In his latest notes column for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks strongly considered a swap that would’ve sent center fielder Ender Inciarte to the Nationals in exchange for lefty Gio Gonzalez. While such a scenario is no longer a possibility — Inciarte went to the Braves along with two other highly regarded pieces in exchange for Shelby Miller, and Gonzalez makes little sense for a rebuilding Atlanta club — Rosenthal notes that the Nats could still explore similar possibilities. Moving Gonzalez for a center field option and then signing Wei-Yin Chen, to whom the Nats have previously been linked, could give the team the left-handed-hitting center field option it desires without significantly weakening the rotation. It’s also worth noting that Washington has been linked to the Rockies in the past, who have a left-handed hitting center field option in the form of Charlie Blackmon, though GM Mike Rizzo figures to explore many avenues if that route is indeed on the table.
A few more notes from Rosenthal’s latest column…
- Rizzo has repeatedly stated that he’s not interested in trading Jonathan Papelbon or Drew Storen unless he receives a nice return, but sources tell Rosenthal that the Nationals are indeed trying to move both of the right-handers. The Nats would likely need additional bullpen help were they to move either pitcher, though as Rosenthal points out, right-hander Tyler Clippard is still available in free agency, and a reunion between the two sides could make some sense. The Dodgers “figure to be” one club that will check in with the Nationals regarding Storen, Rosenthal writes.
- The specific irregularities in Kenta Maeda’s elbow remain unknown, but the Dodgers’ $25MM guarantee with $10MM worth of annual incentives is a reflection of the team’s acknowledgment that he may require surgery over the deal. According to Rosenthal, the bonuses at the back end of the deal are “largely unattainable,” so even though the contract can max out at $105MM over eight years, it’s unlikely that Maeda will receive such a sum. The elbow issue was known to every team that requested Maeda’s medical information, as it turned up in an MRI taken at the urge of his representatives with the Wasserman Media Group. Per Rosenthal, Maeda is presently asymptomatic and pain-free when he pitches.
- The Orioles have been debating moving on from Chris Davis for about a month, but the team remains engaged with the slugging first baseman due to owner Peter Angelos’ affinity for Davis. If Baltimore does ultimately move on to alternatives, Yoenis Cespedes is a more likely target for the team than Justin Upton, as Cespedes wouldn’t require the O’s to part with a draft pick.