GM Matt Klentak says that despite Aaron Altherr’s wrist injury and Cody Asche’s oblique troubles, the Phillies are not actively looking for additional outfielders, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. The Phillies do, however, remain open to the possibility of acquiring a player should the right opportunity arise. “I wouldn’t characterize it as active,” says Klentak. “This is the time of the year where most teams are starting to connect with each other to talk about different scenarios that are going to play out at the end of camp — who is going to make the team, who may not. So those conversations have begun — generally, anyway.” With Altherr on the shelf until midseason and Asche possibly missing the start of the season, the Phillies plan to go with Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos and Rule 5 selection Tyler Goeddel in their outfield to start the season.
- The Pirates entered the offseason projecting to pay about 10% of their payroll to Mark Melancon. Paying such a steep price for their closer might not have seemed ideal in theory, but GM Neal Huntington says keeping Melancon was the best move in practice, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Melancon ended up with a $9.65MM deal for the year when the Bucs avoided arbitration with him. “We went into the offseason thinking Mark would be a part of the bullpen until somebody compelled us to think differently,” says Huntington. “No one did.” The Pirates instead made other cost-cutting moves, including parting ways with Pedro Alvarez and trading Charlie Morton to the Phillies. Melancon and Tony Watson were nearly unstoppable in the late innings last season, and the Bucs are hoping that they can be again in 2016, likely Melancon’s last year with the club.
- Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is taking well to learning first base, writes MLB.com’s Richard Justice. “I think having played third base for a few seasons in the Minor Leagues definitely helped,” says Holliday. “There’s definitely a little bit of an adjustment period being that close in. But I feel like I’ve played a long time and I’m athletic enough that with the proper training and work, I can do it.” Holliday has never played first in the regular season in his long big-league career, but he’s appeared there in five games this spring. Once the season starts, Holliday still figures to take his share of time in the outfield. Two young outfielders, Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, already are in line for everyday at-bats, but playing Holliday at first on occasion would potentially allow another younger player, Tommy Pham, more playing time. Brandon Moss will also figure into the Cardinals’ first base and outfield mix.