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Gerardo Parra Rumors
The chances of Justin Upton, Chris Young, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton returning to the Diamondbacks’ outfield in 2013 seem slim, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. One or more of those players will likely be moved in trades. Here are the details on Arizona’s offseason plans…
- Rival executives believe the Diamondbacks will trade Young this offseason. Some say they expected Arizona to let Young go on waivers if he had been claimed last month. The center fielder will earn $8.5MM in 2013 and his contract includes a 2014 option with a $1.5MM buyout.
- Some rival executives sense that GM Kevin Towers is less likely to trade Upton this winter than he has been in the past. There’s no guarantee teams will meet Arizona’s asking price for Upton and there’s concern that the right fielder would blossom as a hitter if he’s traded elsewhere.
- Despite the Diamondbacks’ impressive core of young pitching, Towers would like to add a veteran starting pitcher this offseason, Olney reports.
It was on this day in 1983 that the Dodgers, after selling 27,000 season tickets, cut off season ticket sales for the upcoming season out of a desire to leave large quantities of seats available for walkup and group sales. The club could be on the way to rekindling this popularity in Los Angeles, as tickets are selling fast with the news that the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten group has bought the team.
Some items from the Dodgers and elsewhere in the NL West…
- Miguel Montero is looking for a contract akin to Victor Martinez's four-year, $50MM deal with the Tigers, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Montero is entering the last year of his contract with the Diamondbacks and Heyman believes that the Snakes will have trouble re-signing the catcher at his desired price. While Yadier Molina's extension with the Cardinals raised the bar for catcher contracts, I think Montero needs one more big season to prove himself worth of a Martinez-esque deal. The D'Backs could also use V-Mart as a reverse example, pointing to his season-ending ACL injury as an example of why a catcher's health is tenuous (thought Martinez had mostly transitioned to a DH spot in Detroit) and why they'd be hesitant to make such a commitment to Montero.
- Montero wouldn't confirm his contract demands to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona and said he "can’t really think about" potentially giving the Diamondbacks a hometown discount "right now" since he's focused on the upcoming season.
- The Diamondbacks are still getting trade inquiries about Gerardo Parra but the team isn't going to move the Gold Glover, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Arizona GM Kevin Towers describes the trade market as "pretty quiet."
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the details of the Giants' TV contract, which runs through the 2032 season.
- In case you missed it earlier today, Giants CEO Larry Baer commented on the negotiations between the team and pending free agent Matt Cain.
- In an interview with Chris Russo of Mad Dog Radio on SiriusXM, Stan Kasten dismissed criticism that his group overpaid for the Dodgers and thought they met "the market value" for the team. Kasten did say that Mark Walter, the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, views the Dodgers as "a gold standard asset that you just cannot acquire….there are values there that just transcend conventional return on investment metrics."
- Kasten has heard "generally favorable" impressions about Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly and isn't planning to make any management changes, "but you don’t know anything until you work with people."
- Kasten said that the team will look into renovating, not replacing, Dodger Stadium. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, however, speculates that the Dodgers could build a new ballpark in downtown Los Angeles and sell the Chavez Ravine land to a group looking to build a stadium for a new NFL team for L.A.
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.