Quick Hits: D’Backs, Red Sox, Extensions, Rincon

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he hasn't had many trade talks about a shortstop given that Stephen Drew is still on the market, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.  If Towers did feel compelled to move either Chris Owings, Didi Gregorius, Cliff Pennington or Nick Ahmed in "the right deal," Towers said that the team would likely target either a minor league pitcher who's close to the big leagues or a catcher.  "Our biggest needs in our system are catching," Towers said.  "If it’s the right, top-notch catching prospect. Someone we could have right behind Miggy [Miguel Montero]. More of an upper-level guy.”  Of the teams known to be looking for shortstop help, the Yankees stand out as a possible trade partner, especially since New York is known to be shopping its catching depth.

Here's some more from around the majors…

  • Also from Piecoro, the Red Sox are "at least monitoring the shortstop market."  The Sox currently aren't in negotiations with Stephen Drew, but it stands to reason they could still be looking for a cheaper infield option to back up Xander Bogaerts.
  • With more and more teams locking up their young stars to long-term extensions, SI.com's Tom Verducci writes that "what we are going to see is a further eroding of the free-agent market as a place of any kind of efficiency. Teams will continue to make bad deals on free agents because it mostly involves paying too long and too much for the decline years of star players."
  • Mike Trout is the most high-profile example yet of a team locking up its young superstar, and Verducci thinks that a seven-year extension (covering four of Trout's free agent years) could cost the Angels $204MM.
  • Juan Rincon is planning to work out for interested teams soon, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman tweets.  The 35-year-old righty posted a 4.03 ERA over 444 games (three of them starts) with the Twins, Indians, Tigers and Rockies from 2001-10, but hasn't appeared in the Majors since, spending the last three years with the Angels' Triple-A affiliate and for independent teams.  In December, we heard Rincon was looking for a minor league deal that would allow him to mentor young pitchers and then eventually turn into a scouting job. 
  • Tomo Ohka talks to the Toronto Star's Brad Lefton about adopting the knuckleball in order to save his career, and how he's hoping for one last crack at the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays.
  • Fangraphs' Wendy Thurm breaks down which teams spend the highest percentage of their payroll on their starting rotation, starting lineup, bullpen and bench, respectively.
  • The Astros (+18 WAR) and Red Sox (-16 WAR) project as the most- and least-improved teams in 2014, according to Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan, who lists a top ten in each category.  Of course, as Sullivan notes, these totals are respectively skewed by how poorly and how well the two clubs fared last season, as Sullivan still expects Boston to contend and Houston to be one of the league's lesser clubs.


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49 Comments on "Quick Hits: D’Backs, Red Sox, Extensions, Rincon"


kungfucampby
1 year 6 months ago

That’s really comical considering KT traded for three of those SS recently. I hope he moves them all for Catchers and tries trading them next season for Justin Upton.

mmiller54
1 year 6 months ago

You know it really is sad having to watch this guy make moves as a Dbacks fan.

Bob Bunker
1 year 6 months ago

Imagine how good the D-Backs would be in 2014 and beyond if they had kept Upton, Bauer, Skaggs, Eaton, Davidson, and Chris Johnson.

ConstantinusMagnus
1 year 6 months ago

Back-up catchers? Yikes, shouldn’t these shortstop assets be used instead as the basis of a trade securing the mythical #1 starter Towers has been searching for like Captian Ahab?

mmiller54
1 year 6 months ago

I hope that he’s referring to a catcher to replace Montero in a few years (starting caliber).

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

Red Sox down, Yankees Up.

Things are looking good. Largely due to many Sox players way outperforming reasonable expectations. And the losses of Ellsbury, Salty, Iglesias, and Drew is 13.8 WAR right there. Red Sox really don’t have a grip on this division like many have been trying to put it. They are a decent team, but they had a lot go right last year, when Toronto and NY had a lot go wrong. NY had 3 batters top 1.5 WAR, and one of them spend half the season with the Cubs.

BeantownGreen
1 year 6 months ago

A lot of things have to go right for any team that wins the World Series

BeantownGreen
1 year 6 months ago

A lot of things have to go right for any team that wins the World Series

1 year 6 months ago

They won the World Series without Iglesias so mentioning his loss is a bit of stretch as is calling them a “decent” team. They’ll miss Ellsbury and Drew, though with their injury risks and salary demands it’s more of a case of missing them without wanting them back.

The Yankees infield has the potential to be one of the worst defensive infields of all time without the offense to make up for it. And that’s if they can stay on the field at all. Couple that with a questionable pitching staff, there’s plenty of problems there.

Boston is still the best team in baseball. Tampa Bay and the Dodgers are the only playoff teams that didn’t lose any significant players. Losing Ellsbury might mean they’re less likely to run away with the division, but I’d still pick them to win it.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Agree with your first two paragraphs… Boston being the best team in the baseball.. can’t agree with that one… though they made the correct moves in letting Ells, Salty, etc. walk that will be felt. Best team in baseball (on paper at least) has to be the Dodgers or the Cards.

