The Diamondbacks officially have a new right fielder, as they formally announced Monday that they’ve signed Kole Calhoun to a two-year deal with a club option for a third season. The PSI Sports Management client will earn a reported $16MM in guaranteed money: $6MM in 2020, $8MM in 2021 and at least a $2MM buyout on a $9MM option for the 2022 season.
The 32-year-old Calhoun reached the open market Nov. 4 when the Angels declined his $14MM club option in favor of a $1MM buyout. However, for the Angels, that decision likely had more to do with a desire to spread that money around to other need areas (and star outfield prospect Jo Adell’s forthcoming arrival) than deficiencies on Calhoun’s part. After all, for the most part, Calhoun was a solid producer with the Angels. From his first full season in 2014 through last year, he posted at least 2.0 fWAR five times.
Last season was another quality showing for Calhoun, who logged 2.5 fWAR while mashing a career-high 33 home runs across 632 plate appearances. While Calhoun did strike out a personal-high 25.6 percent of the time, he also drew walks at an all-time clip of 11.1 percent. In all, his .232/.325/.467 batting line came in 8 percent above the league average, per FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric, and fell in line with his career mark of 105.
Calhoun has established himself as a useful hitter, though defense is likely his calling card. Defensive Runs Saved assigned the big-armed Calhoun a minus-1 mark in right field last season, but his career has been a different story (plus-12). Meanwhile, as has typically been the case, Ultimate Zone Rating was fond of his most recent performance in right (plus-5.1 in 2019, plus-30.0 overall).
Calhoun’s now heading to his home state, where he once thrived for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and figures to enter 2020 as the Diamondbacks’ No. 1 option at his customary position. He’s set to join Ketel Marte (center) and David Peralta (left), essentially replacing 2019 starter Adam Jones, who’s now playing in Japan. Considering the way their careers have gone of late, Calhoun should provide an upgrade over the replacement-level numbers Jones gave the Diamondbacks in 2019. Beyond that, the hope for Arizona is that he and the team’s highest-profile offseason pickup, left-hander Madison Bumgarner, will help push an 85-win roster from last season into the playoffs next year.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi first reported the agreement (via Twitter). Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported financial terms (Twitter links).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
ASU guy, hope his swing bounces back.
he was awesome last year
Thanks for the laugh
He was awesome last season… for AL pitchers.
Hazen is brilliant. Bumgarner only getting 6 mil this year. Calhoun 8. Guerra 2.5. He still has over 16 mil to play with. That’s if without trading ray. If they do. They have 26 mil and can get either ozuna or castellano and a bullpen piece
I think their OF is set, no? Peralta and Calhoun take on the corners.
Yeah but that’s it. No CF. They want marte back at 2nd. Personally I love locastro. I still feel they need a big hitter. Look what jd did for them.
Dbacks, absolutely. But Ozuna/Castellanos doesn’t solve that problem unless the DBacks deal Peralta.
Zona should think about Starling Marte. Double Marte.
Jackie Bradley on deck. A Hazen favorite.
I feel like it’s going to be a right handed hitter.
I could see the Snakes trading for Michael Taylor. It appears Hazen definitely doesn’t want to role with Marte in CF this season.
calhoun could play center..no doubt in my mind
Calhoun in CF. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. He doesn’t have the wheels to play in that deep CF park. Or the experience at that position for that matter.
That’s a good laugh, check out his D factor
He is an aging corner outfielder. Silly idea.
Calhoun sucked can’t hit without homer
Vandals Took The Handles
Smart / impressive FO.
Still not that good of a team. Should have kept goldy.
I loved Goldy as much as anyone, but the team was better last year without him than they were the year before with him. Walker pretty much matched his production for a fraction of the cost and Kelly/Weaver (the return for Goldy) were also big pieces for them. They have a solid roster that just needs some bullpen help to be a legit wild card contender. No ones catching LA this year but I don’t think that’s the goal right now
Says a fan of a team who keeps pissing away my talent. But hey, those NL West pennants translate to a lot of rings, right? LA Losers
I live in AZ. He is correct. The Dbacks are still mediocre.
2 of three outfielder suck, no depth. When injuries come and they will come they will fail.
Dang is knowledge based off the state you live in?
Calhoun also only costs $6M this year. $8M next and then $2M buyout.
But Calhoun is also a player on decline, like MadBum, and while it looks fine for the 2020 season, it has a lot of potential to look quite bad beyond that. Also, if they trade Ray, they’re going to need another SP piece for the rotation.
That’s a really bad analysis of Calhoun.
He will continue to make highlight reel plays in RF, cut down the running game of other team, and hit well enough to contribute. His departure from Angels was unpopular, if understood.
