With center fielder Michael A. Taylor on the shelf for a while, the Nationals “appear to be at least considering outside alternatives” capable of playing the position, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. Free agency’s not exactly rife with options at this juncture, though, with 30-somethings Denard Span (an ex-Nat), Austin Jackson and Chris Young as the only experienced center fielders on the market. But Span hasn’t played center since 2017, when was among the majors’ worst outfielders; Jackson was similarly poor there last season; and Young hasn’t seen a lot of action at the position in recent years. So, if the Nationals want a legit center fielder to help make up for Taylor’s absence, they may have to turn to the trade market or hope a capable player hits the waiver wire in the coming weeks.
- Even though he received a major league contract over the winter, Brewers infielder/outfielder Cory Spangenberg may open the season in the minors, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. The Brewers are likely to opt for a four-man bench which would include Hernan Perez, Manny Pina, Eric Thames and Ben Gamel, leaving Spangenberg – who has a minor league option remaining – on the outside. Not long ago, the former Padre looked like a strong candidate to rack up playing time at second base this year in Milwaukee. Unfortunately for Spangenerg, the Brewers’ late-February re-signing of Mike Moustakas – who’s shifting from third to the keystone – put the kibosh on that.
- Right-hander Seth Lugo will work out of the bullpen again this season after emerging as one of the Mets’ best relievers in 2018, though the 29-year-old wants to return to a starting role at some point, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. “I’m not content where I’m at, but I’m happy where I’m at, if that makes sense,” Lugo said. “Especially with the team we have now, I just want to be a part of it.” Lugo totaled 18 starts in 19 appearances back in 2017, but he functioned almost exclusively as a reliever last season, and that should be the case again this year.
- The Giants have named Rob Dean as their designated interim control person to Major League Baseball, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweets. Dean’s filling in for CEO Larry Baer, who’s on leave as MLB investigates a public altercation he had with his wife on March 1. Baer and the Giants haven’t been in contact during his absence, per Baggarly, who adds the club’s awaiting the league’s investigation before it takes any potential action with him.