D’Backs Rumors: Konerko, LaRoche, Padres

As soon as he took over in Arizona, GM Kevin Towers said he intended to improve the team's bullpen and bench. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears that the D’Backs still plan to spend on those areas. Here are the details on the club's offseason plans:

  • Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago reported over the weekend that the D’Backs will pursue Paul Konerko, but Piecoro suggests a deal with Konerko “probably won’t happen.” The first baseman is in position to demand a lot of money and D’Backs people aren’t sure he can provide enough defense at first base.
  • Piecoro says it sounds like the D’Backs won’t pick up their part of the $7.5MM mutual option for Adam LaRoche this winter. That suggests that Towers is willing to pay a $1.5MM buyout instead.
  • Expect the D’Backs to add Padres executive Bill Bryk, who worked with Towers in San Diego.

27 Responses to D’Backs Rumors: Konerko, LaRoche, Padres Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Brandon Allen definetly looks like he’ll be able to man 1B next season. He was great as a september call up and is probably MLB Ready. The one thing the D-Backs do have in the minor league system, the best 1B depth in the Majors.

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      I guess you’re assuming that Davidson and Borchering (and perhaps Krauss) end up as first basemen? That’s selling MD (and to a lesser extent Borchering) a little bit short – the kid has a real chance to play third.

      Without those two guys, it’s just Allen and Paul Goldschmidt, who is as much of a wild-card as any prospect in baseball.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        Yeah good point about Borchering and Davidson. I was actually refering to Krauss as a future 1B…Goldschmidt and Allen as well. Thats pretty darn good.

        • azdsnd 5 years ago

          I think Krauss is a more mediocre prospect than people think he is – as in not a top-10 prospect in that system – but that’s a scouting debate more than anything.

          So, with Allen having graduated this year, they really just have Goldschmidt on the farm at first… They have good depth at the power positions is one way of putting it I s’pose, in order to include LF and 3B, but it’s all so far away from the big leagues.

  2. azdsnd 5 years ago

    Brandon Allen could move to left field, but he’s going to get an everyday gig somewhere on this team. Given their financial limitations, other roster holes, and his track record, it would be an absurd mishandling of this kid’s potential to not do so.

  3. SplitFingeredPujol 5 years ago

    I’ve always thought Konerko’s defense is underrated. He doesn’t have much range, I agree with that. But you also very, very rarely see him misplay a ball. He has excellent hands, which in my opinion, is the most important quality defensively in a 1B. He also has an accurate arm and turns the double play very well.

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      This is exactly what Adam LaRoche is defensively, though…

  4. suPaFreaK 5 years ago

    Sucks for Adam LaRoche he could’ve been a champion instead now he’ll be looking for a job…

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      Keep in mind that if the Giants sign LaRoche, they don’t sign Aubrey Huff… what a weird game this is when a 5.7 FanGraphs WAR player is a backup plan…

  5. chisoxpudge72 5 years ago

    As a ChiSox fan that rarely misses a game, I can tell you first-hand that his “D” is vastly underrated. His glove saved our infield from numerous errors over the last few years. My gut is that, ultimately, he’ll be returning to the South side of Chi-town, but I can certainly not blame a team for trying; he can flat out hit, his “D” is solid, and he’s an absolute pro in the clubhouse, total class guy.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Your absolutley right. I think he also wants to not go anywhere else.

    • rockfordone 5 years ago

      As a Sox fan – you nailed it on Paulie – 2yrs at 12M option year three

  6. Beauford 5 years ago

    To his credit Brandon Allen in his 56 PA’s in 2010 drew 10 BB. But his .267 BA included an unsustainable .440 BABIP. He hit only 1 HR and SO 44% of the time. Plus he played very little vs. LHP (7AB’s). His limited 2009 MLB performance wasn’t any better. I don’t see how he is MLB ready in 2011.

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      Making judgments on his 56 PA big-league sample rather than his 465 PA Triple-A sample, are we? I don’t know what about a 115 wOBA+ at Reno isn’t “big-league ready.” There’s nothing left for him to prove in the minors and we won’t know what we have until we give him an everyday big-league gig. Further, he’ll make $400K instead of $10-12MM per for two years on a Konerko deal or $6MM for LaRoche’s option.

      Also, that BABIP was carried quite legitimately amidst his small sample, as he posted a 30.8% LD-Rate. That number won’t stay that high, but if he can line up 18-20% of balls, his batting average will be totally fine. He deserves the gig, and will provide the most surplus value to this team if he’s given the job.

      • Beauford 5 years ago

        You really believe MiLB numbers carry more weight than MLB numbers – especially in a launching pad like Reno? Take a look at MLB busts who had great MiLB numbers like Brandon Wood, Alex Gordon, Andy Marte, Casey Kotchman, Jeremy Reed, Corey Patterson among a host of others.

        I know this won’t change your opinion. But those who place more emphasis on MiLB numbers than MLB numbers are trying to rationalize their “homer” opinion of a favorite player rather than facing reality. After 7 MiLB seasons and 2,500 AB’s, this soon-to-be 25 year old Allen is nothing special.

