The agent for Tigers outfielder Nicholas Castellanos said in January his client would prefer a trade, but the slugger met with the media Sunday and told reporters, including Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, he’d be willing to discuss a long-term contract with the club. The rebuilding Tigers made a legitimate effort to move Castellanos in the offseason, yet they were unable to find a taker because general manager Al Avila suggested there was no real market for the 26-year-old. Although Castellanos has been an above-average offensive producer in three straight seasons, especially during a career-best 2018, he has been a liability at third base and in the outfield. Those defensive limitations have likely kept teams from fervently pursuing him via trade. They could also lead to a disappointing market for Castellanos should he become a free agent next winter, particularly if the Tigers retain him through the season and issue him a qualifying offer thereafter. Castellanos expressed some nervousness about the state of free agency Sunday, pointing to the still-unemployed statuses of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and Braves corner outfielder Nick Markakis’ inability to secure a high-paying multiyear deal as causes for concern, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com writes.
More from the AL…
- Just as Castellanos was popular in offseason trade rumors, so was Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The right-hander said Sunday he wants to stay in Toronto for the long haul, but the team hasn’t offered him an extension, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tweets. Stroman expressed unhappiness about the Blue Jays’ lack of offers, and he also criticized them for not signing more veterans during the offseason, John Lott of The Athletic reports. The Jays only added three free agents (Freddy Galvis, Matt Shoemaker and David Phelps) on major league contracts during the winter, but it was an unsurprising approach from a retooling team that probably won’t push for a playoff spot in 2019. Combining the Jays’ current status as non-contenders with the 27-year-old Stroman’s waning team control (two seasons left) and his unhappiness with their front office, he could frequent trade rumors again during the summer.
- Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun entered last year, his first full season with the organization, as Baseball America’s 36th-ranked prospect. Despite the hype, Calhoun fell flat at the Triple-A level and in the majors, leading GM Jon Daniels and then-manager Jeff Banister to tell him he needed to change his work ethic and lifestyle in the offseason, per Levi Weaver of The Athletic (subscription required). The meeting “humbled” Calhoun, who’s treating last season as a wake-up call and has since lost 24 pounds (the Rangers requested he drop 20). Calhoun admitted to Weaver he was “stubborn coming up with the Dodgers,” who traded him to the Rangers for Yu Darvish in 2017, as well as during his first year and a half in the Texas organization. Now in better physical and mental states, Calhoun is attempting to win a season-opening spot with the Rangers, but as Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram notes, he’ll have to beat out veteran pickup Hunter Pence.
- Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund discussed his 80-game suspension with Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday, claiming he’s unsure how he tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators S-22 (Ostarine) and LGD-4033 (Ligandrol). “I didn’t change anything in my offseason that I did in any other. The only thing I did was eat cleaner,” said Skoglund, who added that “something got in my body without me knowing” and insisted he’s not one to “cheat the game.” Skoglund did not appeal the ban, though, as he figured it wasn’t a fight he could win.