The Diamondbacks selected pitcher Barret Loux sixth overall in this year’s draft, but backed out of signing him after a physical revealed a labrum
tear and elbow issues. My thinking had been that, with no deal in place, Loux would go back to college or wherever and next year someone else would take a chance at him, but that’s not the case: Major League Baseball is granting him free agency on September 1. I’m assuming someone will take a chance on him, injuries or no.
I’ve seen various people on Twitter in the past few minutes refer to this situation as a “bad precedent” or a “can of worms,” but I’m having a hard time seeing how that’s the case. Are people suggesting that players will now have an incentive to be injured and thus become free agents? Because that makes no sense. For teams to get out of having to pay first round picks via the manufacturing of injuries? That makes even less sense (why pick a guy to begin with if you don’t want to sign him). What am I missing here?
This seems like a situation where there is a legitimate disagreement about a player’s medical status and a team rather freaked out about said status. The Diamondbacks are, admittedly, being relieved of some risk. Loux is, possibly, getting a windfall due to early free agency. There may have been no good solutions, but I’m not sure how this is a replicable situation that creates a dangerous precedent.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.