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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.