Rosenthal On Braves, Blue Jays, Nationals, Gonzalez

Rival executives believe Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez may already be on ‘probation,’ Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Last year’s team lost its grip on a playoff spot down the stretch under Gonzalez, who’s now entering his second season as Atlanta’s manager. Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s notes from around the Major Leagues…

  • Special assistant Jim Fregosi may be the Braves’ leading candidate to manage should they replace Gonzalez internally.
  • The Diamondbacks would have interest in catcher J.P. Arencibia if the Blue Jays made him available. Arencibia isn’t going anywhere just yet, but top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud could force the Blue Jays to make some difficult decisions within the year.
  • The Blue Jays, Royals, Tigers and others are in the market for starting pitching and many options are available, Rosenthal writes. Joe Blanton, Gavin Floyd and John Lannan are among the potential trade targets for teams seeking starters.
  • The Tigers, who are currently leaning toward left-hander Andy Oliver for their final rotation spot, could be a fit for Lannan. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined possible fits for Lannan last week, including the Tigers.
  • The Padres’ financial outlook is improving, so owner John Moores may be less eager to sell the team to CEO Jeff Moorad. Moorad has two years to complete his purchase of the club, but the deal won’t be finalized in the near future.
  • The A’s are no longer interested in free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez and the White Sox aren’t currently pursuing him, Rosenthal reports. The lefty is “about ready to go” following arthroscopic knee surgery.
  • Some in the industry question shortstop Ian Desmond, but the Nationals like him.


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42 Comments on "Rosenthal On Braves, Blue Jays, Nationals, Gonzalez"


vjo23
3 years 5 months ago

Dbacks interested in JPA? What about Miguel Montero?

BVHjays
3 years 5 months ago

Rosenthal likely means they’d have interest in JPA later in this year or after this year, when Montero hits free agency.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

JPA is an attractive option for any team on a tight budget (low budget or overspent on payroll).  Also, using JPA as a backup is not a bad fall-back position for AA.  AA will have his tough decision in 2 years time when AJ Jiminez has spent one year on the 40-man roster and Carlos Perez is ready to be activated onto the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 5 months ago

JPA is a starter on most teams and much more valuable as a trade chip than as a backup to D’Arnaud.  It would be a great platoon to keep them both fresh, but there’s probably more value in putting that WAR (and that of the catching depth) towards our rotation.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

JPA only scored 0.9 in fWAR (adjusted down after Fangraphs introduced pitch blocking measurements) last season because he is weak in fielding and hitting which are the two most important tools for a catcher.  Hopefully he makes significant advances this season in those areas.

Otherwise, his plus power and affordable salary should either carry him as a backup on the Jays or make him attractive to budget teams.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 5 months ago

He still has time to improve — let’s not forget that last year was his very first year in the majors after facing only aces in the handful of starts under Cito the prior year.  

Depending on how you play with the stats, you could argue he’s among the 20-25 catchers considering number of PAs.  Meaning there are teams on which he would be an improvement.  But yeah, once his performance improves he’ll be decidedly more valuable a chip.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

I am anxious to see how he performs this year.  He certainly has applied himself and does have upside.  But, at age 26, there is no time like the present for delivering on your upside.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

the dbacks had to throw in the towel on montero as soon as molina signed his extension

GasLampGuru
3 years 5 months ago

The DBacks are known to be looking for catching depth for this year, and are probably thinking ahead to next season.  But I wouldn’t say they’ve thrown in the towel on Montero.

There is speculation out here that the Dbacks could entertain trading Chris Young at the deadline and moving Para to CF for the foreseeable future.  They have a couple young outfielders they are high on, and they seem more likely to want to free up extra cash for Montero than commit big dollars to Young long-term.

DMCj
3 years 5 months ago

As a Nats fan, I can say definitely that the team is nuts about Desmond – in both senses of the word. My guess is he’s marking time until someone (please let it be Rendon) is ready to play 2B and Espinosa can switch back to SS.

I do have to remind myself that this is a much better problem than “leading off and playing shortstop, Cristian Guzman!”

FacelessGeneralManager
3 years 5 months ago

Except Guzman could hit a little bit when he was healthy.

3 years 5 months ago

Special assistant Jim Fregosi may be the Braves’ leading candidate to manage should they replace Gonzalez internally. Jim Fregosi is old, why would the Braves want to do this? Bring Back Tommy Greene if they decide to bring in Fregosi. If Jamie Moyer is still good for a few innings then ol Tommy should be good for a few innings as well.
The Padres hahahaha, I still don’t understand their new TV deal with Fox, just show me the money because I would love to know where it’s coming from and why!
If I am the Jays, I would keep J.P. Arencibia and trade d’Arnaud. Arencibia was very good last year and he’s familiar with the whole staff now. Why would they pull the trigger and help out the D’Backs?
PS The Tigers deserve Lannon, I hope they get a deal done :p

PrimalScream78
3 years 5 months ago

Guys Im really starting to worry. I think we all got the feeling that fredi could be on the hot seat but I never would have thought fregosi would have been the replacement. Tell chipper and fredi to take a hike, open the spot to interviews (like it should have been done to begin with and see what happens. Its easy to say now that fredi might have been a mistake a year later but now we know. Give him half a season if it doesnt work ask him to leave and then open the job up.

