Brad Ziegler

Diamondbacks send Brandon Allen to A’s for Brad Ziegler

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1:08 p.m. EDT update:’s Steve Gilbert reports that the deal is Ziegler for first baseman Brandon Allen and left-hander Jordan Norberto.

The move suggests that the Diamondbacks will be calling up Paul Goldschmidt to take over as their primary first baeman.  Allen was filling the role of late and was hitting .172/.351/.483 with three homers and seven RBI in 29 at-bats.

1:05 p.m. EDT update: USATODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports that a deal has been agreed to between the Diamondbacks and A’s, pending a review of Ziegler’s medical records.


Both ESPN’s Buster Olney and’s Ken Rosenthal are hearing that the Diamondbacks are making a run at Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler.’s Jon Heyman reports that a deal is likely.

The A’s haven’t ruled out trading any of their veteran relievers, but Ziegler would probably be the second most expensive to acquire, behind only closer Andrew Bailey.  Ziegler has a 2.39 ERA in 37 2/3 innings this season, and right-handers have hit just .198 against him.

Ziegler is strictly a matchup guy: with his sidearm delivery, left-handers have torched him for a .398 average.  However, he’s yet to give up a homer to either righties or lefties this season.  Also, he’s under control through 2014.

Rosenthal says that a Ziegler trade may end up being the only one the A’s make.  They also have Rich Harden, Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and a bunch of other relievers available, but nothing has gotten done for any of them.

Update: The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser chimes in with the news that the A’s asked about Diamondbacks outfield prospect Collin Cowgill last week.  The 25-year-old hit .354/.430/.554 with 13 homers in 395 at-bats for Triple-A Reno this season.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

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.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

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.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

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.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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.