Results tagged ‘ Diamondbacks ’

Cubs reportedly ask re: Montero

Could Miguel Montero be the upgrade at catcher the Cubs are looking for? According to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro, the Cubs are one of three teams who have spoken to the Diamondbacks about the left-handed hitting catcher (joining the White Sox and Dodgers). The Cubs missed in their attempt to sign free agent Russell Martin, who agreed to a five-year deal with the Blue Jays this week. Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart has said he’s not shopping any of their players, including Montero, but did say he’s had inquiries about several players. Montero was rumored to be available because of his contract — he’s owed $40 million over the next three years. Montero, 31, batted .243 this season with 13 home runs and 72 RBIs. He’s led the Majors in innings caught since 2011. In his second full season as the Cubs regular catcher, Welington Castillo batted .237 this past season with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs.

– Carrie Muskat

Montero among catchers still available

A thin free-agent class at catcher featured Russell Martin as the only clear starting-caliber option, so with Martin now off the board, teams in need of help behind the plate could be turning their attention to the trade market.

One option is the D-backs’ Miguel Montero, with azcentral.com reporting that the club has engaged in “dialogue” with other clubs about the 31-year-old. Among those are two of the teams that lost out on Martin — the Dodgers and Cubs — along with the White Sox. However, those discussions apparently have not grown more intense since Martin landed with the Blue Jays earlier this week.

Montero put together a solid run from 2009-12, averaging an .817 OPS, 14 home runs and 3.2 WAR. However, he has posted a .682 OPS and totaled 1.2 WAR in back-to-back disappointing seasons since then. He’s also owed $40 million over the next three years.

If clubs want an alternative to Montero, they also could contact the Astros, who might deal Jason Castro or Carlos Corporan after acquiring Hank Conger earlier this offseason. The Tigers are one team to already have checked in with Houston on that subject.

Martin’s signing also could lead the Blue Jays to part with switch hitter Dioner Navarro, who has put together two solid years in a row but no longer has a starting job in Toronto.

– Andrew Simon

Report: Arroyo agreement could come soon

One of the top remaining free agent starters is Bronson Arroyo, but his 2014 landing spot could come into clearer focus soon, ESPN.com‘s Jerry Crasnick is reporting. 

Crasnick tweeted on Friday that the Dodgers and D-backs are “in the mix” for Arroyo, but the Orioles “still aren’t out of it.” He also said Arroyo “could have a clearer picture where he’ll land by the end of [Friday].”

The right-hander went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Reds last season. 

– Joey Nowak

Reports: Tanaka posted, has agent

Masahiro Tanaka is one step closer to joining the Major Leagues, according to a series of Christmas Day reports.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, citing a source, said that the posting period for the Japanese right-hander started Thursday morning and will conclude by Jan. 24 at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, citing the Sponichi website in Japan, reported that Casey Close will serve as Tanaka’s agent. Close also represents big league All-Stars Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Derek Jeter.

Tanaka’s Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reportedly revealed the decision to post him on Tuesday evening. The posting figures to trigger a Major League frenzy, not just because of Tanaka’s talents, but also because of the new posting system regulations.

Under the new posting system, bids cannot exceed $20 million. Also, any Major League team can negotiate freely with Tanaka, with only the signing team ultimately paying the $20 million fee.

It presents a much different situation than two years ago when the Rangers won exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish after posting a winning bid worth $51.7 million.

The new posting rules figure to allow more teams the chance to pursue Tanaka, who this past season went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in leading the Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title. Overall, despite being just 25 years old, Tanaka has gone 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA over seven seasons in Japan.

Various reports have already mentioned the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Rangers and Diamondbacks as potential frontrunners to land Tanaka’s servies.

- Paul Casella

White Sox trade Reed to D-backs for prospect

The White Sox and D-backs quickly and quietly pulled off a trade Monday morning that sends closer Addison Reed to Arizona in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.

Reed has amassed 69 saves in three seasons with the White Sox, spanning 136 career relief appearances. He’s held opponents to a .243 average with 42 walks and 138 strikeouts, and a 4.17 ERA. He was Chicago’s third-round pick in the 2010 Draft.

He notched 40 saves and 72 strikeouts over 68 relief appearances last year. The save total ranked fifth in the AL and was tied for fourth-most in franchise history.

Davidson was Arizona’s first-round pick in the 2009 Draft, and was ranked the D-backs’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com. The 22-year-old hit .280 with 32 doubles, 17 home runs, 74 RBIs, 55 runs, a .350 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 115 games with Triple-A Reno this year. He was named the MVP of the Future’s Game, was named a PCL midseason All-Star and won the 2013 Triple-A Home Run Derby.

He also appeared in 31 games for the D-backs last season (18 starts at third base), hitting .237 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

“As a young, power-hitting third baseman, Matt has put up some impressive offensive numbers at every stop in the minor leagues, often as one of the youngest players at his level,” White Sox GM Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We view him as potentially a middle of the order, run-producing third baseman for a long time.”

