Oscar Colás defects, seeks MLB deal
This is a name that is probably not familiar to most (nor to me, for whatever that’s worth) but is going to be very, very soon. The 21-year-old Cuban star, who just finished his first season in the NPB, has defected from Cuba and will be seeking a deal with an MLB team. Because of his age, he will be limited to the amateur market cap. Because of this, it is very possible he waits until July 2 to sign when every team has as much money as possible. Again, I don’t know much of anything here so I am only going off what I have read. Jeff Passan, for example, writes that one scout he spoke with saw Colás as an outfielder while another saw him as a potential legitimate two-way player. This is probably going to take some time to get done — like I said he may not sign until July, never mind not knowing how long it will take for him to even be declared eligible to sign — but this is a name to keep in mind and who will be generating interest from just about everyone.
Sox Spin: The Red Sox will be interested, of that I am confident. Whether or not he’ll be interested or if they’ll be able to get the money required to make a deal work, I have no idea.
Starlin Castro signs with the Nationals
The Nationals have been linked to Josh Donaldson all winter after losing Anthony Rendon to the Angels, and now they’ve signed a backup plan. On Friday, they signed Starlin Castro to a two-year deal worth $12 million. To be clear, this does not really solve their infield problem unless they are prepared to use top prospect Carter Kieboom as a full-time player right off the bat. Donaldson is certainly still in play. That said, Castro should slide into second base for Washington — who also lost the perpetually-shirtless Brian Dozier to free agency — this year. The former Yankee, Cub and Marlin has settled in as something between a good bench player and a decent regular. He’s also bizarrely a 3000 hit candidate, with 1617 hits under his belt as he enters his age-30 season. He’s not going to get there, but it’s closer than it has any business being.
Sox Spin: I liked Castro as a potential second base option, but two years was probably a nonstarter, never mind the $6 million AAV. He’s better than Peraza, but not so good that I’d get overly worked up about it.
Tyson Ross signs with the Giants
The Giants have added an intriguing arm on a minor-league contract, signing former division rival Tyson Ross. He will be set to make $1.75 million if he makes the major-league roster. Ross once looked like one of the most intimidating starters in all of baseball, but those days were a long time ago at this point. He’s thrown 50 innings just once since 2015, and he was worse than average across the board in that season. However, he did show flashes early on in 2018, and the possibility of him somehow reverting to a lesser version of his old self is enticing on a risk-free, minor-league deal.
Sox Spin: If/when the Red Sox trade David Price (or Nathan Eovaldi), deals like this seem to be the most likely way to fill the rotation. Sign a couple of veterans on minor-league deals with opt outs after spring training to fight for that last spot. Ross was one of those options, but not the only one.
The real reason for Yoenis Céspedes’ injury is absurd
I don’t really have anything to say here, but people need to see this.
Sox Spin: Céspedes once played for the Red Sox, a fact I constantly forget.