The Marlins could add a veteran outfielder within the next week or so, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, who names free agents Melky Cabrera, Jon Jay and Jose Bautista as possibilities (though Jay isn’t atop their list, Frisaro notes). Miami is indeed “exploring” signing someone to a major league contract, according to president Michael Hill. Doing so would put the Marlins over the 40-man roster limit, but they’re “prepared to” jettison a player if necessary, per Hill. Notably, all of Cabrera, Jay and Bautista either have ties to Marlins decision-makers or Florida. Cabrera played with Marlins part-owner Derek Jeter with the Yankees from 2006-09, and manager Don Mattingly was on New York’s coaching staff during a portion of that stretch. Jay is a Miami native, meanwhile, and Bautista resides in the state. Any of the three would immediately become the most established outfielder on a rebuilding Marlins team that has traded Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna in separate deals this winter.
More from the NL:
- While reports earlier this offseason painted the Brewers as aggressive Yu Darvish suitors, that wasn’t really the case, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Darvish, who agreed to join the NL Central rival Cubs on Saturday, “was never going to wear a Brewers uniform,” Haudricourt writes. With Darvish off the board, starter-needy Milwaukee could perhaps turn its focus to former Cub Jake Arrieta – who’s now the top pitcher available – but Haudricourt suggests it’s unlikely he’ll end up a Brewer.
- The right shoulder issues that Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter played through last season are no longer hampering him, he tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s not in the back of mind, like it was, not at all,” he said. “It’s not limiting me in any way. I can go out and do whatever. It is as if everything is normal.” Carpenter’s shoulder made it a challenge for him to swing a bat in 2017, yet he still managed to amass 622 plate appearances and slash a terrific .241/.384/.451. Although, Carpenter’s production did drop off from 2015-16, a 1,231-PA run in which he batted .271/.372/.505.
- Injuries have beset promising Mets starters Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz during their careers, but they’re both optimistic heading into the new season, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post details in a pair of articles. Wheeler missed all of 2015-16 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and then threw just 86 1/3 innings of 5.21 ERA ball in his return last year. His season ended in July on account of a stress reaction in his right arm, but he now “feels great.” Wheeler explained his recovery process to Kernan, saying: “It needed two full months of rest. I got that, and then I’ve been taking these shots every day for the past six months. The medicine is called Forteo and it is supposed to strengthen your bones, so hopefully that helps.” The left-handed Matz logged a mere 66 2/3 frames of 6.08 ERA pitching in 2017, which concluded for him in August when he underwent surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his elbow.“They moved the nerve over, they take it out of the groove and they sew it down, basically they moved it out of the way,” Matz said of the procedure. “I feel really good this season,” he added.