Randal Grichuk underwent surgery last month to remove bone spurs from his ankle, so the newest member of the Diamondbacks roster might not be ready to make his Arizona debut by the very start of the season. “It’s one of those things where there’s a good chance I’ll be ready for Opening Day and if not, it’s a week. In the grand scheme of things, big picture, it’s nothing to worry about,” Grichuk told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and other reporters. Obviously the D’Backs weren’t concerned enough to back away from their $2MM deal with the veteran outfielder, and Grichuk could possibly be used as a designated hitter at first until he is fully ready for outfield work.
As to what the D’Backs might have left on their shopping list after a busy offseason, GM Mike Hazen told reporters (including Alex Weiner of Arizona Sports) that “I think building out relief depth is probably something that we’re talking about. Pitching in general…I think from a position player standpoint, we’re probably in a spot where it’s less likely to see a clear opportunity for somebody. But we still have competitions underneath the starting roles. So we’ll see where that takes us.”
More from the National League….
- The Padres, Twins, Yankees, and Angels were linked to Kevin Kiermaier’s market before the outfielder re-signed with the Blue Jays, but Kiermaier told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that the Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants also had interest. Kiermaier and his family’s love of Toronto and his Jays teammates ultimately sealed his return to the Blue Jays, though it’s interesting to speculate how the four-time Gold Glover might’ve fit into his other suitors’ plans. Adding Kiermaier would’ve given the Cubs some flexibility if Pete Crow-Armstrong wasn’t ready for a starting role just yet, while depending on the timing, the Dodgers might not have re-signed Jason Heyward if Kiermaier had instead been added to the fold. Signing Kiermaier likely wouldn’t have prevented the Giants from signing Jung Hoo Lee, though Lee might’ve been ticketed for more time as a corner outfielder than in center.
- The Pirates and Mitch Keller had several discussions about a contract extension last season, and Keller is “really looking forward” to a fresh set of negotiations this spring. “Going through arbitration and stuff, [the two sides are] obviously talking. Hopefully it’ll pick up, and we’ll get something going,” Keller told Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Keller is under arbitration control through the 2025 season, and the right-hander has emerged as the de facto ace of the Pirates’ rotation over the last two seasons.
- Left-hander Nick Lodolo has already been at the Reds’ spring camp for a month, as Lodolo has been getting in extra work in the aftermath of an injury-marred 2023 season. Lodolo tossed 34 1/3 innings over seven starts before suffering a stress fracture in his left tibia in May, and he made only three minor league appearances before being shut down in late August. Lodolo told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that he isn’t feeling any pain in his left leg, and though he isn’t up to feeling exactly normal just yet, Lodolo and manager David Bell are hopeful the pitcher can be ready to be part of the Opening Day roster. “Health will be the top priority,” Bell said. “So if we don’t feel great about it, we could always just delay it, making sure that he’s fully healthy. He’s in a place that he could catch up and be on time for the season.”