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Rockies GM Jeff Bridich is in a tight spot regarding Troy Tulowitzki, opines Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. While Tulowitzki did not specifically ask to be traded, he did not categorically state that he wants to remain in Colorado. For his part, Bridich did not deny the possibility of a trade.
There is no doubt that Tulowitzki is highly coveted around the league despite a minimum of six years and $113MM remaining on his contract. The star shortstop is off to a strange start to the season for Colorado. One has to wonder if the rumors are getting to him. He’s hitting .284/.292/.448 through 120 plate appearances. His plate discipline has disappeared. He’s swinging at more pitches outside of the strike zone, whiffing more frequently, and he’s drawn just two walks against 29 strikeouts. His power output is also well below his career norms.
Last week, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs identified nine possible destinations for Tulowitzki. He referred to the Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees as the most likely bidders. The long standing connection with the Mets is challenged by their complex financial situation. Cameron suggests the Red Sox could include Xander Bogaerts as part of a trade. If that was the case, I suspect they might be in the best position to secure a deal. The Yankees certainly have the necessary money, but they’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of payroll committed to aging players.
Shaikin adds that the Dodgers would love to slot Tulo at shortstop with top prospect Corey Seager sliding over to third base. While they have the financial wherewithal and enough talented prospects to participate in a trade, it’s unlikely the Rockies would deal directly with their rich rivals. Instead, Los Angeles could attempt to play financial facilitator as part of a three-team trade. The Dodgers attempted to mediate the Josh Hamilton trade by including money for a prospect.
Cameron also explored a hypothetical trade package for the nine teams he identified. Tulowitzki’s contract probably has $50MM to $60MM of surplus value per Cameron, so he should elicit a sizable return. However, the $63MM signing of Yoan Moncada – not a top 10 prospect per all major outlets – indicates that the upper crust of prospects are probably off the table. In other words, no Mookie Betts, no Carlos Correa, and no Seager (among others).
Tulowitzki could return multiple second tier prospects. Cameron names Luis Severino and Aaron Judge as a possible package from the Yankees. The Mets could bundle Noah Syndergaard, Amed Rosario, and Steven Matz. Of course, these are just some hypothetical ideas. The Rockies could try to eat some money in exchange for a true elite prospect, or they might prefer a deep five or six player package.
None of the top candidates for the first overall pick in the upcoming amateur draft seem likely to command the $8.6MM+ bonus slotted for the #1 pick, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes as part of a draft mailbag. Callis notes that the Diamondbacks would likely save a couple of million on whomever they pick first overall, making the team’s explorations of taking a lesser-ranked prospect first to save even more bonus pool money seem rather needless. “There’s no need to do a discount of $4 million or more, and it’s unlikely there will be enough quality players to spend that much extra money on in later rounds,” Callis writes.
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Marlins‘ decision not to pursue Rafael Soriano does not indicate that the team is not going to look to spur change in its pen, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Nevertheless, the focus is now internal. A.J. Ramos is just beginning his audition in the closer’s role, and should get a fairly long look. Otherwise, righties David Phelps and Tom Koehler could be shifted to full-time bullpen roles. It makes sense for Miami to see how things look with in-house changes now, of course, to gather information before the summer trade market heats up.
- Mets second baseman Dilson Herrera is headed to the DL with a broken middle finger on this throwing hand, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (Twitter links). Third baseman and utilityman Eric Campbell will slide into the mix for the time being. It remains to be seen how long Herrera will be out, but his absence could impact the club in a multitude of ways. For one thing, it reduces (or even eliminates) the possibility that Herrera will seize the everyday job and render Daniel Murphy a trade piece — an admittedly somewhat unlikely scenario to begin with, especially given David Wright‘s prolonged absence. Also of note: the decision to tab Campbell means that the team is not yet ready to bump Wilmer Flores off of shortstop, which was at least a theoretical alternative if Matt Reynolds had received the call. Unless and until Flores can curb his difficulties in the field, the position will remain an area of focus. As Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes, the overall disposition in New York (particularly given the context of a five-game losing streak) is not terribly sunny at present.
