[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Sign Jarrod Dyson - It did not take long after the news broke that J.D. Martinez had agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox for it to be announced that the Diamondbacks had signed free agent outfielder Jarrod Dyson. It is a two year deal in which he will earn $3.5 MM each season along with a $500k signing bonus, and he will receive an additional $50k each time after he reaches 100 and 125 games played, and 350, 400, and 450 plate appearances. Since 2012, he has averaged 103 games played 2.4 bWAR/2.3 fWAR per season. A significant portion of that value comes from his defensive and baserunning ability. He will be replacing Gregor Blanco, who signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent earlier in the offseason, as Arizona’s fourth outfielder. Using him against left handed pitchers extensively would detract from much of his positive value because he carries career splits of .215/.291/.259, 63 OPS+/55 wRC+ in 340 plate appearances, so he would be an ideal candidate to platoon with Yasmany Tomas. Dyson has also averaged 31 stolen bases per season, so it will be entertaining to watch Dave McKay utilize his new weapon on the basepaths. If played appropriately, Dyson is a valuable asset to the outfield.
[Over the Monster] Red Sox agree to contract with J.D. Martinez - And with that our dear friend J.D. Martinez has departed for the Boston Red Sox. Although this appeared to be the likely outcome from the beginning of the offseason, I truly feel that the Diamondbacks were much closer in the running than many had initially anticipated. Most of us knew that Boras’ $210 million asking price was likely far beyond what he was going to ultimately receive. It would appear that Arizona wisely stood firm and was not willing to offer as many years as Boston. His contract is a five year deal for $110 million and includes opt outs after the second and third seasons. Martinez will receive $50 million for the first two seasons combined and $22 million should he opt into the third. A similar payday coming from Arizona would have had the Diamondbacks knocking on the door of a $150 million payroll for 2018. We wish him the best of luck in the American League East which will have no shortage of firepower this season.
[D’backs.com] Hall: D-backs in good spot, but moves possible - The Diamondbacks are nearly certain to set a new team record for Opening Day payroll with most early figures putting the team around $125 million mark. However, the slow pace of the market in the offseason might mean that Mike Hazen is not done tweaking the roster just yet. There is still a significant logjam in the middle infield, the team could add another corner outfielder, and maybe some team will offer a package for Patrick Corbin the team cannot refuse.
“I don’t think we’re done by any means right now,” Hall said. “[GM Mike Hazen] and his staff are looking at Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. I would be surprised if we broke camp with the exact same roster and team that we have now. They do have so many different possibilities that they’re looking at, be it trade or free agency.”
[D’backs.com] Hirano impressing D-backs early in camp - Yoshi had quite the following interested in him at Fan Fest this past Saturday. He will be competing with Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger for the closer position out of the bullpen in Spring Training after signing a two year deal for $6 million. Will he find success in his first season in a new country because Major League hitters are less familiar with him?
“The D-backs were the first team that made me an offer,” Hirano said. “And when me and my family came over to visit Arizona in December, general manager Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo were there. They greeted my family warmly, made my family feel like we were at home already.”
[AZCentral] Diamondbacks react to pace of play rule changes - The league announced on Monday that further rule changes have been made in an effort to increase pace of play in 2018. Teams are now limited to six mound visits per nine innings that do not result in a pitching change with one additional visit granted per extra inning. It may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rulebook definitions of a “mound visit”, so we can all complain in unison when Angel Hernandez misinterprets the rule change during the regular season. Now if they could just get that strikezone rule hammered down...
“Not a big fan, to be honest,” infielder Daniel Descalso said. Descalso acknowledged a need to cut down on dead time but believes some aspects of the game should be left alone. “At certain points in the game, if you need to go out and talk about something I think you should be able to go out and talk about it,” he said.
[Arizona Sports] Lovullo, D-backs will adjust to MLB’s pace of play initiatives - The league did forgo the use of a pitch clock as part of the announced rule changes. Rob Mafred was prepared to exercise his right as commissioner to implement a pitch clock without the approval of the MLBPA if he did not receive cooperation from them to increase the pace of play.
“We’ll make it work. We know that it’ll be a challenge,” Lovullo said. “We do a lot of mound visits for reasons other than it being a mound visit for the pitcher. We set up a lot of our plays and a lot of our defense with mound visits. We’ll just have to figure out different ways to get around it and create more of a hand-signal situation to get our points across.”
[Arizona Sports] D-backs place RHP Shelby Miller on 60-day DL - Not the most shocking news on the team front. Arizona had to clear space on the roster after the addition of Jarrod Dyson, and Shelby Miller was the most logical candidate considering that he is still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Around the League
[Sporting News] Ranking the five best bullpens in baseball - The Colorado Rockies made the list at #4 after a massive offseason spending spree on relievers Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Wade Davis. They have a total of $106 million committed to that trio over the next three seasons and can ill-afford a decline in performance from one of those men. The last time they allocated that much money to two relievers, Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle both in 2000, it set them back quite a bit when each failed to play to expectations.
[Yahoo Sports] Eric Hosmer Deal Indicative of Insensible MLB Free Agent Market - Eric Hosmer just received an eight year contract worth $144 million from the San Diego Padres, a team that is not particularly close to contending. They already had the equally talented and younger Wil Myers manning first base prior to the acquisition making the deal that much more confusing. Is this year’s free agent market indicative of what is to come in future offseasons? Should the Player’s Union focus its efforts in increasing earnings for younger players prior to their eligibility for free agency?
[Forbes] Why Is MLB Icing Out Its Free Agents? Blame The Luxury Tax - Of course, there are a few out there who want to blame the luxury tax instead of acknowledging the possibility that front offices are becoming more prudent in how they spend their dollars. Surely, the luxury tax places a certain restriction on large market teams, but teams towards the bottom of the league in spending deserve their fair share of blame as well. Not that they should be forced to spend just for the sake of doing so if they have little to no opportunity to make the playoffs.
[McCovey Chronicles] Tim Lincecum has a guaranteed contract offer from a team that isn’t the Giants - Sure enough shortly after Shoewizard points out that Goldy’s career splits are the worst at Petco Park of the 5 National League West ballparks we are informed that Tim Lincecum might possibly become a member of the San Diego Padres to change that misfortune. There is no marine layer thick enough to save “The Freak” from the domination that is Paul Goldschmidt.