Braves outfielder Dian Toscano has finally been cleared to join the organization, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter. The Cuban had yet to receive full clearance from the government since signing last winter. (It’s never been entirely clear what the reason was for the hold-up.) Atlanta committed $6MM to Toscano over four years in hopes that he could develop into a reserve/platoon-type outfielder. He might see some winter ball action as he looks to get up to speed, O’Brien notes.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson required surgery on his left thumb for a torn ligament, as Rubin reports. That may come as a surprise to those who watched Granderson perform well in the NLCS and World Series. He reportedly suffered the injury during the third game of the championship round. The 34-year-old had a highly productive all-around season, serving as a somewhat underappreciated element in the team’s successful campaign.
- In less promising Mets injury news, right-handed pitching prospect Marcos Molina underwent Tommy John surgery after the season, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports on Twitter. Both Baseball America and MLB.com rate Molina the club’s sixth-best overall prospect at present, though he’ll obviously have some work to do to regain his standing now that he’ll miss all of 2016.
- Marlins righty Henderson Alvarez is expected to begin a throwing program on the first of December, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. If he can maintain the timeline that the organization has charted, Alvarez could return to action within the first month of the season, according to Passan. Alvarez had shoulder surgery this summer and is projected by MLBTR to earn $4MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility.
- As they wait to see how Alvarez progresses, the Marlins will work to increase the organization’s financial flexibility, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. On the revenue side, Miami is hoping to find a corporate sponsor to put its name on the side of Marlins Park and also to get a new TV deal in place.
- The Marlins acknowledge that they haven’t done the best job of putting their payroll to use in building around their young core in recent years, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Pitching is the major need, according to president David Samson, who says he feels the organization has “three of the top ten players in baseball” — referring to Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Dee Gordon. Per Jackson, Miami would go up to $15MM a year on the right starting pitcher, though the team is more likely to spend in the $12MM to $15MM range. (He calls Yovani Gallardo an “interesting option in the high end of that range.”) Of course, trades are also possible, and Marcell Ozuna appears to represent a big chip with the organization seemingly unconvinced that he’s a piece worth keeping. Miami is chasing two pitchers, says Jackson, one of whom could come from a deal involving Ozuna.
- New Phillies GM Matt Klentak said that he’s getting acclimated with the organization’s still-new information system, “PHIL,” as Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. That system is a key part of the club’s efforts to advance its modern analytical capabilities. “Basically it’s a place to house all of our information and synthesize it and try to manage it and pool it and bring all together,” Klentak said. “That’s what PHIL will provide. I’m new to it. I was not involved in the design of it, but I’m getting more and more familiar with it. We’re making some tweaks to it to make sure it suits what we’re looking to do and what we’re hoping to achieve. It’s close to its official launch.”
- Klentak is still settling into his new digs, but says he’s gotten a lot done already as he prepares for the upcoming GM Meetings, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Generally, he says, the club will be looking to continue building its talent base over the winter. “We really want to raise the floor and add some depth,” Klentak said. “Kind of at every turn, that’s what we’re going to be focused on. And in the pitching department, I think we really need to work on just — again, I say raise the floor — but kind of establish sort of a firm foundation of pitching. That’s not going to end when we break camp at the end of Spring Training. That’s something we’re going to be committed to for a long time.” He continued to reiterate that he views free agency as a way to “augment or supplement” a contending team more than a means to building a core.
- Be sure to check out MLBTR’s offseason outlook for the Phils for more on the opportunities and challenges facing Klentak and co. (I’ve also written a Braves outlook and am working my way through the rest of the NL East.)