The Angels are planning to discuss an extension with closer Huston Street in Spring Training and are also open to extensions with catcher Chris Iannetta and budding ace Garrett Richards, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. The Halos, in fact, have already approached Street about the possibility, Gonzalez adds. An extension with Street has been a known possibility for some time, as GM Jerry Dipoto told Gonzalez back in November that the two sides would talk during Spring Training. However, interest in extending Iannetta had not surfaced publicly prior to this point. Interestingly, Street will represent himself in any contract negotiations, the reliever himself told Gonzalez in that same November piece by Gonzalez. A former client of Hendricks Sports, Street earned $7MM in both 2013 and 2014, and he’ll earn the same amount in 2015. Street’s strikeout rate rebounded from a career-low 7.3 K/9 in 2013 back up to a more typical 8.7 K/9 in 2014, and he enjoyed his second sub-2.00 ERA campaign of the past three seasons.
Travis Snider, a force the last two months of the season who stood to be pushed out of right field by Gregory Polanco’s potential, was dealt on Tuesday by the Pirates to the Baltimore Orioles. Since December’s Winter Meetings, the Pirates have been looking for a way to turn Snider, 26, into prospects. Stephen Tarpley, a 21-year-old left-hander, and a player to be named, possibly another lower-level Minor League pitcher, were acquired in the deal.
While trade talks between the Brewers and Phillies regarding Jonathan Papelbon have slowed, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki hears from two sources that the Phillies are still talking to both Milwaukee and Toronto about Papelbon. Zolecki adds that the seriousness of the talks is unclear at this time, though Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that Toronto’s interest is extremely limited (Twitter link). The Blue Jays would only acquire Papelbon if the financial risk associated with the transaction is “extremely limited,” per Rosenthal. Additionally, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Phillies have been in touch with an unknown AL club regarding Papelbon in the past few days. While that club could certainly be Toronto, it’s also possible that a second American League club could have kicked the tires on Papelbon. The Blue Jays have repeatedly expressed interest in adding some experience to the back of their bullpen, though Papelbon is an imperfect fit for a number of reasons. For one, the Blue Jays are said to have only about $7MM remaining to improve their 2015 roster, and Papelbon is owed $13MM in 2015. Secondly, as CSN Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported last week, Toronto is one of the team’s on Papelbon’s no-trade clause.
Ken Giles lost his job this winter. Giles said in September that he planned to spend much of his offseason working at an indoor baseball facility near his home in Peoria, Ariz. But his brother Josh, who is his boss, told him they did not have enough hours for him.
Experience gleaned from September callup experiences led both Xavier Scruggs and Sam Tuivailala to extend their 2014 seasons with an eye on improving their respective chances for a return to the Majors this year.
Nick Castellanos spent last offseason at home in Miami taking ground balls from Omar Vizquel in preparation for his return to third base. This offseason, his followup work is taking him next week to Lubbock, Texas. It’s an odd place to go for a South Florida native in the middle of winter. However, it’s where Tigers defensive coordinator Matt Martin lives in the offseason.
The drastic increase in the use of the infield shift as a defensive tactic in recent years has created quite a stir around MLB. Columnist Lindsay Berra takes a closer look.
Dave Winfield knows what it means to be a great outfielder. The Hall of Famer was a 12-time All-Star who won seven Gold Glove Awards and six Silver Slugger Awards, so it’s no surprise that Winfield most enjoys watching Miami masher Giancarlo Stanton.
The Astros are among the clubs “looking at” righty Kevin Correia, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Houston is still looking to add depth to the back of its rotation after missing on Ryan Vogelsong, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported yesterday. Correia’s most recent work does not inspire much confidence. But he does have a track record of logging innings, a fairly clean medical sheet, and the ability to generate groundballs at a league-average or better clip. The 34-year-old pitched to a 5.44 ERA over 154 frames last year with the Twins and Dodgers. He has put up triple-digit innings tallies annually since 2007, and registered an average of 178 with a 4.19 ERA over 2012-13. For the Astros, the Evan Gattis deal took away one possible starting piece in Mike Foltynewicz, as did last year’s Jarred Cosart swap. Even with Dan Straily now in the mix, uncertainty over Brad Peacock‘s timetable certainly seems to leave room for another arm
The roster has been retooled and improved since A.J. Hinch took over as manager of the Astros last fall. The team has beefed up the offense, strengthened the bullpen and created competition that will take center stage at Spring Training next month in Kissimmee, Fla.