West Notes: Aiken, Qualls, Sipp, Kemp, Padres, D’backs

Nick J. Faleris of Baseball Prospectus provides a thorough account of the Brady Aiken failed signing from both his perspective and that of the Astros. Anyone with interest will want to give it a full read; I’m still working through the lengthy (but entirely worthwhile) piece myself.

Here’s the latest from the game’s western divisions:

  • The Astros are unlikely to deal away any of the club’s young starting pitching but are definitely listening on relievers Chad Qualls and Tony Sipp, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. In particular, the Tigers have asked about Qualls, who has served as the Houston closer of late, according to Heyman. Meanwhile, there has not been much discussion of other Astros veterans such as Scott Feldman, Dexter Fowler, and Jason Castro.
  • Though some around the league believe the Dodgers are highly motivated to deal former star Matt Kemp, the Red Sox were not left with that impression after making an inquiry, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. At least three other American League teams have also asked about Kemp’s availability, including the IndiansMariners, and Rangers, but Rosenthal says that none have made trade proposals. Cleveland and Texas both appear unlikely partners, while Seattle could have an outside chance of adding him. Though moving Kemp poses many difficult questions for the Dodgers, Rosenthal says that the veteran is “at odds” with manager Don Mattingly.
  • Taking a look at a Padres club that has already dealt away several veterans, Rosenthal writes that the team should also move outfielder Chris Denorfia. But key pitchers Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit are under control for 2015, and Rosenthal opines that the team’s new GM ought to make the call on them.
  • A new GM is, of course, at or near the Padres‘ priority list, and the club is indeed nearing a conclusion of its search. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that the club will finish up its second round of interviews on Thursday and hopes to have a new GM installed within two to three weeks.
  • The Diamondbacks have exhibited a startling tendency, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic: former pitchers have succeeded elsewhere while newly-acquired arms have struggled. Piecoro lists Brandon McCarthy, Kennedy, Tyler Skaggs, and Trevor Bauer as examples of the former phenomenon, with Trevor Cahill, Randall Delgado, and Addison Reed representing the latter. For his part, GM Kevin Towers says it is not a result of anything the organization is doing differently: “It’s not anything that we’re doing in the minor leagues or development or up here that prevents guys from having success,” he said. “Especially young guys, they usually get better with time and experience in the big leagues. The reason why guys get better [elsewhere] isn’t because we don’t have good instructors here. I believe in our staff and in our farm system and the people we have down there.”


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58 Comments on "West Notes: Aiken, Qualls, Sipp, Kemp, Padres, D’backs"


sportsnut969
1 year 1 month ago

I would love to see Kemp in RF while spending his off days at DH in Cleveland as long as a chunk of the contract is paid by the Dodgers that is.
It would be nice to see what it would take to get him from the Dodgers.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

Give us a bag of baseball’s and we’ll call it even.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

Another Giants fan heard from.

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

Sure the Dodgers can get away with having Matt Kemp on the payroll. But if they were one of about 25 other teams he’d be hurting the team a lot. His trade value isn’t worth a bag of balls.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

Before you talk about a player being on the payroll, you ought to talk about him being on the roster. Can anyone explain how the Dodgers improve the team by trading him? I don’t think so. Nobody has yet.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

By trading kemp, it makes space for joc pederson in the outfield.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

So that leaves them with three lefty outfielders who can’t hit LHP. Good plan.

Martinez
1 year 1 month ago

I agree

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

They can’t by trading him because he’s not worth anything. If he had value then they could improve the team.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

The way he can help improve the team is by being traded to make room room for joc pederson.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

This is exactly what I mean.

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

But the team wouldn’t be any worse without him. So if they could get rid of him and his contract for a bag of balls, they should do it if they are anywhere near their payroll budget. I don’t think someone saying “take him for a bag of balls” is a Giants fan. Just sensible.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

Of course it would be worse, if only because he is the second most productive outfielder they have right now. Payroll is a totally irrelevant answer to the actual question.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

Im not a giants fan, I’m a hardcore boys n blue fan that’s not blind to the fact that kemp is not what he used to be.

