Potential Relievers For The Diamondbacks

As soon as he took over as D'Backs GM, Kevin Towers vowed to improve the Arizona bullpen. The team's relievers posted a 5.74 ERA last year, so Towers has a challenge ahead. The D'Backs play in Chase Field, a park so hitter-friendly the organization is considering ways to help pitchers. In particular, Chase Field is homer-friendly and has consistently been among the best launching pads in the game.

Towers will be looking for relievers this winter and he may be inclined to pick up pitchers who keep the ball on the ground. Here are some options the D'Backs may consider:

  • Jamey Wright – The 35-year-old strikes out just 4.3 batters per nine innings, but his 62% ground ball rate placed him eighth among major league relievers with at least 20 innings pitched. Wright will be available as a free agent.
  • Ronald Belisario – Belisario, who turns 28 in December, followed up his sensational rookie season (8.2 K/9, 2.04 ERA in 2009) with a disappointing year. He ran into personal problems and posted a 5.04 ERA. He still struck out twice as many batters as he walked and his 61% ground ball rate ranked tenth among big league relievers, so the D'Backs could have interest in trading for the promising righty.
  • Bobby Jenks – Jenks is a non-tender candidate, so he could become a free agent within six weeks. The D'Backs coud use an ace reliever and Jenks boasts a 58% ground ball rate.
  • Carlos Torres – A starter in the White Sox system, the right-hander just spent his third season at Triple-A. Torres, who turns 28 tomorrow, provides depth for the White Sox, but hasn't done much in two big league cameos. He limited opponents to 7.0 H/9 this year and posted a 48% ground ball rate. 
  • Chaz Roe – Roe, a 2005 first rounder, posted a 5.98 ERA at Triple-A and allowed 210 hits in 158 innings. The 24-year-old struggled as a starter, but the D'Backs could try to pry him away from the Rockies and hope that his 49% ground ball rate (14th in the PCL) translates to success in their 'pen.


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48 Comments on "Potential Relievers For The Diamondbacks"


thegrayrace
4 years 10 months ago

How is it that Belisario is available? Isn’t he still under the Dodgers control? He may be out of favor for a number of reasons, but with their own bullpen weaknesses, I doubt the Dodgers trade him, especially within the division…

lakersdodgersyankees4life
4 years 10 months ago

I see no way he is a target other than he is good…. He is controlled by a rival who wants to compete…. Why would we trade him???

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Agreed. And In my opinion, Stange, Norberto, and Vazquez > Roe, Torres, and Wright. Anyway, Towers will spend a bit of money as well.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

Perhaps the Padres can package Chase Headley and Ernesto Frieri for Mark Reynolds?

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Ummm, yeah, we’ll do that. Thanks a million. ūüėõ

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Ernesto Frieri is actually one of the best young relief arms in the NL.

longtimepadrefan
4 years 10 months ago

Padres stress onbase percentage and fielding. Headly is better than Reynolds in those 2 areas. That trade won’t happen. Also, Padres are high on Frieri, he isn’t going anywhere.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

Regarding Headley and Reynolds, the difference in their OB% is negligible.  Headley reached at a .327 clip whereas Reynolds reached at a .320 clip Рand Headley had 62 more hits.  If you look at their career bodies of work, their OB% numbers are nearly identical РHeadley is at .335, Reynolds at .334, so neither is exactly lighting it up in that area.
The difference is Reynolds take more walks, hits more HR, drives in more runs, and scores more runs.  In fact, if Reynolds hits even .250 going forward (which I think he will because he had a lot of bad luck in 2010), that OB% will be up over .350.  I think the runs he produces will balance out the runs he might give away on defense, and I think his errors will be cut down because I believe most of his errors are of the throwing variety (Adrian will bail him out).
As for Frieri, the Padres bullpen is loaded (Bell, Adams, Gregerson, Thatcher, Webb, Mujica, Frieri, Russell, etc), and it’s time they committed to fielding a team capable of scoring more runs. ¬†They are more likely to trade Bell in my opinion, but I still think if they need to give up Frieri to get a bat, they should do it. ¬†Having a great bullpen doesn’t mean much if you can’t score runs and give them leads to protect.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

I wouldn’t put Frieri in that deal. I like the idea, but I’d offer Headley and Mujica instead. Perdomo has a nice 50% GB% as well.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

I’d be all over that as Jed Hoyer, but I’d expect the DBacks to want an arm that is younger and has more upside than Mujica. ¬†Giving them Headley and Mujica just seems a little too much like giving them our scraps.
I’d offer Headley and Frieri for Reynolds.
Bell for Colby Rasums (Ryan Franklin is reportedly retiring and their bullpen has had its share of problems).
I’d also look into what it might take to trade for either Sean Rodriguez or Reid Brignac of the Rays since both are young with upside and neither has a regular gig with the team.
The Padres need to find a long term solution at 2B, and I’d prefer they replaced Eck sooner than later. ¬†Just not a fan. ¬†I think his value is overstated more often than not. ¬†You could bring back either Eck or Hairston as the utility guy.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah, I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they gave up Frieri for Reynolds. I’d just do it in a heartbeat for Mujica, and his GB% is much better. I don’t think Frieri fits because he’s a fly ball pitcher.

