The Cardinals were aggressive in trying to sign Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert, but general manager John Mozeliak sensed the 19-year-old would end up elsewhere, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. Robert proved Mozeliak correct when he agreed to sign with the White Sox on Saturday. Ultimately, St. Louis wasn’t up to paying north of $50 million, including a 100 percent overage tax, for Robert. “When you’re looking at the overall investment, it’s real and historically there are not too many players that sign for that many dollars,” said Mozeliak. “It’s really hard to justify those types of dollars for any player with a lack of a proven track record. No matter how you try to equate the Cuban league or his international experience, it’s very hard to calibrate what that means to here.”
More from two other National League cities:
- While the Padres would gain an extra year of control over outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe if they’re demoted to the minors for a couple weeks, the team doesn’t plan to send either rookie down, sources informed Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The rebuilding Padres are pleased with the progress the two have made at the major league level, a high-ranking team official told Lin. “We started them here for a reason,” the official noted. “We think they’re ready to contribute and be part of what we’re doing.”
- Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez continued a disappointing season with another rough outing Saturday, and he suggested afterward that he wouldn’t resist a move to the bullpen. Asked if he feared losing his rotation spot, the hard-throwing Velasquez said (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com): “Is it a fear? No, it’s not a fear. If it’s a way to help the team in the bullpen, then so be it. But do I think about that going out there? No.” There’s no indication that Velasquez will lose his starting role, though his struggles have nonetheless been alarming. After a highly promising 2016, his first in Philly, the 24-year-old has pitched to a bloated ERA (5.98) over 43 2/3 innings and seen his strikeout and walk rates trend in the wrong direction. Velasquez attributes his issues to “a lack of commitment, a lack of concentration, just a lack of everything” and believes he’s putting too much pressure on himself.
- It seemed possible on Friday that righty Jered Weaver’s 2/3-inning, seven-earned run debacle against Arizona would go down as his last outing with the Padres, but they’re not ready to move on quite yet. Instead of cutting ties with Weaver, the club placed him on the disabled list Saturday with left hip inflammation. Manager Andy Green indicated the 34-year-old will be out longer than 10 days (per Ryan Posner of MLB.com), saying: “He’s been battling and hasn’t been at full health, and it’s something for the last couple years he’s battled. He just doesn’t feel like he has the freedom to pitch the way he can pitch.” The Padres have lost all nine of the soft-tossing Weaver’s starts, in which he has logged a 7.44 ERA (with an even worse 7.99 FIP) and averaged fewer than five innings per appearance. Since Padres chairman Ron Fowler revealed May 10 that Weaver’s on a short leash, the ex-Angel has given up 15 earned runs in 9 2/3 frames.