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Evans remains a D-back — for now

Nick Evans remained a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, but that could change in the coming days.

MLB Trade Rumors reported Saturday that Evans had signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan and would be removed from Arizona’s 40-man roster.

While that may happen sooner rather than later, Evans said Saturday that he was caught off guard by the report.

“I got a couple of texts this morning about it, but I didn’t know anything about that,” Evans said. “It’s definitely something that I’ve had my mind on that would be exciting in the future to do, but as of right now I’m still a Diamondback. There’s been some talks, but nothing official. As of right now I’m still a Diamondback.”

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs discussing Jake Peavy with White Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — The D-backs are talking to the White Sox about a deal involving right-hander Jake Peavy, a baseball source confirmed.

Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 games for the White Sox this year.

The right-hander has a history with Arizona general manager Kevin Towers. Peavy pitched for Towers for eight seasons when Towers was the GM of the Padres.

It was Towers who traded Peavy to the White Sox at the trade deadline in 2009 in exchange for Dexter Carter, Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard and Adam Russell.

Peavy is owed around $5.28 million for the rest of this season and $14.5 million next year. The contact includes a player option for 2015 if Peavy either has 400 innings pitched in 2013-14 including at least 190 in 2014 and is not on the disabled list at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

Peavy is also owed a $4 million buyout from his previous contract.

What the D-backs would have to give up to get Peavy is not known. The White Sox are interested in acquiring infielders and the D-backs do have highly-regarded prospects like third Matt Davidson and shortstop Chris Owings at Triple-A Reno.

If the White Sox require a young pitcher in return it’s possible the D-backs could include left-hander Tyler Skaggs in the deal.

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs “no interest” in moving Skaggs

The D-backs are actively working to improve their rotation and bullpen prior to the trade deadline, but according to a baseball source they “have no interest” in moving left-hander Tyler Skaggs.

After a slow start to the season, Skaggs has been outstanding for Triple-A Reno and is likely to be called up to start Friday in place of the injured Trevor Cahill.

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs and Cubs not talking Upton deal

A baseball source said Tuesday morning that the D-backs are not currently discussing a deal with the Cubs involving outfielder Justin Upton and pitcher Matt Garza.

The D-backs are not expected to deal Upton prior to the deadline, though GM Kevin Towers has said he will listen to offers on any player on his roster.

“All I can tell you I have had no dialogue about Justin Upton today or yesterday,” Towers said on Monday. “I think clubs have a pretty good feel that at this point in time we’re 4 1/2 games out and he’s a big part of our ballclub, but I would say unless something drastically changes in the next 24 hours that Justin Upton is going to remain here.”

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs update

Busy night of trade rumors for the D-backs. FOXsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the D-backs are seeking a “premier” starting pitcher and speculated that it could possibly be the Phillies Cliff Lee or the Mariners Felix Hernandez.

However, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported early this morning that the D-backs are not in on either Lee or Hernandez.

D-backs talking to Bartolo Colon

PHOENIX — Could Bartolo Colon be the fifth starter the D-backs have been looking for?

The D-backs seem to believe so as a baseball source said they were in talks to sign the right-hander.

Colon was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (26 starts) for the Yankees last season. The 38-year-old did not pitch in 2010 and signed a Minor League deal with the Yankees after undergoing stem cell treatment for elbow and rotator cuff injuries.

Thanks to a strong performance in the spring, Colon made the Yankees roster and was an effective starter before seeming to tire down the stretch. In September, Colon posted a 5.96 ERA and was not added to the team’s postseason roster.

The D-backs rotation currently consists of Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter with the fifth spot set to come from a group of young pitchers that includes among others Wade Miley, Barry Enright, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer and Charles Brewer.

Given the youth and inexperience of that group, the D-backs had hoped to add a veteran fifth starter as added depth in case none of the young starters were able to make the jump to the big leagues.

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs reach deal with Kubel

PHOENIX — The D-backs have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Jason Kubel on a two-year contract with an option, a baseball source confirmed Monday.

The move is somewhat surprising in that the D-backs had not been linked in any rumors to Kubel, nor had it seemed were they in the market for an outfielder.

Kubel, 29, hit .273 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs for the Twins in 2011. He was originally drafted by Minnesota in the 12th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.

Kubel’s best season came in 2009 when he hit .300 with 28 homers, 103 RBIs and a career-best .907 OPS (on-base plus slugging). Over the last five seasons he has an OPS+ of over 100. OPS+ is a weighted metric that takes into account a multitude of factors and mark of 100 is considered average. Last season, Kubel’s OPS+ was 111.

Over his career, Kubel has split his time between right and left fields. With the D-backs, it would appear that he would become the starting left fielder with Gerardo Parra being shifted to a fourth outfield position or used in a trade to acquire another position of need.

Parra won a Gold Glove for his work in left last year and he hit .292 with eight homers and 46 RBIs. He can play all three outfield positions well making him an ideal backup. How many opportunities there will be, though, remains to be seen. Center fielder Chris Young played in 156 games last year while right fielder Justin Upton appeared in 159.

– Steve Gilbert

D-backs closing in on deal with Takashi Saito

PHOENIX — The D-backs are closing in on a one-year deal with free agent reliever Takashi Saito, a baseball source confirmed Monday.

Saito, 41, was 4-2 with a 2.03 ERA for the Brewers in 2011 while being limited to 30 games with oblique and calf issues.

In six seasons, the Japanese born right-hander has a 2.18 ERA and 84 saves. He had a career-best 39 saves with the Dodgers in 2007.

The D-backs had been in the market for a veteran reliever to pitch in a setup role and Saito certainly fits the bill. They expressed interest in him during last week’s Winter Meetings, but GM Kevin Towers wanted to wait until getting a veteran starting pitcher signed so he knew how much money he would have left in his budget.

– Steve Gilbert

Saunders wants to return to D-backs

Spoke with D-backs lefty Joe Saunders this morning who said he’s still hopeful of returning to the team. Saunders is eligible for salary arbitration and could command a salary of between $8 million to $9 million. The team seems interested in signing him to a two-year deal more so than paying what it would cost to go through arbitration with him.

“I do want to stay here,” Saunders said. “It’s just a matter of if the D-backs want to bring me back.”

The D-backs have until Dec. 12 to tender Saunders. If they decide to non-tender him he would become a free agent.

– Steve Gilbert

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