On the (unlucky) 13th episode of DFA, R.J. and Bryan consider the popularity of baseball trade rumors while speculating on the deadline. Plus, the guys go over all the recent moves, including Trevor Plouffe, Gleyber Torres, Neftali Feliz, and Tyson Ross.
It's Baseball Prospectus's newest podcast: DFA! Host Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus), co-host R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), and producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets) are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.
The Brewers look to settle the battle for center field, while Eric Sogaard might be facing Triple-A.
Keon Broxton emerging as possible center-field favorite in Brewers camp
The Brew Crew arrived in Arizona with a vacancy in center field, where Carlos Gomez once roamed before then-general manager Doug Melvin shipped him to the Astros at the 2015 trade deadline. At the time, now-GM David Stearns was in Houston, but since the Brewers hired him away in late September, it was Stearns’ job to fill the void created by his predecessor. And if Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Tom Haudricourt is reading the situation correctly, Stearns may have done so in a relatively nondescript December trade.
As Christmas approached, the Brewers struck a deal with the Pirates, sending first baseman Jason Rogers to Pittsburgh in exchange for two minor-leaguers: right-hander Trey Supak and outfielder Keon Broxton. The latter hit .273/.357/.438 in 133 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A last year and has the athleticism to play up the middle, but with his 26th birthday looming in May, Broxton was running out of time to prove his major-league value. Now, his chance seems to have arrived.
Good morning, and thank you all for being here today. We are extremely excited to introduce this man sitting beside me today, and to bring him—and his beautiful wife—into our organization. It has been a long and arduous past four years—disastrous, even—but that’s how baseball goes sometimes. It’s a game of failure. You can fail seven out of 10 times and still be Felipe Paulino. Today, though, marks a new direction and a new era for this organization.
(Note: All real quotes from real press conferences:)
Diamondbacks interested in Yovani Gallardo
The desert was ripe with rumors over the weekend, one that came to fruition and others that might take time to unfold. After exporting Jeremy Hellickson to Philadelphia, the D’backs are said to be in the market for free-agent pitchers, but it’s not yet clear which starters could fit into general manager Dave Stewart’s budget.
Noah Syndergaard loses to an ace; Giancarlo Stanton has a jack; Strasburg flops; and the best defensive play of the day.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The debut of Noah Syndergaard was highly anticipated largely because the 6-foot-6 right-hander has the type of pedigree that gives him the potential to be one of the better pitchers in baseball down the road. However, Syndergaard is also 22 years old and is far from a finished product, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the hard-throwing Texan ran into some issues against a talented Cubs lineup on Tuesday. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that the guy opposite Syndergaard, Jake Arrieta, one-upped the rookie and pitched like a polished front-of-the-rotation starter, given that it’s pretty much what he’s been for the past year.
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Bryce goes yard, and yard, and yard again; Scherzer and Stanton have an epic showdown; Aroldis throws his changeup; and the TWO best defensive plays of the day.
The Wednesday Takeaway
It’s not as if Bryce Harper needed to prove himself to anybody. The 22-year-old entered Wednesday’s game against the Marlins the owner of a .294 True Average over 1,610 plate appearances, all while being younger than many of the game’s top prospects—Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, and so on. And yes, the fun fact that he has yet to face a pitcher younger than him at any professional level still holds true.
But the move that would truly signal a new era in Philadelphia—at least symbolically—would be the departure of Chase Utley. Before DL stints became a yearly ritual for Utley, he perennially performed at an MVP-caliber level and helped lead the Phillies to five straight NL East crowns and a World Series title in 2008. On Saturday, Alden Gonzalez, who covers the Angels for MLB.com, tweeted that he’s been hearing that Utley is “easily attainable” if a team is willing to take on his contract.
The Blue Jays appear to have committed to Aaron Sanchez in the rotation, while the Red Sox consider committing to Mookie Betts for the better part of a decade.
John Gibbons indicates Aaron Sanchez is locked into rotation spot
It was universally expected that Aaron Sanchez would slide into the Blue Jays rotation after Marcus Stroman’s season-ending ACL tear last week. In case anyone still had doubts about the right-hander’s role come the start of the season, manager John Gibbons on Thursday all but officially confirmed that Sanchez will end up in the rotation. The Jays skipper told members of the media, including Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, that the 22-year-old is "pretty much locked into where he is now.”
The Barstow, California native proceeded to pitch into the sixth inning, striking out three and issuing one free pass while generating eight grounders versus a single fly. Getting opposing hitters to beat the ball into ground was the key to Sanchez’s success out of the pen in the second half last year, as he heavily relied on a two-seam fastball that averaged 97 mph and resulted in a groundball percentage just a shade under 66 percent.
Howard has two years and $60 million remaining on his ill-advised five-year, $125 million extension, which means that an acquiring club would only have to pay him $5 million annually through 2016. The 34-year-old could justify that investment with merely 1.0 WARP production, depending on what sort of return the Phillies would seek in exchange for the massive salary coverage.
Everything's going wrong for Alex Colome, Addison Reed is making changes, Leonys Martin will hit at the top, and Hector Olivera gets another mention here.
Rays’ Alex Colome battling pneumonia
Sometimes, players favored to win position battles struggle on the field and cede their projected roles. Unfortunately, if Alex Colome does not open the season in the Tampa Bay rotation, it will likely be the result of forces beyond his baseball control.
With spring training games finally underway, we’ve gotten to the time of the year when the majority of baseball news has been about position battles, “best shape of his life” reports and the unfortunate and inevitable injuries that have left the Twitter world broken-hearted. However, this year poses the unusual situation of a potential impact player becoming available in March with Cuban infielder Hector Olivera finally being declared a free agent by Major League Baseball last Friday. Over the past week, quite a few developments have occurred in the bidding for the 29-year-old.