- Ian Desmond’s work in center field has impressed observers, and the Rangers are not ruling out the possibility of retaining him beyond 2016, Rosenthal says. Even if they don’t (and they do have a wide variety of talented young outfielders), Desmond seems like a good bet to land a multi-year deal as a center fielder.
- Some in the Rangers organization felt the recently promoted righty — and former No. 1 overall pick — Matt Bush could help the team out of Spring Training, but since he was only a few months removed from being released from prison, they decided to wait. Bush, who has a long history of alcoholism, will be joined on the road by either his father Danny or Rangers special assistant Roy Silver (who had previously worked with Josh Hamilton).
- It’s unclear what the Cubs might need at the trade deadline, Rosenthal says. A left fielder is one possibility if Jorge Soler can’t get it going and if the Cubs elect to keep Kris Bryant at third. There’s also a chance they could add pitching. They could move Adam Warren from the bullpen to the rotation if needed, but might need to pursue relief help if they did.
- The Red Sox will be better-prepared for the trade deadline than their divisional competition, with a farm system that rates as significantly better than those of the Orioles or Blue Jays.
- Rosenthal also explains why Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes’ domestic violence suspension was shorter than that of an 80-game punishment for PED use. Rosenthal says that, in the eyes of the league, a positive PED test essentially amounts to proof of guilt, but in Reyes’ case, charges against him were dropped and he has never been convicted. Without “formal proof,” MLB can only make a suspension so long.
- Some players want stiffer sentences for players who fail PED tests, especially for players who use PEDs intentionally. While it’s possible there could be small changes to PED penalties, however, Rosenthal says bigger changes aren’t likely.