Herrmann enjoyed something of a breakout season in part-time action with Arizona in 2016, when he hit .284/.352/.493 over 166 plate appearances with the team. He was a particularly valuable part-time piece due to his ability to not just work behind the plate, but also to play some corner outfield if need be, not to mention a couple of games each in center field and first base. Unfortunately for Herrmann, his production took a big step backwards last season with just a .181/.273/.345 slash line over 256 PA, though a .207 BABIP certainly may have contributed to that dropoff.
With Alex Avila signed as the new regular catcher and Jeff Mathis still in the mix for backup duty, Herrmann become an expendable piece for the D’Backs. Though the club regularly used three catchers last season, John Ryan Murphy looks like the top choice for that role, perhaps due to his lower price tag. Herrmann avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.3MM with the D’Backs for 2018, though since arbitration salaries aren’t guaranteed, the team would only owe Herrmann 30 days’ worth of termination pay (just under $227K) if the catcher was released before Opening Day.
De La Rosa posted a 4.21 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and 2.14 K/BB rate over 51 1/3 innings for Arizona last season, his first full year as a relief pitcher. While it could be something of a waste using a durable former starter as a specialist, De La Rosa had such enormous splits last season (left-handed batters hit just .192/.253/.292 slash line against De La Rosa in 79 PA, while right-handed batters hit .262/.362/.458 against him in 140 PA) that the D’Backs could be well-advised to at least limit his exposure against righty-swingers. With Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland also projected to serve as left-handed options in the Snakes’ bullpen, the club has some flexibility to be creative with how it deploys its southpaw relief corps.
By making the Opening Day roster, De La Rosa will now earn $2.25MM in base salary, as per the terms of his minor league contract with the D’Backs. Another $600K is available in bonus money.