“Bell for Colby Rasums”

I don’t think that comes close.

Big fan of Sean Rodriguez. I think Brignac is their SS of the future and Bartlett may be non-tendered.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

Are you saying you don’t think Bell is enough to get Rasmus? ¬†Or Rasmus isn’t enough to get Bell? ¬†I think the deal makes sense for both teams. ¬†Rasmus was reported to have requested a trade on more than one occasion this season, Pujols basically said they should dump him if he doesn’t want to be there, and they need a closer. ¬†It solves a clear need for both teams in my opinion.
I also think the time is now to sell high on Bell. ¬†His command is wavering and he’s accumulated a ton of innings the last four years. ¬†He’ll be very much in demand, but I think he’s in line for a pretty significant regression. ¬†I also think Mike Adams could handle the closers role (and I think Webb could evolve into a closer). ¬†We can afford the hit in the pen and need the offense.

Another scenario that might make sense, though a little riskier, would be Bell for BJ Upton. ¬†I know Upton has struggled, but there is so much great pitching in the AL East. ¬†I feel like he’s a guy who has barely scratched the surface of his ability and would benefit from a change of scenery. ¬†Just stick him in CF, bat him seventh until he shows he can hit higher, and let him cover ground in the OF. ¬†If he could hit even .270, he’d be scary hitting 1st or 2nd in any lineup. ¬†Even hitting .240 he’s an upgrade over Gwynn.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

“Are you saying you don’t think Bell is enough to get Rasmus?”Yes, no way you are going to get 4 years of a 24 year old budding star that can play a premium position for a 33 year old closer in the last year of his contract making a pretty penny. It’s not even close. I think the talk about getting rid of Rasmus is over blown and he’s going to stay. Even if they wanted to get rid of him, I’d be shocked if they couldn’t find better offers. “I also think the time is now to sell high on Bell.”I’d love to get a CF/2B/SS out of Bell this offseason. Someone more realistic though may be Brett Gardner or like you said Sean Rodriguez…”Another scenario that might make sense, though a little riskier, would be Bell for BJ Upton.”I wouldn’t be opposed to that idea. My only problem with Upton is his attitude and work ethic.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

I love Gardner, and would love to see him leading off for the Padres. ¬†That said, he has NO throwing arm, and is not suited to CF in PetCo. ¬†If they brought him in, he’d need to play LF. ¬†I’d be comfortable with Venable playing CF everyday (and they could use either Denorfia or Cunningham against really tough lefties). ¬†I think the Padres could get Gardner without giving up Bell (maybe Frieri or Webb).
I’d actually be comfortable with them bringing back Tejada to play SS for one more year. ¬†I liked what he brought to the offense and think he’s a big part of the chemistry. ¬†If not, I wonder if they could use Bell to get Rodriguez and Jason Bartlett from the Rays. ¬†I don’t think Bartlett is as good as he was in 2009, but he’s better than he was in 2010. ¬†He also handles the bat well and could fill Eck’s role hitting second – at least until Rodriguez shows he is capable of hitting higher in the order.
So, if I were Jed I would be looking to do this:
Trade Adam Russell for Brett Gardner (would also consider Frieri or Webb)
Trade Headley and Mujica for Mark Reynolds
Trade Bell to Tampa for Rodriguez and Bartlett
Lineup:
GardnerBartlettLudwickAdrianReynoldsVenableRodriguezTorrealba/Hundley
Gardner and Bartlett both make a ton of contact and run well.  I think Ludwick flourishes hitting ahead of Adrian.  Reynolds is enough of a threat to make teams pitch to Adrian a little more.  Reynolds is a lock for at least 30 HR.  Venable moves down in the order but would remain in an RBI spot.  The hope is Rodriguez is consistent and eventually evolves into a #2 hitter.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

“That said, he has NO throwing arm, and is not suited to CF in PetCo. If they brought him in, he’d need to play LF.”I wouldn’t say he has no throwing arm. It’s below average, but it’s not that bad. In fact, Hoyer tried to get Gardner last year to play CF. Gardner can run a ball down in the outfield as good as anybody. I’m not worried about his arm. “I’d actually be comfortable with them bringing back Tejada to play SS for one more year.”I’m not crazy about it, but it wouldn’t bother me. He’s just not a very good defensive SS anymore.Bell for Rodriguez and Bartlett. Could make sense for both teams.All that sounds good to me. I posted a similar idea on the Padres board a couple weeks ago.

