Chris Marrero Rumors
A few notable NL East players and teams are mentioned in Paul Swydan's ESPN Insider piece (subscription required) about "certain players who get overlooked by their own teams." Swydan suggests that the Phillies may have lost faith in Domonic Brown and could trade him to a team like the Twins, while the Mets could explore acquiring Casper Wells, who is struggling for playing time in Seattle.
Here are some links from around the NL East...
- Chris Marrero could become trade bait for the Nationals during Spring Training, opines MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The Nats took Marrero with the 15th overall pick of the 2006 draft but the first baseman has struggled to stay healthy and looks to be blocked at first base behind Adam LaRoche and Tyler Moore. Marrero, 24, has hit .284/.353/.452 with 86 homers in 2791 minor league plate appearances and received 117 PAs at the Major League level with Washington in 2011.
- The Braves "had gained a strong sense this would have been [Martin Prado's] final season in Atlanta" after difficult arbitration negotiations and Prado's demands for a $12MM average annual salary in a multiyear deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes. This made him expendable enough to be traded to the Diamondbacks in last week's deal for Justin Upton.
- It was just over a year ago that outfielder Alfredo Silverio was severely injured in a car accident that sidelined him for the entire 2012 season. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald chronicles how Silverio has recovered and is now trying to catch on with the Marlins after being selected off the Dodgers' roster in the Rule 5 Draft. Silverio, 25, hit .292/.326/.479 in 2385 minor league plate appearances in the Dodgers' system, topping out at an .883 OPS at Double-A in 2011.
- Over at Roto Authority, MLBTR's fantasy baseball affiliate, I recently looked which of two NL East pitchers (Roy Halladay and Kris Medlen) was a better fantasy bet for the 2013 season.
Keeping track of the day’s minor moves...
- The White Sox sent outfielder Christian Marrero to the Braves for cash considerations, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). It appears that he'll start the 2012 season in the minor leagues.
- The Phillies signed Joe Thurston, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (on Twitter). He'll open the season in the minors. The Astros released the utility player earlier today, according to the team’s senior director of social media, Alyson Footer (Twitter link). The 32-year-old has MLB experience at second and third and in both corner outfield positions. He owns a .226/.305/.323 line in parts of seven MLB seasons.
- The Dodgers signed right-hander Kyle Smit, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets. Smit had spent the past few seasons in the Cubs’ organization.
- Cristian Guzman says the Indians released him, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The veteran infielder signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland last month, though he didn't play affiliated baseball in 2011.
Here are a few items from what's been arguably the most newsworthy division of the winter thus far...
- There's no shortage of reaction to Dan Uggla's contract extension with Atlanta. Joe Pawlikowski of Fangraphs likes the deal for the Braves, arguing that Uggla's power might be helped by hitting at Turner Field and saying that Uggla's "bat will still play well" if he has to move to left field or third base a few years down the line.
- Speaking of an Uggla position switch, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that Uggla wants to remain playing second base and would've probably not signed the extension had the Braves insisted he move elsewhere on the diamond. Bowman also compares Uggla's contract to Jayson Werth's deal in Washington, and notes that some Braves players and coaches weren't pleased that the Braves didn't do more to keep other big-name acquisitions (i.e. J.D. Drew, Gary Sheffield, Mark Teixeira) in Atlanta.
- If the Mets add a left-handed reliever, it will probably have to be someone willing to take a minor league contract, writes Metsblog.com's Matthew Cerrone.
- The Nationals aren't expected to pursue the "file-and-trial" arbitration strategy this winter, reports The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. You can keep track of the Nats' three arb-eligible players (John Lannan, Mike Morse and Doug Slaten) and all of the arbitration dealings with MLBTR's Arb Tracker feature.
- With Adam LaRoche locked up for at least two years in Washington, MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling looks at how the Nats' long-term plans at first base are affected by the signing, with a particular focus on prospect Chris Marrero.
Some news items from around the majors on this Monday night...
- MLB.com's Bill Chastain profiles left-hander Carlos Hernandez, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004 and is trying to return with Tampa Bay.
- While it's very unlikely that Barry Zito will live up to his $126MM contract, Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com notes that the left-hander is still a solid starter.
- The Braves have no interest in teenage prospect Wagner Mateo, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Mateo was originally signed by St. Louis last summer but the Cardinals voided the contract due to concerns over Mateo's eyesight.
- The signings of Jason Jennings and Brett Tomko shouldn't cause any concern about the health of other key pitchers on the Oakland staff, says Tom Singer of MLB.com.
- Philadelphia has become a prime destination for free agents and stars looking to be traded, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Back-to-back NL pennants and a World Series title will tend to do that.
- Chris Young struggled in his first season of a five-year, $28MM deal with Arizona and has yet to have a true breakout year after three seasons as a major league regular. John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com, however, thinks it's too early to write Young off.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson answers fan questions on a variety of topics, including how prospect Chris Marrero (Washington's first-round pick in the 2006 June Amateur Draft) could be affected if the Nationals re-sign Adam Dunn.
- Speaking of mailbags, Baseball America's Jim Callis answers some fan questions about prospects and also looks ahead to the 2011 June Amateur Draft.