After having agreed to terms with catcher Tyler Flowers, the Braves seem likely to trade Christian Bethancourt, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. With Flowers likely to share the Braves’ catching duties with A.J. Pierzynski, Bethancourt now appears to be on the outside looking in. The 24-year-old hit just .200/.225/.290 in 160 big-league plate appearances in 2015 (although he did fare much better at Triple-A, batting .327/.359/.480) and struggled with passed balls. He’s still young and spent several years regarded as a top prospect, so one would think he would be an interesting option for a rebuilding club. Of course, the Braves themselves are rebuilding, and the Flowers signing suggests quite strongly that they’re skeptical, at the very least, of Bethancourt’s long-term prospects. Here are more notes from the East Coast.
- The Orioles have turned to the trade market to find a starting pitcher to replace Wei-Yin Chen, MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli writes (Twitter links). They have “a few” standing offers out to teams in return for starting pitching. With Chen gone, the Orioles’ top four currently includes Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Gausman, all of them righties. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported this week that the team would prefer to add a lefty, although one option could be using lefty reliever Brian Matusz as a starter. “We’d be OK with five righties, but ideally we’d like to get some balance to our lineup and our rotation,” Orioles exec Dan Duquette said.
- Other teams have asked about Orioles minor leaguers Jomar Reyes, Chance Sisco and Tanner Scott in trade talks, MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski tweets. Reyes, an 18-year-old third baseman, ranks fourth on MLB.com’s list of the top Orioles prospects, with the writeup noting his terrific raw power; Sisco, a catcher, ranks eighth, and Scott, a lefty, ranks 21st.
- The Yankees’ current plan is to trade Brett Gardner or Andrew Miller for a starting pitcher, or to keep them both for next season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. Yankees exec Brian Cashman said last weekend that the most likely outcome is that the team will keep both players.