Now with the Angels, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if shortstop Andrelton Simmons can develop into a better hitter. Simmons is working hard on the offensive side of his game, but he is also appreciative of the fact that the Halos value him highly for what he does in the field.
“It feels great, man. It helps you build that confidence,” Simmons said. “I don’t have to go up there and be that big-name hitter. I just have to play my part — hit-and-run, bunt the guy over. That might take a little pressure off me and make it easier. I’m still trying to be a better hitter. Everybody is. You try to pick up from guys like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Hopefully by the end of the year, I learn a lot from them.”
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Rosenthal’s column:
- A major league source tells Rosenthal that the Blue Jays might only be open to giving Jose Bautista a deal similar to what Yoenis Cespedes signed with the Mets this offseason. Last week, it was reported that the 35-year-old is seeking at least five years on a new deal that would pay him upwards of $30MM per year on average. Cespedes, meanwhile, re-upped with the Mets this winter on a three-year, $75MM pact with an opt-out. Clearly, there is a significant gap for the two sides to bridge, though Joey Bats indicated in February that he was not interested in negotiating after naming his asking price. Bautista earned his sixth-straight All-Star nod in 2015 as he slashed .250/.377/.536 with 40 homers.
- “At least one Diamondbacks official” believes that the team should use Jean Segura at short and Chris Owings at second base, relegating Nick Ahmed to either a utility role or perhaps making him a trade candidate. Ahmed, 26 on Tuesday, slashed just .226/.275/.359 with nine homers in 459 plate appearances last season, though much of his value comes from his defense. In 2015, Ahmed had a strong 16.1 UZR/150 rating.
- The Padres’ next move might be to trade a catcher, Rosenthal writes. San Diego has three capable catchers in Derek Norris, Austin Hedges, and Christian Bethancourt, and there isn’t really room for all three players to make the roster. Of course, a trade isn’t mandatory either, as Hedges could be demoted. Bethancourt, on the other hand, is out of options. In December, the Padres were said to be shopping Norris and Hedges. In February, the team was still said to be having conversations involving Norris, though nothing came of those discussions.