- The Rockies‘ shortstop situation is also going to continue to get press, albeit for somewhat different reasons. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs takes a shot at valuing Troy Tulowitzki, opining that the excellent but oft-injured star would probably command something north of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract. That implies something like $50MM to $60MM in excess value in his contract, says Cameron, indicating that Tulo might bring back a package of very good prospects rather than one headlined by a super-premium young player. (Though, as Cameron notes, we should expect some mark-up for an in-season deal. Last year’s Jeff Samardzija–Addison Russell trade certainly illustrates that point.) The article suggests some possible groups of players that could theoretically be offered to Colorado.
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich addressed recent comments from star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and his agent about the possibility of a trade, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Bridich wrote off the recent talk about a deal as “a media production, more than anything else.”
Colorado’s top baseball executive also rejected the notion that Tulowitzki’s camp was responsible for the sudden rash of attention to the idea of the club’s top attraction demanding a trade. (Tulowitzki, of course, has denied that he will do so.) Bridich made clear, further, that Colorado sees itself in the driver’s seat regarding Tulowitzki’s employment.
“The reality is that at any point, in any players’ day, they can come to the organization and ask for a trade, I suppose,” said Bridich. “But the reality is that Troy doesn’t have control of this and neither does his agent, for the contract. All Troy wants to do is come to work each day and make us better.”
Bridich also noted that he believes reports are tied to the club’s overall struggles. “That fuels speculation,” said Bridich, “and then people go on the record and try to create types of news stories and controversies by writing opinions that are just that, opinions. They aren’t based in fact. So really, nothing has changed. … Funny how none of this came up in April when we were playing very different baseball.”
There is little doubt that Colorado’s recent free-fall in the NL West standings has brought the matter back to the front burner. In that regard, Bridich is undoubtedly correct. But there is also a good reason for the current revival of an oft-discussed question: the team does not seem headed for contention — now or, frankly, in the near future — and Tulowitzki would represent a huge upgrade for many other clubs.
Though the 30-year-old has not played to his usual level thus far, slashing a modest .289/.297/.456, that represents a relatively tiny data point. There are legitimate reasons for some concern, of course, starting with the fact that Tulo is coming off of hip surgery. Then, there’s his troubling 1.7% walk rate, coupled with an uncharacteristic 23.7% strikeout rate.
If Tulowitzki can put up anything near his usual level of production going forward, the slow start (and, to a lesser extent, the injury concerns) will be all but forgotten. He is obviously not cheap — he’s owed the balance of $20MM this year and $98MM from 2016-2020 (including an option buyout for 2021) — but that’s a manageable sum for most teams for a superstar, up-the-middle player. All said, it’s quite likely that we will see plenty of ongoing rumors and analysis of the situation over the next few months.
The latest installment of Jon Heyman’s weekly Inside Baseball column is up over at CBS Sports, and Heyman begins by addressing the Troy Tulowitzki trade talk that has once again surfaced. Heyman, like many others, feels the time has arrived for the marriage between Tulo and the Rockies to come to an end, but neither Tulowitzki or owner Dick Monfort wants to appear to be the “bad guy” in the situation. Heyman hears that Tulowitzki would prefer to play for the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers or Angels if he is traded, though one person who knows the shortstop well told Heyman that he may ok with the Mets, Cardinals and Red Sox as well. Tulowitzki’s preferred destination is largely a moot point though, as his contract doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Heyman notes that in a year’s time, Tulowitzki will receive 10-and-5 rights, allowing him to veto any deal. That reality only furthers Colorado’s need to move Tulowitzki, Heyman opines. Heyman also lists 11 clubs that he could see making some degree of sense for the face of the Rockies’ franchise.
Some more highlights from a lengthy but always-informative column…
- The Cubs “may consider” Rafael Soriano at some point as a means of lengthening their bullpen, according to Heyman. I’d note that while the team has looked a bit thin beyond Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop, the Cubs just got Justin Grimm back from the disabled list and likely won’t be without Neil Ramirez for too much longer.
- Astros top prospect — and arguably the top prospect in all of MLB — Carlos Correa could be up to the Majors within three weeks, one Houston source estimated to Heyman. Also of note on the Astros front, he writes that a pursuit of Cole Hamels would appear to be a long shot, but Scott Kazmir (Houston native) and Clay Buchholz are names to keep an eye on for Houston, should either become available.