        • azdsnd 5 years ago

          You’re making it sound like I’m valuing 300 PA’s in Triple-A over 300 PA’s in the bigs. Be serious here, man. 56 plate-appearances at ANY level isn’t sufficient for making any sort of judgment on a player. That means that the only data that gives us any legitimate insight is the Triple-A data. I don’t know that Allen will be a good everyday player, but considering that he’ll make $400K and the team has so many other holes to fill without a lot of budget room, it’s worth seeing what we have in Allen by giving him a legitimate sample of plate-appearances so that we CAN know what he is.

          You saying that Allen is “nothing special” is just as fallacious as someone saying that he’s destined to be a perennial All-Star. We simply don’t know what Allen is.

          • Beauford 5 years ago

            We know that Allen SO a lot vs. MLB pitching. In 2009, 40 SO in 104 AB’s (39%) and in 2010, 20 SO in 45 AB’s (44%) – it’s getting worse not better as MLB pitchers get a book on him. His MiLB performance in the Reno launching pad against inferior pitching is less important than his inability to make contact against MLB pitching.

            The fact that he has had only 150 MLB AB’s is enough for MLB executives to form an opinion on his MLB potential. That’s what they get paid to do. This is “legitimate insight” not MiLB performance. Allen has a hard time making contact just like Brandon Wood, Alex Gordon, etc. which translates into “nothing special.”

          • azdsnd 5 years ago

            I’m officially convinced that you have no comprehension of the concept of small sample sizes. Trends can be discovered, sure, but only in generalities. You have no way of knowing the adjustments Allen could make with regular playing time.

            What’s all the fuss about strikeouts? Ryan Howard strikes out a ton – last time I checked, he’s a pretty good player. It also looks like Allen will be proficient at collecting free passes and has flashed power in the minors.

          • Beauford 5 years ago

            “Trends can be discovered, sure, but only in generalities.”

            Not to set a trend, but only speaking in general, thanks for proving my point about “homers” and their rationalizations.

            “You have no way of knowing the adjustments Allen could make with regular playing time.”

            You need to save this rationalization as you can use it to describe every questionable prospect now and in the future.

          • azdsnd 5 years ago

            The first half of that made almost no sense. I think you were trying to make a play on words, but it was a horrible one and did nothing to refute a completely legitimate point that I had made with regard to sample sizes.

            Which really just proves that you’re continuing to not recognize the issue here that you’re relying on 150 PA’s of data spread out in bits of sparse playing time over two years to completely judge a player. And that doing that is completely absurd.

            Moving on, not only do you not understand the concept of sample sizes, but now you also don’t understand the concept of prospects! Brilliant.

            ALL prospects are questionable. That’s part of the definition of the term. Allen’s power and patience at the plate leave him the POTENTIAL to be a solid everyday first baseman, and if he’s making $400K next year, he’ll provide more surplus value than LaRoche at a net $6MM. Bank on it.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            This excerpt is from a November 4, 2010 MLB.com article detailing a Q&A between Arizona GM Kevin Towers and Arizona Fans:

            Q: Who can we expect to see out in left field/first base come Opening Day?

            Towers: Currently, our in-house candidates are Brandon Allen at first base and Cole Gillespie and Gerardo Parra in left field. But WE WILL BE LOOKING TO UPGRADE BOTH POSITIONS THIS OFFSEASON either through free agency or trades.

            Bank on that.

  7. Dang I was excited for Paul Konerko to be in AZ. He’d shrink the ballpark. I was wishing we could do something like a Brandon Allen and Sam Demel for Mat Garza and sign Konerko. That would be sick.. oh well though Allen isnt too bad.

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      US Cellular is more homer-friendly than Chase Field is.

      And the Rays would have absolutely none of that deal.

  8. I agree with the pro-Konerko comments here. Ive seen almost every game he has played for the Sox and other than base running, hes a very solid player. He very rarely makes a bad throw and his glove has been more than solid for years now.

    As a Sox fan, I would hate to see him leave but on the other hand, I hope he wont demand a 3 year deal. I wonder how much it will take to get him signed. Ive seen estimates all over the place…from 5 million/yr to 10 million/yr

  9. chisoxpudge72 5 years ago

    Pretty sure he’ll command 12-15 million per year, most likely a 2-3 year deal. I hear that he would be agreeable to a 3 yr, 12 mil per deal and would prefer to return to Chicago. You’ll probably see him continue to get more at bats at DH, (1-2 games per wek), in order to keep him fresh. This bit will likely preclude him from going to the NL.

  10. Mr_Anderson1017 5 years ago

    So no Konerko or LaRoche at 1B, so it’s gonna be Allen there. So another Parra/Gillespie platoon in LF? And Towers will spend all his money on the bullpen and aging vets on the bench. Great..looking more like the Padres everyday. Is that a good thing?

    • azdsnd 5 years ago

      If we platoon Parra and Gillespie in LF, I’m going to go ballistic.

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