The Minnesota Twins have signed free-agent catcher Jason Castro, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported Tuesday.
According to Rosenthal, the sides have agreed to a three-year, $24.5 million contract.
Castro had been one of the hottest names on the catching market to open up the offseason and had reportedly received multiple three-year deal. The Astros, Braves, and Orioles had been mentioned as other possible suitors before his signing.
As for Minnesota, the deal gives them flexibility behind the plate. Castro, a left-handed hitter, could serve in a platoon to John Ryan Murphy. Both catchers, in particular, are good defenders.
Not known as an offensive force, the ability of Castro to secure a long-term deal demonstrates the increased importance of defensive prowess in a player's game, something that has been specifically exploited at catcher with pitch framing.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected a two-year, $15 million deal for Castro, and in this deal, his actual earnings surpass the projection both in terms of annual average value (AAV) and total guarantee.
According to Baseball Prospectus, Castro saved 17 runs due to his pitching framing abilities alone in 2016, making him the 3rd best catcher in the Majors in framing (as per this metric).
Offensively, though, Castro leaves a lot to be desired. In 2016, he hit .210/.307/.377 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI over 376 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.1 Wins Above Replacement.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have fired General Manager Dave Stewart and Manager Chip Hale on Monday, according to a team announcement.
The swift movement of Diamondbacks’ management has been expected for some time now; it was widely believed a regime change would be put in place following a dismal 2016 season.
Despite the firings of both Stewart and Hale, Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa may still have a job in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and other media reports. Arizona is reportedly undecided as to whether La Russa will be a part of the team’s future plans.
The Diamondbacks promised a competitive 2016 season after the front office signed ace starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal and traded for Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, among other moves. However, the team did not live up to hefty expectations, finishing 69-93, ranking fourth in the NL West.
The Shelby Miller trade, in particular, is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory. The Diamondbacks’ traded former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, along with other valuable pieces, in order to get Miller, who stumbled to a 6.15 ERA in 101 innings at the big league level (Miller was actually demoted to Triple-A during the season).
There has been no word on possible replacements for Stewart and Hale, though Ray Montgomery and Phil Nevin could be fits, as Robert Murray of FanRag says.
The Minnesota Twins are looking in multiple directions as they look for a revamped baseball operations staff, according to multiple reports.
The Twins fired ex-General Manager Terry Ryan in July and have been looking to expand into analytics in the future, a department in which the team has noted struggles. They appear to be looking for a president of baseball operations first, who in turn will hire his or her own general manager.
According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the Twins are "looking closely" at members of the Cubs' front office for this position, including Senior Vice President of Player Development and Amateur Scouting Jason McLeod and Assistant GM Shiraz Rehman.
Minnesota is also reportedly interested in former Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, who served there from 2009 to 2015. After a surprising turn of events, Anthopoulos left the Blue Jays, even though he took the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Since, he's worked for the Dodgers as a Vice President.
The Twins' President of Baseball Operations job could be an appealing one for a few reasons.
First, though the team is struggling this season to the league's worst record at 51-88, they do have some promising prospects close to the Majors such as Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios, who could fuel a winning core sooner rather than later.
Perhaps the best example of this came in 2015, when the Twins turned heads, going 83-79 and competing for a Wild Card spot. It's not hard to imagine Minnesota being able to contend for a playoff spot sooner rather than later.
Secondly, as President of Baseball Operations, whomever the Twins hire would have free reign. The person under this title finalizes all baseball decisions, one of the reasons why Anthopoulos left the Blue Jays in the first place. (He was stripped of this power after the team hired Mark Shapiro.)
It's not hard to think there will not be a lot of interest in this position, and early indications are that the team will be doing a vast and extensive search as they look to 2017 and beyond.
The San Francisco Giants, in need of infield help due to injuries, have acquired an All-Star infielder on Thursday.
The team announced that they have traded for Minnesota Twins' shortstop and third baseman Eduardo Nunez in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia.
Nunez fits well in San Francisco because they have had to deal with ailments to key parts of their infield. Second baseman Joe Panik was just activated from the concussion disabled list, and third baseman Matt Duffy is currently out with a strained achilles.
The 29-year-old is enjoying his most successful season to date, posting a .300/.326/.444 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI over 391 plate appearances, adding 26 stolen bases. With decent defense, Nunez has been worth 1.5 Wins Above Replacement (FanGraphs).
Due to a great year this year, Nunez was named to the American League All-Star team, his first as a professional.
Another positive to acquiring Nunez is his contract status. Formerly signed by the Yankees as a Dominican free agent, Nunez is still signed through next season and is set to hit arbitration for his final time during the offseason. He is making $1.48 million on his current one-year deal.
As for the Twins, Mejia is currently pitching in Triple-A Sacramento. The 23-year-old has a 4.20 ERA and a 43 to 11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 2/3 innings pitched. He was named as the Giants' 7th-best prospect in MLB.com's updated midseason prospect rankings.
The Minnesota Twins have fired general manager Terry Ryan on Monday, they announced in a statement.
Ryan, 62, has been serving as the general manager of the team since 1994, though was not part of the team from 2007 to 2011 after resigning and returning to his former post. He led the team to four postseason appearances.
The Twins are currently 33-58 and have the worst record in the American League. This came as a bit of a surprise to many, as the team looked to be on the rise after a successful 2015 season which saw the team go 83-79 and almost make the playoffs.
Ryan has built the Twins' farm system over the years, using the draft and international systems to his advantage.
Players such as Ben Revere, Wilson Ramos and Miguel Sano have been more of the recent young player developments that Ryan has been apart of. In the future, this could expand out to Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Jose Berrios, though they are all still early in their respective careers.
Regardless, the firing of Ryan comes at an interesting time. The Major League trade deadline is in just a few weeks on Aug. 1 and the Twins will be without a permanent general manager.
This is especially true considering that the Twins told Ryan last month that he would not be back next year, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Ryan, according to Mackey, ultimately decided that he would prefer to be fired in-season.
The Twins are interested in bringing Ryan back in some capacity, according to Mackey.
Twins Assistant General Manager Rob Antony will take over as interim GM while the team searches for a permanent solution.