AZalltheway
4 years 10 months ago

No way you get both Rodriguez and Bartlett for Bell, let alone 1 of them

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

Oh yes, a non-tender candidate that hit .254 .324 .350 and will make 4+ million next year could never be acquired for one of the best closers in the game. Bartlett has little to no trade value. They would probably be fine with dumping his potential salary.

dbackwatcher
4 years 10 months ago

There is a reason that Tampa would get rid/trade BJ; he’s a dog. He doesn’t hustle or play hard all the time and then complains when he doesn’t get to play or hit where he wants in the lineup.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

Like I said, there is some risk involved.  That said, Upton is still just a baby and has a ton of expectations placed on him in Tampa.  He also has more talent in his pinky finger than any of our current CF options.  YOu might also curtail some of the griping about where he hits in the lineup by batting him 6th so he has a chance to drive in runs.  If he hits well, maybe you hit him second as the season progresses.
When you’re looking at guys like Gwynn and Denorfia as your CF options, you become more willing to take a flyer on a talent like Upton. ¬†The ability is there, he just needs to grow up.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

It’s not a bad idea, I just think there are better options. A big part of our success was because of team chemisty. I think there is a good chance Upton hurts that. He’s going to be making some money and doesn’t have as much team control as some of the younger players we could go after.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Not going to lie, you saying that Bell for Rasmus is even a halfway legitimate offer is kind of absurd. Heath Bell is a reliever coming off of a season in which he had a 1.6% HR/FB rate (lucky) and has one year of arb left at a whopping $7-9MM or so and Rasmus is a top-line, young CF with five years of control.

Heck, with a salary that huge, Bell’s salary might be higher than his WAR value in 2011 in a non-Petco ballpark! You aren’t the first one to over-value Bell (particularly on some of these boards), but it’s absurd how much some people think he’s going to get on the trade market.

That’s the kind of offer that would make Mozeliak hang up the phone.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Check that, four years of control of Rasmus. Same difference with respect to this trade scenario, really.

GasLampGuru
4 years 10 months ago

Don’t get me wrong; even as a Padres fan I think Bell is generally overrated. ¬†I want the Padres to trade him because I think the league is catching up to him. ¬†That said, he has been a stable member of a very good bullpen for four years now and those 47 saves give him value. ¬†He’s also been durable and shown an ability to pitch more than two consecutive days.¬†
Maybe Bell for Rasmus is reaching a bit (a fan has to hope), but there is a team out there who will pay for the stability he’s provided and want him as their closer. ¬†There are a few teams out there who consider themselves contenders in 2011 and will be in need of a closer – Tampa (they won’t pay Soriano) comes to mind, Boston (assuming they trade Papelbon), Anaheim, Atlanta, possibly the White Sox. ¬†It may not be Rasmus, but someone will give up something pretty good to get him.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Headley isn’t that good of a defender. Sure, his UZR was pretty in 2010, but you need two or three seasons worth of data for a legitimate UZR sample-size and Headley had been consistently below-average in his career prior to 2010.

If the Pads were so high on Frieri, why was up-and-down from Triple-A this year? More minor-league innings than big-league innings as a 25-year-old? Yeah, that’s not a piece worth being reluctant about trading.

That’s the package you’re going to need to cough up if you want Reynolds.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

I guess you didn’t watch much of Headley in the field this year. He was fantastic and has never been known as a below average 3B man. Maybe you are thinking of his defense in LF.

Why was Frieri up and down? That simple. We have the best bullpen in baseball by far and it’s extremely deep. Add to that players like Mujica and Stauffer who are out of options and there were very few players that could be sent down and brought back up as easily as Frieri.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

While it’s true that most of his defensive debauchery comes in the outfield, he had a career UZR of -0.2 going into this season at third base – it was in a combined 40 games worth of time there, so the sample size is absurdly minuscule, but the use of the word “never” seems inappropriate. (/end of arguing semantics)Even then, if we have just over a single season of data on Headley at third base, you can’t suddenly assume that he’s going to provide a win over replacement on an annual basis because of defense. He could be anywhere from a tad above-average to very good. We just don’t know because he’s accumulated a sample of defensive metrics approximately equal to 60 games worth of offensive metrics.If the Pads were so “high” on Frieri, they wouldn’t have had him at Triple-A. You find roster spots on your team for players you’re high on who have nothing left to prove in the minors. They can be realistic about his value, and recognize that Reynolds is worth acquiring because of his likelihood for a bounce-back season in 2011.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

“it was in a combined 40 games worth of time there, so the sample size is absurdly minuscule, but the use of the word “never” seems inappropriate. (/end of arguing semantics)”

That means absolutely nothing. He didn’t play 3B regularly in the major leagues before last year . Of course he wasn’t going to step in from the outfield and play a good 3B. You’re talking about 5 starts in 07, 6 starts in 08, and 25 starts in 09 when Kouz was injured. His UZR during those short stints shows you absolutely nothing. What I was referring to is that he has never been considered a below average third baseman by scouts. I’m not talking about sabermetrics in a handful of games.