OBomb
1 year 1 month ago

The Padres are a disaster.

Richard Hood
1 year 1 month ago

Yes they are. But when your top young guys all get demoted what do you expect. I wonder if tanking is the new standard of doing business when you drop from the race in June.

Patrick R.
1 year 1 month ago

What and who are you referring to? The Padres don’t really have any “top young guys.”

David Galvan
1 year 1 month ago

gyoko,alonso,grandal are all young then you have Maybin and vendable who are not old.They all have not performed this year but have shown promise in the past.

Patrick R.
1 year 1 month ago

Yes, but none of them were demoted. I was asking which “top young guys” were demoted. The answer is none. We’ve just had a bunch of young guys bust or underperform.

David Galvan
1 year 1 month ago

think richard was referring to gyoko and alonso going on the dl and being on rehab assignment in minors

Federal League
1 year 1 month ago

I’m not sure I buy into the Diamondbacks doing anything differently. Kennedy had two good years when he first arrived in Arizona and Skaggs is pitching pretty similarly.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

Matt kemp just needs to go already.

Puig Power
1 year 1 month ago

You don’t give up on a talent like Matt Kemp. You need to give this time like the dodgers are doing

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

The sports media seems determined to stir up controversy around Kemp, but if you read what he actually says, it’s all about him wanting to play — which right now, he is. Mattingly has shown the willingness to bench anyone who he thinks is moping or not putting in a full effort, and he is not benching Kemp, so that’s the answer to that question. The “trade talks” go nowhere because the Dodgers have zero motivation to move him. If it were only about facts, we would not be hearing about this constantly.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

Fact is that the dodgers are very interested in moving kemp in order to make room for joc pederson. The real reason kemp is even on the field is to try to bring up his trade value in hopes get someone like the mariners, indians or the red sox to trade for him. This isn’t 2011 that’s something you need to realize about kemp.

Out of place Met fan
1 year 1 month ago

I think there are 2 questions
How much money they need to kick in?
Can they get player(s) to help this season?

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

If indeed they truly are trying to ship him out of town they need to eat at the very least 3/4 of his contract and they’ll be lucky if they do get a decent prospect in return.

Out of place Met fan
1 year 1 month ago

That is where I think any hang up would be, not so much the prospect but LA has to be sitting there thinking does moving him help us win now. Joc can probably replace his production today yes, but does a mediocre prospect improve the team, or even if they landed a systems top 10 prospect he does nothing for there playoff run. Better off with Kemp then at least until the winter.

Only way I see a deal working out before the deadline is if someone offers LA a rotation piece plus maybe a prospect in return for Kemp and cash

Wek
1 year 1 month ago

Dodgers should be looking to unload Kemp’s contract ASAP. The guy will most likely never return to his pre-injury form and there is still $107+mil owed to him. Paying $20+mil for less than 1 WAR is pretty sad.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

Thank you finally someone that’s not blind to the facts.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 1 month ago

Not an answer. The first priority is improving the team, not lowering the payroll.

sickoe47
1 year 1 month ago

He’s not the same player he was in 2011 and never will be. The dodgerd need to get young in the outfield and by trading kemp that creates a spot for joc pederson.

BruceP
1 year 1 month ago

Why not trade Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier? I’ll take Kemp’s current production over them. At least if you bring up Peterson, you would still have Kemp & Puig from the right side.

1 year 1 month ago

“What is the point of talent when you can get a good clubhouse guy?”

-KT

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 1 month ago

The Astros would really trade Jason Castro?
I always liked him.

i'm me ..
1 year 1 month ago

the Astros are all about talent so i assume Castro can go. they missed the boat on acquiring top notch players for him. His stats were great last year and would of brought more.