- Kyle Lohse seems like a natural candidate to be traded this offseason, but the Brewers are particularly interested in shedding Matt Garza‘s contract. The right-hander is guaranteed $12.5MM in 2015 and will earn the same rate in each of the following two seasons. Neither pitcher, however, has been particularly impressive for Milwaukee.
- Jean Segura is one of the players that the Brewers have the least interest in trading, but Heyman hears that the Padres would be interested, should Brewers GM Doug Melvin entertain offers. San Diego likes Alexi Amarista but prefers to use him in a utility role rather than as a starter.
- Rival teams seriously doubt that the Mets would ever consider parting ways with Noah Syndergaard, but there’s “a little hope” that the team could be persuaded to part with highly touted left-hander Steven Matz in a trade. Heyman adds that the Mets are going to remain patient with Wilmer Flores as their shortstop for the time being.
- It’s been reported that Yunel Escobar wanted no part of playing with Oakland, and Heyman hears that the reasoning was as simple as the fact that Escobar is very particular when it comes to geographical preferences and wanted to remain on the East coast. A trade to the Nationals accomplished that goal.
- The clause in Alex Guerrero‘s contract that allows him to opt out of his deal and elect free agency at season’s end, if he is traded, hinders his trade value. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but given the presence of Guerrero and the versatile Justin Turner, Juan Uribe could end up as a summer trade candidate for the Dodgers.
- In some agency news, Heyman reports that Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will now be represented by Casey Close of Excel Sports Management — the agent for Gregorius’ predecessor, Derek Jeter. Gregorius had previously been repped by the Wasserman Media Group.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alexi Amarista | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Correa | Chicago Cubs | Clay Buchholz | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Didi Gregorius | Hector Rondon | Houston Astros | Jean Segura | Juan Uribe | Kyle Lohse | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Garza | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Noah Syndergaard | Oakland Athletics | Rafael Soriano | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Scott Kazmir | St. Louis Cardinals | Steven Matz | Troy Tulowitzki | Wilmer Flores | Yunel Escobar
After meeting with his agent today, Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has decided that he will not ask to be traded away from his struggling club. Tulowitzki told reporters, including MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, that “whatever happens on the Rockies’ end happens, but for me to sit here and try to force my way out of here, that’s not the case. I don’t think it’s fair to my teammates and the relationships I’ve built here to take that route.”
Tulowitzki has long been a key figure in trade rumors given how the Rockies are coming off four losing seasons and are currently in last place in the NL West with an 11-19 record. His meeting with agent Paul Cohen was therefore seen a significant step towards a possible departure from Colorado, though Tulowitzki noted that he didn’t tell Cohen to inform the New York Post about his dissatisfaction with the team’s lack of success. “If I have an issue I would take care of it myself. The last [thing] I would try to do is leak something and get it out there,” Tulowitzki said. “The Rockies’ ownership and myself have always been close, so there’s no reason to try to leak something. I’d go straight to them.”
Rather than ask for a deal, Tulowitzki put an onus on himself to perform better to help the team win. Tulowitzki is hitting .303/.310/.477 over 113 plate appearances this season and while his injury problems have certainly been a factor in the Rockies’ poor records, it’s hard to point the finger at the shortstop given that when he has been healthy, he’s been one of the better performers in the game.
It could be argued that even if Tulowitzki doesn’t officially ask to be dealt, the fact that he even considered doing so essentially acts as the same thing; in my opinion, it certainly doesn’t sound like Tulowitzki would disregard any trade that would send him to a contender. In not demanding a deal, Tulowitzki could actually pave a clearer road to a trade since it allows the Rockies to keep a bit of negotiating leverage with other teams.
Tulowitzki has approximately $109MM in guaranteed salary remaining on his contract through the 2020 season, plus a $4MM buyout of his $15MM club option for 2021 and an extra $2MM assignment bonus if he’s traded during the course of the deal. It’s a hefty price tag for a 30-year-old player with a significant injury history, though Tulowitzki has thus far been healthy in 2015, playing in all 30 of Colorado’s games.