3 years 5 months ago

If the Fregosi comment actually carries any weight with it and turns out to be true, I personally think this may be the FO atleast hinting at the fact that they botched the hiring process last year by not considering anyone but Fredi G for the job.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Funny thing is Fredi Gonzalez wasn’t the guy who chased Yunel Escobar (a 4 WAR SS) out of town.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

“i know it’s only spring training, but [acts as if it’s not just spring training]”

3 years 5 months ago

On his own?  I can’t see more than a #2/#3 SP.  

It’d have the potential to be something very similar to the Marcum/Lawrie deal. Not something the Jays should consider imo.

3 years 5 months ago

Jays have had zero issues (so far) with Yunel but having Hechavarria coming up as a SS looks like it might become one.

3 years 5 months ago

I love JPA. Toronto loves him. His teammates seem to love him, as well. Unfortunately, it looks like D’Arnaud looks like the better player. If AA can acquire a #2 or #3 for him, he should – but I would rather the Jays keep him to backup TD’A, DH, play some 1B, corner OF (if he can) or another position of weakness for TOR.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

I can change my profile name to Captain Obvious LOL

In all seriousness, Baseball America Prospect handbook lists the five tools in order of importance for each position.  For catcher, they have (1) fielding (2) hitting (3) arm strength (4) power & (5) speed.

With this in mind, JPA rates as a weak catcher in spite of his many home runs.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 5 months ago

Seems more likely to me that Escobar and Hech will split SS and 2B somehow.  I suspect Escobar will get moved to second.

3 years 5 months ago

Poster above me was wondering what d’Arnauld would fetch.  I don’t see the Jays getting a #2 SP for JPA.

I also don’t think JPA plays well at all as a DH or 1B at this point.  He’s got power and that is about it.  Unless he can get his OBP up around .330 or .340 he just doesn’t have the bat to play 1B or DH.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

I’d rather have a catcher clog up the bases than not get on base at all, but that’s me.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

Even if you make that switch, he is  below average in other four categories, right?

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Yep….it also makes me wonder….but…I am just “regurgitating” the conventional baseball thinking to suggest what might be on the minds of AA and Farrell.  Farrell does like to rave about D’Arnaud’s “tools”.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Moving Escobar to 2B would be very logical based on his skill set.  However, it will be a waste of an asset to play Hech anywhere but SS.  Next year, Hech might be putting pressure on Escobar.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Agree and have to add he is strong against LHP….so…if he doesn’t improve against righties, he can serve as a right-handed bat off the bench and backup catcher.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 5 months ago

I remember reading/hearing that Hech should come up sometime this year, especially if there’s an infield injury.  I can’t wait to see our 10 million dollar prospect in action! 

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

From what I have read, his arm strength ranges from average to solid (in between average and above average).  But, rating below average on the primary tool is never good.

His main problem is hitting happens to be one of the top 2 tools for every position but SS and pitcher.  His hitting has to improve to avoid becoming a bench player.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Everyone should be excited.  He is exceptional (plus-plus) at fielding which is the primary SS tool; and has a plus arm (above MLB) the secondary SS tool.

He signed a pro contract which forced Jays to place him on their 40-man roster.  But, because of his age, he got four seasons of optional assignments.

If his hitting progresses, Hech will push Escobar aside.  This is saying a lot because Escobar is a 4 WAR SS.

3 years 5 months ago

With Johnson’s contract up at the end of the season, I hope this is true – watching him this spring has been tough. Just hope Hech’s hitting comes along, and if Vegas was any indication (which, in honesty, shouldn’t be) it looks like it may be.

RationalSportsFan
3 years 5 months ago

 The problem is that he currently can’t hit at all.  Yunel’s job is safe for a while.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

I doubt it.  Scouts say Hech has good bat speed.  Good fielding prospects from JPR’s era (Justin Jackson Kevin Ahrens etc) probably never developed their hitting because they had the “poor bat speed” knock against them. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

different defensive skill, offensive skill, overall talent, overall value

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

you are really bad at this

NYBravosFan10
3 years 5 months ago

Ask our owner about the spending thing. If this team were still under Ted Turner we would be spending alot more but we’re not so the frugality continues.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

Please stop going on and on about how the Braves have all these problems that only you’re aware of. This post is almost word for word….

jwick18
3 years 5 months ago

the braves under ted were big spenders because people showed up to the games. they are in the middle of the pack in both now. im not a fan of the current owner(owners) but if they were selling out games im sure payroll would increase. heyward had superstar wrote all over him and fans showed up. but as good of a player as mccann is he is not selling tickets. I see it both ways. maybe if they had headliners ticket sales would go up.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

I was going by SB allowed and SB%. He has pretty high numbers in minors and last season in majors. Not exactly the true test of arm strength but at least tells us about his quickness behind the plate.

johnsmith4
3 years 5 months ago

Yep…he has had a problem with execution.  But, he does have enough arm strength to develop the skill.

NL_East_Rivalry
3 years 5 months ago

 The problem is the city of Atlanta. The fans there are too casual and way too down on their teams. The whole city is filled with people all over and not many people in the city actually go to the games. It’s always people from the states around that actually go to the games.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

Good grief, why was this brought up out of nowhere?