I’ll be honest. I did not expect to open Twitter at any point this offseason and see, “Arizona Diamondbacks re-sign infielder Eduardo Escobar.” Yet here we are before the World Series has even concluded. What does this mean for the team going forward? Will Mike Hazen find a trade for one of his existing infielders? Does Eduardo Escobar find playing time at multiple positions? Is Jake Lamb the odd man out? Have we seen the final days of Paul Goldschmidt? What about Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte? Escobar’s return creates more questions than it answers.
[D’backs.com] Escobar, D-backs agree to three-year deal - The D-backs made their first move of the offseason Monday by signing Eduardo Escobar to a three-year contract worth $21 million.The deal puts a quality player under contract for a reasonable price. What it does not do, however, is answer the question of whether the D-backs plan on competing in 2019 or if they instead will trade some of their veterans and retool. “I would ask and caution not to read into either side of those things, as much as I know fans are definitely going to want to do that,” D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said. “We totally understand. It’s a long process for the offseason. We still have some holes to fill, especially the pitching side of things and there’s going to be a lot of work left. This is a great first step for us but that’s what it is.”
[Arizona Sports] Eduardo Escobar agrees to three-year deal with Diamondbacks - Hazen said they value the flexibility Escobar brings and they see him fitting in as someone who can play multiple positions. “That affords us the opportunity to be a little more aggressive here early in the offseason before we have some of those other answers in place,” he said. Hazen said they see Escobar being in the lineup every day and the team believes he can also play second base. The deal creates a position battle at third base, where Escobar would compete for playing time with lefty Jake Lamb, who has two years of arbitration left on his deal before potentially hitting restricted free agency in 2021.
[The Athletic] ‘That old man broke me’: How tough love at Rice hardened Diamondbacks prospect Jon Duplantier for the pros - “Tell them I’m going to Rice,” Jon Duplantier said as he tapped golf balls on a putting green one summer day in 2013. Fresh out of high school, the right-hander and top Diamondbacks prospect didn’t quite understand the depth of the commitment he was making. His father was next to him, on the phone with a Major League Baseball team offering the chance to go pro as an undrafted free agent. But it wasn’t much money – it rarely is for undrafted players – and Duplantier always had been raised to understand the importance of academics.
[Yahoo Sports] Roberts, Cora first minority managers to meet in World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and his Boston Red Sox counterpart, Alex Cora, hope their historic World Series breakthrough will bring more opportunities for minorities in Major League Baseball. Cora, the first Puerto Rican manager in World Series history, and Roberts, the son of a Japanese mother and African-American father, will be the first minority managers to guide opposing teams in a World Series when the best-of-seven final opens Tuesday at Fenway Park. “It should be celebrated. It’s part of it,” Cora said. “For me, as a minority, to be a manager in Boston, it hasn’t been a challenge. Obviously people talk about that. To be able to lead this team, it’s amazing.” Roberts said Monday he doesn’t spend much time pondering his place in history alongside friend and former teammate Cora. “But when I do, it’s special,” said Roberts. “And it’s not about myself or Alex. Just to see minorities get opportunities and perform and do well, I think that that gives opportunities for others.”
[ESPN] Chris Sale vs. Clayton Kershaw makes Game 1 an instant World Series classic - You think the pitchers’ duel is dead? Maybe. But if it can be resuscitated, Game 1 of the World Series is when that could happen. When the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw squares off against the Red Sox’s Chris Sale, it will be one of the greatest opening matchups in the history of the Fall Classic. It might be the best.
[Sports Illustrated] Who Are the Top Dark Horse Candidates to Win World Series MVP? - All sample sizes in the postseason are small, which means the unlikeliest of heroes can emerge. Unlike regular season awards dominated by the game’s best players, anyone who receives enough playing time to impact the series can warrant MVP consideration if they string together a few big plays or impressive outings. Look no further than this year’s ALCS, when Red Sox No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr.’s three huge hits led him to MVP honors.