Bob Bunker
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah I think the title has to stick with the Sox until the season starts because they are wearing the rings but on paper the Dodgers and Cards and maybe the Athletics and Rays seem like better bets for winning the World Series in 2014 in my mind and I am a Red Sox fan.

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

Cards are the team to beat. Not sure why everyone is including Dodgers though. They have a great starting rotation, but finished 17th in runs produced last season and don’t seem very good defensively. Also, the OF is in chaos, with 4 big contracts and only 3 positions. Now Puig, who everyone is expecting huge things from, has shown up out of shape.

Besides leading the league in payroll, not seeing the reasons for all the Dodger love. They do have a weak division to beat up on, but Atl, Wash and StL are the teams to beat in the playoffs.

Bob Bunker
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah I can’t believe I forgot about the Nationals they may actually be my favorite to win with that rotation and lineup.

Dodgers 1-3 rotation is so good and could easily dominate any playoff match up if all three are on their game that they have to be included. Also, between the 4 OF they are bound to have three good ones, HAN-RAM is a beast, and A-Gon isn’t bad himself.

Then they have the resources to make any trade at the deadline and the easiest path to a division title letting them rest their players somewhat. All of this makes me think they have a pretty good chance.

ATL I just don’t think their style of play and rotation is built for the playoffs.

Mr. Met
1 year 6 months ago

I’m sorry, but i have to be objective here. i’ve watched minor, teheran, and medlen and they all have good enough stuff to beat a playoff team. not to mention ATL’s defense is, for the most part, outstanding. they also have an incredible bullpen and a closer who, at this point in his career has been better than Mo. they’ll be fine in the playoffs.

if you can roster bj upton and dan uggla for the large marjority of a season, two guys who both put up some of the worst offensive numbers ever in the history of baseball and still outscore everyone in the league except a couple teams you’ve got something special.

just look at the number of guys they have returning and look at how many of them are entering their prime. if a couple guys continue to take strides and if they replace uggla with even league avg production at 2nd it would drastically reduce the k’s. both of those things aren’t unlikely to happen (just subtracting half of uggla’s k’s would drop them below three or four teams). i have to be fair about this, because i think its crazy to say otherwise: it’d be unbelievably short-sighted to sell ATL short this season. They’re arguably the team to most likely take a huge step forward, and seeing as they won 96 games, that’s a crazy thing to ponder. That team has not reached its ceiling yet.

oh Hal
1 year 6 months ago

Atlanta?

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

I like Atlanta, maybe my bias.

craigcounsellhitsbombs
1 year 6 months ago

If Haren can return to form, they’ll have the best rotation in baseball. (They arguably already do). Their bullpen is going to be just as good. When it only takes 3-4 runs to win most games, you don’t even need to be in the top 20 in runs scored to make the playoffs.

Mr. Met
1 year 6 months ago

The Dodgers are a lot like that guy that just joined your fantasy league who hasn’t watched baseball in three years: grabs all the big ‘names’ in the draft that aren’t really superstars anymore, then ignores half his lineup (2B, 3B, C…) so that he can draft 6 closers.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

Puig/Kemp/Agon/Hanley/Crawford/Ethier has a pretty good potential to produce a lot of runs.

1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think the Dodgers are better on paper. The case for the Cardinals is certainly there.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Agree with your first two paragraphs… Boston being the best team in the baseball.. can’t agree with that one… though they made the correct moves in letting Ells, Salty, etc. walk that will be felt. Best team in baseball (on paper at least) has to be the Dodgers or the Cards.

Bob Bunker
1 year 6 months ago

I think right now the Red Sox are looking a little better than the post makes it sound.

They lost Salty who had a career year due to an unsustainable BABIP so bringing him back or getting AJ equals same production.

Losing Ellsbury hurts but they have a defensive whiz ready to replace him that should get 1/3 to 1/2 of his WAR.

Drew/Iglesias doesn’t really hurt much because they have Xander to replace Drew and he will probably produce more and due to not having Iglesias they have Peavy who replaces Dempster who was awful last year.

Also, the Red Sox greatly improved the bullpen which is where they have an a big advantage over NYY, BAL, TOR, and probably even TB.

Overall, I say the Red Sox have a better chance of winning the 2014 World Series than the Yankees but you never really can predict these things as we saw last year!

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Losing Salty (to me) was no loss at all. I haven’t been that glad to wave good bye to any Sox FA in years.

The shame of it? He signed with another team I enjoy watching (Marlins) and Tommy Hutton (Fish color announcer) is going to have a field day with his horrible swing, especially from a guy who was so clutch during his career and selective at the plate as was Hutton many decades ago.

Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

You can’t just talk about the WAR lost from departing players as if they’re all being replaced by average replacement guys. Drew will be replaced by Bogaerts, who certainly has a higher ceiling, if nothing else. Salty is replaced by AJ, which is a difference of a whopping 0.6 WAR over the last two seasons. Iglesias produced Peavy and is almost sure to see his offensive stats regress. Ellsbury is the one truly big loss, but JBJ has a lot of potential, and otherwise the team has a variety of solid OF options.

