Here are a few recent notes out of the National League to wrap up a quiet first day of the new year. While it’s crickets for now, there figures to be quite a lot of action over the next several weeks as the market sorts itself out in advance of the opening of Spring Training.
- The Diamondbacks’ catching unit is designed to “take care of the pitchers first and foremost,” GM Mike Hazen tells Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (in a post that covers that and four other key issues facing the club). Hazen says the team is comfortable with the current triumvirate, which consists of Jeff Mathis, Chris Herrmann, and John Ryan Murphy, even if it doesn’t figure to over much in the way of offensive firepower. Moving forward with a trio of options is a possibility again for the Snakes, says Hazen. There are several other outstanding roster questions, of course, which Gilbert breaks down.
- We missed this one at the time it was originally reported, but it’s worthy of note. The Giants have engaged free agent righty Scott Feldman in talks, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, via Twitter. It seems San Francisco’s interest is in a minor-league pact. Feldman, who’ll soon turn 35, opened the 2017 season in good form but stumbled before ultimately requiring season-ending knee surgery. While he ended the year with a 4.77 ERA over 111 1/3 innings, Feldman had allowed less than four earned per nine in each of the prior four campaigns. He figures to represent a potentially steady rotation or long relief piece who ought to be available for a limited commitment.
- The Cardinals’ recent trade of outfielder Stephen Piscotty was designed, in part, to make way for the team’s addition of Marcell Ozuna. At the same time, as Derrick Goold writes for Baseball America, the deal brought in some much-needed middle-infield depth. Youngsters Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock now sit atop the org’s prospect chart at shortstop and second base, respectively. The complexities involved in these two deals (and a few other related negotiations that did and did not come to fruition) serve to illustrate how many moving pieces can be involved in trade talks.