D-Backs right-hander Yoan Lopez doesn’t mind one bit that fellow Cuban (and fellow Yoan) Yoan Moncada quickly broke his record $8.27MM bonus, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Rather, Lopez is pleased to see Moncada continue a trend of Cubans realizing their dreams to play in the Major Leagues. Manager Chip Hale tells Morosi that Lopez has impressed the organization with his work ethic, charisma and explosive fastball. And while he may no longer hold the record for largest bonus for an international amateur, Morosi notes that the 22-year-old Lopez stands a much better chance of getting to the Majors in 2015 than Moncada. (Morosi’s piece also contains an amusing anecdote from Lopez detailing his dominance over now-teammate Yasmany Tomas in Cuba.)
Here’s the latest on the Diamondbacks…
- The Diamondbacks will not be afraid to eat bad contracts in order to take their best group of 25 players to Opening Day, CEO Derrick Hall told reporters, including Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (Twitter link). The D-Backs currently have a number of bad contracts, most notably including Trevor Cahill (owed $12.5MM including the buyout on next year’s option) and Cody Ross (guaranteed $10.5MM including his own buyout). Aaron Hill’s remaining two years and $24MM also seem steep, though it’s tougher (for me, at least) to envision a scenario in which Hill is let go. (Though the team could always eat some money in a potential trade of Hill.)
- MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert also has some notes from Hall (in these four tweets). Hall said that the team is comfortable with a payroll in the $90-91MM range, but they’re currently north of that mark (presumably including Lopez’s bonus) and may have to get “creative” to find flexibility. That could mean moves at the end of Spring Training, or the budget could grow with increased ticket sales if the team gets off to a good start. Hall emphasized, however, that the D-Backs are not looking to move players at this time.
- Hall also said that while the D-Backs have previously had a policy against including performance bonuses in contracts, they may be open to adjusting that line of thinking in the future.
- For those who missed it earlier this week, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported that the team’s new TV deal is worth more than $1.5 billion and contains an equity stake in FOX Sports Arizona. However, as Hall explained to Piecoro, the D-Backs’ offseason spending — they invested heavily in Lopez and Tomas — was made under the assumption that a new deal would be reached, so the effects of that new contract won’t be seen immediately.