The Tigers pursued an extension with outfielder Nicholas Castellanos “to no avail” following the 2017 season, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports. The 25-year-old slugger (26 in March) posted a very solid .272/.320/.490 batting line in a breakout campaign at the plate and gave the Tigers room for further optimism; Castellanos ranked fifth in the Majors in hard-contact rate (among qualified hitters), and Statcast credited him for the 10th-highest number of barreled balls in MLB. He has a projected arbitration salary of $7.6MM, per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and is still under club control for another two seasons. Defensive question marks abound with Castellanos, as he’s rated poorly both at third base and in right field, but there’s plenty of value in his bat. The inability to come to terms on an extension only furthers the chance that the rebuilding Tigers trade Castellanos before he reaches free agency.
A few more notes from around the AL…
- MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch writes that the Yankees seem likely to bring in an infield option from outside the organization to man either second base or third base in 2018. Trades of Starlin Castro and Chase Headley freed those two spots up, and while Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar give the Yanks a pair of high-upside assets at those positions, some additional certainty and depth in a season with lofty expectations seems plenty reasonable. Per Hoch, the Yankees have been in touch with Todd Frazier, and it’s also possible that they explore a reunion with versatile Eduardo Nunez.
- The Orioles have historically been willing to wait out the free-agent market in search of bargains late in the winter, but they’ll have more company than usual in that regard this year, writes Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. Baltimore GM Dan Duquette and his staff have had varying degrees of success in that regard, striking gold with a February signing of Nelson Cruz but also issuing regrettable deals to Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez. This time around, the Orioles will be looking to fill multiple spots in their rotation in addition to a left-handed bat. But, with just a handful of the top MLB free agents having agreed to deals, Baltimore’s typically patient approach may not be as fruitful as it has in the past.
- Though they’ve explored various trade scenarios, the Twins are likelier to address their rotation on the free-agent market, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes in his latest Twins Inbox piece. Minnesota has a blank payroll slate beyond the 2019 season, and Bollinger suggests that the front office would rather use those financial resources than deplete the farm system in order to add to the rotation. The Twins have been prominently mentioned as a possible landing spot for Yu Darvish, though it stands to reason that they’ve also likely looked into Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn as well.