<
>

MLB rumors roundup: Assessing the Rockies' shortstop situation

The Rockies are looking for shortstop alternatives in case Jose Reyes misses significant time. AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

Does the uncertain future of Jose Reyes mean the Colorado Rockies will aggressively seek additional options at shortstop?

Commissioner Rob Manfred placed Reyes on paid leave Tuesday pending completion of his domestic-violence case in Hawaii. Reyes was arrested on charges of assaulting his wife last October in a Hawaii hotel. He is scheduled to go on trial April 4, the same day the Rockies open the regular season at Arizona.

A more definitive penalty will not come until after the legal proceedings play out, essentially leaving Reyes and the Rockies in limbo.

If Reyes misses significant time, Cristhian Adames, Rafael Ynoa, Daniel Descalso and former first-round pick Trevor Story all become internal options for the starting job, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

It remains unclear if Tuesday’s ruling would accelerate any interest in free-agent shortstop Ian Desmond, the top free agent left on the market. Earlier this month, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported the Rockies had been in contact with Desmond's representatives, possibly on a one-year deal.

While any team signing Desmond would require draft-pick compensation, it's less of an issue with the Rockies because their first-round pick is protected.

Desmond could be more willing to lower his price after the White Sox, seen as a possible fit, signed Jimmy Rollins earlier this week. The Tampa Bay Rays also have been linked to Desmond.

A one-year deal in Colorado could work out well for both sides, with Desmond looking to pad his numbers in Denver before re-entering free agency next winter. While most players see their numbers rise at Coors Field, Desmond has seen a dramatic spike with a .407 batting average and a 1.098 OPS in 86 career at-bats there.

Here are more rumors making the rounds in Florida and Arizona:

  • Greg Holland: The Royals are interested in bringing back their former All-Star closer, who will not pitch in 2016 following Tommy John surgery, according to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The Royals parted ways with Holland over health issues, but still view the homegrown right-hander as a viable option as soon as the 2017 season. Bringing back Holland would also show a nice display of goodwill toward a player who played a key role in the franchise’s return to prominence.

  • Alejandro De Aza: The big news at Mets camp Tuesday was the arrival of Yoenis Cespedes in a tricked-out Polaris Slingshot that cost the outfielder about $68,000. It also quietly marked the arrival of De Aza, who essentially became a spare part once the Mets were able to re-sign Cespedes earlier this month. The 31-year-old De Aza was in line to start against righties in a center field platoon with Juan Lagares, but Cespedes will now get the bulk of the at-bats in center field. ESPN’s Adam Rubin says it is “entirely possible” De Aza is traded at the end of spring training, allowing Eric Campbell or Matt Reynolds to land one of the final roster spots as the fifth outfielder.

  • Carlos Santana: Indians manager Terry Francona is tossing around the idea of using Santana as his leadoff hitter, reports Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. While Santana does not steal a lot of bases, he owns a career .365 on-base percentage and has topped 100 walks each of the past two seasons. Santana has batted fourth for the majority of his career, but that role could go to Mike Napoli this season.

  • Miguel Cabrera: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus says Cabrera could be used at third base during a season-opening series in Miami, according to a tweet from Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Victor Martinez, normally the DH, would play first base in the National League park with Cabrera shifting to third, his primary position as recently as 2013.

  • Mac Williamson: The 25-year-old outfielder earned a September call-up by the San Francisco Giants last season, hitting hit .219 in 32 at-bats. But manager Bruce Bochy says Williamson will be better served by spending the entire season in Triple-A rather than sitting on the bench in San Francisco, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jarrett Parker, who hit .347 in 21 games following a September promotion, would appear to have a batter chance of landing an Opening Day roster spot.

  • Jimmy Rollins: The Giants were interested in the free-agent shortstop before he signed with the White Sox, an indication that GM Bobby Evans might seek an experienced option if a starting infielder goes down, Schulman suggests.