In his column for the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson reports that the Marlins have discussed trading starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Diamondbacks for starter Wade Miley. Jackson adds that the Marlins also have interest in free agent pitchers Francisco Liriano and Brandon Morrow.
Miley, 28, was the runner-up in National League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2012. He turned in the worst season of his young career this past season, finishing with a 4.34 ERA and a 183/75 K/BB ratio in 201 1/3 innings.
Eovaldi, 24, also struggled, particularly in the second half of the 2014 season. He finished with a 4.37 ERA and a 142/43 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings.
Both pitchers would become eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.
If you can catch, you’re valuable. Miguel Montero can catch, ergo:
The Diamondbacks continue to have dialogue with other clubs on a variety of players, including catcher Miguel Montero . . . Among the teams the Diamondbacks have spoken to about Montero are the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that. But also notes that the action is not really heated at the moment.
The 31-year-old Montero caught 131 games last year with some extra DH and pinch hitting duties thrown in. After a a 2013 in which he spent some time on the DL and his hitting suffered, he bounced back up to a line of .243/.329/.370. That’s off his peak, but comes out to an OPS+ of 95, which ain’t bad for a catcher.
What is kind of bad? His five-year, $60 million contract which still has two years left to go.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has the scoop …
So far, we’ve heard very little about the market for free-agent right-hander James Shields.
Well, here is one interested team:
The Arizona Diamondbacks.
Rosenthal says it “may be impossible” for the D’Backs to fit Shields into their current payroll, but they could free up money by trading catcher Miguel Montero or second baseman Aaron Hill. There is a clear need for a front-line starter in Arizona, and new chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is exploring all of his options.
Shields registered a 3.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 180/44 K/BB ratio across 227 innings (34 starts) this past season for the American League-champion Royals. The 32-year-old declined a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from Kansas City earlier this month, so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation.
Rosenthal also adds that the Marlins are considering signing Shields:
I can’t remember the last time I wanted a guy to make a team as much as I want Jeff Francoeur to make the Phillies next year. He’ll get his chance as he and seven others, including Xavier Paul, Russ Canzler and Brian Bogusevic, signed minor league deals with spring invites today.
Really, Francoeur on the Phillies is basically the trolling singularity for guys like me. I would probably watch every single Phillies game he started next season if he made it. I’d even consider a Phillies shirsey with his name on the back.
But, beyond that, I’m not mocking the deal here. It’s only a minor league thing. And a team that is rebuilding should be in the business of getting veteran placeholders who cost virtually nothing to keep spots warm until there is a plausible prospect to be used in his place. A mockable move would be to sign some 30something scrub to a multi-year deal to fill that spot. This is actually just good sense by Ruben Amaro. Stockpile veterans who are basically free and do your best to get through the season.
Still, I am totally on team Francoeur here. And I am dead serious about buying that shirsey if he makes the team. You guys remind me of this next April, OK?
Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley is healthy and pitching in the Arizona Fall League, but the results still aren’t there yet following his regular season bout with an elbow injury. The right-hander has a 6.60 ERA with an 11/8 K/BB ratio in 15 innings for the Salt River Rafters. This comes after he posted a 4.45 ERA in 82 innings in the minor leagues.
If new D-Backs GM Dave Stewart had his way, he told MLB Network Radio, “I would probably have him start the season back in the minor leagues and get more seasoning.”
Addressing bolstering the starting rotation without Bradley, Stewart added, “I would probably say we have a better opportunity to look at a [Kenta] Maeda vs. a [Max] Scherzer or a [Jon] Lester or even a [James] Shields.”
The D-Backs aren’t exactly hurting for live arms, as they have plenty of competition for the starting rotation, but they lack elite talent. Of starters to make at least 15 starts last season, Josh Collmenter was the only pitcher to finish with an ERA below 4.00.