Team news (more)
[FanSided] Taijuan Walker's groundball and strikeout rates are building blocks - Walker’s curveball could develop into a fourth offering, but it is hard to have a "get me over" curve when its not finding the zone. He seemed to have success with a spike-gripped curveball but once again, a lack of consistency is the issue. If Walker is going to develop into a long term, top of the rotation arm for the Diamondbacks, the development of an effective slider running away to righties is imperative.
[Inside the 'Zona] Taijuan Walker a Sign of Smarter Pitching Strategy - Expect Hazen & Co. to stop trying to change the laws of physics, and to find a way to steer into the inevitable pitching skids — expect them to embrace the fact that the bullpen will pitch a lot of innings as part of a successful pitching staff, with 2-3 pitchers throwing 2-3 innings every 2-3 days as a matter of intent, rather than necessity. Expect Ray to be treated as a blunt instrument and allowed to pitch away from contact, even if it means shortish starts. Expect the team’s approach with Walker to be fairly similar. Expect pitching results more positive than the last three seasons.
[NumberFire] Who Won the Jean Segura-for-Taijuan Walker Trade? - The way this trade works out for both teams is if Segura proves 2016 was no fluke and if Walker turns into what most expected of him while he was rocketing up the Seattle minor league system. Arizona rolled the dice in the hopes of landing a dynamic, young right-handed starter with gobs of upside, while Seattle is hoping Segura will complete an infield that should be one of the best in baseball.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Reds Claim Juan Graterol, Gabriel Guerrero Off Waivers - [That's now six of seven players we put on waivers get claimed] Guerrero posted strong numbers as recently as 2014 in Class-A Advanced — .307/.347/.467 with 18 homers and 18 steals in 530 plate appearances — but his production has plummeted upon reaching the upper levels of the minors. He hit just .223/.258/.346 between his two organizations’ Double-A affiliates in 2015 and struggled similarly this year, hitting .234/.281/.383 between Double-A and Triple-A.
[Fanrag] Former Diamondback Kyle Jensen To Sign With Japanese Club - Former Arizona Diamondbacks’ first baseman and outfielder Kyle Jensen will be taking his talents overseas so it appears. According to a source close to the situation, Jensen has a deal in place with a Japanese-based organization. However, it remains to be seen as to exactly where Jensen will land upon making his way to Japan in order to continue his professional playing career.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Expect Increased Trade Interest In Young Arms - Possessing sufficient, even potentially excessive depth in the rotation is never a bad thing for a team (and the D-backs aren’t exactly at a point of excess given the uncertainties up and down their staff), as injuries are bound to arise over the course of a season. That each of these pitchers represents somewhat of a buy-low commodity might make it difficult for new GM Mike Hazen and his staff to extract fair value, but the parade of 5.00-ish ERAs delivered by this group shouldn’t suppress interest all that much on the trade market.
[KSDK.com] A.J. Pollock the answer in center for Cardinals? - He surely won't come cheap. Arizona will likely try to start discussions with Alex Reyes, at which point Mozeliak will probably enjoy a good laugh before changing the focus to some of the other Cardinals prospects that haven't already recorded a 1.57 ERA in a major league pennant race. The Cardinals farm system is not considered to be among the best in the majors, but they do have a collection of players who are nearly ready to contribute at the major league level, such as RHP Luke Weaver and OF Harrison Bader.
[Waiting For Next Year] Indians' 2017 lineup could be elite if they go all in - Can the Indians acquire Pollock for less than their right arm? Jonathan Lucroy was set to cost Francisco Mejia, Greg Allen, Shawn Armstrong and Yu Cheng-Chang. Lucroy would have been under control for the remainder of 2016, and 2017 had he agreed to come. They represent three top ten prospects in 2017 Indians organization, including the likely No. 1 (Mejia), and the best defender (Allen). I think the Diamondbacks would likely start there, and honestly, that may not be enough, because I think they would demand a player or two that have not only played in the bigs, but have significant upside.
[Bless You Boys] Daniel Hudson could provide a cheap upgrade to Tigers’ bullpen - In several ways, he’s reminiscent of Shane Greene, though their mechanics are quite different. Both have excellent stuff and a fairly lengthy set of arm issues. Both get ground balls off their fastballs. Both have paired that fastball with a firm breaking ball that belies characterization as either a cutter or a slider, though Greene features a broader palette of velocity and spin. The main difference in terms of stuff is that Hudson has a legitimate changeup that has often been his best out pitch.
[Hardball Talk] Baseball in Fidel Castro’s Cuba is a story of obsession, propaganda and oppression - As with almost everything about Castro’s legacy, there are elements of his baseball legacy which someone, if they were so inclined, could point to and characterize as a positive thing. But to do so without including the oppression and brutality of Castro’s autocratic regime is to fail to tell the whole story. Nothing occurs in a vacuum and, by definition, no dictator’s ends are achieved without tyranny, thus tainting those ends. Tallying pros and cons is an exercise in false equivalency when the cons are counted in human lives.
[CBSSports] This World Baseball Classic could reportedly be the last one - We're just a few months away from the onset of the fourth World Baseball Classic -- the once-every-four-years global tournament that began play in 2006. Turns out, we could be just a few months away from the end of the World Baseball Classic in multiple senses. That's because the 2017 tournament could be the final edition of the WBC unless there's a significant uptick in revenue.
[LA Times] After $1 billion in player spending, Dodgers under MLB mandate to cut debt - The Dodgers, who have spent more than a billion dollars on player payroll in the first four seasons of Guggenheim Baseball Management, face a mandate to reduce debt in order to conform to Major League Baseball rules. The club is expected to reduce payroll for a second consecutive season, with the goal of cutting from about $300 million in 2015 to closer to $200 million in 2018. The team says the reductions are unrelated to baseball’s rules about debt, which demand clubs be in compliance within five years of an ownership change.
Sources: Club officials understand that if sufficient progress isn't made this week in CBA talks, teams won't participate in winter meetings— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 28, 2016