Here’s the latest from around the NL East…
- The Braves have Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur on their list of possible trade candidates, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Szczur is out of options and the Cubs intend to keep him, though a 25-man roster spot could be hard to manage given Chicago’s multitude of depth options. Szczur has a career .245/.297/.376 slash line over 346 PA since debuting with the Cubs in 2014, and he is a right-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions, which fits Atlanta’s known need. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman recently opined that since the Braves have several out-of-options players, they could deal one such player for another on a rival team.
- Though Kelly Johnson remains unsigned, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo doesn’t feel there’s any chance of another reunion between he and the Mets, especially not as long as Johnson is still looking for an MLB contract. The Mets are satisfied with their current backup infield mix, and likely wouldn’t check in on Johnson (either via signing or a midseason trade if he signs elsewhere) unless he’s willing to take a minor league deal or if New York develops a need later in the year.
- Sunday is the deadline for the Phillies to either release Chris Coghlan upon request, or place him on their 25-man roster within 48 hours, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. In other Phils opt-out news, Daniel Nava can request his release if he isn’t on the Phillies’ Major League roster by June 15. Coghlan and Nava both signed minor league deals with Philadelphia this winter, though as Zolecki explains, the two veterans are in a tight battle for the Phillies’ two remaining bench spots.
- Koda Glover is a contender to win the Nationals’ closer job, though as Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron notes, the Nats’ decision to use Glover in the ninth inning of spring games is making it difficult to properly evaluate the hard-throwing righty. Spring Training performances should be taken with a grain of salt anyway, and in Glover’s case, he has faced very few hitters who actually project to be on MLB rosters this season.