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.
Asuaje can play SS/2b/3b anyway, so why not use him as a utility guy if he doesn’t win the job?
Tough loss in the Kimbrell deal. Some thought was a throw in perhaps, but this is one hustling ball player who can hit.
Asuaje at short? Ehhh
Plus Asuaje is the better of the two
Read the article. They are saying that Asuaje is strictly a 2B. He has no ability to play as the utility player, but Spangenberg does.
Asuaje can throw down at 3rd if need be but short? Nahhh
Preller became dds daddy with that trade
Wrong link on the Hoornstra article. It links to a Patrick Saunders article for the Denver Post about McMahon.
Bah, thank you for pointing that out. It’s updated with the proper link now.
The Ian Desmond deal looks worse and worse with every passing minute.
Flat out stupid, unnecessary signing.
Yep, dumb contract. He’s just in the way.
To be honest I think that both the Desmond contract and the recent Cargo one didn’t make much sense (as they are).
I really hope Bud Black makes the right decision here and keeps Ryan McMahon on the big league roster. Ian Desmond has looked alarmingly bad in spring training, and given the type of season he’s coming off of, and the narrow window for contention the Rockies have, it would be wise to utilize Desmond as a super utility guy despite his bloated contract. Ryan McMahon has nothing left to prove in the minors, and he looks more than capable of handling big league pitching if his 2018 spring is any indication. Maybe have Desmond platoon with Parra vs LHP. Let Ryno Mac play!
Spring stats mean nothing
Bad spring stats are a red flag
I don’t see how Desmond platoons with Parra considering they have Dahl on hand as well out there. Not enough ABS to go around in the outfield I think they should’ve saved that 8 million on cargo. Either Parra or Desmond won’t be seeing much time if McMahon is the starting 1B.
what you guys are talking about is a subtle yet major part of the problem that the players union is taking issue with as well. Stats equal negotiating power, so keep as many platoons going as reasonably possible, whilst saying the glut at any given position is a “good problem”, keeping individual stats from reaching a full season’s potential
Desmond gets traded to the yankees or mets and plays first base for them in October.
Well the Mets definitely won’t be playing in October, so there goes that idea.
To a point. With a 4 man bench you can’t really platoon that hard. Assuming you have a traditional roster with a util infielder and a back up catcher. That only leaves 2 spots to platoon with. Rockies have a weird mix of guys who play 1st and outfield and a potential 1B who can cover 2nd and 3rd so they have a bit more flexibility.
pirela is such a better offensive option at 2nd. is his defense that much worse?
His defense isn’t really playable at second and Pirela’s not a prospect or anything so he’s just be blocking a young guy if he was playing second regularly.
He can backup 2B in a pinch. He’s a corner OF that’s now blocked. Tearing the cover off the ball this spring and played really well after his call up last season.
Pirela isn’t a corner outfielder
He is a hitter without a glove
He is blocking guys coming up. Just the same as jank and szuzer
Yes. He is a butcher.
CarGo re-signing should take AB’s away from Parra and Desmond, not McMahon.
Starting to look like an even bigger mistake at this point.
Let’s look at this realistically, not as a fan. You are paying guy A tens of millions and guy B pennies. You have to pay Guy A no matter what. Who plays and who goes to the minors?
If I have to pay guy A no matter what, I’ll play the better player that gives my team the best chance of winning. Admit your mistake and accept guy A as a sunk cost instead of bringing down the entire team.
Then you would play Desmond. The proven, better player.
Over McMahon or Parra? Because you’re not paying Parra chump change either. Idc what Ian Desmond has done in his career he was absolutely atrocious last year and he isn’t exactly a stud who can be forgiven for one bad year. He had a bad 15 and a terrible 17 with a solid 16 sandwiched in between….McMahon is a top prospect and could easily be the better player at this point in time. Will Desmond be given another opportunity? Yes, those dollars say he will. But to say he’s the “proven better player” doesn’t work. McMahon’s a 22 year old rookie who tore up the minors last year. That would’ve been like saying the dodgers shouldn’t play Cody bellinger because A-gonz was the proven better player.
And people wonder why teams don’t sign average free agents? Because of deals like Desmond. He gets in the way of a prospect, and he makes it impossible to sign others. These $50-75M mistakes kill teams.
Recent sub-par performance and injuries to Desmond and CarGo will make McMahon a good insurance addition to the club. Besides 1st base he can also play 2nd or 3rd base if necessary. Along with Dahl and Parra it represents a pleasant problem to have. It boils down to who is helping to win games and producing at the plate.
I think McMahon stays in the big leagues. The real loser of time in this deal is Dahl. The outfield is now really glutted in Colorado. It makes sense, it would seem to me, to have Dahl start in Triple A, and get regular at bats. That way he can be ready if and when injuries hit the Colorado outfield. I would prefer at this point to see Desmond, Blackmon, and GarGo get regular everyday at bats in the outfield with Parra and Tapia serving as the 4th and 5th outfield. This would let McMahon get regular at bats at 1st base. You can mix and match from there with McMahon spelling DJ and Nolan with Desmond playing 1st base on those days. Parra or Tapia could then start in left field on those days as well….depth and flexibility in the Colorado lineup is good to see. They just need to hit this year, and not be the liability they were on the offensive side. Last year it was Blackmon, DJ, Arenado, and a collection of strikeouts from everybody else.
Dahl has not played in the majors since 2016 only had 19 games in the minors last season. That he will start in AAA is a given.
Tapia is a defensive replacement type of player and as of right now the Rockies have no need for him. He will start the season in AAA as well.
CarGo, Blackmon, Parra in the OF and Desmond, LeMahieu, Story, Arenado in the IF as the starters on Opening Day.
Desmond is a proven, veteran player. If he is healthy, Desmond will start for a team expected to be in the hunt for a playoff spot over a talented but unproven McMahon and that is a given too.
How does a rookie prove himself? That’s such an outdated way of thinking it’s ridiculous. McMahon raked in the minors last year and is barreling the ball in spring training. If he truly is your best option, you absolutely play him. You can keep him down for a couple weeks for service time but there’s no shot you keep a guy like that raking in the minors down. Especially for Parra and more likely than not Desmond. We’ve seen time and time again over recent history the impact of young players. You don’t sit that down for the “talented and proven” Ian Desmond. Which is honestly a stretch considering 2 of his last 3 years have been garbage.