So long to Choo
For a while this morning, it looked as if there was a legitimate chance that the Diamondbacks would make a run at free-agent Shin-Soo Choo, easily the top remaining outfield name on the open market.
Exec who spoke with Diamondbacks came away convinced they're getting Shin-Soo Choo, for what it's worth.
— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) December 10, 2013
The reports that the Rangers had apparently dropped out of the running, on the grounds Choo would be "far too expensive" for them, seemed to give additional hope that Arizona would dig deep and make a play. While we may not have been able to out-spend all our rivals, a point in our favor was that Choo makes his home in Goodyear. As one of the SnakePit followers on Twitter suggested, we could have carpooled to games... Oh, well. Never mind.
Hunting a pitcher
With "slugging outfielder" now firmly crossed-off Kevin Towers' Christmas list, attention now turns to the other main area of apparent interest: a starting pitcher, and KT said after the deal "We plan on leaving with a pitcher before we’re done." Previously, Towers had said that he would probably trade for one of his needs, and use free-agency to acquire the other, which would generally imply, in the wake of today's events, that we would now be looking at free agent pitchers. That does indeed seem to be the case, though with a significant caveat to our inquiries:
Dbacks have been in contact with some of the FA starting pitchers, including Matt Garza. But they're said to be hesitant to do longer deals.
— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) December 10, 2013
One particular advantage of Garza would be that the team would not lose a future draft pick by signing him. However, that also makes him more attractive to everyone else, naturally. With regard to the "longer deals" issue, there was a brief rumor, from ESPN's Buster Olney, that the Diamondbacks had made a one-year offer worth close to $3 million to former Yankee prospect, Joba Chamberlain. However, Steve Gilbert quoted a "high-ranking" D-backs official as saying, whoever offered Joba that much, it wasn't them. That might lead you to take Olney's subsequent Arizona-related Tweet with a hint of salt:
One of the pitchers the Diamondbacks are talking about, along with Jeff Samardzija and others, is Justin Masterson. They're pushing for a P.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 10, 2013
The latter would mean another deal, rather than a free-agent, but the Indians are apparently open to listening to trade offers, and Gilbert quotes Kevin Towers as saying it is still possible that the pitching help Arizona wants, could come via a trade - depending on what it involves. The obvious chip left in Arizona's hand, after the departure of Skaggs and Eaton are the two middle infielders, Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. Gilbert added, Towers "has an idea of what the price is for free agent pitchers so tonight will circle back to teams with pitching to trade." That would appear a likely focus for tomorrow, and if nothing comes out, then we'll go back to Garza, etc.
Elsewhere in Florida
The main news was another trade also involving an NL West team, and was a name who had been mentioned as possibly of Diamondbacks interest in a recent Fanpost. The Athletics' Brett Anderson (a former D-backs prospect, sent to Oakland in the Dan Haren trade) was dealt to the Colorado Rockies, in exchange for left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz and a throw-in prospect, right-hander Chris Jensen, with the A's also sending $2 million in cash to the Rockies. Anderson struggled badly with health issues in recent years, managing only 163 innings and 24 starts, over the last three seasons combined.
Also, Mark Mulder is making a comeback bid. Maybe we can get him to reunite with Dave Duncan, as a low-rent roll of the dice for the Diamondbacks?