Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu is a free agent at season’s end, but he tells Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that his hope is to remain with the organization. LeMahieu cites his relationship with teammates and manager Bud Black, as well as the city of Denver and several up-and-coming young talents as reasons he hopes to stick around. GM Jeff Bridich tells Saunders he’ll leave the door open, but adds that there haven’t been any recent discussions and that the team (like many players) prefers not to negotiate during the season. (Although the Rockies did sign Charlie Blackmon to a six-year deal after Opening Day.)
Saunders takes a look at the roadblocks to retaining LeMahieu, noting several large commitments for 2019 (e.g. Ian Desmond, Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee), the looming presence of Brendan Rodgers in the upper minors and Nolan Arenado’s own free agency after the 2019 season. In addition to LeMahieu and Bridich, Saunders spoke with Blackmon about LeMahieu’s importance to the Rockies.
Here’s more out of Denver and out of the NL West…
- The Rockies’ bullpen has been a disaster in recent weeks, but Bridich suggested over the weekend that the team remains more focused on fixing their internal options than pursuing relievers from outside the organization, per MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. “There are some very, very good pitchers in that bullpen, very talented guys, who just are not performing consistently to their potential and their talents,” the GM said. “We need to continue to help them reach their potential — even the level of past performance that they have exhibited — before we think much about what else is out there.”
- The Giants are still “slightly” underneath the $197MM luxury tax barrier, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Rosenthal notes that while the numbers over on Cot’s Contracts indicate that organization is roughly $2MM north of that line, he’s confirmed that San Francisco is narrowly avoiding taxation at this point. The exact amount with which the Giants have to work remains unclear, though the apparent proximity to that threshold would seemingly make it difficult for the Giants to do much at the non-waiver trade deadline without jettisoning some payroll in a trade or receiving substantial cash considerations along with any player they acquire.
- While outfield prospect Steven Duggar has been on a hot streak in Triple-A, the Giants are still in no rush to bring him up to the Majors, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. GM Bobby Evans explains to Shea that the Giants not only want to see Duggar “put pressure” on the front office to call him up and adds that it’s also a matter of “the opportunity being here.” Shea notes that Mac Williamson is the only outfielder on the big league roster with options remaining, and he’s been seeing regular left field work since returning from the DL. Cutting ties with either Hunter Pence or Austin Jackson, of course, would open a spot, though either speculative move would come with some notable financial and clubhouse considerations for the front office.
- Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo chatted with Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the role that familiarity played in the organization’s decision to sign Clay Buchholz, as well as the importance of what Buchholz has done in the rotation since signing. Lovullo, GM Mike Hazen and AGM Amiel Sawdaye were all with the Red Sox when Buchholz was drafted, and that preexisting relationship helped to facilitate the signing. “Mike and [assistant GM] Amiel [Sawdaye] and I got together and we said, ‘Why not Clay?’ ” Lovullo recalled. “The reports on him were very good and so we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ And he’s been outstanding for us.” Lovullo was cautious about making any definitive proclamations about his rotation moving forward but did say that Buchholz “deserves” to remain in the mix. It’s hard to argue, as the 33-year-old has posted a 1.88 ERA with a 21-to-3 K/BB ratio through 24 innings (four starts) with the D-backs so far.