Last August, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Diamondbacks and Marlins were in talks regarding a possible Shelby Miller trade that was ultimately vetoed by D-backs owner Ken Kendrick. Roughly nine months later, FanRag’s Jon Heyman adds some more context to the story, noting that the two sides were in talks regarding right-handers Luis Castillo, Jose Urena and Austin Brice were all being discussed as potential pieces for Arizona to acquire, as was left-hander Dillon Peters (not necessarily all four, though Castillo and Urena were likely the centerpieces). One D-backs source tells Heyman the trade was never close, though Heyman cites others who agreed with Nightengale’s report, stating that Kendrick did indeed veto the deal when it was close to fruition. Miller, of course, remained with the D-backs and looked better in 2017 than he did in 2016 before suffering a torn UCL and undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Despite the fact that multiple reports suggest the bidding price for the Marlins is around $1.3 billion, some have suggested to Heyman that the team’s lack of revenue and significant financial commitments to Giancarlo Stanton, Wei-Yin Chen, Martin Prado and others will ultimately lower the sale price after a full financial examination. Heyman adds that despite prior reports, he’s been told that Alex Rodriguez was never actually offered a spot in the Tagg Romney/Tom Glavine group that is vying to purchase the Marlins. Whether A-Rod was made an offer or not, the key takeaway is that it appears he won’t be involved in the sale.
- Rival executives believe that Pirates ace Gerrit Cole could land on the trade market this summer, per Heyman. The former No. 1 overall pick would make for an extremely interesting addition to the summer trade market, though Bucs certainly needn’t feel compelled to trade him. Cole is controlled through the 2019 season and is earning a perfectly reasonable $3.8MM this season (though that number will spike in his second trip through arbitration this winter). Nonetheless, with two and a half years of club control left, Cole would fetch a significant haul of young talent if he were actually made available. It seems quite likely that the Bucs will listen on Andrew McCutchen and Tony Watson this summer (Watson, like Mark Melancon last year, is a pending free agent), but Cole would have the most significant value of the bunch.
- Even if a closer upgrade were available to the Tigers at the moment, they don’t have the money to make an addition (or at least wouldn’t be willing to spend it). Detroit recently demoted Francisco Rodriguez from the ninth inning in favor of Justin Wilson following a brutal start to the season for K-Rod, and their bullpen has once again been a weak spot. Heyman notes that GM Al Avila at one point made a trip to Triple-A Toledo and “read the riot act” to right-hander Bruce Rondon, who has responded by dropping 15 pounds. Rondon was once viewed as a potential closer of the future, but he’s yet to establish himself and has had issues with his conditioning and effort level.
- Heyman also reports a pair of agency changes, noting that Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers is now a client of Rep 1 Baseball, while Dodgers top prospect Yadier Alvarez is now repped by Wasserman. Neither has made his MLB debut yet, though both are considered among the game’s top 25 to 50 prospects and could theoretically surface in the Majors within the next calendar year or so (Devers, who is already in Double-A, appears closer than Alvarez, who has just 18 innings in High-A). Both changes are now reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation info on roughly more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any inaccuracies or omissions, please let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.