Connor
1 year 1 month ago

Mariners get Kemp we need him.

cgriffith
1 year 1 month ago

I like the Qualls rumor.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

That’s a fascinating article by Nick Faleris. Well worth reading for the depth of analysis and additional information, especially if you approach it with an open mind. Looks like both sides took some real risks. Houston comes off worse but you could say that Aiken and Close showed debatable judgement.

RyanWKrol
1 year 1 month ago

I think one counter argument that can be thrown at Kevin Towers is the fact that Tyler Skaggs’ velocity took a big dip with the D-Backs organization because their coaches messed with his delivery, particularly his stride. As soon as Towers returned him the Angels in the Trumbo trade, the Halos staff had Skaggs go back to the same stride in his delivery that he had when the Angels drafted him. And just like that, his velocity went back up to where it was before, and Skaggs has already become the type of SP who can battle to give 7 innings even if he gives up 4 or 5 runs. Explain that one, Mr. Towers.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

He is striking out 2 per 9 less and his ERA is about the same considering he moved from a hitters park to a pitchers park. So did it really help him to throw 2 MPH faster? 4.65 ERA is not much to write home about is it?

vonjunk
1 year 1 month ago

Skaggs is young with the potential to be a solid starter. He’s a 5th starter now, but getting experience could help him a lot. It takes most pitchers about 2-3 years to learn to pitch and not just throw.
Towers traded a possible above average young/cheap pitcher, Eaton a young/cheap CF with good on-base skills, good defense and nice speed for arbitration eligible, Trumbo. Ouch ouch ouch!
How LaRussa has kept Towers in any kind of position is mystifying to me. I still expect there to be a house cleaning at the end of the year,as Towers’ moves have been so poor. Look at the D’Backs starting rotation, read: overpaid and terrible.
I heard an interview with LaRussa who said the team needs to start with starting pitching to really improve. A quick look back shows the D’Backs should look like this: Patrick Corbin (DL), Matt Scherzer, Wade Miley, Jared Parker (DL), Baurer, Skaggs, Daniel Hudson (DL).

Wilner's Man Boobs
1 year 1 month ago

I read the Faleris article and found it predictable (all criticism is directed toward the club, none to the agent and certainly none to the MLBPA). It’s the predictable ‘whipping boy/sacred cow’ analysis. I would fine it more interesting and insightful if someone would say ‘Hopefully Close and Clark spent more time explaining to the kid that the chances of turning down $5 mil working out well are between slim and none.’ But instead, Faleris sings from the party song sheet. The Astros worked hard to sign him. They didn’t have his physical when they drafted him, and likely wouldn’t have if they did. Nonetheless, they came up to $5 million. If Close advised him to turn that down, it was stupid advise. Faleris won’t say something that clear and obvious, but I will.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

Right now Aiken may not be eligible to play college ball because its been reported that Close had direct contact with the Astros after the medical situation was released. Which would have been a HIPAA violation if Close had not brought up the specifics by trying to refute them in the media, prior to the team defending them in the media and then bringing in Dr Andrews who confirmed the diagnosis to the media.
I think Close blew it. To get A $5 million contract Aiken would have to be drafted in the top 3 next season and right now the Astros hold two of those top 3 picks #2 and #3. The chances that he even goes in the top ten with the highly publicized congenital defect in the UCL that he suffers from are as you pointed out “slim and none”. Not only that, but by Close advising him to turn down the offer, he cost Nix $1.5 million. Its a sad situation and Close should shoulder the majority of the blame.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

Read the article closely. I don’t think it’s going to change your preconceived notions about the wisdom of Houston’s approach, nor stop you from repeating management talking points (“congenital defect” seems a favorite) but to put it all on Aiken and Close is simply unfair. It took two sides to get to this point. Houston played the game tough. It’s the way they do business. I really don’t think they broke any rules, and Faleris doesn’t think so either, but this situation has more than enough blame to parcel out. Houston’s angst, as far as I can see, is that their tactics didn’t end up with exactly the result they wanted: Aiken at a discount, and the other two players using the Aiken discount.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

