There are no ongoing extension talks between A.J. Pollock and the Diamondbacks, Pollock himself tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Pollock hopes to remain with the D-backs long term, though like most impending free agents entering their walk year, he says he’s more focused on the upcoming season than his contract status. Arizona GM Mike Hazen offered little insight when asked about the situation, Piecoro notes. “It’s kind of tricky when you get into this range of time left, with a year before free agency,” said Hazen. “We’ll probably see where the year takes us. You never know.” As Piecoro highlights, there are some parallels between Pollock and newly signed Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who landed a five-year, $80MM contract this winter. And while Cain has been the more durable of the two, Pollock will enter free agency a year younger than Cain did.
More from the NL West…
- Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune highlights the ongoing competition for the Padres’ starting second base job, which is currently down to Carlos Asuaje and Cory Spangenberg. Both have been impressive this spring, OPSing north of .900 in their small samples of work, but as Acee notes, there may only be room for one of them to make the roster. (Both have two minor league options remaining.) However, he does note that manager Andy Green’s tone on the matter has changed somewhat. After once characterizing the competition as an either-or scenario, Green took a softer stance Tuesday. “We’re not set in stone how we’re going to put the roster together all the way across,” said Green. “It’s going to be tough the way we’re currently constructed to carry both of them, but it’s not an impossibility.” The winner of the competition won’t have any time to get comfortable, though; as Acee notes, prospect Luis Urias is also looming and could debut early in the 2018 campaign as well.
- Carlos Gonzalez’s return to the Rockies will lead to more time at first base for Ian Desmond, which clouds prospect Ryan McMahon’s role with the big league club, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. McMahon, who has had a strong Spring Training thus far, was perhaps in line to receive a fairly lengthy look at first but could instead be ticketed for Triple-A to get regular at-bats rather than occasional playing time in a limited role with the Rox. Manager Bud Black suggested to Saunders that the final two weeks of camp will be especially important for McMahon, as he’ll be facing higher-quality pitchers as teams begin to narrow their rosters. “That gives you a good gauge, the last couple of weeks, of what you are seeing,” said Black. “Not so much the first couple of weeks — for me.”
- The Dodgers lost director of player development Gabe Kapler to the Phillies this season and also saw assistant director Jeremy Zoll take a promotion to join the Twins. Kapler’s replacement, former Rays reliever Brandon Gomes, isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in Los Angeles and shares some philosophies with his predecessor, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Hoornstra chats with Gomes about the point in his career at which he became interested in analytics and player development, as well as the transition from his playing days to more of an executive role. Beyond that, he takes a look at Gomes’ unique background and the 33-year-old’s ability to connect with the players he’s now working with on a daily basis.