“you can’t suddenly assume that he’s going to provide a win over replacement on an annual basis because of defense.”

If you saw the guy play everyday rather than looking at numbers on a computer, you would know how valuable his defense is. Sabermetrics have their place, but they don’t tell the whole story.

“If the Pads were so “high” on Frieri, they wouldn’t have had him at Triple-A.”

I already explained this to you. The Padres had players out of options they did not want to give up for nothing and they have the best and deepest bullpen in baseball. They did not have a need to make a spot for him no matter how high they were on him. He was sent down because he was one of the few pitchers with options and they knew he could be recalled shortly after when rosters expanded. It’s not rocket science. If the Padres didn’t think highly of Frieri, they wouldn’t have kept putting him in late in games when the game was on the line. He was brought in several time in close games and slammed the door. You obviously don’t know a whole lot about the players you’re attempting to discuss.

4 years 10 months ago

we need someone who can bring the heat. also someone with some f’n balls!

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Belisario is a dick but hes cheap. Hes not going anywhere.

4 years 10 months ago

Jenks is an ace reliever? I had no idea it was 2007.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Jenks isn’t an ace reliever? I had no idea a 2.59 FIP isn’t freaking awesome.

rockfordone
4 years 10 months ago

Jenks, Linebrink,Quentin, and Teahen for Chris Young and Heilman

jdub220
4 years 10 months ago

1. Heilman is a free agent.2. The D’Backs would say no to that.

rockfordone
4 years 10 months ago

ok jdub220 – lets make it easy – Jenks for a bag of balls (don’t have to be new)

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

I think we’ll just wait for you to non-tender him then snatch him up and have him be a super-awesome closer for us. : )

Sounds grand to me, at least.

jdub220
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, this.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

So the White Sox pretty much steal Chris Young from the DBacks?

jdub220
4 years 10 months ago

It would be rather fitting, since the D’Backs stole Chris Young from the Sox originally.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Towers’ gift is the ability to take a 4A pitcher and turn them into a quality relief pitcher. He doesn’t really sign free agents as much as he trades for arms with certain skill sets conducive to short relief. Torres and Roe are the only 2 pitchers mentioned that halfway fit that description.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Not like he won’t get a Bobby Jenks if he’s available and non-tendered and begging to be taken. The reason Towers doesn’t necessarily have a reputation for going and getting closers is that one guy named Trevor Hoffman, but it doesn’t mean that he won’t do it if there’s a hole.

That said, holy crap did BABIP explode on Roe in 2010. I’d be down for both him and Torres in our ‘pen next year. Throw in a Josh Collmenter, Jamey Wright, and a random lefty or two with the parts that we’ve already got and I think we’d be pretty darn solid.

briankoke
4 years 10 months ago

KT’s going to go out and get a bunch of guys nobody has ever heard of and they’ll probably end up being pretty good. It’s not going to be as easy in Chase as it was in Petco though.

4 years 10 months ago

I could see Jenks in our team on 2011, but one player Im guessing Towers will get is J.J Putz as our new closer.

RumorMonger
4 years 10 months ago

Here’s an article from BP about this issue. Jenks is a name on both of these posts.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11983

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

Does it get more random than Chaz Roe?

4 years 10 months ago

Okay Dbacks, just get Joaquin Beniott and convert him to a closer, add a JJ Putz or someone like him as insurance/ a setup man . And add a lefty. Then your looking at a decent bullpen.
CL=Joaquin Benoitt
SU= JJ Putz/ Jason Frasor/ Jessie Crain
RP= Joe Biemel ( any lefty)
RP= Juan Gutierez
RP= DJ Carasco
RP= Sam Demel
RP= Mike Hampton (if they bring him back)
Get a starter better than Saunders, and cut down on K’s and your looking at a bright future. Get to work KT.

O971
4 years 10 months ago

Wagner is under contract if he comes back.

azdsnd
4 years 10 months ago

Heilman isn’t coming back. And as mentioned there’s that whole Wagner contract deal. But the other names all sound right to me.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

I like the idea of Durbin and Jenks.