The Cardinals just acquired Ryan Theriot from Dodgers in exchange for righty Blake Hawksworth.
On one the one hand: sure. The Cardinals need some help on the infield, as Brendan Ryan was just atrocious this year.
On the other hand: Theriot ain’t exactly an All-Star himself, and his OPS was only marginally higher than Ryan’s this year: .606 to .573.
Theriot, once upon a time, had some decent on base skills, but he hasn’t flashed that for a while now. He’s versatile in that he can play multiple positions. At the same time, he was a non-tender candidate for the Dodgers and now the Cardinals are going to have to give him a raise from the $2.6 million he was making, no? This couldn’t have waited a week?
Hawksworth will be 28 next season. A swingman with two seasons under his belt, the most recent of which was nothing special (4.98 ERA in 45 appearances with blah peripherals).
I guess the ultimate verdict on this trade will come when we see how many starts Theriot gets. If he’s a utility guy who is used all over the field, great, he has some value. If La Russa sees him as some sort of veteran savior and gives him 500+ plate appearances, well, I can’t see that going well for St. Louis.
Cubs fans ought to get a pretty big kick out of it though.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.