Here’s the latest out of the NL Central …
- The Brewers have decided to exercise a $13MM option over starter Yovani Gallardo, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. As MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy recently explained, that move was widely expected with the 28-year-old righty coming off of 192 1/3 frames of 3.51 ERA ball. Gallardo would have presented an interesting free agent case; though he would have faced a lot of competition in the mid-tier starter’s market, his age remains intriguing.
- Pirates starter Charlie Morton has undergone surgery on a torn right hip labrum, the club announced today. That procedure is expected to sideline him for between six and eight months, meaning that he may not be counted on to start the year in the rotation. The 30-year-old righty has posted a 3.72 ERA over 157 1/3 innings this year, after signing a three-year, $21MM extension before the season.
- As the Morton situation serves to illustrate, things never slow down for Pirates GM Neal Huntington, as Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Regarding the team’s slate of pending free agents, Huntington indicated that he hopes to retain at least some of its players but, if not, will work hard to find the next bunch of undervalued open market assets. Looking back, Huntington said he has continued to wonder what the team missed in not pushing harder to bring back Justin Morneau. “What did we miss in that process that he would go out and have such a great year?” Huntington asked. “That’s been a challenging one, absolutely, especially given our continued challenges at first base and what that production would have looked like in the middle of our lineup.”
- As he looks ahead to the offseason, Huntington says that he believes Pedro Alvarez will return to being an important part of the club. The struggling third baseman has taken a step back after two productive seasons, but is still just 27 and comes with two more years of control through arbitration.
I won’t demand a trade, but I think not at least perusing teams’ interest in Alvarez this winter would be a missed opportunity. Huntington is no fool, though–he will see what some teams would be willing to offer for Alvarez.
I think he should make the fulltime move to first over the offseason and try to reboot. His defensive struggles at third really seemed to affect his bat. Maybe if he makes the move to first, his confidence will improve and he can be productive again.
Huntington should not beat himself up. Any player’s stats look better when playing half their games at Coors Field.
He actually had pretty even splits home/away. A touch more power at home, but nothing like the pre-humidor Denver boosted numbers. For what it’s worth, Morneau hit the same number of HR’s as the Davis/Sanchez platoon, but for 3-4 times the salary (granted Morneau put up a much better OPS). I think for the money, it’s probably time to cut bait with all 3 of our 1B options for 2015 (Alvarez is probably the only one who may have trade value, but I’d consider non-tendering all 3) and using those funds to sign or trade for a more adequate stop-gap with a better OBP until Josh Bell is ready. Davis will probably get something around $5 million next year, Sanchez $3 million and Alvarez something around $6 million. I just don’t see any of them really being worth that kind of money, especially when you’d have to platoon 2 of them to get any kind of balanced production.