On the heels of a report earlier this week that the Diamondbacks were listening to offers for Trevor Bauer because he “fell out of favor” with some members of the organization, team president Derrick Hall told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com yesterday that the young right-hander isn’t being shopped.
Hall acknowledged that Bauer made some mistakes during his rookie season, but he also praised him for reaching out to several teammates and members of the front office this offseason in an effort to make amends.
“He realizes he made mistakes, and I applaud that,” Hall said to reporters at the club’s Celebrity Golf Classic on Friday. “That shows a tremendous amount of maturity on his part.”
At issue was Bauer’s apparent unwillingness to adapt his style of pitching to major league hitters and his poor communication with catcher Miguel Montero. For what it’s worth, Montero mentioned some communication issues following Bauer’s second major league start. Hall understands why some are getting the impression that Bauer is on the block and there’s always the chance he could be moved since Kevin Towers has a policy where he’s willing to listen on anybody, but the Diamondbacks still consider the 2011 first-round pick an important piece for the future.
“Teams are assuming after the bumpy start that Trevor had that we may be looking to move him, and we are not. We are not shopping him,” Hall said. “Again, if they ask, [GM Kevin Towers’] response is ‘Hey, we are willing to listen,’ and that’s what’s happened here. Trevor has a bright future.”
Bauer, who turns 22 in March, posted a 6.06 ERA and 17/13 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings in four starts with the Diamondbacks this season. He has a 3.00 ERA and 200 strikeouts over 156 innings in the minor leagues.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.
The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.
While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.