Geo – it was unpopular but we understood there needed to be room for Adell to come up plus cutting ties with Calhoun freed up another $14m. Anyone who bashes Calhoun has never watched him play.
Nobody is bashing him. They just rightly believe he is not a difference maker.
Angels fan here. I hated to see Calhoun go, but Adell will be up soon and Marsh is on the way. There won’t be room for Upton, let alone Calhoun. I wish him well in Arizona.
Brilliant to backload contracts?
if he is so brilliant why did he draft Swanson over Bregman.
He didn’t, that would be another of Dave Stewarts brilliant acts
There goes Pirates chance of signing anyone dece
dynamite drop in monty
Hey where’s the tacos
The Red Baron! You guys will love is work ethic and his defense.
eph289: he remind me of Brett Gardner because of that. He’s a grinder with dedication.
but his bat sucks. 232 in 2019 208 in 2018 look for less in 2020.
Larry – I can see how you think that if you look at the small window of 2018 when the shift killed him and he was on the IL. He’s a career .249 hitter and his average had a 24 point up swing in 2019 after some adjustments. Don’t choose a small sample just to argue your point. Look at his career. He is an asset to any team he’s on.
Very happy that the Braves didn’t get him
Not me. While I don’t think the Braves need him, he could have been a nice safety net if we don’t get Donaldson and could trade Ender for something good. Acuña in center, Duvall/Kakis on left and Kole in right would have been a good outfield.
Can get Corey Dickerson for cheaper and he’s better
I think Dickerson could get more.
Hey Bob, Merry Christmas. I’m quite surprised Dickerson’s offseason has been this quiet. He’s a good player and a lot of teams need outfield help.
Definitely agree! Merry Christmas man
I understand that better is an objective term but Calhoun has been better than Dickerson in nearly every season including last year, so I’m just wondering how is he better?
Calhoun 32 – 249/.322/.424. Dickerson 30- 286/.328/.504 . Avisail Garcia signed a 2 year $20m. I imagine Dickerson receiving similar figures, maybe more
Kole played in a pitchers park, Dickerson in a launch pad.
Hard to take the traditional slash line comparison. Look for park adjusted numbers.
Dickerson is in no way better. His bat might be slightly more useful, but Calhoun is faster and one of the top 3 defenders in RF in the league. Dickerson plays overall pretty terrible defense.
Dickerson OPS+ the last 3yrs was 118, 118, 141. Calhoun was 96, 79, 108. If you want to go back another 3yrs Dickerson still wins that. They each have a GG (Dickerson’s came in 2018 so not sure how he’s a terrible OF). 3 of the last 4yrs Calhoun’s DRS has been -1 or 2. He’s certainly not close to being a Top 3 defensive RF. I’ll take Dickerson over Calhoun every day
If the Braves aren’t able to get Donaldson, a writer on TomahawkTake made an interesting suggestion: Braves trade Ender Inciarte to Dbacks for Escobar. Dbacks then move K Marte to second. Braves then go get a number four batter for LF.
this might be one of the worst trade ideas I’ve ever heard. why would the dbacks trade a 30 hr 3rd baseman on a very nice deal for a guy who hasn’t had a healthy season yet?
I bet the braves would do that. However, the haven-Dbacks are not stupid.
Because Escobar had a career year last year (having never hit 30 bombs before) and the Dbacks resigned Lamb?
Dave Stewart begs to differ
you’ve made my point even more. why would they trade Escobar off of a career tear for inciarte straight up?
Lamb wasn’t tendered to start at 3B. He was tendered to offer Hazen options while he surveyed the market & to also backup 1B & 3B. Lamb might not even make the team out of spring.
Escobar is far more valuable than a #4 outfielder who can’t stay healthy. Enciarte has negative value.
There is absolutely no way the Dbacks would do that. Why not Markakis for Marte while you’re at it!
Why would AZ do that deal for Escobar who has been a stud at 3B and has a team-friendly contract?
Trade Ender for something good. What does that mean? Every time I read one of my fellow Braves fans talk about trading Ender, I cringe because to often they’re under the mistaken impression that he has a lot of value. At this point he is a pretty good fourth OF. Not saying that doesnt have a little value but you won’t get a lot if you trade him. You might as well just keep the depth.
Good for him. He’s so much fun to watch in the field. Streaky are the plate, but D backs fans will love his hustle and obvious joy of playing.
Baseball on Earth
It’s fitting the Dodgers killer signs with the DBacks. Good for them!
Very nice. Still need a big hitter.
Kole might hit 40 HR in that stadium.
Agreed. I love him. He is a Jason kubel power. However we still need one more guy. Cant bank on Marte doing that again. To be honest we had and have the money for castellanos. Especially if we trade ray.
