Shake off your tryptophan coma with a few quick bursts of baseball-related action…
- The availability of catcher Omar Narvaez in trade talks can be directly linked to the Mariners’ recent extension with first base prospect Evan White, suggests Greg Johns of MLB.com (link). While that may seem like a logical leap at first glance, White’s forthcoming presence on the club’s major league roster should allow GM Jerry Dipoto to utilize Austin Nola as a backup catcher. Nola, a catcher by trade, was mostly used in combination with Daniel Vogelbach at first last season. Johns also notes that the club’s recent signing of Patrick Wisdom, though minor in nature, gives the club yet another option at first in the event of an injury to White. As explored earlier, the bat-first Narvaez should only look more appealing as a trade target as this offseason progresses; as of Friday, open market catchers Yasmani Grandal, Travis d’Arnaud, Tyler Flowers, and Yan Gomes have all been spoken for.
- Carter Stewart’s foray into the Nippon Professional Baseball ranks is covered in a recent profile from Jim Halley of Baseball America, with several interesting notes on the youngster’s on-and-off-field adjustments in Japan. Beyond the obvious cultural adjustments that a nineteen-year-old American would face in moving to Japan, Matt Skrmetta, a scout with Stewart’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, relays that the right-hander is currently adapting to the league’s more contact-oriented hitters. For those who may not remember, the 6’6 Stewart was originally the 8th overall draft pick of the Braves in 2018, although a longstanding wrist injury led the club to only offer him a signing bonus at less than half of the pick’s $4.98MM slot value. The righty spurned that offer and spent a year pitching in the JuCo ranks before a lack of interest at the top of the 2019 draft led Fukuoka to come calling with an unprecedented long-term deal.
- For the time being, the Padres are penciling in Drew Pomeranz and Kirby Yates as their back-end bullpen options, conveys The Athletic’s Dennis Lin in a recent mailbag. While there were Twitter rumblings this week that Pomeranz’s acquisition only made an offseason trade of Yates more likely, Lin notes that an extension with the 32-year-old Hawaiian is still an entirely plausible scenario. For what it’s worth, Pomeranz and Yates compiled 89.1 innings of a combined 1.41 ERA as relievers last year, potentially setting San Diego out with a thoroughly effective–if pricey–backend. MLBTR projects Yates to receive a $6.5MM award in a final pass through arb, while Pomeranz’s deal included an $8MM signing bonus in advance of a $4MM 2020 salary.