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles has apparently escaped last night’s injury scare with nothing more than a significant bruise on his right hand, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweets. Lyles says he hopes to make his next start, though it is probably too soon to tell whether he’ll miss some action. The 24-year-old was struck on his throwing hand by an Albert Pujols comebacker last night, with the subsequent swelling leading many to fear that he may have suffered a fracture. Lyles and Eddie Butler have arguably been the Rockies’ most consistent starters this season.
More from the NL West…
- Hector Olivera is expected to arrive in Los Angeles tonight, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). The Cuban infielder will take his physical and, presuming all is well, his agreement with the Dodgers will finally be official.
- James Shields is delivering on the mound and in the clubhouse for the Padres, leading USA Today’s Bob Nightengale to wonder if the several teams who passed on Shields this winter are now second-guessing their decision.
- Wil Myers has tendinitis in his left wrist as the Padres hope that a few days of rest will help the outfielder avoid a DL stint, MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweets. Myers underwent surgery on his right wrist last year, though he was dealing with an existing left wrist injury at that time as well.
- Don Mattingly deserves credit for keeping the Dodgers in first place despite several key injuries and some underperforming stars, Joel Sherman of the New York Post opines. There have been rumors that the team’s new front office could bring in their own manager after the season is over or if the Dodgers struggled, yet Sherman feels Mattingly is staking his claim as a long-term answer in the dugout.
- Despite the growing buzz surrounding Troy Tulowitzki‘s name, a source tells the Record’s Matt Ehalt that the Mets haven’t changed their thoughts on acquiring the longtime star shortstop. Ehalt cites Tulowitzki’s injury history, the money remaining on his contract and a repeated unwillingness from the Mets to part with top-tier pitching prospects. Wilmer Flores, who homered today, has shown good pop but questionable on-base skills and defense in his first extended look at shortstop in the Majors.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports discussed the Rockies in his latest piece, writing that it’s “obvious to everyone” but Rockies owner Dick Monfort that the time to trade Tulowitzki has come. However, rather than look to begin moving pieces in the wake of a 10-game losing streak, the Rockies are still actively searching for starting pitching in hopes of improving the club. Rosenthal notes that the second wild card spot in each league can often act as “fool’s gold,” leading teams without legitimate hopes of contending to delay, or in some cases, refuse to sell off pieces with an eye toward the future.
Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles was forced to exit Wednesday evening’s start against the Angels after taking an Albert Pujols line drive off his pitching hand. Twitter reactions indicated that Lyles’ hand became visibly swollen in nearly instantaneous fashion (image via Vic Lombardi of CBS Denver on Twitter). Clearly, the struggling Rockies can ill afford to lose a reliable rotation arm such as Lyles for a significant amount of time. To date, the 24-year-old Lyles has a 4.30 ERA with a somewhat troublesome 21-to-17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings with the Rockies. He’s notched a characteristically strong 49.6 percent ground-ball rate as well. A serious injury would mark the second consecutive season in which a freak injury shelved Lyles, as last year he suffered a fracture in his non-throwing hand while covering home plate.
Here’s more on the Rockies and the rest of the division in what is an injury-tinted look at the NL West…
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post joined Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings of 104.3 The Fan in Denver (audio link) to discuss recent news in which Troy Tulowitzki‘s agent publicly mentioned that he and his client would consider requesting a trade. Saunders touches on the previous unwillingness of Rockies owner Dick Monfort to part with veteran players. Saunders offers a very candid take on his view of the state of the Rockies and how the team has handled Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in the past, specifically wondering if the latter of the two has much of any trade value left. (At present, it would seem to me that he has very little, due to the remaining three years on his contract, his injury history and lack of productivity to begin the season.)
- Josh Johnson‘s return from Tommy John surgery had recently been slowed by some soreness, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the oft-injured righty has resumed throwing. The Padres are optimistic that Johnson can soon begin a rehab assignment, Morosi adds. Johnson returned to the Padres on a one-year, $1MM contract this winter after missing the entire 2014 season due to a torn UCL.
