Here’s a stunning revelation, passed along by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: Corey Seager said he didn’t have his “A” swing last year.
While the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer will discuss a contract extension until Opening Day, there’s only a “remote” chance a deal will come together by then, per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Kansas City has “been nothing but supportive,” Hosmer said Monday, but Dodd writes that the Scott Boras client regards the idea of reaching the open market next winter as intriguing. Hosmer could end up with a $100MM-plus deal between now and the 2018 campaign, Dodd notes, though the 27-year-old indicated that rumors he’s pushing for a decadelong accord are false. “That’s where you guys get everything mixed up,” Hosmer said. “I never said anything about that. I never said anything about a 10-year deal.” It’s debatable whether Hosmer would be worth a major investment. After all, the former star prospect hasn’t exhibited much consistency since breaking into the league in 2011, having mixed productive offensive seasons with underwhelming ones. Hosmer was at his best in 2015, when he posted a .297/.363/.459, 3.4-fWAR season in 667 plate appearances and helped the Royals to their first World Series title since 1985. But he took sizable steps backward last year, another 667-PA campaign, as he slashed a mediocre .266/.328/.433 and logged a negative fWAR (minus-0.2) despite swatting a career-high 25 home runs. Across 3,722 major league plate trips, Hosmer has recorded an unspectacular .277/.335/.428 line to go with just 5.6 fWAR.
The Braves are among the organizations considering a move for free-agent infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). At this stage, though, Johnson is holding out for a MLB roster spot, per the report. Presumably, Atlanta isn’t currently willing to clear 40-man space and guarantee cash to Johnson, who turns 35 tomorrow. Whether any organization ultimately will do so remains to be seen. On the one hand, an injury could suddenly make Johnson seem quite appealing; on the other, clubs may be less inclined to promise a MLB job as camp goes on. In the Braves’ case, the presence of Jace Peterson — another left-handed-hitting infielder who could see time at second and third — complicates matters. While both could theoretically coexist on the same roster, it’s perhaps more likely that they’d end up battling for a single job. Though Johnson’s latest stint in Atlanta wasn’t terribly productive — he hit just .215/.273/.289 in his 132 plate appearances there last year — there’s little question that the Braves front office is favorably disposed towards Johnson. After all, the club has signed and then traded him in each of the past two seasons
Worrying over a pitcher’s velocity — or lack thereof — in Spring Training is now an annual tradition, but the data supports a cause for concern.
The Royals disappointed in 2016, and entered the winter with questions about how they’d manage payroll with several key players poised for free agency. It’s a bit of tightrope walk, but the organization continued to put resources into the MLB roster. Two positions, in particular, are ripe for competition: one which features several holdovers, and the other of which may be led by two new additions. Here are the key camp battles for the Royals, who are the third entrant in MLBTR’s new Camp Battles series.
Welcome to one of the real cool days of a new baseball season. This one reminds us how quickly things are moving toward an Opening Day less than six weeks away.
Baltimore and veteran outfielder Michael Bourn have agreed to a one-year deal with an invite to Spring Training; the deal will be worth $2 million if Bourn makes the Major League club.
Have alternate universes finally collided?
Dodgers Nation breathed another sigh of relief Monday when Clayton Kershaw threw to hitters for the first time this spring and afterward said he felt fine.