The CSE Talent agency announced that it has purchased Arland Sports, with Arland founder Jason Wood taking over as the president of CSE’s baseball division. Arland Sports’ client list includes such notable big leaguers as Jake Odorizzi, Devon Travis, David Phelps and Andrew Benintendi. It isn’t known whether these players or any of Arland Sports’ other clientele will be joining Wood under the CSE umbrella, so stay tuned for any potential representation changes via MLBTR’s Agency Database. Here are some more news and notes from around the game…
- Early indications are that Cuban outfielder Luis Robert will be cleared for free agency during the current international signing period, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports, though nothing has yet been finalized. If Robert is cleared before the stricter international bonus rules come into play during the next signing period (which opens on July 2), he stands to score a much larger payday than he would if his free agency isn’t granted until after the end of the current signing period on June 15. Robert had a private workout for the Astros in the Dominican Republic and he is scheduled for workouts with the Athletics and Reds next week; the Padres, Cardinals and White Sox are also expected to bring the 19-year-old in for workouts. Chicago is the only one of those six teams that hasn’t already exceeded its 2016-17 bonus pool limit, though Badler has reported that the White Sox may be the favorites to sign the highly-touted Robert.
- Luke Hochevar could potentially sign with a team in the second half of the season, though MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan hears that “2017 is more than likely a wash for him.” Hochevar underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last August and was originally projected to be ready when Spring Training camps opened in February. Hochevar’s surgery, however, was “much more complicated” than a similar procedure for Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer (who had his TOS surgery last July and is back pitching in the minors), and thus Hochevar is apparently facing an extended recovery time. The 33-year-old Hochevar already missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, though the former first overall draft pick posted strong numbers in 2013, 2015 and 2016 out of the Kansas City bullpen.
- Eric Thames is one of the early stars of the 2017 season, as the Brewers slugger is leading the league in homers (seven), runs (15), and slugging percentage (an even 1.000) while also hitting .405 and posting a .479 OBP through 48 plate appearances. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale profiles Thames’ unique personality and unlikely career path, as he bounced around several MLB organizations before becoming a Ruthian superstar in South Korea from 2014-16.
- Francisco Lindor would be short-changing himself by signing an extension worth anything less than $100MM, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan opines. Lindor is off to a huge start in 2017, and while he is five seasons away from free agency, the Indians shortstop is putting himself in line for a massive payday. Assuming Lindor keeps producing all season, Passan argues that Lindor could ask for something in the realm of Mike Trout’s six-year, $144MM deal from the Angels.