- Via FOX Sports Arizona’s Jack Magruder (Twitter link), Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart said in a recent TV interview that the club is targeting a June 4 return for fallen ace Patrick Corbin, who, like Johnson, underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2014 season.
- Yasiel Puig has experienced a setback in his recovery from a strained hamstring and isn’t expected to join the Dodgers anytime soon, manager Don Mattingly told reporters, including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. An MRI taken Monday revealed that Puig’s hamstring strain has not yet healed, and Mattingly said that it would be “at least a couple weeks” that Puig will remain on the shelf. It seems fair to believe that Puig may be sidelined into June.
- In other Dodgers injury news, righty reliever Pedro Baez was forced to leave tonight’s game after he felt something in his right pectoral muscle, tweets the L.A. News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra. Baez is slated to undergo an MRI tomorrow. He’s been a highly useful member of the Dodgers’ bullpen, entering play Wednesday with a 1.88 ERA and a 19-to-3 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings.
- Giants right-hander Matt Cain threw his first bullpen session since his elbow surgery yesterday, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll have another session on Friday and will need three to four in total before moving onto facing liver hitters, Shea adds.
8:35pm: Tulowitzki spoke with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post about Cohen’s comments stating that he hasn’t read them, but he routinely meets with his agent whenever he is in Los Angeles. Tulo did somewhat nebulously address the topic when asked what the future holds, however:
“I really don’t have a clue — honestly. I just know that I don’t want all of this hanging over my head every day I come to the ballpark. This game is hard enough as it is. … It’s a tough topic to talk about, but if it’s being thrown around there, it’s something I need to get addressed, because the last thing I want is to come to the field every day with that hanging over my head.”
6:21pm: With the Rockies mired in a nine-game losing streak, agent Paul Cohen, who represents Troy Tulowitzki, tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he and his client will meet on Thursday and discuss, among other issues, whether or not the star shortstop should request a trade.
Cohen tells Sherman that it would be “silly” to suggest that a trade isn’t a possibility, adding that he and Tulowitzki spent quite a bit of time discussing the scenario in the offseason. It’s not hard to see why Tulowitzki would entertain the idea of asking for a trade, given the team’s struggles, Cohen says, and he also sees value in acting early for the organization. From Sherman’s piece:
“It could get to the point for [owner] Dick Monfort and GM Jeff [Bridich] that the storyline every day with the team is when is Tulowitzki being traded,” Cohen said. “That is negative for the franchise as the idea of trading the face of the franchise. They are smart enough to recognize they don’t want that going forward.”
While there’s certainly logic behind Cohen’s reasoning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rockies aren’t yet ready to pursue a trade of Tulowitzki (Twitter link). The team would like to add some pitching, but their preference is a much lower cost of acquisition than dealing away the face of their franchise.
The frustration with Tulowitzki does seem palpable, however. Sherman said he spoke to two people that are close to Tulowitzki who said that he is frustrated with four losing seasons and wants out of Colorado. (Cohen declined to comment on his client’s mindset, per Sherman.) In the wake of the team’s latest loss on Sunday, Tulowitzki told Nick Groke of the Denver Post this weekend: “I’m sitting in my chair here and trying to think of one positive thing and there are not many. It’s tough, but what are you going to do?”
Sherman lists the Padres, Mets, Pirates and Mariners as speculative teams with needs at the shortstop position, adding that the Yankees remain unlikely to make a play for Tulowitzki. The Yankees, according to Sherman, are emphasizing defense and to limit long-term risk. Some scouts and officials to whom Sherman has spoken feel that Tulowitzki may not be long for shortstop given his age and history with injuries.
Tulowitzki, 30, is hitting .307/.317/.495 this season with a pair of homers but a troubling 23-to-2 K/BB ratio in 104 plate appearances. Owed $118MM from 2015-20, Tulowitzki’s contract also contains a $15MM club option for the 2021 season and provides him with a $2MM bonus and full no-trade protection in the event that he is traded. The four-time All-Star’s 2014 season ended prematurely when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Over the past five years, Tulowitzki has averaged just 106 games per season, though some of his injuries — including a broken hamate bone suffered when he was hit by a pitch — have been fluky in nature.