I read the article on BP. Its written by a lawyer and its about negotiating tactics.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

I happen to be a lawyer, so he was speaking my language. The key thing in negotiating is integrity. You can play hard-ball, you (or the other attorney) can have an impossible client who is always upping the ante, or you can have virtually no flexibility, and deals may fall apart because they can’t be made. But if both sides don’t approach it with some integrity (and this doesn’t mean you invite the other guy over for steak and beers afterwards) then the deals very often die for that reason. And word gets around–In my community there are a handful, just a handful of people, who are always looking for the cheap trick and the extra dollar and the 11th hour stunt. I steer clear of those people when possible. That’s really one of the points that Faleris was making.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

Houston had a lot to lose and not much to gain by trying too hard to gain leverage in the situation as Faleris said in the article. They did have to protect themselves against what Dr Lintner and Dr Andrews felt was a “serious risk of injury”.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

It’s just money–and not a lot of it from the Houston side. I’m not suggesting that some discount wasn’t appropriate for the allegedly higher risk. It’s tactics that are the problem. The end result is foolish for both sides. If Houston was really willing to pay $5M, and approached it in a different fashion, without the leaks and the low-balling, and the last minute hikes, maybe Aiken could have accepted less. I think Aiken should have taken the $5M, and I think it’s likely he’s going to get less in the long run. But you can understand his fear that his career could be buried in an organization that does its business this way.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

Dr Andrews was the first one to use the term congenital abnormality about the UCL condition. Close was the first one to say it to the media. If I am misconstruing that as a congenital defect, I apologize.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

Regardless of what you call it, it means there will be enough question about his ability to pitch without injury that he wont go #1 overall again and probably not in the top 10. Since Close was the one that made this whole thing public and he is also the one advising Aiken and Nix, I maintain my position that he is the one with the biggest responsibility for the outcome.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

I completely agree with you that his future marketability is clouded, particularly since Houston is rewarded for poor on the field play and questionable bargaining tactics with two very high picks next year. We just disagree on whether Aiken had a responsibility to accept whatever the Astros offered. If nothing else, the last raise to $5M with five minutes on the clock probably reinforced in Aiken’s mind that the steep cuts were not just a product of his condition, but a means for the Astro’s to save money and get more players.

Mike1L
1 year 1 month ago

I completely agree with you that his future marketability is clouded, particularly since Houston is rewarded for poor on the field play and questionable bargaining tactics with two very high picks next year. We just disagree on whether Aiken had a responsibility to accept whatever the Astros offered. If nothing else, the last raise to $5M with five minutes on the clock probably reinforced in Aiken’s mind that the steep cuts were not just a product of his condition, but a means for the Astro’s to save money and get more players.

madskills
1 year 1 month ago

Use the analogy of buying a house. So you agree on a price and are doing your final walk thru. You find the furnace no long works and you may have mold issue. Do you refuse to purchase, ask for a discount or take it at the price you negotiated. Obviously Faleris would pay the price. People with this type of injury can be okay but there is evidence this is career ending for some. Close knew that and also knows there will probably not be a good outcome for the possible remedy’s. He screwed the kid and the louder he protests the more it is evident. Houston was not perfect, but it is their money and organization and it wasn’t good for them. They still did the right thing.

Pads Fans
1 year 1 month ago

I disagree with Rosenthal. Both Kennedy and Benoit will never have greater value in trade than they do now, because they are under team control for next season. The team trading for them gets both the run to the playoffs and all of next season if traded now. If they get injured or decline you get less back. Dont make the mistake the Padres made with Headley. If you are going to trade them, maximize their value.

Injediwetrust
1 year 1 month ago

This ^^^. And if they act now, throw in Quinten

1 year 1 month ago

Qualls/Sipp seem like under the radar guys who could really make a difference with contenders

1 year 1 month ago

Another great article from Piecoro