Major League Baseball is in its first full week after an exciting weekend of ball. While much of the focus has been on the field, there has been plenty of news off the field as well. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week.
Castellanos Suspended A Couple Games
On Saturday, there was quite the skirmish between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. On Monday, MLB announced the punishments for the incident.
During the game, Nick Castellanos was hit by pitcher Jake Woodford, a pitch that Castellanos questioned as to whether it was on purpose or not. After taking his base, he would eventually come around to score, reaching home on a wild pitch that saw a mild collision between the two. When Castellanos got up, he flexed standing over Woodford, a gesture that the Cardinals did not take too fondly to.
The benches cleared, and some shoving ensued. As a result of the incident, Castellanos has received a suspension for two games as well a fine. Castellanos is appealing the suspension.
Others receiving fines include the Reds’ Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez and the Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks, Yadier Molina, and Nolan Arenado.
Interestingly, Woodford came out of the incident unscathed despite being the one who instigated the whole drama. While there is no way of knowing whether the hit batter was on purpose or not, it certainly seemed questionable. Regardless, the two N.L. Central rivals will be must-watch tv anytime the two square off with one another.
Currently, the Cardinals are the favorites to win the division at +105, while the Reds are +380 to win it.
With Lindor Extension Done, Conforto and Mets Aren’t Close
While the deal had been agreed upon since the end of March, the New York Mets officially announced the ten-year, $341 extension with shortstop Francisco Lindor on Monday. With one young star locked up, it will be interesting to see if the Mets can get another one done in outfielder Michael Conforto.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it does not appear that the two sides have truly had serious negotiations as of yet. At 28-year-old, Conforto is set to become a free agent after the season.
Last year, in 202 at bats, he hit .322/.412/.515 with nine home runs, 31 runs batted in, and 40 runs scored. In the last full season, 2019, Conforto hit a career-high 33 home runs in 549 at bats.
There is no doubt that the Mets would like to keep the Scott Boras’ client in the fold long-term, but it will be interesting to see if new owner Steven Cohen is willing to greenlight another mega-contract after already agreeing with one for Lindor.
The Mets are currently +130 to win a loaded N.L. East and +1000 to win the World Series this year.
Cubs And Padres Pull Off Minor Move
On Monday, the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres announced a minor move that sends righty James Norwood to the Padres in exchange for prospect Dauris Valdez. Norwood has not pitched in more than 11 innings of any of the last three seasons, but at 27, the Padres obviously still see the value.
The Cubs designated Norwood for assignment, so a move was inevitable. The Padres moved Javy Guerra to the 60-day injured list to create room and then moved Norwood to their alternate site.
The biggest surprise of this deal is the return for the Cubs. Valdez, a right-handed pitcher, was ranked as the Padres’ 25th best prospect. While control issues have been a control for the 25-year-old, his fastball sits in the upper 90’s, and it is not uncommon for him to hit triple-digits.