Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has been named the game’s best prospect in preseason top-100 and top-101 prospect rankings from MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Seager still qualifies for the lists since he retained his rookie eligibility by only making 113 plate appearances for L.A. last season, though he made a big first impression by hitting .337/.425/.561 in his initial taste of the big leagues. Twins center fielder Byron Buxton and Nationals righty Lucas Giolito are ranked second and third on both lists, and overall, the National League dominates the upper echelon of both rankings. Ten of MLB.com’s top 13 prospects are all from NL teams, while 10 of BP’s top 14 youngsters all hail from the senior circuit. Here are some more items from around the National League…
- The details of Yoenis Cespedes’ return to the Mets were detailed by COO Jeff Wilpon, GM Sandy Alderson and agent Brodie Van Wagenen in a conference call with reporters (including Mike Puma of the New York Post) earlier this week. Negotiations quickly picked up steam within about a week’s time, though such important contractual details as Cespedes’ opt-out clause after the first year were agreed upon early in the process.
- Van Wagenen also discussed his Cespedes’ free agency in a Friday interview with Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (all links to Twitter). He was in active talks with not just the Mets, but four other teams on the day that Cespedes agreed to re-sign with New York. In regards to the deal’s structure and the opt-out clause, “it was less about looking toward next year and more about being able to control where he was going to be,” Van Wagenen said.
- As the calendar turns to February, the Rockies have yet to make any additions to their shaky rotation, the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders writes. GM Jeff Bridich stressed that the club expects internal upgrades in the form of better health from Jorge De La Rosa, Tyler Chatwood and Jordan Lyles. As to the club’s rumored pursuit of Yovani Gallardo, Bridich described those reports as “fairly overblown.”
- Multiple Nationals players tell James Wagner of the Washington Post that they don’t anticipate any clubhouse issues with Jonathan Papelbon in the wake of his infamous dugout skirmish with Bryce Harper last season. A larger issue, Wagner notes, might be whether the D.C. fans are as forgiving — it’s not hard to see Papelbon receive his share of boos in the early stages of the season, especially if his performance struggles.