The Phillies are not pursuing Lazaro Armenteros (aka Lazarito), writes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. The club will begin the next international spending period with a little over $5.61MM of pool money – the largest bonus pool in the league. They can trade for an additional $2.8MM. Lazarito figures to sign for well over either maximum. Since the team is rebuilding and may have another large pool in the 2017-2018 period, Zolecki doesn’t believe the club is willing to incur spending prohibitions. However, the signing of Jhailyn Ortiz for $4MM last summer indicates the club will use it’s financial might on other highly talented names.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- Phillies GM Matt Klentak is excited to see his prospects in live action, writes Jim Salisbury for Baseball America. Notable players who could reach the majors this season include J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, Andrew Knapp, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Mark Appel, and Zach Eflin. The Phillies have acquired enough major and minor league depth that these players can develop at their own pace. In other words, there’s no guarantee we’ll actually see any of them this year, or they could all reach the big show.
- The Marlins are continuing to monitor the free agent and trade markets for pitchers, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The club is happy with their current staff, but there is room to add more depth. Frisaro mentions Tim Lincecum by name, but the former Cy Young winner has yet to schedule a day to throw in front of scouts. Such an outing has been rumored to be in the works since January.
- Mets third baseman David Wright elaborated on the plan for managing his spinal stenosis, writes Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Previously, GM Sandy Alderson suggested Wright would play about 130 games. Now, Wright is saying “you can’t have a plan” for managing the injury. He’ll ease into Spring Training and see how his body responds. The important thing is that player, manager, and GM are all on the same page – even if that’s frustrating for fans. One unmentioned aspect of Wright’s injury – the club may want to consider another backup third baseman beyond Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada.
- The $7.25MM contract Bartolo Colon signed with the Mets wasn’t the best offer he received, writes DiComo. Per Colon, “there were higher-money offers, but that’s not something that even interested me because this is my family here.” Colon is the elder statesman of a young, exciting pitching staff. It appears he signed for the always-rare “hometown discount.”
- The Nationals are not negotiating an extension with Bryce Harper, GM Mike Rizzo tells reporters including Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. The club has engaged in some basic conversations with agent Scott Boras to start the ball rolling. Harper is under contract for another three seasons. A highly marketable player, the Nationals and Harper have every reason to take their time proceeding.