Sunday, July 21, 2024

MLB rumors: Rays finalizing deal with Phil Maton; Pittsburgh interested in Gary Sánchez

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Even though pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring-training sites soon enough, a number of notable free agents and potential trade targets remain available. That, in turn, means an ongoing supply of daily rumors. Speaking of which, Saturday’s supply is just below. 

Rays closing in on deal with Maton

The Tampa Bay Rays are working on finalizing a contract with free-agent reliever Phil Maton, Mark Feinsand reports. Maton, who turns 31 in late March, is coming off a 2023 season for the Astros in which he pitched to a 3.00 ERA with 74 strikeouts over 66 innings. For his career, the right-hander owns an ERA+ of 98 with a K/BB ratio of 2.93 across parts of seven MLB seasons. 

Pirates interested in Gary Sánchez

Pittsburgh may be among the teams looking to sign the veteran catcher, Jon Heyman recently reported. Sánchez has long had standout power, and he’s coming off a resurgent partial season with the Padres in 2023. The late turnaround led to our ranking of Sánchez as the No. 30 available free agent this offseason. Here’s part of our write-up: 

Sánchez changed organizations twice last May: first by signing with the Mets after he was released by the Giants, and then by joining the Padres on a waiver claim. While that speaks to how far the two-time All-Star’s stock had plunged, give him credit for reestablishing himself by homering 19 times in 72 games out west. Sánchez’s strength has never been in doubt, but he even made a career-high amount of contact on pitches located in the zone. He also graded as an above-average defender, with the exception of blocking balls in the dirt. The catcher market is so barren that it should not surprise anyone if Sánchez lands a multi-year deal. How’s that for a mighty turnaround?

For 2024, Sánchez will be going into his age-31 campaign. 

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