UPDATE: The deal is done. The Pirates will receive catcher Chris Snyder and prospect shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Diamondbacks for infielder Bobby Crosby, outfielder Ryan Church and right-hander D.J. Carrasco. The D-Backs are sending $3 million to the Pirates, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
10:44 AM: According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the Diamondbacks will acquire Bobby Crosby, Ryan Church and D.J. Carrasco from the Pirates in exchange for catcher Chris Snyder.
In other words, the D-Backs are taking some unwanted players from the Pirates for a little bit of salary relief. Carrasco is the only one of any real value here. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette speculated that the team was about to cut bait on Crosby and Church, anyway.
10:07 AM: We already know that the Pirates are about to add Chris Snyder from the Diamondbacks, but according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, they might have something else brewing.
A source tells Langosch that the Pirates have summoned infielder Argenis Diaz and first baseman Jeff Clement from Triple-A Indianapolis, so it’s assumed that two position player spots are about to open.
Langosch speculates that the Pirates may have decided to trade Garrett Jones. The 28-year-old outfielder-first baseman is batting .277/.339/.448 with 14 homers and 61 RBI this season. He’s a lefty bat that could add some versatility to a contender’s bench, but the team has given no indication that they are actively shopping him.
There’s always the chance that the Pirates could be trading players to the Diamondbacks off the active roster in exchange for Snyder, but Langosch writes that the Pirates “weren’t necessarily expected to be dealing position players.” Stay tuned.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.