The Diamondbacks moved right-hander Trevor Cahill to the bullpen back in April and now they are prepared to eat the roughly $17 million remaining on his contract, as the team announced this evening that he has been designated for assignment to make room for J.J. Putz’s return from the disabled list.
Cahill was acquired from the Athletics in December of 2011 for Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook, and Collin Cowgill. The 26-year-old posted a 3.87 ERA in 57 starts and one relief appearance over his first two seasons in Arizona, but he was banished to the bullpen in April after just four ugly starts. He has posted a 3.04 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings as a reliever, but that apparently wasn’t good enough to justify a roster spot.
Cahill signed a five-year, $30.5 million extension with the A’s back in April of 2011, so he’s still owed the remainder of his $7.7 million salary for this season, $12 million for 2015, and buyouts for team options for 2016 and 2017. It will be interesting to see if a team tries to work out a trade, likely with Arizona picking up a large portion of the contract.
UPDATE: According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Cahill indicated that he’s open to accepting a minor league rehab assignment with the Diamondbacks.
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.