Results tagged ‘ Diamondbacks ’

Royals monitoring Shields’ situation, unlikely to sign him

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he is “still monitoring” the market for James Shields, but added that the club is unlikely to sign him, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Though Shields’ price tag is likely to drop a bit in the near future, if it hasn’t already, the right-hander will likely remain out of the Royals’ price range. Along with the financial limitations, the Royals already have six pitchers set to compete for the five rotation spots in Yordano Ventura, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen and Danny Duffy.

The market for Shields is still largely unclear at this point, but the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Padres and Blue Jays are all among the teams that have been linked to him, one way or another, in recent days.

— Paul Casella

D-backs change course, not interested in adding another catcher

Though the Diamondbacks have been tied to rumors involving both the Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro and the Cubs’ Welington Castillo, among others, the club is no longer looking to acquire another catcher, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

D-backs general manager Dave Stewart confirmed that the team is content with its current catching situation, thanks primarily to the development of prospect Peter O’Brien, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Martin Prado deal this past summer. The 24-year-old O’Brien, who checks in as the D-backs’ No. 8-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, posted a .271/.316/.594 batting line with 34 home runs over just 106 games between Class A and Double-A this past season.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to pursue another catcher,” Stewart said, according to the report. “I talked with my people and my coaching staff. They believe that O’Brien is going to be around sooner than later. If that does happen, there’s no need to go out and get another guy.”

With O’Brien not quite ready for the Majors, however, Arizona is set to enter the season with the catching duo of Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez, who was taken in last month’s Rule 5 Draft. Gosewich racked up a .225/.242/.310 batting line over 132 plate appearances in 41 games last season, while serving as Miguel Montero’s backup. Montero, of course, was traded to the Cubs last month.

Though the D-backs had been linked to a number of rumors involving catchers in the aftermath of trading away Montero, the team has instead decided to stand pat at the position for the time being. As for Navarro and Castillo, both players remain possible trade chips with each of their respective clubs having upgraded behind the plate earlier this offseason.

— Paul Casella

D-backs reached out to Jays about D. Navarro

The Diamondbacks have reportedly inquired about Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, though he adds that talks are yet to advance past the initial stage.

Navarro has been a popular name in trade rumors ever since the Jays signed catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million deal earlier this offseason. The Blue Jays are reportedly willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old Navarro, who posted a .274/.317/.395 batting line with 12 home runs and 69 RBI over 139 games last season. He’s set to earn $5 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent after the season.

As for the D-backs, the only catchers currently on their 40-man roster are Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez. Arizona, of course, traded former starting catcher Miguel Montero to the Cubs last month.

— Paul Casella

Shields reportedly in line for nine-figure deal

Though the James Shields sweepstakes is yet to really heat up this winter, the free agent right-hander is expected to land a contract north of $100 million, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal actually adds that two Major League executives say that Shields already has a five-year, $110 million offer in hand from an unknown team.

The Red Sox, Giants, Marlins and Diamondbacks are all among the teams that have shown interest in Shields at various times this offseason, though no club has been linked to anything concrete regarding the veteran righty. In fact, Rosenthal goes on to say that the Marlins and D-backs have both backed off in their pursuit of Shields recently, while the Red Sox and Giants are also longshots when it comes to making a play for Shields.

As for other potential landing spots, Rosenthal mentions the Yankees, Tigers and Angels as three teams looking to upgrade their rotation — but adds that none of those three clubs have been linked to Shields thus far.

Another thing working against Shields’ market is the fact that he rejected a qualifying offer from the Royals earlier this offseason, meaning a potential suitor would need to surrender a draft pick in order to sign him. The $100 million price tag, combined with the need to forfeit a draft pick, seems to be a steep price for any team to pay for a 33-year-old pitcher that has logged 1,910 innings over his nine-year career — including 200-plus frames in eight straight seasons.

Despite coming off a rocky postseason with the Royals, Shields could still give any club a durable option at the top of its rotation. Along with his eight straight seasons of working at least 200 innings, Shields went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA this past season in helping the Royals reach the postseason for the first time since 1985.

— Paul Casella

Red Sox showing interest in Miley

The Red Sox have reportedly had talks with the Diamondbacks regarding left-hander Wade Miley, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. This lines up with a report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that the D-backs are attempting to trim their payroll to $90 million, in part by listening to offers for Miley.

Miley had his struggles this past season, going 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA over 33 starts. He’s only two years removed, however, from finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 16-11 record to go with a 3.33 ERA in 2012.

Rosenthal mentions that, in addition to the Red Sox, Marlins and Rangers have also expressed interest in Miley, though neither team seems to yet be on the verge of making a deal for the lefty.

— Paul Casella

Trumbo reportedly available via trade

Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo is “definitely in play” on the trade market, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. He adds that there was actually a three-team trade involving Trumbo that ultimately fell through.

The rumors come on the same day that the D-backs made official their signing of Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal.  That said, general manager Dave Stewart has insisted the club has no interest in trading Trumbo, even in the wake of signing Tomas.

The D-backs are expected to try Tomas at third base — a position he has played some in the past — but they would need to eventually free up a corner outfield position if that plan doesn’t work out. It’s with that in mind that a Trumbo trade would certainly makes sense and the D-backs seem to be, at the very least, listening to offers.

It’s unclear at this point which team(s) have inquired about Trumbo, but a significant number of teams entered this week’s Winter Meetings looking to add another big bat to their lineup. With the number of top available hitters dwindling in what was already a thin free agent class, Trumbo figures to garner plenty of interest after averaging 27 home runs and 86 RBIs over the past four seasons.

— Paul Casella

Henry Blanco joins Cubs staff

Henry Blanco is back with the Cubs, joining manager Joe Maddon’s staff as a quality assurance coach. It might not be the only change. Dave Martinez, who has been Maddon’s bench coach since 2008 with the Rays, was dropped on Friday from the list of candidates for the Tampa managerial opening. Martinez, 50, also is a former Cubs player — 1986-88 — and may be a valuable addition for Maddon in his switch to the National League. The addition of Blanco should help Cubs catcher Welington Castillo. Blanco, 43, played for the Cubs from 2005-08, and was a coach on the Diamondbacks staff.

— Carrie Muskat

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

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

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