Given that Tigers slugger and trade chip Nicholas Castellanos has drawn little interest this offseason, they’re unlikely to move him until the deadline approaches in the summer, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press suggests. While the Dodgers have been prominently connected to Castellanos this winter, they’ve never seriously pursued the outfielder, according to Fenech, and now appear completely out on him after signing A.J. Pollock this week. Signs are pointing to Castellanos staying in Detroit into the 2019 campaign, then, and general manager Al Avila will need to be convinced the return for him in an in-season trade outweighs the draft compensation the team would receive by keeping the soon-to-be 27-year-old and issuing him a qualifying offer next winter. With that said, Fenech wonders if the Tigers would even risk offering a pricey QO to Castellanos, who may well accept it because his well-documented defensive troubles figure to tamp down his value on the open market.
More from the American League…
- Having signed Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop, Blake Parker and Martin Perez this offseason, the Twins may not make any more notable strikes in free agency. Regardless, the Twins are hopeful they’ll be able to lock up some of their in-house talent for the foreseeable future, GM Thad Levine revealed Sunday (via Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press). “Without getting into names, we’re actively having some of those conversations behind the scenes and we as a club would like nothing more than to be able to announce one, two, three of those types of extensions at some point here in spring training,” Levine said. Speculatively speaking, some of the Twins’ extension candidates may include Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi. Minnesota did try to lock up Buxton, Rosario, Kepler and Berrios a year ago, though the former went on to endure a nightmarish season that ended in contentious fashion.
- Arm injuries kept Drew Smyly and Edinson Volquez from pitching at all in 2018 and limited Shelby Miller to just 16 innings. That trio’s now primed to occupy 60 percent of the Rangers’ rotation in 2019, though, and GM Jon Daniels issued encouraging updates on all three Sunday, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. “All have clean bills of health individually,” said Daniels, who did admit there’s risk in each case and Texas will need depth behind them in the event things go haywire. Smyly, a 2017 Tommy John surgery recipient whom the Rangers acquired from the Cubs this past November, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016; Volquez’s most recent big league outing came July 5, 2017, owing to TJ surgery; and Miller, who also underwent the procedure in 2017, dealt with further elbow problems last season. Additionally, none of those three have been world-beaters when they have been healthy enough to take the mound in recent years.