Quick Hits: White Sox, Angels, Diaz, Brewers, Pavano

The White Sox have received positive reviews for their accumulation of young talent over the last year. But with that youth movement comes a lot of roster questions, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin, who provides an excellent early look at a spring that should be worthy of close attention. Here are some more scattered notes from the day:

  • For the Angels, another new starting pitching acquisition is highly unlikely at this point, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez"None of the deals made sense for us, whether trying to access veteran starters through trade or free agency," said Dipoto. "And we didn't want to do anything that didn't make sense for us." Dipoto says that he is comfortable with his team's starting depth and likes its upside.
  • The Twins will be among the team's attending a showcase on Thursday featuring Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz and righty Odrisamer Despaigne, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The pair is expected to sign in short order, says Wolfson. Diaz, in particular, could be an interesting participant in the marketplace.
  • Dominican July 2 prospect Yirver Gilbert Lara is reportedly said by some scouts to have agreed to a $3.2MM signing bonus with the Brewers. Lara's trainer, Jaime Ramos, told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that "there is nothing concrete and there are still a lot of teams interested in him," including the Brewers, Royals, Yankees, and Twins. Whether or not Lara lands in Milwaukee, explain Sanchez and his MLB.com colleague Adam McCalvy, the Brewers appear set to embark on greatly increased levels of international spending and player development efforts. (The team's largest international bonus awards to date are just $800K.)
  • Pitcher Carl Pavano is progressing in rehab and plans to throw off of a mound in a week or so, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 38-year-old, who did not pitch professionally last year, hopes to put on a showcase in the near future.


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23 Comments on "Quick Hits: White Sox, Angels, Diaz, Brewers, Pavano"


Kingmojo101
1 year 5 months ago

I think dipoto knows he’s not coming back next year and has totally checked out

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

Well he’s correct in not doing what doesn’t make sense for the club. You don’t moves for the sake of making moves. He’s pretty much achieved every goal he set out for this offseason. I like the rotation. Young, cost controlled starting pitching, which is exactly what brought the A’s and Rangers back to the top of the AL West. And is what helped the Angels win 4 division titles in 5 years before that. Why should this rotation be any different? Why are Angels fans getting cold feet all of the sudden? I’m excited to see what Santiago and Skaggs can do. Santana and Saunders in their early years weren’t much better than Richards was in 2013. And if they can find one more SP for depth, great. If not, I won’t lose sleep over it either.

Kingmojo101
1 year 5 months ago

I totally agree with what you say,I just don’t think Skaggs is ready to pitch in the rotation just yet. I think if they had ponied up that money they gave Brandon Lyon to Paul Maholm we would be set. All these good cost effective starting pitchers are coming off the market and the angels are only getting RP’s and restocking on veteran talent in the minors.

1 year 5 months ago

Maholm will get his six million unless he spends significant time on the DL. It’s hard to say that because one team got a (potential) bargain that another should’ve taken the same opportunity, but there’s no way of knowing that Maholm and the Angels were even talking about a deal.

bjsguess
1 year 5 months ago

It was a strange off-season for me.

— Skaggs and Santiago were great buy low moves.
— Not excited about Bourjos for Freese. Think we lost that one.
— Wish that Garza would have signed. No interest in Santana or Jimenez (or more specifically – no interest in giving up their pick)

The team will go as Hamilton and Pujols go. If they can get back on track this is an 85-90 win team. If they flounder or get hurt we’re looking at another 78-82 win team.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

I’m from the school of pitching and defense, so don’t be surprised if we debate over the importance of production from Pujols and Hamilton. I couldn’t ask anymore from their offense at this point.

I always go pitching first. And with Blanton out of the rotation, I see a number of wins added by default. Weaver is healthy. The Angels have the young SP they needed. Joe Smith added to the bullpen. Sean Burnett likely to be healthy.

I’m not quite sure how Bourjos would’ve contributed with a crowed OF. Plus, I’d rather have Freese at least holding the fort at 3B for 130 games, which btw does help with IF depth.

I would’ve like to have Garza too. I wouldn’t mind bringing back Santana. But signing Ubaldo would be the point where I would actually start to get nervous.

What can I say? I love young, controllable SP. Goes back to my days watching Dwight Gooden, David Cone, and Bret Saberhagen. It’s a key component for long term success, even if they’re not another Jered Weaver.

1 year 5 months ago

The Angels can’t seriously think they will contend with the pitching staff as is.

bjsguess
1 year 5 months ago

Why would you say that?

Right now they are sitting 9th overall in projected WAR (40.6) according to Fangraphs. Above them are the A’s (40.7) and the Rangers (42.2). Granted these are projections but they seem to be as good of a predictor as anything else. And right now the Angels are clearly in the mix. They are in a statistical dead heat for 6th in the AL and well within the margin of error of everyone in the AL outside the Red Sox and Tigers.

While their pitching is projected to be poor their offensive player WAR is the best in baseball.

I think a reasonable fan has plenty to be optimistic about. As I said above, everything hinges on Pujols and Hamilton staying healthy and productive. A couple pretty big ifs considering how things went last year.

1 year 5 months ago

No reasonable fan would think the Angels have enough pitching depth to contend. A team with a $3 billion tv contract should not be forced to trade an All-Star middle-of-the-lineup bat with 3 arb. years remaining for two controllable but unproven arms. Luxury tax or not, they had the resources to add a Tanaka or Garza or another more reliable pitching piece – and didn’t.

