Newest Diamondback, Eric Hinske - Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Several sources, with Ken Rosenthal first among them, say the D-backs have signed Eric Hinske to a one-year deal. He'll primarily act as a back-up to Paul Goldschmidt at first: Hinske spent the last three seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
The 35-year does kinda tick the boxes for which GM Kevin Towers was looking, in that he's a left-hander who can play at first or third base. Though I think that should "technically play third-base", as his days of even spot starts there appear to be completely behind him. While that remains the position at which he has appeared most, of the 422 starts Hinske has made at third base, only thirteen have come during the past eight seasons, and the last one of those was in 2009. He could probably man the position if a bad pre-game buffet took out Chris Johnson, Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald, but that's about it. Hinske did start a few games in both left and right field, however.
The 35-year-old Hinske's numbers weren't very impressive last year: he hit below the Uecker Line at .197, with two home-runs in 132 at-bats and a 57 OPS+. He would need to rebound to the numbers posted in 2011 (OPS+ 94) - or, better yet, his career numbers (OPS+ 99) , in order to be of much use. Hinske should also be kept firmly away from left-handed pitching, against whom his career OPS is 123 points lower, at .666 (the OPS of the beast). Nick Piecoro just Tweeted the deal is supposedly just above a million bucks. That sounds about right, as over the past four years, Hinske has earned between $1-1.5 million. Given last year, the lower end of that is what I'd expect.
Sounds like we can probably cross that need off KT's shopping list: some kind of backup catcher and a veteran starting pitcher are the main items left. As mentioned in the news thread, there's rumblings about a trade involving Jason Kubel that could go down as soon as today, but we'll see if there is any substance to that one.