MLB…The Tuesday Take.

I was reading through the various news feeds that I get on a daily basis, and I read where Andruw Jones is contemplating a return to the Major Leagues. His agent Scott Boras was busy touting the success that Jones has had over in Japan the past two seasons, and the kicker was when Boras stated that Jones must have something going because of the 25 home runs that Jones hit last year. I had to stop laughing long enough to consider his comment. Jones may still have a little pop in his bat, but we also have to remember that this Herculean Feat of Strength was accomplished in Japan, against the best pitching that Japan had to offer. I say this because I consider the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) league to be somewhere between AAA and MLB, but not entirely on a par with the Majors. You have to wonder how Jones would fare against a steady diet of major league pitching. He is now 37 years old, so I believe that while his production may have dropped off, I am sure that his strikeout rate will not have suffered too much. In his last visit with a major league club (the New York Yankees in 2012), Jones only hit .197 while hitting 14 home runs. He played in 97 games with 71 strikeouts. I do not believe that he will find employment in the majors immediately, but perhaps later on in the season if a team is in need to a veteran bat off the bench, he could get a call.
There are still some considerable names floating around on the Free Agent market. James Shields is still out there. So is Rafael Soriano. P Chris Young is still available, and Burke Badenhop can still be signed. I still believe that Shields needs to come down from his demand for 5 years/$110M. At 33 years old, I would be reluctant to make that deal. Badenhop is one of those bullpen guys who you don’t consider immediately, but he would be a great bridge from your starter to your closer. Chris Young can probably be had on the cheap. He only made $1.25M last year. He is now one year older, and his stats don’t scream off the page. A team may be interested on taking a flyer on him. As far as Soriano goes, somebody will sign him. He has been an effective closer, but I think that because his arm got tired last year, there is some concern that he might not be the same Soriano that he used to be. Still, he might be worth a look.
Lastly, today is the end of the first chapter and the beginning of the second chapter in the book of Cuban prospect , 19 year-old infielder Yoan Moncada. MLB this afternoon ruled that Moncada is a free agent, and that teams may now start bidding for his services. Right now, it would seem that everybody is in on Moncada, and the teams who appear to have the best possibility of signing him are, coincidentally the teams with the deepest pockets. Could this be the real start of the ‘Cuban Explosion’ that some have been talking about? Stay tuned…

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