After a light opening day Thursday, spring training games begin en masse Friday. There are 14 games on the schedule, and while those are being played, front offices will continue to work the phones and try to improve their rosters before Opening Day. Here are the latest bits of hot stove news and rumors as eight of the top 50 free agents remain unsigned.
Red Sox, Giants in on Story
The Red Sox and the Giants are two of the teams assumed to be in on the bidding for shortstop Trevor Story, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Story is expected to make a decision soon, with less than three weeks to go until Opening Day.
Story is coming off a disappointing season by his standards. His 103 OPS+ last year was the second-worst of his career, and he complicated matters by showing reduced arm strength. It's believed some teams have expressed interest in him changing positions. It's unclear if that's true of either the Red Sox or the Giants, but both have veteran shortstops in place, in Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Crawford.
Phillies working on deal with Castellanos
The Phillies are "progressing" toward a deal with Nick Castellanos, reports MLB Network's Jon Morosi. Ownership is reportedly willing to exceed the $230 million competitive balance tax threshold for the "right" player, and apparently Castellanos qualifies. Philadelphia has roughly $13 million in spending room under the threshold at the moment.
Castellanos, 30, has played primarily a right field throughout his career, suggesting he would either spend most of his time at DH, or Bryce Harper would shift to left field (or center field?). Earlier this week the Phillies sign Kyle Schwarber, a similar all-bat/no-glove corner outfielder and DH type, to a four-year contract. If Philadelphia signs Castellanos, they will bank on their offense more than making up for the runs they allow defensively.
Padres trade for Voit
Anthony Rizzo re-signing, and he'll slide into the DH spot to boost an offense that lost Fernando Tatis Jr. to wrist surgery earlier this week. The Yankees received minor league righty Justin Lange in the trade.. He became a man without a role with New York following the
Dodgers re-sign Duffy
The Dodgers have re-signed lefty Danny Duffy to a one-year contract with a club option for 2023, according to The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya. Financial terms are unknown. Duffy had flexor tendon surgery in October and is expected to return sometime around June. He said he considered retiring this offseason.
Duffy, 33, started last season with the Royals and was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline while on the injured list. He never did pitch for Los Angeles following the trade. Because spring training has started, the Dodgers can put Duffy on the 60-day injured list immediately rather than remove someone from the 40-man roster to accommodate him. It's a "stash" signing where the Dodgers will keep Duffy on the injured list and see whether he can help later this season. If not, then they're only out some money.
Rangers sign Richards
Right-hander Garrett Richards has agreed to a one-year deal with a club option for 2023, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Financial terms are unknown. Richards is expected to work as a multi-inning reliever rather than join the rotation. The 33-year-old righty started last season in Boston's rotation before shifting to the bullpen at midseason. He had a 5.22 ERA as a starter and a 3.42 ERA as a reliever. Richards will be asked to chew up a lot of innings in relief behind a rotation that skews young.
Red Sox re-sign Shaw
The Red Sox have re-signed corner infielder Travis Shaw to a minor league contract, the team announced. He will be in big league camp with the team as a non-roster invitee. The 31-year-old split last season between the Brewers and Red Sox and did get some big hits for Boston down the stretch. He has really struggled the last three years, however, hitting .194/.289/.344 since 2019.