Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Been kinda busy with actual work lately: 55 hours last week, not much less this and next. But popped out from under the pile, to put together a tasty platter of assorted Diamondbacks updates and rumors, as we head towards the winter meetings next week.
Diamondbacks Interested in Brandon McCarthy
Sources say Dbacks have expressed interest in free-agent RHP Brandon McCarthy, whom they also pursued as a free agent two years ago.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) December 1, 2012
McCarthy was most recently part of the A's rotation, going 8-8 last year with an ERA of 3.24 (OPS+ 123). The 29-year-old right-hander is currently out of action, having been hit by a line-drive in the head during a September game against the Angels, but should be okay for spring training. However, he has never exactly been an innings-eater, shoulder issues helping restrict him, so that only once in seven years throwing more than the 111 innings he pitched last season. However, he does have some ground-ball abilities, as this ESPN article states, and he's a big fan of sabermetrics with a Twitter account, so would fit in well on the 'Pit. :)
[picture via ESPN]
Arizona Talk To Aubrey Huff
In need of a backup corner IF, #Dbacks have made contact with Aubrey Huff, source said.— Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) December 1, 2012
Meanwhile, Jack Magruder says our search for a backup corner infielder has not stopped with Mark Teahen, That's probably a good thing. Though it's not clear that Huff would exactly be much of a replacement, having hit below the Uecker Line for the Giants last season, missing a lot of time with a knee injury and also with anxiety issues. It was highly amusing to see San Francisco pay him $20 million over the past two season, and get -0.4 bWAR in return, and it would likely be sensible for the Diamondbacks not to offer much more than a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training to Huff, who'll turn 36 later this month.
Diamondbacks Non-Tender Wil Nieves
Seems we can cross another name off the list of possible back-up catchers for 2012, and this one did come as something of a surprise. It's not as if Nieves was in line for big bucks, even as a third-year arbitration guy. MLBTradeRumors.com estimated he'd get around $800K at arbitration. Admittedly, this is the kind of spot which you can probably fill towards the end of the season, with whatever remnants might be left over. It seems a fairly safe assumption that Miguel Montero will once again be doing the bulk of the heavy...ah, squatting, having started 136 games for Arizona behind the plate last year.
That, along with Brad Bergesen, were the only non-tenders of the eight arbitration eligible Diamondbacks. Offers have been made to Matt Albers, Chris Johnson; Ian Kennedy ; Gerardo Parra, Cliff Pennington and Brad Ziegler. so it seems likely they'll all be part of the team in 2013.
5 Players Added to 40-man Roster
The Rule 5 draft takes place on December 6, during the final day of the winter meetings in Nashville, and it can lead to some shuffling of prospcts who have been left unprotected - you may remember, that's how we got hold of relieer Joe Paterson, a couple of years ago. The D-backs have avoided the risk of that happening for five of their farm guys, adding right-handed pitchers Chase Anderson, Charles Brewer and Eric Smith; southpaw Eury de la Rosa; and outfielder Keon Broxton to the 40-man roster which stops another team from claiming them. Nick Piecoro wrote about the choices, and the logic behind them.
Mark Reynolds Released by Orioles
Hey, we're looking for a backup corner infielder, what about bringing Special K back? He earned $7.5 million last year. Though he won't get that on the free-agent market after a second consecutive year hitting .221 and playing atrocious defense. That was even starting 105 games at first, and meant that he ended up below replacement level overall, despite hitting 23 homers - the most in the majors this year by anyone with a negative bWAR. Still, only five players have hit more home-runs since the start of 2009, so if some American League team is looking for a slugging DH-type... I'm sure he'll find a home somewhere.
Mike Zagurski Signed By Pirates
Speaking of finding homes - in this case, with a particular emphasis on ones possessing a well-stocked kitchen and dining-room - this one didn't take long. White Flag will soon be enjoying local delicacies like chipped ham and Klondike bars. Good luck with that, Pittsburgh. Ending that streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons is surely now all but assured...
New D-backs Radio Show Debuts Monday
Monday sees the launch of the first-ever D-backs Hot Stove show, which will air on 6-7 p.m. on Arizona Sports 620 (KTAR-AM) - and, I assume, will also be available for streaming through KTAR.co, The show will generally be hosted by Greg Schulte and Jeff Munn, and runs through February 25, with a couple of weeks off over Christmas. The first edition, with Dave Burns filling in for Schulte, will include interviews with Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson from the winter meetings in Nashville. You can't really have too much information, especially in the dark, dreary depths of winter, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.
WBC Tickets On Sale
If you're looking to score World Baseball Classic tickets for the first round games taking place in Arizona from March 7-10, they went on sale this morning. However, you can only buy strips, either for the four games at Chase, or the two at Salt River Fields, not single games yet. The prices aren't bad, with seats right behind home plate available for $50 at either venue, and pretty decent seats for half that. The pool played here includes the USA, Canada, Mexico and Italy, so there should be plenty of known names - though three of those four were exactly the same as last time the WBC was here, in 2006, with Italy the only newcomer. Would rather have seem some different teams, perhaps.
We'll be back on Monday, with the next report card, and also a preview of the winter meetings.