More question marks? Sure, but it’s not a straight-up loss of 14 WAR.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

Long term I dislike the potential of Bogaerts and JBJ, but who knows if they are both able to take off right away. Not sure if I would be confident about a 37 year old catcher that really is nearing the end.

Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

When you say “dislike” you mean, as a Yankees fan, you think they’ll be good?

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

They are highly rated throughout baseball and have reason to believe they might be solid pieces. Being prospects it would not surprise me if one or both of them washes out and becomes nothing, but if they were Yankees I would be excited about their long term potential. Just not sure if going into the season with JBJ/Pierz/Middlebrooks/Xander is greatest idea. Lose one of the other guys and that lineup thins out quite a bit.

mattdecap
1 year 6 months ago

The Yankees lost their best player and also posted a Pythagorean record of 79-83 in 2013, so while they may be “up,” they still have a hill to climb.

Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

This is a big point for me with the Yankees. They were 30-16 in one-run games, 55-61 otherwise. One reason for so many one-run victories: Mariano. They added plenty of offense, true, but I don’t see them repeating such a dominant winning streak in one-run games.

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

Agree, between the shaky defense, and the bullpen giving up leads, I see many a sleepless nights for the Yankee starters.

Mr. Met
1 year 6 months ago

Is it unfair to say NY and PHI probably have roughly the same chances of making the playoffs?

mattdecap
1 year 6 months ago

That might actually be more fair than it initially sounds. You could probably make a respectable case for it.

I think the Yankees have a better chance than the Phillies if their pitching holds up. New York is closer on paper to the Red Sox and Rays than the Phillies are to Atlanta and the Nationals.

Mr. Met
1 year 6 months ago

I’d definitely say NY improved, but the Yanks are still looking pretty down for a contender. Terrible, terrible infield. Way too much injury risk in general for that team. BOS shouldn’t be considered the best team in baseball or anything, but I like their chances a whole lot more.

oleosmirf
1 year 6 months ago

Well the Mets need a SS and their biggest organizational strength is pitching prospects. Both Seattle and Arizona need pitching, but have surplus SS.

Clearly there is a deal to be made between the Mets and one of Seattle or Arizona.

Mike1L
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t see a reason for the Yankees, or anyone else, to rush on Drew. Boras clearly believes that there’s time to wait for the maximum years at the maximum dollars, with the opt-out. Either someone will bite, or Boras will have to reevaluate his expectations. I’d wait. Drew as a player might be a good for for several teams. Drew as a contract less so.

connfyoozed .
1 year 6 months ago

I think that it is really cool that Juan Rincon is not only being realistic in his expectations trying to land a job with a MLB club, but is also interested in helping that organization while he helps himself try to keep working in baseball after his playing days are over. I also think that it’s cool that Tomo Ohka is chasing the dream with a whole new approach, to maybe be the first Japanese MLB knuckler. I will be rooting for both of these guys.

ztoa
1 year 6 months ago

Phillies would trade Freddy Galvis for Workman.

Bobby Milone
1 year 6 months ago

I will throw this one out there…Murphy and Betances for Owing and Putz. I would think that is a fair trade with some money relief for the D-Backs.

mmiller54
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think the Dbacks care about money relief when it comes to a decent player like Putz, who only has one year left on his contract. I would counter with Gary Sanchez for Owings or Gregorius.

Bobby Milone
1 year 6 months ago

I would do Sanchez for Owings only and I would want other bullpen arm…Sanchez is a better prospect.

mmiller54
1 year 6 months ago

We probably could give Harris with Owings for Sanchez.

Bobby Milone
1 year 6 months ago

I would think that is fair….Let’s call Cash and Towers and solve the problem.

mmiller54
1 year 6 months ago

agreed… if only it was that easy :)

Aron
1 year 6 months ago

What kind of contract is Drew still looking to get and what does the market price for him seem to be based on comparables?

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

His demands (if you believe the media) are very high: He wants 2 or 3 year deal with a player option after one, at 10+ mil. Thats not going to happen (Sounds more like he’s buying time).

Which is why I feel he has a different agenda. He’s waiting for the season to start so that he can shed compensation for next season. After season starts, he’ll sign the best one-year deal he can in a hitter-friendly ballpark. He puts up big numbers, shows he’s healthy again and has no compensation. Then signs long-term deal next off-season. Of course, a major injury to a key infielder could bring him to the table sooner. Just my opinion.

Kolukonu
1 year 6 months ago

It’d be nice to see the Yankees deal for one of the Diamondbacks SS. Now that McCann is in pinstripes, Sanchez is expendable. Send him over to ARI in a deal for Owings.

Croagnut
1 year 6 months ago

Red Sox are “at least monitoring the shortstop market.”

Not sure what that means. They’re probably monitoring every position. They’ve made it perfectly clear they plan to go into the season with Middlebrooks and Bogaerts. Middlebrooks worked hard this off-season, and showed up ripped and prepared. They aren’t going to throw that away, just because Drew needs a home.

NYBravosFan10
1 year 6 months ago

The Angels had better not let Trout hit free agency. That’ll be right around when Beltran’s contract is up and the Yankees mouths will be watering.

Baseball Realism
1 year 6 months ago

Are we really starting to measure teams by their WAR