Brad Ziegler

Diamondbacks send Brandon Allen to A’s for Brad Ziegler

Leave a comment

1:08 p.m. EDT update: MLB.com’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 FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal are hearing that the Diamondbacks are making a run at Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler.  SI.com’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.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
Leave a comment

The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
39 Comments

There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.