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Gerardo Parra Rumors
On this date last year the Mets released Oliver Perez with one year and $12MM remaining on his contract. Perez, now a member of the Mariners organization, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since. Here are some links from his former division…
- After talking to a Mets official, "it doesn't seem" like the team has talked about cutting Mike Pelfrey, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). However, the Mets are "well aware of the fact" that Pelfrey's contract is non-guaranteed and, if the right-hander is cut, the Mets will only have to pay a portion of his $5.68MM salary. Pelfrey has had a very rough Spring Training, posting a 14.90 ERA in 9 2/3 innings of work.
- The Diamondbacks aren't going to trade Gerardo Parra to the Nationals, a D'Backs source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
- The Phillies are looking for infield help but it's "doubtful" they would try to re-acquire Wilson Valdez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Phils dealt Valdez to the Reds in January since the Phillies felt they were already set for utility infield options — somewhat ironic given their current position.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News argues that the Phillies need to add a veteran infielder give the questionable health of their projected starters. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Michael Martinez are all currently dealing with injuries.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney gets the sense that the Braves’ on-field personnel prefer Andrelton Simmons for the starting shortstop job, while the front office favors Tyler Pastornicky. Such divergences of opinion are common and not necessarily problematic, as Olney notes.
- Olney hears from talent evaluators who say Jair Jurrjens has struggled to command his fastball and that Jason Heyward is "still thinking about his mechanics" at the plate.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
The Nationals remain interested in Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra, but word is that Arizona is asking a lot for him, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets that the D’Backs have told the Nationals that Parra is not available.
Arizona GM Kevin Towers told reporters early last week that he doesn’t want to trade Parra, but this is the first we have heard of the club telling the Nats that he is not up for discussion. A baseball source told Ladson that he believes the Nationals will now turn to an in-house option in center field to open the season.
The Giants were the first NL West team up in MLBTR's 2011-12 Offseason In Review series. Tim Dierkes examined the Giants' winter moves earlier today as we continue to review every club's offseason in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.
Here's the latest from the NL West…
- Steve Cohen may be the favorite to take ownership of the Dodgers, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Cohen and fellow bidder Stan Kroenke are the richest of the four remaining ownership groups bidding for the team, though Cohen has seemingly made more connections within MLB and Kroenke's bid "could be complicated by [a] cross-ownership rule from another sport" since he also owns the NFL's St. Louis Rams, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and the NBA's Denver Nuggets.
- Perhaps as a way of combating Cohen and Kroenke's cash-on-hand advantage, the Dodgers ownership group led by Magic Johnson has added Peter Guber to its rank, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Guber co-owns the NBA's Golden State Warriors and his Mandalay Entertainment group owns and manages seven minor league baseball franchises.
- Jeff Moorad's attempt to buy the Padres is an "uphill battle," a source tells Jon Heyman. As per Moorad's deal with current Padres owner John Moores, Moorad has two years remaining to try to complete the purchase but may not be able to win the votes needed from other owners. White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick are rumored to be against Moorad's bid.
- Dennis Tankersley hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004 and hasn't played any pro ball since 2008 but is attempting a comeback with the Padres this spring, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic) that he is still looking to add depth at the middle infield and catcher positions. Towers also said that teams have expressed an interest in Gerardo Parra via their scouts talking to Arizona's scouts, though Towers reiterated that he doesn't want to trade the outfielder. In January, I outlined why the D'Backs want to hold to Parra even though the Jason Kubel signing pushed him out of their lineup.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told reporters, including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, that he's had "no discussions" about trading outfielder Gerardo Parra this spring (Twitter link). The Diamondbacks view Parra "as very much a part of [the] club," Towers said.
The 24-year-old posted a .292/.357/.427 line in 493 plate appearances last year, winning a Gold Glove for his play in left field. This season, he figures to back up Jason Kubel, Chris Young and Justin Upton in the outfield and provide manager Kirk Gibson with a left-handed bat off of the bench. However, Danny Knobler of CBSSports heard that Parra is a possibility for the Nationals (Twitter link), who seek a long-term solution in center field.
Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions as some late night baseball is being played in Florida…
- The Diamondbacks added to their depth this offseason by signing Jason Kubel, and if they do trade an outfielder it won't necessarily be Gerardo Parra according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. They could decide to trade Chris Young, or prospects Adam Eaton or A.J. Pollock instead.
- All indications point to Yoenis Cespedes being on the Athletics' Opening Day roster, writes Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. "Based on the contract, the sooner the better," said GM Billy Beane. "We're going to be open-minded."
- "It is an honor to learn from him, to watch him hit, to have him tell me these things," said Cespedes to reporters (including Bruce Jenkins of The San Francisco Chronicle) when asked about playing with Manny Ramirez. "That is very, very special." Manny intends to shadow the Cuban newcomer in Athletics camp.
- "For us dealing with free agency, we'd rather deal with it now rather than when a guy is a year away," said Padres GM Josh Byrnes to Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy of MLB Network Radio while talking about the Cameron Maybin extension. Byrnes said they also believe there is more offense on the way from their center fielder.
Here's the latest from the NL West…
- The Padres' contract extension with Cameron Maybin is a good deal for both parties, writes Fangraphs' Mike Axisa.
- Jeff Moorad's purchase of the Padres could be finalized on March 12 when MLB's ownership committee and executive council hold meetings, reports Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Sullivan hears "the Padres have completed the process of responding to baseball’s questions" following a January owners' meeting when Moorad's latest attempt to complete his purchase wasn't addressed due to what Bud Selig referred to as "economic concerns."
- The Diamondbacks renewed the contracts of Josh Collmenter, David Hernandez, Ian Kennedy and Gerardo Parra for 2012, the team announced Saturday. Between these renewals and agreeing to terms with 15 other players, Arizona now has its entire 40-man roster under contract for the coming season.
- The Dodgers also announced the signings of all their players with less than three years of Major League experience, with Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times specifying that A.J. Ellis will earn $490K in 2012 and Javy Guerra will earn $488K.
- CBS and MSG are each considering investing in one of the groups bidding to buy the Dodgers as a path to obtaining the team's broadcast rights, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Both networks would use the Dodgers as the foundation for a regional sports network. With CBS, MSG, Time Warner and current rights-holders FOX all interested in Dodgers programming, the club looks well-positioned for a multi-billion dollar TV contract, perhaps even topping the Angels' recent 20-year, $3 billion deal with FOX.
8:16pm: The Diamondbacks and Nationals are not currently discussing a trade involving Parra, reports Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. He says other clubs also expressed interest in the outfielder following the Kubel signing.
11:49am: The Nationals have expressed interest in Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. GM Mike Rizzo is familiar with Parra from his time with Arizona, though it's unclear who the Nats would be willing to send the D'Backs in a trade.
Parra, 24, hit .292/.357/.427 with 15 steals and won a Gold Glove last year, but his role has been minimized due to the Jason Kubel signing. He's more than capable of manning all three outfield spots, and he won't be eligible for free agency until after 2015. The Nats have been looking for a long-term solution in center for quite some time, and Parra would certainly fit the bill.
The Diamondbacks' signing of Jason Kubel to a two-year contract was met with surprise and even some confusion from pundits. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs described the move as "weird," arguing that Kubel was potentially only a minor upgrade over incumbent left fielder Gerardo Parra at the plate, and a major downgrade in terms of defense and baserunning. Moreoever, it minimized Parra, whose Gold Glove-winning defense and steady bat played a key role in Arizona's 2011 NL West title.
So with Kubel, Chris Young and Justin Upton locked in as the D'Backs' starting outfield, does this mean Parra could be expendable? Not at all; there's still reason to believe Parra will be a valuable player for Arizona both in 2012 and potentially for years to come.
