Starter Bronson Arroyo inked a two-year, $23.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks on Friday. The signing displaced two pitchers in the D-Backs’ system: 2011 first-rounder Archie Bradley and Randall Delgado, one of the players acquired from the Braves in January 2013’s Justin Upton trade. The rotation can more or less be written in ink with Patrick Corbin, Arroyo, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, and Brandon McCarthy.
GM Kevin Towers said Bradley could still wind up in the rotation in the event of an injury, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Towers also indicated that Delgado could end up contributing out of the bullpen.
Delgado, who Arizona acquired from Atlanta as part of the Justin Upton trade, is out of Minor League options. That means if the D-backs want to send him to the Minor Leagues, they will have to put him on waivers first, where he could be claimed by another team.
“So if he’s not one of our starters, he’s more than likely going to probably be one of our bullpenners,” Towers said.
Gilbert then notes that, with that expected shuffling, right-hander Will Harris could be the odd man out of the bullpen, as he has options remaining.
Delgado, 24, posted a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts and one relief appearance last season, spanning 116 1/3 innings. He was rated as one of the 50 best prospects by Baseball America prior to the 2011 and ’12 seasons.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.