Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes provided an update on his efforts to return from surgeries to both heels. As Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News writes, Cespedes expressed confidence that he will be able to make it back to the MLB field, but says it’s unlikely to occur before the middle of the coming season. Cespedes does say that he’s now pain-free, which seems promising, though it remains to be seen how things will progress once his rehab is able to ramp up toward full speed.
- In other recent Mets news, ace Jacob deGrom discussed his contract situation with reporters including Tim Healey of Newsday. Generally, deGrom reiterated what is already known to be the case: he expects to discuss an extension in the coming weeks but has yet to receive an offer and won’t negotiate past the start of the season. The star righty largely demurred when asked about the oft-floated concept that he might operate under self-imposed workload limitations if he doesn’t have a long-term deal, though he did not rule out such an approach.
- Speaking of possible blockbuster extensions, Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado will not follow deGrom’s lead in placing timing restrictions on his talks with the club, as MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports. Arenado said he does expect there to be a “silent deadline” once “serious games start,” though generally it sounds as if he’s open to chat just about any time. It certainly seems as if there are plenty of good vibes between player and team, though hammering out an appropriate contract will still come with challenges. Arenado, 27, already agreed to a record-setting $26MM salary for the 2019 campaign, after which he’ll hit the open market.
- While the Marlins were said to have some interest in Carlos Gonzalez, it seems the organization doesn’t intend to make any further additions at the outset of camp. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the club presently intends to give a chance to Peter O’Brien to stake out a claim to time in right field. That means that Brian Anderson is shifting back to third base, leaving the club with a rather unexpected combination of Neil Walker and Martin Prado slated to share the action at first bse (and other areas in the infield). President of baseball operations Michael Hill says the team will still keep an eye on market opportunities, but is “extremely happy” with the “current group of players.”
- Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett has been through a gauntlet of terrible arm injuries, but he’s still plugging away at a comeback effort. As Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes, the 31-year-old righty is showing some signs of real potential while enjoying an opportunity to pitch in MLB camp, though he has a ways to go before he’ll truly be considered for a big league opportunity. Barrett once featured intriguing swing-and-miss stuff, but has made only twenty low-A appearances over the past three seasons.