We learned over the weekend that Major League Baseball is considering realignment. The initial report presented one scenario where the Astros could be moved to the American League. However, it appears they aren’t the only team under consideration.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks could be the team “most likely” to change leagues under realignment.
“We would do whatever’s best for baseball,” said Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall, whose team would move to the American League West from the National League West under one of the plans being discussed by MLB and the players’ association. “Most would say us or the Astros would be best candidates (to shift leagues).”
Granted, the Astros have never won a World Series like the D-Backs have, but this would make some more sense from a traditionalist perspective. The franchise has been in the National League since they were introduced as the Colt .45’s in 1962. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have only been around since 1998.
Here are some more comments from Hall via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:
“Naturally, we would look into it if asked about it. But I’m not sure we’d ever get to that point because I think other teams make more sense geographically than we do. For me personally I’m a National League guy. I like the pace of the game, the strategy of the game. That’s what I prefer. I would want to hear what our fans prefer, but I’m not sure we would ever get to that point.”
Buster Olney reported over the weekend that realignment only has a “50-50” chance of being passed, but union chief Michael Weiner confirmed earlier today that discussions are expected to continue.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.