It was on this day in 1959 that the Braves signed a very notable 20-year-old outfielder out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Rico Carty ended up playing in 829 games for the Braves from 1963 to 1972, and one wonders just how good Carty might’ve been had it not been for several injury setbacks. Despite all the injuries, Carty still produced a .299/369/.464 line and 204 homers over 15 Major League seasons, also playing for the Rangers, Cubs, A’s, Indians and Blue Jays during his career. Here’s the latest from the NL East…
- The Braves have discussed left-hander Luis Avilan with other teams recently, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (via Twitter). Avilan has a 2.56 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 1.81 K/BB rate and a 55.5% ground ball rate over 144 1/3 relief innings for Atlanta over the last three seasons. Advanced metrics indicate he was somewhat fortunate to post low ERA totals in 2012-13, and with more even peripherals in 2014, Avilan’s ERA ballooned to 4.57 last season. The 25-year-old Avilan is under team control through the 2018 campaign.
- It comes as no surprise that the Nationals are excited by right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole, as an opposing scout tells MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel that Washington has been declining his team’s trade inquiries about Cole for almost two full years. “They ain’t letting him go. They’re that high on him,” the scout said. Kerzel examines how the Nats might handle Cole’s development in 2015, as he could be kept in Triple-A or perhaps used in the Show as an electric bullpen option.
- Is the Mets’ relatively quiet offseason a tactical decision, or does it represent a “lack of ingenuity by the front office or lack of financial resources by ownership,” Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders. The aggressive moves made by such teams as the Padres, Cubs and Marlins have overshadowed the Mets’ more modest transactions, though one AL West executive thinks the Amazins are “laying in the weeds waiting for hopeful January free-agent bargains.” A big-ticket addition like Troy Tulowitzki seems unlikely since, as the exec opines, “I don’t think they [the Mets] have the financial flexibility to pay for him even if they could get him.”