The Phillies announced that Cody Asche will be optioned to Triple-A and converted into an outfielder. That move seems all but certain to herald the return of top prospect Maikel Franco, a third baseman. As Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, Philadelphia will wait until at least Friday to formally move Franco up, which will ensure that the club will add an additional year of control.
- Meanwhile, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says that the club is continuing to talk with other clubs, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweets. “We’ve been in dialogue about a lot of things,” said Amaro. “That really hasn’t stopped since the offseason.” Obviously, with Philadelphia having long been established as a seller, plenty of homework and groundwork has already been accomplished heading into the summer.
- Jung-ho Kang continues to produce at the plate for the Pirates, and Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that it isn’t too soon to increase his workload. The Pittsburgh front office and field staff is favorably impressed with Kang’s effort to adapt to his new environment, both on and off the field. Colleague Adam Bittner, meanwhile, offers a counterpoint, arguing that both Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer have enough of a track record and promise in their peripherals to warrant continued patience.
- Rockies GM Jeff Bridich addressed his club’s pronounced struggles, as MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports. “We have a good collection of players,” said Bridich. “And at this point, meaning the last two weeks of the season, they’ve added up to a bad team.” Colorado’s head baseball decisionmaker went on to discuss the fundamental problems he sees, such as a failure to move runners and hit when runners do reach scoring position (on the offensive side) and issuing too many walks while failing to attack the strike zone (for the club’s pitchers). While there may be plenty of truth in that assessment, and while it would surely be hard for Bridich to say much else at this stage, the fact remains that a broader roster shake-up looks like an increasingly strong option for the front office to consider.
There are varying reports about the visa status of Dodgers signees Hector Olivera and Pablo Fernandez. Several reporters say the pair have received their work visas and are en route to the United States to begin their careers. (Baseball Essential’s Robert Murray reports that Olivera had his visa, and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets that Fernandez had secured his.) However, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets that it still remains unclear when the visas will be obtained. The Dodgers spent a combined $70.5MM on the pair, with $62.5MM of that coming in the form of a six-year, Major League contract for Olivera. It’s not clear which to which minor league affiliate either would report. As Murray notes, Olivera still needs to take his physical, which could potentially reveal significant damage in his right elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament. If that is indeed the case, and extra year will be added to Olivera’s contract at the price of just $1MM.
Elsewhere in the Senior Circuit’s Western division…
- The Diamondbacks have reached out to prep catcher Taylor Stephenson, prep outfielders Daz Cameron and Garrett Whitley and other high school prospects about potential under-slot deals with the first overall pick in the draft, reports Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel (All links to McDaniel’s Twitter). The industry belief, however, is that the D-Backs are still leaning toward a college player at 1-1 and are using this method to determine potential over-slot targets with the Nos. 43 and 76 picks in the draft. The Diamondbacks are in line to save between $2.5MM and $5MM on the first pick, which comes with an $8.6169MM slot value, per McDaniel, which would allow them to call players that are on the board in the mid-first round and inform them they’re able to offer significantly above slot later in the draft. This type of incident happened multiple times in the 2014 draft, McDaniel adds.
- If the Rockies do ultimately decide to trade Troy Tulowitzki this summer or in the offseason, the resurgence of former prospect Trevor Story has given them a viable internal replacement, Chris Mitchell of Fangraphs argues. Mitchell notes that Story’s prospect status took a nosedive when his strikeouts became unmanageable and his overall offensive results suffered as a result. However, he’s striking out at his lowest rate since 2012 thus far, and he’s also showing considerably better power than he did during his swift decline. Mitchell uses his own projection system and likens Story’s production to seasons of previous minor league shortstops and finds a number of potentially favorable comparables, including Eugenio Suarez and Trevor Plouffe. He notes that Story isn’t likely to develop into an above-average Major League hitter in spite of the turnaround, but shortstops needn’t be plus hitters as long as they can handle their own from a defensive standpoint, which Story seems capable of doing. A league-average bat at shortstop is indeed a valuable commodity, and of course, Story’s extra time at Coors Field would surely bolster his numbers, even if park-adjusted metrics like wRC+ and OPS+ painted him in a less favorable light.