Aaron Cook will talk to the Padres and Reds in free agency

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Aaron Cook is a free agent now that the Rockies have declined their $11 million option on him for 2012.  And like a lot of recently-injured or ineffective starting pitchers, he said that he’d talk to the San Diego Padres.  You know the pattern by now: it’s a big, pitcher-friendly park and it’s a great place for a one-year prove-yourself contract. The only downside: you don’t get to face the Padres offense several times a year.  Still get the Giants, but no Padres.

But Cook told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he’d talk to another team too:  the Cincinnati Reds.  Not exactly an obvious choice given that they play in a bandbox, but as Armstrong notes, Cook has always pitched well in Great American Ballpark.

But let’s also be realistic: he’s pitched six games in that joint. Six.  While, sure, he’s only pitched 11 in Petco Park, at least his results match up roughly with what a lot of pitchers do there (i.e. pitch better).  Is he really confident that he’d continue to buck the trend of pitchers getting blown up on Cincinnati?

Call the Reds once and see what they’d do for you, Aaron.  But go see the Padres in person.  You may find your efforts in that direction more richly rewarded, at least in the long term.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.