– Joey Nowak

Reports: Kubel to reunite with Twins

Multiple outlets have reported on Friday that veteran outfielder/designated hitter Jason Kubel has agreed to a minor league deal with the Twins. 

Kubel, 31, was selected by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2000 Draft and played his first seven Major League seasons in Minnesota. He signed with the D-backs as a free agent in December 2011 and was traded to Cleveland late last season. 

He appeared in 97 games last year between Arizona and Cleveland, batting just .216.

– Joey Nowak

11/24 Samardzija rumors

Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija struck out 200 over 200 innings in his first full season as a starter, and has drawn interest from teams looking for a young pitcher, especially one who would be under team control for two more years. The Diamondbacks, Nationals and Blue Jays have reportedly inquired about Samardzija and on Sunday, there was a report that Toronto was putting together a package of young players for the Cubs right-hander.

During an interview on MLB Radio on Sunday, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos was asked if there was any truth to the rumor about the Blue Jays pursuing Samardzija.

“You know what, I just saw that [rumor], too,” Anthropoulos told MLB Radio. “I’m in the office [Sunday] just going through some things. I’m going to try to be a little more candid than I may have been in the past. I won’t comment on specific rumors and things like that but I will say that we’re definitely exploring starters with teams. But also, just like a lot of stuff that’s out there that is false, we have not made an offer to anybody with respect to a starter. So if there is something out there that [says] we’ve actually made an offer to someone for a starter, that is not accurate. It doesn’t mean we’re not inquiring.”

MLB Radio host Jim Duquette asked if anything was imminent regarding either adding a free agent or making a trade.

“You know what, we’re talking to one club about a smaller trade and maybe it’ll move the next few days, or maybe it won’t happen,” Anthropoulos said. “But, no, I don’t think, not right now there isn’t anything imminent. We’re not necessarily waiting on someone to get back to us but, again, at any time that can change and I hope it does. I think, and you guys both went through it, before the Thanksgiving holiday sometimes there’s that last little push [when] teams want to get some things off their plate. So maybe things happen here in the next two or three days. If not, we’ll take it to the [Winter Meetings], I guess, at that point.”

The Cubs have approached Samardzija, 28, about a possible contract extension. The pitcher, who was the Opening Day starter this year, has not been in a hurry to something done.

“I have two more years of arbitration so there is a lot of time to get something done,” Samardzija said in early November.

As for all the rumors, GM Jed Hoyer said Samardzija had the right attitude because he doesn’t pay any attention to the reports.

Teams shopping for starting pitching may be comparing the cost of acquiring Samardzija with another 28-year-old, David Price, who also is under team control for two more years. However, Price has more innings and experience as a starter, and won the AL Cy Young in 2012 when he went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA for the Rays. Price did miss time this season because of a left triceps strain. Samardzija, who ranked fifth in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings, has been healthy. Price was paid $10 million in 2013; Samardzija $2.6 million.

The Cubs don’t have that much depth pitching-wise, with Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jake Arrieta set for the rotation in 2014.

– Carrie Muskat

11/5 Cubs and Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs have talked about a possible long-term deal, but have been unable to reach a resolution. Could Samardzija be traded? According to a tweet by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cubs and Diamondbacks are talking about a possible deal involving the right-handed pitcher. This season, Samardzija set personal highs in innings pitched (214 2/3), starts (33), quality starts (19), strikeouts (214), and complete games (two). He finished 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA. The price tag would likely be high. Samardzija has two years before he is eligible for free agency.

– Carrie Muskat

D-backs trade Kennedy to Padres

The Padres have acquired starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who won 21 games just two years ago, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock.

MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert previously reported that Arizona was nearing an intra-division exchange that  included Kennedy and San Diego’s southpaw reliever Joe Thatcher.

The D-backs will receive Thatcher, Double-A Pitcher Matt Stites and a compensatory Draft pick.

In 21 starts this season, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA. Thatcher has logged a 2.10 ERA in 50 appearances for the Padres.

Arizona has a bit of depth in its starting rotation, with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill both expected to soon rejoin the big league club. Kennedy had been previously linked to the Angels, in addition to the Padres.

The D-backs trail the Dodgers by 3 1/2 games in the National League West. San Diego stands 8 1/2 games back.

–Zack Meisel

D-backs close to dealing Kennedy

Arizona is nearing a deal with the Padres that would involve starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who won 21 games just two years ago. According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, the intra-division exchange would include San Diego’s southpaw reliever Joe Thatcher.

In 21 starts this season, Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA. Thatcher has logged a 2.10 ERA in 50 appearances for the Padres.

Arizona has a bit of depth in its starting rotation, with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill both expected to soon rejoin the big league club. Kennedy had been previously linked to the Angels, in addition to the Padres.

The D-backs trail the Dodgers by 3 1/2 games in the National League West. San Diego stands 8 1/2 games back.

–Zack Meisel

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