The Mariners were linked to Jon Jay back in November, and ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required) reports that Seattle had enough interest to offer Jay a three-year contract. The two sides didn’t reach an agreement, however, and Jay’s free agent sojourn only ended last week when he signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Royals. It’s easy to second-guess Jay’s decision in hindsight, though of course he (like many other free agents) could hardly have expected the market freeze that left several players settling for contracts that fell well below their initial asking prices. The M’s ended up going in a more unorthodox direction to solve their center field problem, instead acquiring second baseman Dee Gordon from the Marlins and converting him into an outfield role.
Some more news and notes from around the AL West…
- In a recent appearance on 105.3 The Fan’s Ben And Skin Show (partial transcript from the Dallas Morning News), Adrian Beltre discussed his future both with the Rangers and as a player in general. The 20-year MLB veteran is taking his career on an annual basis, noting that “I can’t tell you it’s going to be this year or next year or the year after that” when he finally hangs up his glove. The main factors in Beltre’s decision include his health, his level of production and whether or not he is still on a contender. Plus, Beltre is seemingly intrigued by the idea of going out on top, saying “It would be easier for me if we won the World Series this year or next year to go home.” Beltre hopes to achieve that goal in a Rangers uniform, noting that he doesn’t want to be traded, though such a scenario could happen if Texas falls out of contention by the deadline (Beltre is entering the last year of his contract). If he heads into free agency while still a Ranger, Beltre said “it would make it easy for me” to re-sign with the club if the Rangers promised to make a big push to contend in 2019.
- The Rangers have decided to keep Matt Bush in the bullpen, manager Jeff Banister told reporters (including MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan). Bush came into spring camp with the hopes of getting himself into the rotation mix, though the righty will instead be deployed as a setup man and potentially as a multi-inning reliever. Banister believes Bush is most valuable to Texas in this role, and thus Bush isn’t a candidate to serve as the Rangers’ closer.
- Brad Peacock may also be ticketed for a multi-inning relief role, as The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan writes that the Astros have used Peacock in two-inning stints in each of his three Spring Training appearances. Houston places a high value on multi-inning relievers and could theoretically deploy several of their bullpen arms in that fashion, though Kaplan feels Chris Devenski could be in line for more one-inning outings after appearing to tire in the second half of the 2017 season. Peacock has extra durability as a former starting pitcher and his stuff lends itself well to such a relief role. He held hitters to just a .420 OPS during his first time through the lineup last season, easily the lowest OPS of any pitcher who made at least 20 starts.