Through three seasons in the Majors, Parra has provided both excellent defense (a career +9.5 UZR/150) all over the outfield and a solid bat against right-handed pitching (a .289/.337/.420 career line against righties). In both 2010 and 2011, the left-handed hitting Parra posted a higher OPS against lefties than he did against righties, albeit in roughly a quarter of the plate appearances.
This progress against southpaws notwithstanding, the vast majority of Parra's 2012 at-bats will come against right-handers. D'Backs GM Kevin Towers has already stated that Parra see action against certain tough right-handers spelling Upton and Young. I'd say Parra is far more likely to spell the latter than the former, since Upton may be the cusp of superstardom and Young has more significant flaws in his game.
After delivering stable splits (an .826 OPS vs. lefties, .781 vs. righties) in 2010 as part of a career-best .793 OPS season across the board, it seemed as if Young was finally finding some consistency to match his big power, speed and increasingly impressive glove. Unfortunately for Young, he reverted to his old tricks in 2011 — he hit just .222/.312/.382 against right-handers, as compared to a mammoth .285/.392/.546 against lefties. Arizona doesn't lose anything defensively or speed-wise by playing Parra over Young in what could develop into a regular center field platoon.
Parra doesn't turn 25 until May 6 and is under team control through 2015, which means he could be coming into his prime just as Young and Kubel's contracts are expiring. Young is set to earn $15.5MM over the next two seasons, with a club option worth $11MM for 2014 (with a $1.5MM buyout), while Kubel's deal pays him $16MM over the next two seasons with a $7.5MM mutual option for 2014 ($1MM buyout). Of the two, Young is the likelier to remain a D'Back since quality defensive center fielders with 30-homer power are a much rarer commodity than what Kubel brings to the table, but the presence of Parra and prospect A.J. Pollock gives the team lots of outfield flexibility in two years' time.
The Diamondbacks' surprising playoff berth last season turned what was seemingly a rebuilding team into a win-now operation, as evidenced by Kubel's signing and the trade for Trevor Cahill. While the club doesn't have the resources to just eat a $16MM contract if Kubel struggles, the D'Backs at least have a quality backup (or more) in Parra who provides too much value to trade.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he’s open to the idea of adding another starting pitcher before Spring Training begins. If the D’Backs do add an arm, expect a bargain. "We're trying to identify the right guy," Towers said. "Someone who sees an opportunity to compete, who knows what the competition is and wants to do it." Here are the rest of Piecoro’s notes:
- Teams called about Gerardo Parra after the D’Backs signed Jason Kubel, but Towers expects Parra to pick up significant playing time in 2012. "I'm not really motivated to move him," he said. Towers expects Parra to see more playing time in center and right, especially against tough right-handers.
- The D’Backs haven’t made major progress toward an extension with Miguel Montero, but they still hope to keep him “well beyond this year,” according to Towers. The catcher projects to earn $5.3MM in 2012, his final season before hitting free agency. There aren’t a lot of relevant catcher extensions for the sides to use as a frame of reference for a possible deal, according to Towers. “I think Miggy likes it here and we like him here. We just have to keep working at it," the GM said.
- Agent Jose Mijares recently said the sides are nearing an agreement on a 2012 salary for the extension candidate.
- Stephen Drew is recovering from ankle surgery and still hopes to start the season on time.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic spoke to D'Backs GM Kevin Towers, who said outfielder Gerardo Parra "is still very much a part of this club and was a big part last year." Parra, a 2011 Gold Glove winner, will likely be pushed to a fourth outfielder role.
- Kubel will earn $7.5MM in each of the 2012 and '13 seasons, tweets Piecoro, and has a mutual option for '14 at the same amount with a buyout under $1MM.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs calls Kubel a "weird signing," saying that replacing Parra with Kubel is likely to be a net negative for the team. He doesn't think employing Parra as the fourth outfielder is a good use of resources.
- The D'Backs had once hoped to invest in Joe Saunders or Hiroki Kuroda, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, but ended up allocating that money toward Kubel. The Kubel signing means the team is likely to round out their rotation with an internal candidate, writes Piecoro, although a cheap fifth starter signing is also possible.