Who plays CF? With Castellanos you would have 3 corner OFers and zero CFers.
more likely will hit 16, can’t hit high fastball anymore.
Good signing he lives in the area, ASU guy, and he is an upgrade for this team. I was listening to him a few weeks ago on the MLB network, sounded like a great person with all his ducks in a row.
Kole has been a fan favorite in Anaheim for good reason. Good head on his shoulders and goes all out every play. Solid ball player, elite defender, seems like a great guy.
Stoked he signed w/ someone…he is a fan fav for his hustle/diving catches/throwing out runners…he rebounded w/ his power but like most players these days their bave sits in mid to low 200’s
Probably under .200, 2020 and 2021, he will suck.
Curious to see where Corey Dickerson signs now?
So is Shogo going to sign with the Cubs then?
Still in play for the DBacks they want to move Marte to second base
Is he going to play for an IOU?
Glad to get him out of the AL. He was a terror against the Rangers.
Very happy for Kole. He’d have been an Angel for life if Adell wasn’t kicking down the door
And if he didn’t have a $14 mil option after hitting in the 230’s the last few years
Good for him. I was actually hoping the Cardinals would have picked him up.
@macn307 Fowler, Bader, O’Niell, Arozarena, Lane Thomas, Yairo Munoz…..
You just named 6 guys either bad or unproven.
Great platoon bat. Solid defender. Wish the White Sox would have signed him over trading for Mazara.
I was rooting for the Reds to platoon him with Aquino. Oh well. Merry Christmas!
Yay the M’s get to keep Haniger (hopefully).
Keep him for what though?
To play right field. Duh.
Haniger is all hype and no bite.
For a team that wants a productive outfielder at a low cost, it’s a great move.
If you are a Diamondbacks fan, you’ll love watching him play. The shift kills this guy. Maybe the coaching of the Diamondbacks can help him in a way the Angels couldn’t.
He is 32. He is what he is.
See Howie Kendrick Vin
Great guy, nice signing!
Another sound move by a FO that’s beginning to rival the Rays and Brewers for the title of best dollar for dollar performers. Calhoun’s a “bawlplaaaayer” whose glove adds to the best defense in MLB; and he hits a few (probably more now). Not an “impact” guy, but you’re not going to miss the playoffs because Kole Calhoun’s your RF.
Price is fair. Nothing not to like about the deal. Becoming what you expect from the D-Backs FO.
Would be great if the Diamondbacks could still sign Dickerson or Shogo Akiyama to top things off. Love this as a first step though.
.232 hitter got a 16 million dollar deal? How much does Edwin go for? The same amount?
Can’t look at just BA. Slashed .232/.325/.467 with a 108 wRC+. Add + defense to that and yes, he’s worth $8m annually.
I hope EE can sign somewhere but he’s a DH with zero defense (maybe like 1 defense at 1b lol). Not a lot of teams can plug in a DH only guy, but his bat is much better than Calhoun. I bet he gets around 1/8
Are you evaluating him based on his batting average? Get out of the 70s.
I was born in 1941. Be nice!
Just disappointed he went to the DBacks. Good pick up
OK, how about this…a guy is getting older, coming up on his free agent season, and he looks back at his positively abysmal 2018: OPS+ of 79 with a line of ..208/.283/.369/.652. What’s guy to do, staring down free agency and his last decent payday, if there is one, after 2019?
Here’s what you do: you start cheating on fastballs, and you take advantage of the juiced baseball to try and make teams forget about 2018. You go all out for power, get that bat started early, and sure enough, you hit 33 bombs, more than ever before. People ignore that you also struck out 162 times, but who cares? Those bombs! The OPS+ ticks over average at 108!
But who is the real Kole Calhoun at age 32? The guy who posted OPS+ of 96 and 79 the previous two years, or the one who suddenly hit 33 homers on his way to an OPS+ of 108 in his walk year?
I wouldn’t touch Kole with a ten foot pole on a two-year guarantee at those prices. Oh, and his defense has always been overrated, and now it’s declining along with his bat speed.
Very persuasive argument. I think, Avory, you did a fine job of articulating your position through statistics. But, it’s amazing how much guys can pick it up in their walk year, isn’t it?
Avory – “Oh, and his defense has always been overrated, and now it’s declining along with his bat speed.”
I’ve watched Kole since he was a rookie Angels player. He hasn’t lost a step on defense and he has a cannon for a left arm. For you to say his defense is overrated is solid proof that you’ve never watched him play. Pull up highlights reels of him on youtube and let me know what you think.
Now his bat has suffered recently, mainly because he couldn’t figure out the shift. But 2019 was a marked improvement from 2018. His value is with the glove and his arm. You won’t find a better defender in RF.
