MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand takes advantage of the break in World Series action to profile six upcoming free agents whose free agent values are “tough to define” heading into the 2019-2020 offseason. Cubs outfielder Nicholas Castellanos kicks off his list, with Feinsand noting that Castellanos’ defensive limitations may limit his market. On the more optimistic end, however, one unnamed NL executive is quoted as saying that “parallels” can be drawn to the profile of J.D. Martinez. As a formerly maligned outfield defender who showed pronounced growth at the plate after a few ho-hum early years in Detroit, Martinez netted a five-year, $110MM deal with the Red Sox back in 2018. Ironically, Castellanos and Martinez could be in direct competition on the open market this winter if Martinez opts out of his Red Sox contract and takes another spin through free agency.
More notes from around the senior circuit…
- Astros bench coach Joe Espada is using his day off between World Series games to travel to San Francisco for a meeting with Giants brass, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (link). Espada has already conducted a phone interview with San Francisco reps, so his decision to sandwich an in-person interview between Fall Classic contests could be viewed as a sign that interest between both parties is fairly serious.
- Tim Bogar’s previously reported second interview with Mets leadership is also expected to go down today, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman of MLB Network (link). Bogar, a coach with the Nationals, will also apparently be using his off day with an eye on securing one of MLB’s four remaining open managerial seats. As Heyman notes, Carlos Beltran, Eduardo Perez, Twins coach Derek Shelton, Mets coach Luis Rojas, and an “unknown bombshell candidate” are still in play for the New York position, with tongue presumably planted firmly in cheek on that last item.
- Heyman also relays that Phillies starter Jake Arrieta will not opt out of the last year of his contract (link). This is largely expected after the starter turned in a mediocre season marred by an arm injury that ultimately required surgery. As part of the three-year, $75MM deal agreed to prior to the 2018 season, Arrieta could have re-entered the free agency portal this offseason were he willing to forego the final year and $20MM slated for Philadelphia’s 2020 payroll. Instead, the 33-year-old will look to regain his form under the watch of new manager Phillies Joe Girardi. Arrieta pitched to a 4.64 ERA (4.89 FIP) in 24 starts and 135.2 innings in 2019.