Yankees held second workout for Yoan Moncada
Despite the team’s apparent efforts to keep its intentions under wraps, George A. King III of the New York Post caught wind yesterday that the Yankees welcomed Yoan Moncada to their spring facility for another private workout.
While numerous teams have attended showcases or otherwise evaluated the 19-year-old Moncada, a second workout with the Yankees, well after the infielder gained clearance to sign, would seem to confirm that Brian Cashman and Co. are seriously involved.
The Dodgers, Padres, and Red Sox are the Yankees’ primary competition, if the volume of recent reports about teams’ interest is an accurate representation of the bidding. As King pointed out, Moncada’s agent, David Hastings, has mentioned previously that his client would like to sign in time to report to spring training on schedule. That would give him about five days to reach a decision.
Dodgers considering signing Joba Chamberlain
Speaking of the Dodgers, they have other concerns at the moment, specifically surrounding the major-league bullpen.
Closer Kenley Jansen will miss at least the first several weeks of the season—and perhaps more than two months—after undergoing surgery to remove a growth from his left foot. The Andrew Friedman- and Farhan Zaidi-led front office is likely to let performance dictate who picks up the save opportunities in Jansen’s stead, rather than awarding them to the most-seasoned option, Brandon League. But whoever moves into the ninth-inning gig, the Dodgers could use another arm for the middle innings.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, while the free agent cupboard is nearly bare, the bullpen shelf is still relatively well stocked. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Thursday morning that Los Angeles is interested in former Tiger Joba Chamberlain, and that there are “other possibilities.” It’s unclear whether former closers Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano are among those, given that USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Tuesday that K-Rod is still seeking a $10 million contract.
The 29-year-old Chamberlain pitched reasonably well with the Tigers in 2014, though his stuff is no longer as electric as it once was. He logged a 3.57 ERA over 63 innings spread across 69 appearances, to go with a 3.19 FIP, good for 0.5 WARP, or exactly what he cost the Yankees the previous year.
But things get a little murkier if you break Chamberlain’s season down month-by-month. His K:BB ratio at the end of May stood at 29-to-7; it then dipped to 30-to-17 from that point on. That might well be a small-sample blip, but the sequence could be impacting the right-hander’s market this winter.
Based on Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski’s comments earlier this month, Chamberlain is unlikely to find work back in Detroit. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported on Monday that the Marlins could be a landing spot for Joba, but they, like the Dodgers, are casting a wide net in search of late-offseason relief help.
Angels talking about extension with Huston Street
Acquiring Huston Street from the Padres midyear in 2014 gave the Angels a reliable ninth-inning solution, an area that’s troubled the team in recent years. Now, the Halos are said to be making “steady” progress on an extension that would keep Street in Anaheim long term.
The right-hander personally told reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that there’s mutual interest between club and player. However, that may not mean that Street has any intention of accepting a below-market deal after watching other high-end bullpen arms strike it rich in free agency this winter.
Street saw virtually no dropoff in performance after switching back to the junior circuit last year, posting a 2.70 FIP with the Angels on the heels of a 2.86 effort with the Friars. Though the 31-year-old’s 90-mph heater pales in comparison to those thrown by Andrew Miller and David Robertson, his numbers speak for themselves and suggest that it’s not outlandish for him to demand a similar outlay.
Robertson got $46 million over four years from the White Sox, and Miller—a left-hander who hasn’t closed—took a four-year, $36 million pact from the Yankees while reportedly leaving money on the table to do so. If Street has his way, Fletcher believes that the former Longhorn’s next deal with land somewhere between those two.
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They should go after the arm too