Some news from around the NL West…
- Dave Stewart still has to discuss Brad Ziegler‘s $5.5MM 2016 option with upper management, but the Diamondbacks GM tells Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic that he’s in favor of retaining the veteran reliever. “Assuming he is healthy and he continues down the path he’s on right now, I don’t see why we would not pick up his option,” Stewart said. Ziegler’s $5.5MM club option has a $1MM buyout, so it’s a $4.5MM decision on a pitcher who is likely to return to a setup role given how the Snakes have been rumored to be looking for a major bullpen addition like Aroldis Chapman. Ziegler has a 2.37 ERA, 1.82 K/BB rate and 4.6 K/9 over 60 2/3 innings, plus 25 saves since taking over the closer’s job. For his part, the righty says he’s interested in returning to Arizona next season.
- Nori Aoki is also hoping his team picks up their club option on his 2016 services, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes. The Giants have a $5.5MM option on Aoki for next season, with a $700K buyout. Aoki was hitting .317/.383/.385 when he fractured his fibula in late June, and after a five-week DL stint, he’s struggled at the plate and with further injuries, including a concussion that may end his season. I would suspect that Aoki will indeed return to San Francisco next year given how well he was playing when healthy, though obviously it depends on when and if he he recovers from post-concussion syndrome.
- The Padres face an interesting decision on whether to keep Brandon Maurer in the bullpen or shift him back to starting pitching next year, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. Assistant GM Josh Stein said the club has discussed making Maurer a starter again, a move that could help keep the right-hander healthy. On the flip side, Maurer has pitched well in relief. The Padres look to have openings in both the rotation and bullpen in 2016 so their decision on Maurer could help shape their offseason plans (or vice versa).