It wasn't long ago that Ken Rosenthal came out snorting derisively, "I’ll believe Justin Upton will be a Diamondback in 2013 when I see him in an Arizona uniform on Opening Day," a statement that set off quite the discussion here on the 'Pit. But speaking to Burns and Gambo at local station KTAR on Wednesday, Tim Kurkjian came down on the opposite side of the fence, saying "I just don't believe that they have been offered anything for him that would be enough to make a deal, and therefore it would be stupid to deal him at this point." Kurkjian felt that the team would wait to see if Upton's performance next year was more like the 2011 MVP version:
"Now, if they don't have the player that they think they have, then they're going to have to move him during the season. But I think the logical thing to do is just say 'alright, it was an aberrant season, he wasn't himself, we're not sure why, this is baseball and these things happen all the time. Let's see what happens when he shows up.' I think he's going to play much better, and I just don't think you deal of that age at that talent level, when you're not going to get what you need for him "
Kurkjian was then asked whether he considered Trevor Bauer to be untouchable - he wouldn't use that word, "especially when you are a Kevin Towers team that are always looking to get better." But he more or less did, saying, "I don't see any reason or way that they will trade him. He's an unusual character, he has got great stuff, and I think you need to look at this like it was a learning experience and a painful one for him... :Let's get him to spring training, see what he looks like and bring him back. I don't see any reason to trade him at this point. If you're going to win long-term, you're going have to do it with young pitching and he should be right at the front of that."
Now a round-up of other stuff, first concerning the Diamondbacks directly:
- [mlb.com] Derrick Hall discusses roster, D-backs' strengths - Sliders confirmed as no more... "We have several capital improvement projects planned as we do every offseason. The most obvious will be a new restaurant concept on the plaza in the building that was previously home to Sliders."
- [FSAZ] D-backs' 3B prospect Davidson sidelined - Davidson was hit in the forehead by a one-hopper. then reported he "felt light-headed and dizzy and reported some soreness after being struck by the ball last Thursday, hit so hard that it ricocheted to second base, observers said." Ouch. Hope he gets well soon.
- [mlb.com[ Owings patiently awaits turn in Arizona - "Playing out here, all I can do is come out and try to get better every day. I know I'm not starting next season in the big leagues. I figure that when it happens, it happens."
- [BaseballAmerica.com] Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet: Week 2 - D-backs pitcher Chase Anderson getting a lot of love: "The development of his breaking balls has been notable this fall as well, with some scouts believing Anderson has the potential for four average or better offerings."
- [Bradenton Herald] Pirates name Jay Bell hitting coach - Bell spent last season as the hitting coach for Double-A Mobile, and had been a member of the Diamondbacks organization since 2005.
And the rest of the stories...
- [ArizonaSports.com] Stadium partnership between Arizona State and Chicago Cubs falls apart - "According to Sun Devil Athletics, they entered negotiations with every intent of reaching an agreement. Any issue between the two parties was due to the demands made by the Cubs, which the school felt was not in their best interest, thus making a deal impossible." The Cubs? Making demands? Shurely shome mishtake...
- [USA Today] Marlins replace Ozzie with batting-cage nudist - No Gonzo in Miami - they've gone instead with the eccentric Mike Redmond... "I had to break a losing streak, so I did it by taking batting practice in the cage wearing nothing but spikes and batting gloves. And the next thing I knew, I was doing it seven or eight straight days."
- [ESPN] Curt Schilling sued by state of Rhode Island over 38 Studios loan guarantee - "Rhode Island's economic development agency on Thursday sued Curt Schilling and some of its former officials, saying they committed fraud and other acts that misled the state into approving a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company."
- [Bloomberg] The Patron Saint of Nerdy Jewish Baseball Fans - A profile of the man who invented fantasy baseball.