Diamondbacks couldn’t get Hiroki Kuroda to say yes

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Two weeks ago the Diamondbacks reportedly made Hiroki Kuroda a contract offer, but general manager Kevin Towers revealed today that they couldn’t get the free agent right-hander to give them an answer.

Arizona signed Jason Kubel instead, paying $15 million over two years for a left fielder who isn’t even a clear upgrade over incumbent Gerardo Parra.

Apparently the money was burning a hole in Towers’ pocket, although it seems odd that he’d spend it on an outfielder rather than turning his attention to a different starting pitcher.

It’s possible that the Kubel signing could allow the Diamondbacks to trade Parra for pitching help, but Towers indicated to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that they plan to keep him in a part-time role.

For now Arizona’s front four is Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill, and Josh Collmenter, and the Diamondbacks have plenty of good pitching prospects to compete for the final rotation spot if they opt against a veteran pickup.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.