The Blue Jays announced that they’ve signed veteran infielder Gregorio Petit to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. The 32-year-old Petit spent the 2016 season with the Angels and logged a career-high 223 plate appearances over the life of 89 games. In that time, the versatile defender batted .245/.299/.348 with a pair of home runs. Petit played more than 220 innings at both shortstop and second base last season and also saw time at third base and in both corner outfield slots (albeit just three innings in right field).
Leading up to the release of the 2017 Top 100 Prospects list, MLBPipeline.com looks at baseball’s top 10 prospects at each position. Here are baseball’s 10 best second-base prospects.
Speaking with reporters yesterday, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said the team was likely done making big-league additions this winter, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. Luhnow is effectively saying the team is unlikely to add a big-name pitcher such as Jose Quintana, Chris Archer or Sonny Gray, all of whom they’ve been connected to lately. He is not, however, ruling out the possibility that the Astros could still make a move. The Astros’ roster at the moment is “probably the roster that we’re going to have to start the season,” Luhnow said. “We’re always open to considering ways to improve it, but right now I’d set the expectations low that there’s going to be any major changes.” Health permitting, the Astros will have Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Collin McHugh in their rotation. After receiving a $14MM contract this winter, Charlie Morton is a reasonable bet to win a job as well, although that’s not a certainty. Mike Fiers, Joe Musgrove and Chris Devenski are also in the picture, and top prospect Francis Martes could eventually emerge as a possibility. “We feel like we’ve got enough depth in the rotation that we’ll have five guys in our rotation that are going to be able to compete every night, and our offense is going to keep us in games,” Luhnow said. He added that it’s possible the Astros could use the early months of the season to evaluate their starting pitching and then either try to trade for a pitcher or “save ourselves a few prospects” if it turns out they don’t need one.
In 2008, the Kansas City Royals — coming off a decade of baseball so discouraging that all seemed hopeless — signed Yordano Ventura, a 16-year-old kid from the Dominican Republic. There was nothing dazzling about him as a baseball player. There was something about him, though, something almost imperceptible, something about the way he threw a baseball that made a couple of the Royals scouts hope. And dream.
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the respective passings of Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who was 25, and former Major League infielder Andy Marte, who was 33.
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The tragic news was confirmed by his agency, ISE Baseball, and the Royals. Ventura was 25 years old.
This week in baseball blogs… Bunt To The Gap and Blue Jay Hunter are bullish on Toronto’s re-signing of right fielder Jose Bautista. Sports Talk Philly interviews former major league closer Billy Wagner about his Hall of Fame chances and the induction of longtime Astros teammate Jeff Bagwell. Two Strike Approach: A Baseball Podcast features a discussion with former New York Times baseball writer and current Hall of Fame voter Murray Chass. The Runner Sports looks back on Bagwell’s career. The Point of Pittsburgh makes a Cooperstown case for home run king Barry Bonds
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron has come up as a possible trade candidate in the wake of the team’s agreement with free agent Luis Valbuena on Thursday, but the Halos’ decision to add another corner infielder has more to do with Albert Pujols’ uncertain status, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Pujols could miss the beginning of next season as a result of December foot surgery. In the meantime, the Angels will play the lefty-swinging Valbuena against right-handed pitching and deploy him at Pujols’ positions – designated hitter and first base – as well as third base, writes Rosenthal. When Pujols returns, the club could take advantage of the fact that Cron and Jefrey Marte have minor league options remaining and send either to Triple-A Salt Lake City, Rosenthal notes. Looking ahead a year, third baseman Yunel Escobar could depart in free agency next winter. That would enable Valbuena to take over at the hot corner on a full-time basis in 2018. More from the American League: Right fielder Jose Bautista, who brought an end to a drawn-out saga when he re-signed with the Blue Jays earlier this week, didn’t seriously consider joining the Indians, reports Terry Pluto of cleveland.com. The Indians inquired about Bautista, but it doesn’t seem as if either side was gung-ho about a union. After all, manager Terry Francona declared that the Tribe’s pursuit of Bautista in free agency – which may have included a bid – was overstated.
Saturday’s minor moves from around baseball: The Astros have signed right-hander Dayan Diaz to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training, tweets Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. This will be the second stint with the Houston franchise for the 27-year-old Diaz, who broke in as a member of the organization from 2010-12. Diaz has since pitched for three other clubs, and he made his major league debut last season in a 6 2/3-inning showing with the Reds. That didn’t go well, though, as Diaz yielded seven earned runs on 10 hits and seven walks. He has been far more successful at the Triple-A level, having recorded a 2.47 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 113 innings over the past two seasons
Last year, Francisco Lindor began talking to the people from Major League Baseball who stage Play Ball events and expressed an interest in hosting an event at Montverde Academy, where he attended high school after arriving to the United states from Puerto Rico.