Please, show me an objective defensive number (your eyeballs don’t count) where Kole is anywhere near the best RF in the game. He’s never been much better than average, ever.
Fangraphs’ rates his defense as below average, although there are many worse than Kole among qualifiers at the right field position. It’s a horror show out there. But there are three defenders who are MUCH better in right field than Kole: Mookie Betts, Clay Bellinger, and Bryce Harper. Mookie is almost three times better than Kole Calhoun in right field.
While Kole may indeed be an above average defender if you grade on the curve, by any objective standard, he’s simply not a plus defensive player.
Lumps of Cole
I think that’s a little too harsh man. A FA WAR is ~$8 MM per and the general league position player WAR is ~$5 MM per. They just signed a 2 WAR player for $8 MM to $7.6 MM per season depending on the option. That’s not that much payroll even if you are right and he falls off a cliff. Plus there’s not many left handed hitting RF options available on the market which increases his value.
I agree the superstars you named are better, but sometimes you just have to pay league average guys league average salaries. Reminds me a lot of the second deal David Freese signed with the Pirates.
I liked most of your argument, but you can’t honestly believe that Harper is a plus defender in RF.
According to Fangraphs he is….check it out. Hey, I don’t see him as much because he’s in the National League, but yeah, I was a bit surprised myself. But he’s clearly quite a bit better than most right fielders according to the numbers. Which has to tell you something, even if the numbers are off a bit.
Dumb signing by diamondback and extremely overpay for the below-average player.
Good pickup. Wonder what they will do with Marte, have him play 2B or CF.
Second if they sign Akiyama
God guy, good player. The Angels are going nowhere, so I’m glad Kole gets to play close to home and with a contender.
The Dbacks are no more of a contender than the Angels.
Arizona not going anywhere either. Bad pitching no depth.
It will be sad to see you go Kole. Thank you for playing your heart out the last few years as a Halo. Your energy and smile and amazing Outfield catches will be missed. Good luck in the desert and enjoy going back home!
His smile is amazing? LMAO
best of luck to you, kole! hope you cut the swing down and start collecting accolades!
This is a good signing for them, but they’ll really need someone that can hit lefties since Calhoun and Peralta are both significantly better against righties
incredible how much one year can change a guy’s value. not that im not a fan kg this guy, but he’s due for regression. much rather have Dickerson TBH.
Dickerson can’t play RF.
Meanwhile Avila sits back with the most pathetic outfield in the American League.
Wake up Al….your outfield is garbage.
Good value signing
Great pick up for Arizona Calhoun is outstanding defender with pop in his bat i’m a angel fan I’ve watched him for years
Keep up the great work Hazen
I’ll miss watching Calhoun play. He has great energy and was always fun to see out there with Trout. Wishing him all the best in AZ.
LOVE THIS! GOOD LUCK KOLE. D BACKS FANS WILL ENJOY THIS DUDE!
D backs will love him and hate him as he strikes out a lot. Hits very little with runners on base.
I like this signing. Instead of a long term deal with Castellanos or Ozuna, signing Calhoun does not block the young outfielder prospects arriving in 2 years, and doesn’t tie up $16M per year for years to come either. Dbacks still have about $12M per year to sign a CF and Closer, $23M if they trade Robbie Ray.
I think this is a rock solid move. Good move Diamondbacks.
Below average D ?? The guy is a gold glover
My favorite Angel gone. AZ signed a great team leader, player, teammate . Was hoping he would resign a similar deal with the Angels.
See him hitting 260/ 350 OBP, 500 Slugging in AZ with excellent defense. No more road games the Seattle or Oakland and add road trips to Colorado, look for his best seasons to date.
Calhoun forms a nice lefty/righty, $25M platoon with Yasmany Tomas in RF. (This is a joke post.)
He should be paid a premium to wear easily the ugliest uniform in professional sports. How do you sorry d-backs fans put up with it? Seriously.
The Dbacks uniforms could make someone, even as ugly as you, look decent.
Time for some bullpen pieces!!!!
dynamite drop in monty
It’s turbo time!
Boyd an is ok, but an ace. Halos whiffed on this. Do they have the prospects to go get an ace? And they still need a catcher.
no, Angles farm systems suck.
“Boyd an is ok, but an ace.” What???
It’s amazing that Calhoun gets less than Avisail Garcia.
Avisail Garcia is younger and had a good year in 2017 and that’s what counts.
Garcia can hit homers and for average.
They gonna trade him at the deadline when they fall out of contention.
Dbacks fans, you’ll love Calhoun. Unreal arm and stellar defense. Streaky hitter, but solid power. Trout’s best friend as a Halo and a good guy. Sneaky pickup for AZ at that price.
I’m a angels fan and will miss him.