Seattle’s not done; if they add Nelson Cruz and Santana or Jimenez, the Angels could very likely be battling Houston for 5th in the division.

The Angels have put themselves in the position where they HAVE to have huge -almost historic – rebound seasons from Pujols AND Hamilton, and have no back-up plan if they don’t. No reasonable fan could or should be optimistic about that.

Given the revenue of this team, it’s shameful they haven’t done more this offseason to remain competitive.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

There is plenty of evidence that shows the current Angels pitching staff can compete. One place to look is all the rotations the Angels had during their playoff run from 2002-2009. Looking back on those team pages, I’ve been seeing rotations with pitchers with high WHIPs in the 1.40’s and 1.50’s and still winning 95 games even with a league average offense. Another place to look is the Angels team that plowed through last August and September after finally dropping Blanton and Hanson from the rotation. Weaver missing 2 months, and Blanton’s historically bad season pulled the entire pitching staff way down in 2013. Having a healthy Weaver, and no Blanton or Hanson adds wins by default. And then, factor in adding Joe Smith and a healthy Sean Burnett. And if the A’s and Rangers can climb back to the top of the AL West with young, controllable starting pitching, why can’t the Angels? That was the Angels’ biggest need, and they got it.

Commander_Nate
1 year 5 months ago

Sorry, after the last season or two of what was supposed to be a prolific offense making up for poor pitching, I’m not convinced that this time will be any different.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

The Angels had more than enough offense to do that, but who could’ve anticipated Haren and Santana having their worst seasons in 2012; CJ developing bone spurs in his elbow (’12); Weaver missing 2 months in 2013; and of course Blanton having an historically bad season? Blanton and Hanson were the wrong pitchers for such an approach, and having them both in the rotation as late as July was a bad choice as well. Richards and Williams could’ve been the 4th and 5th starters all along, and we saw why in the final 2 months of 2013 when the Angels plowed through their remaining schedule like the first 4 months never happened. Since Weaver is healthy, and Blanton and Hanson are out of the rotation, and most of the same team is still there, I’m going off of the team that played like a first place team in August/September. They had the right idea but a lot of things have gone wrong in the Angels’ rotation that were out of their control over the last few years.

Bromacho
1 year 5 months ago

It’s alright because thats the safe thing to say.

tim815
1 year 5 months ago

What figures to be the Brewers international cap space? I liked it better when they signed a bunch of sub-prospects nobody had ever heard of.

Teufelshunde4
1 year 5 months ago

Why? Brewers need any kind of talent thy can get a hold of for their system.

Mil8Ball
1 year 5 months ago

I sense he is being sarcastic.

They really need to get on the international market and get some big time prospects. Anyone critisizing the Brewers for not spending seem to be wrong now. Between Garza and their apparent interest in spending millions for international players is pretty aggressive for a small market like the Brewers.

daveineg
1 year 5 months ago

Brewers under Attanassio have always spent near and sometimes over what their breakeven point is. The additional revenue from TV contract is undoubtedly giving them a boost and they have 2 large contracts coming off the books after this season (Weeks and Ramirez).

Urbano Lugo
1 year 5 months ago

Dipoto saying he doesn’t want to do anything that doesn’t make sense is straight comical. Everything that guy has done since being hired falls under that umbrella.

1 year 5 months ago

“Dipoto says that he is comfortable with his team’s starting depth and likes its upside.”

Lightening in bottle makes a lot of sense as a baseball strategy.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

Lightning in a bottle is usually one of the key elements of any championship and/or team/s with long-term success. In the end, especially in the current era, the whole thing becomes a crapshoot no matter how stacked or thin a roster appears to be going into any season.

1 year 5 months ago

Actually, I don’t consider lightning in bottle much of a strategy for putting together a championship ball club nor a “key element.” I sure hope the Angels aren’t relying on a crapshoot to make it happen. It was the same failed strategy used with last year’s crop of hopefuls.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

There is still plenty of time, and a handful of arms the Angels could finally make a deal on. Dipoto is correct in not doing what doesn’t make sense for the Halos. Never make a move for the sake of making a move. Looking back on previous team pages of Angels teams that made the playoffs from 2002-2009, I’m seeing rotations that were no better in terms of peripheral numbers. In fact, the 2007 team basically had 3 Joe Blantons in it’s rotation and still won 95 games, with a league average offense. The Angels’ biggest need was young, controllable starting pitching. And they got just that. Now it’s not enough? Suddenly the arms on the weak SP market are that valuable? Based on my research, I’m fine with the current rotation as well. I welcome another SP for more depth. But I’m not gonna lose sleep over it if they don’t get one. The Angels now have the young SP they needed. I’ll take my chances with that, as long as Blanton isn’t out there for 30 starts.

Quikmix
1 year 5 months ago

I agree that a team shouldn’t make a move for the sake of making a move, but I disagree strongly with the premise that some of these deals didn’t make sense for the Angels.

I like the rotation that we have, but it’s in such a precarious position that I wonder what happens if an injury hits any one of our starters. At this point Mulder doesn’t seem like a luxury; he seems like a necessity for functional rotation depth.