Shortly after taking over as the Diamondbacks’ new general manager Kevin Towers made headlines by saying he was open to fielding offers for 23-year-old right fielder Justin Upton.
Presumably every other GM in baseball called to express interest and without question fans from every team in baseball tried to dream up potential trade packages that could acquire Upton.
And now Towers has (smartly) taken him off the market, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
Towers was pretty open about his intentions the whole time, basically saying that there’s no harm in seeing what type of offers are out there and describing the whole process as little more than “kicking the tires” on trade possibilities. Assuming Upton wasn’t terribly bothered by seeing his name in the headlines for a couple weeks, of course.
He’s one of the 20 or so most valuable commodities in baseball and is signed through 2015.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.