Cafardo Provides Updates on Jones, Gonzalez
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe touched on two of the dozens of prominent free agents still available with under two weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
Cafardo says 33-year-old outfielder Adam Jones “should get signed”. Though, considering the downturn in his defensive abilities over the last few seasons, center field is most certainly not going to be his every-day position for his new team.
Jones has accounted for -40 defensive runs saved and a -29.2 ultimate zone rating in center field since the start of the 2016 season, with his numbers in the corner spots just as sub-par (-7 DRS, -1.5 UZR in the corners last season).
Adam Jones’ bat is still potent enough to make a difference in a major-league lineup, no doubt. The 33-year-old slashed .281/.313/.419 over 145 games last season (613 plate appearances) with 15 homers, 63 runs batted in, 35 doubles, a .315 weighted on-base average and 98 weighted runs created plus rating.
Cafardo also gave an update on former Astros utility player Marwin Gonzalez, who’s also looking for a new employer, quoting an American League executive who doesn’t seem to be all that thrilled about Gonzalez’ price tag.
“As much as teams love him,” the exec said to Cafardo. “Do you want to pay a utility player $12 to $15 million over a longer term?”
Gonzalez, 29, plays every position on the diamond, save for center field or behind the plate, and does so serviceable. At the plate, the Venezuelan native had a down year in 2018, slashing .247/.324/.409 with 16 homers and 68 RBI after hitting .303/.377/.530 with 23 dingers and 90 RBI in 2017.
We may see Gonzalez settle for a fraction of the value and length he was looking for in free agency.
Rockies Targeting Arenado for Long-Term Deal
As per Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Colorado Rockies owner, chairman, and CEO Dick Monfort has “expressed optimism” in signing perennial All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado to a long-term extension before he hits the open market after the 2019 season.
“I’m comfortable that we can get a number that we can get to. There are a lot of things that have to go through Nolan’s mind, too,” Monfort said. “But I’m confident that after we met, Nolan wants this to happen as much as we do.”
Arenado, 27, agreed to a one-year, $26 million deal with Colorado this week, avoiding an arbitration hearing. The six-year MLB veteran requested $30 million but settled on the final dollar amount after the Rockies countered with an offer of $24 million.
Over his first six seasons, Arenado has a .291/.346/.539 slash line with 162-game averages of 34 home runs, 114 RBI, 41 doubles, and a 121 OPS+ rating. In 2018, the Newport Beach, California native hit .297/.374/.561 with 38 homers, 110 RBI, 38 doubles, and a career-high 133 OPS+ rating.
He also collected his sixth NL Gold Glove Award for his phenomenal play at third base, his fourth NL All-Star selection, and fourth Silver Slugger Award last season.
Gattis Onboard with Houston Return
Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and free-agent designated hitter/catcher Evan Gattis have remained in contact throughout the offseason, quoting Gattis as saying “various people from the Astros organization have stayed in touch”.
When asked if he’d be interested in a reunion, Gattis made no qualms about expressing a desire to return to Houston.
“Yeah, I think so. I love it here. I love the organization,” Gattis told Rome. “Regardless of where I go, the Astros are going to be good for a long time.”
Gattis, 32, grew up in Dallas and has spent the last four seasons of his six-year MLB career with the ‘Stros, culminating in the organization’s first World Series title in 2017.
The right-handed hitter slashed .226/.284/.452 in 451 plate appearances last season (all from the DH position) with 25 homers, 78 RBI, 17 doubles, and a 101 OPS+ rating.
Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports confirmed that the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a minor-league deal with right-handed starter Brandon Beachy, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 (two starts for the Dodgers; 7.88 ERA).
Beachy resurfaced with the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League (Independent) last season and pitched to a 3.55 ERA over 12 appearances (two starts; 12.2 innings pitched) with 12 strikeouts and six walks.
Over 43 MLB appearances (33 starts, all with the Reds; 2016 and 2017), Adleman, 31, owns a 4.97 ERA with a 5.66 fielding independent pitching rating, 2.18 strikeouts-to-walks, and 1.349 WHIP.
Adleman pitched in Korea (KBO) last season with a 5.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 137 strikeouts and 54 walks over 33 starts (171 innings) for the Samsung Lions.