Alex Gordon are ultimately likely to get their “mega-deals” from someone.
- The Yankees have been asking for a top young starter in return for Andrew Miller. Teams haven’t been willing to meet that price, so it seems likely the Yankees will keep him. (Yankees exec Brian Cashman has already said he intends to keep Miller.)
- Another top reliever who might be staying put is Mark Melancon, Cafardo writes. The Pirates have made Melancon (who will be paid handsomely in his last year before free agency eligibility) available, but thus far he’s still with the Bucs.
- From a statistical perspective, Gerardo Parra’s defense has taken enormous steps backward in the past two years — UZR, for example, had him at +31.1 runs in 2013 and -18.1 runs last season, while Defensive Runs Saved had him dropping from 41 runs to -10 over that period. But scouts aren’t convinced those numbers represent a real change in his abilities, Cafardo writes. “He’s still one of the best defensive outfielders in the game,” says an AL scout. “He takes very good routes to balls, and as a pitcher or manager, you feel comfortable with him out there.” The Rockies and Royals seem like possibilities for Parra.