[ESPN] Justin Upton among young players who should bounce back in 2013
Insider only for the whole thing, but I think I can quote this from Dan Szymborski: "ZiPS pegs Upton to recover to a 24-homer, 3.4 WAR year in 2013 and that's not a projection I can quibble with. He's still young enough to have upside to significantly beat that projection. Even if 2011 remains his only superstar year, I'd rather have an underperforming star than an overperforming scrub."
[CBSSports.com] Justin Upton appears back in play after Cody Ross signing
"Has Arizona's surprise signing of Cody Ross put Justin Upton back into play as a viable trade candidate?/// They will surely be entertaining offers, and as one person familiar with their thinking put it, flat out, "Someone will go.''" But there's a near-total lack of actual evidence in the piece for that person being Upton. But let's run a rule over the entire outfield currently in our possession, from an external perspective.
[DRaysBay] Mining the Diamondbacks Outfield
"The Diamondbacks are primed - yet again - to trade an outfielder, with six major league outfielders on the roster... The Rays currently have three holes on the roster: DH, CF, and C. Either of the first two could be met by a trade with Arizona." Well, as long as they're not casting envious eyes at Miggy. The piece concludes: "If the Rays were to pursue a designated hitter not named Michael Morse, then Jason Kubel is a great alternative. Kubel does not have the same ability to man first base in a platoon with James Loney, he is under control at a fair price for one-to-two years, and is the most reasonable trade candidate for both the Rays and the Diamondbacks to focus on."
[dbacks.com] Towers has multiple outfield options
Writes Steve Gilbert, "It seems almost certain that the D-backs will make a deal involving an outfielder... While it also seems a safe bet that it would be Kubel and not Upton who's moved at this point, you just never know with Towers, who sports the well-earned nickname "Gunslinger," because he's never afraid to make a deal. " I tend to agree: the winter is probably not over yet for the Diamondbacks, and moving Kubel would seem to make the most sense; replacing him with Cody Ross would be a totally different result from replacing Upton with Ross.
[FanGraphs] Q&A: Kevin Towers, Diamondbacks GM
Speaking of Towers, this is a rather good interview with him. While it skates around the long-tossing elephant in the room, it goes into more depth about his overall philosophy, rather than specific movies, which is largely unexplored territory. Mind you, since it also says Towers "knows what he’s doing, and has both the background and track record to prove it," I'm sure certain cynics will claim the team's marketing department has now hijacked Fangraphs as well.
Ex-Dbacks #1 [WEEI.com] Why Stephen Drew and Scott Boras are bullish on 2013
"We fully expect a very successful season," said Boras. "I think it’s going to give the Red Sox and Red Sox fans a chance to see a player that I’m not sure everyone really understands the talent level of Stephen Drew. I think after this year, everyone is going to think a lot differently about what kind of player Stephen is and the impact he can have on a division-contending team."
Ex-Dbacks #2 [Post and Courier] Charleston RiverDogs name Al Pedrique manager
Here's something I didn't know: "Pedrique created some controversy as manager when he ordered the Diamondbacks pitching staff to intentionally walk Barry Bonds throughout an entire three-game series against the San Francisco Giants from Sept. 10–12, since Bonds was on the verge of hitting his 700th career home run, which Pedrique did not want to happen in Arizona."
Ex-Dbacks #3 [NPB Tracker] Rakuten To Sign Saito
"After signing Andruw Jones and Casey McGehee, the word was the that Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles were looking to add a third Major Leaguer. According to multiple reports, that expectation has been nearly fulfilled, as Rakuten has agreed to a one-year contract with Takashi Saito, pending a physical. An official announcement is expected as soon as the 29th (JST). According to Sponichi, the deal is worth JPY 30m (US $350k), but will be worth over JPY 100m (US $1.5m) if Saito reaches all his incentive bonuses."
[Baseball Nation] Baseball Nation's favorite GIFs of 2012
A credible alternative title for this series would be, "Grant Brisbee, Master of Too Much Time". Or, if you prefer, "SB Nation helps you get a bandwidth overage notice from your phone company, Volume's 1-11". I have no clue where the image below came from, but feel sure there's a back story. And J.J. Putz was probably involved somehow, even if only through sitting in his lair at Skullcrusher Mountain, stroking his white Persian and laughing maniacally.
And finally... Is there something about the newest member of our rotation we don't know? His wife seems concerned...
Something doesn't look right on Brandon's new license... twitter.com/Mrs_McCarthy32…— Amanda McCarthy (@Mrs_McCarthy32) December 28, 2012