New D-backs assistant hitting coach Turner Ward poses for a spring photo in 1992. - US PRESSWIRE
The world may not have ended, but the Diamondbacks signed a veteran outfielder to a three-year contract the next day. Well played, Mayans: well played... Because that worked out so well the last time we did it. Here's a round-up of other bits and pieces from the week: note that some of these pre-date the Ross signing, so bear that in mind when reading them.
Moves [Theoretical and Actual]
- [dbacks.com] Managing general partner Ken Kendrick pleased with D-backs' offseason moves - "We have Brandon McCarthy, who I think is very affordable for the talent he brings. We have a shortstop that we have control over for six years, who has a lot of upside. Of course he's a young player and he's got to improve himself. Eric Hinske is a good-luck charm for every team it seems he plays on. Eric Chavez is a very fine player and gives us a righty-lefty. Heath Bell might be a candidate for a real bounceback. Tony Sipp, a great lefty, fits really well in our bullpen. A mix of all those guys, with not an enormous amount of financial commitment, I think you can say, 'Job well done' to KT."
- [Fox Sports] Texas Rangers lacking in free-agent options - Sigh. Ken Rosenthal, still trading Justin... "Some executives still believe that the Diamondbacks will trade Upton. One exec asks: What if Upton, 25, has a mediocre season? It would be the third time in four years that he failed to meet expectations. And at that point, his value will be diminished.. Meanwhile, the industry perception is that the D-Backs are down on him, though no one is quite sure why. In other words: The D-Backs still might be motivated to trade Upton now."
- [NYPOST.com] Mets need to make push for Upton - "Sure, Justin Upton seems like a pipe dream, but Wheeler and d’Arnaud were long shots to be Mets not too long ago. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers keeps insisting he will not trade Upton — Jason Kubel (30 home runs last season) is available and would be a major upgrade for the Mets as well — but I’ve known Towers a long time and he is never afraid to make a trade. The Rangers have major interest in Upton and have the young talent to trade, if they really want to make the deal. Alderson needs to try to acquire Upton."
- [MLB Daily Dish] Texas considering Diamondbacks OF Jason Kubel? - The story cites Buster Olney speculating as follows: "If the Rangers can't meet Arizona's asking price for Justin Upton, you wonder if they can work something out for Jason Kubel, who would be a one-year upgrade in power for Texas."
- [SB Nation Arizona] Diamondbacks sign trio of right-handers - The Diamondbacks brought in some talent for the minors, signing veteran Nelson Figueroa, minor leaguer Alexis Lara and former Texas arm Warner Madrigal.
- [al.com] Mobile memories run deep as Turner Ward leaves BayBears - "When I've watched players walk into my office and been able to tell them that they're going to the big leagues, that's probably the most satisfying thing I did while doing this job. A couple of moments that happened over this past season will probably stick out for me the rest of my life... One of our pitcher's father passed away in spring training. Just by chance, he pitched on Father's Day, and he wins that game. I couldn't even talk to him, but when he came off that field, there's a connection that you have with these players."
- [Missoulian] New coaching staff to direct Osprey's title defense - The Osprey are losing former D-back Andy Green, who is going up to Mobile to replace Ward as manager there, but they're getting another one, with Robbie Hammock becoming manager. Doug Bochtler moves from Yakima as pitching coach, and Wilson Valera, who occupied a somewhat vague role with the major-league club, becomes Missoula's hitting coach.
- [Venom Strikes] Passing Over Brett Butler A Mistake For the D'backs - "The fact that Sax spent eight years as a teammate of Gibson’s in L.A. screams cronyism. Butler was passed over even though he has not only professional coaching experience, but professional managerial experience (Class A Lancaster, Class AA Mobile, Class AAA Reno)... When you add that Butler spent most of his time hitting in the lead-off position, a spot in the order where the D’backs have struggled for years, there could not have been a better fit."
- [indians.com] The Indians officially signed Mark Reynolds to a one-year contract "We feel Mark helps provide balance to our lineup," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He's a right-handed hitter with power that has the ability to get on base, and we feel is a very good defender at first base." Yes: the GM used "very good" and "defender" in the same sentence when talking about Reynolds. Let's see how that works out, shall we?
- [Twitter] #Giants sign OF Cole Gillespie - Cole rattled around in the minors for Arizona this year, after becoming a semi-regular for the team in 2010, appearing in 45 games. The tally dropped to seven the following season, and the rise of Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock pushed Gillespite out of the picture entirely this year. He was granted free agency in September.
- [WHLT.com] Indians sign pair to minor league deals - The Cleveland Indians signed Joe Martinez to a minor league contract. Right-handed pitcher Martinez tied with Sam Demel as the least significant Diamondback, appearong once and throwing one inning for the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 25.
- [Detroit Free Press] Gustavo Nunez returned to Tigers by Diamondbacks - This is how we freed up room on the 40-man roster for Ross, but I include it mostly for the oddness of the route: Pittsburgh plucked him from the Tigers in the Rule 5 Draft last December. However, the 24-year-old shortstop then spent the entire 2012 season on the disabled list, after right ankle surgery, before being claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks on Oct. 26. I imagine the arrival of Gregorius left him surplus to requirements, so he now goes all the way back to his original club!
- [KTAR.com] Phoenix teams a tough sell for sports memorabilia store - "[Since the Cardinals started the season 4-0] they've only sold one Beanie Wells autographed picture. The other teams aren't doing any better. "The Diamondbacks sold a few things with their 81-81 record," said [owner Jeff] Thalblum. "Nobody is buying anything involving the Phoenix Coyotes, and fans can't even name anyone who plays for the Phoenix Suns." About the only thing that's getting any reaction from customers is an autographed picture of Steve Nash in a Suns uniform that's in the front window. "People look at it, and I've actually seen some people cry," Thalblum said."