Results tagged ‘ Jose Lobaton ’
By Bill Ladson
NEW YORK — Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton started Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked the fourth time in the last eight games that Lobaton was inserted into the starting lineup.
Manager Matt Williams said recently said that he hasn’t ruled out Lobaton getting more playing time behind the plate. He is already Gio Gonzalez’s personal catcher. Wilson Ramos, the team’s starting catcher, is not having a good year defensively and in a 5-for-55 [.091] slump to drop his batting average to .234.
“It depends on where we are at, Williams said about the catching situation. “It depends on matchups, where we are at. The deeper lineup allows us to have more flexibility in that regard, too.”
Several teams followed the lead of the Dodgers and D-backs and officially opened Spring Training for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. The rest will follow between Friday and Monday.
But that doesn’t mean the Hot Stove has been switched off, with a handful of free agents still available and some clubs continuing to look for ways to improve via trade. The Nationals, for instance, found a strong backup for catcher Wilson Ramos on Thursday, acquiring switch hitter Jose Lobaton and two prospects from the Rays for young right-hander Nathan Karns.
In other news from around the league:
- The Indians announced their four-year, $25 million extension with outfielder Michael Brantley. The deal buys out his arbitration eligibility and includes a fifth-year option.
- The Orioles have agreed to a three-year contract with South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, pending a physical, a source told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli. However, physicals have led Baltimore to void two other deals this offseason. Yoon could fit as a starter or a reliever with the O’s.
- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said his team isn’t likely to spend more this offseason, meaning free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew won’t be coming to Queens.
- Cuban free-agents Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne worked out for Major League scouts during a showcase in Arizona. Diaz, an infielder, and Despaigne, a right-handed pitcher, both hope to sign with a team by the end of the month.
- The Mariners officially signed free-agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract and inked veteran lefty Randy Wolf to a Minor League deal. They also placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the restricted list after he informed them that he will miss the season with a chronic gastrointestinal issue.
- The Cubs officially reached deals with free-agent righties Jason Hammel and James McDonald, on the same day they revealed Jake Arrieta has been dealing with shoulder tightness that will push him behind schedule.
- The Phillies released veteran righty Chad Gaudin after he failed a physical. The two sides had agreed to a Minor League contract in January.
- The Rays are likely to sign free-agent lefty Erik Bedard, according to multiple reports. The 34-year-old went 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 32 games, including 26 starts, for the Astros last season.
— Andrew Simon
After they recently re-upped with Jose Molina, the Rays have made a move to acquire catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds, multiple news outlets have reported. FOXSports.com‘s Ken Rosenthal had it first, noting that it may be a three-team trade.
This presumably means Hanigan will be the Rays’ primary catcher, Molina will back him up and Jose Lobaton will be dealt. And it likely means the starting catching job in Cincinnati belongs to Devin Mesoraco.
Hanigan hit just .198 in 75 games this season but has a career. 359 on-base percentage.
— Joey Nowak
According to FOXSports.com, the Rays are close to signing veteran catcher Jose Molina to a one-year contract with an option for 2013.
The Rays did not exercise their option for Kelly Shoppach, which left the top contenders to fill the catching role in 2012 as John Jaso, Jose Lobaton and Robinson Chirinos.