We’ll use this post to track any notable 40-man roster additions that crop up as teams settle upon their Opening Day rosters: Righty Craig Stammen is back in the majors after being selected to the Padres’ 40-man, per a team announcement. The 33-year-old had long been a steady reliever for the Nationals before he required flexor tendon surgery early in the 2015 season. He didn’t earn a return last year after joining the Indians on a minors deal, but did show he was healthy in throwing 27 1/3 innings of 3.62 ERA ball. Stammen turned things up a notch this spring, allowing just a single earned run on nine hits and five walks over 11 2/3 innings, recording a dozen strikeouts along the way.
It’s the time in Spring Training when exhibitions begin to shift to Major League parks, and today’s MLB.TV lineup features seven games overall and four in big league venues.
MARCH 30: The deal is official, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. The option year is valued at $13.5MM, with a $3MM buyout. MARCH 25: The Rangers are “increasingly optimistic” of finalizing a contract extension with second baseman Rougned Odor before Spring Training is over, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The deal “may only be lacking formalities” at this point. Grant reports the deal is six years in length, while FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Odor will earn $49.5MM and the contract also contains a club option year. Odor is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
All week, in an effort to both stoke debate and get stoked for the 2017 season, we’re ranking the top five clubs in a few key categories. We’ve gone over the rotations and lineups, and we’ll continue today with the bullpens.
MARCH 30: An announcement is planned today to formalize the deal, Heyman tweets. MARCH 25: The Rangers are “increasingly optimistic” of finalizing a contract extension with second baseman Rougned Odor before Spring Training is over, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The deal “may only be lacking formalities” at this point. Grant reports the deal is six years in length, while FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Odor will earn $49.5MM and the contract also contains a club option year. Odor is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council. The two sides have discussed a long-term deal at various points over the last year, and Odor may have helped his case delivering a 33-homer season in 2016, albeit with a unimpressive on-base percentage (Odor hit .271/.296/.502 over 632 PA). Odor’s defense at second base has also drawn consistently below-average grades. While some deficiencies exist, however, Odor did generate 4.4 fWAR over the last two seasons and he just celebrated his 23rd birthday last month. Odor is already slated to earn $563, 180 this season in his final year as a pre-arbitration player. Assuming the extension overwrites that salary, then the six-year agreement will cover 2017, Odor’s three arbitration-eligible seasons and his first two free agent years.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers in one of six Spring Training games that can be seen today and tonight on MLB.TV.
The expectation is that free agent outfielder Angel Pagan will choose his next team in the coming days, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. The Tigers are among the clubs that have shown interest in Pagan, according to both Bowden and Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. However, a Pagan-Tigers union “doesn’t sound like a real possibility,” per Fenech (Twitter link). While Bowden also relays that the Giants are in on Pagan, Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group tweets otherwise. Pagan, of course, spent the previous half-decade in San Francisco. More from around the majors as Opening Day draws closer: It’s likely that outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. will make the Blue Jays, but it’s not a lock, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. The last spot on the team figures to go to either Upton, whom Toronto acquired last summer from San Diego, or out-of-options middle infielder Ryan Goins. While Upton will make $16.45MM in 2017, the final season of the five-year, $75.25MM contract he signed with the Braves in 2012, the Padres are on the hook for most of that money. The Blue Jays only took on $5MM of the remaining $22MM-plus Upton had coming his way when they traded for him.
In this Opening Day lead-up, let’s talk about lineups. Following Tuesday’s ranking of the top five rotations in the game at the start of 2017, we move on now to the offensive outlooks.
MARCH 28: Cleveland has announced the signing. MARCH 25: Ramirez receives a $2MM signing bonus and a $571.4K salary for 2017, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Ramirez will earn just under $2.429MM in 2018, so he’ll make a combined $3MM in salary over the next two seasons. The rest of the contract breaks down as $3.75MM in 2019, $6.25MM in 2020 and $9MM in 2021. There is a $2MM buyout of the $11MM club option in 2022 and the 2023 club option (with no buyout) is worth $13MM. Each club option year could be increased by $1M based on escalator clauses.
Jon Lester tuned up for Opening Night against the team the Cubs beat in the last game of the 2016 season.