Tag: Roy Oswalt

Martin Prado

Notes and thoughts on the Justin Upton trade


Braves acquire OF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Johnson from Diamondbacks for 3B Martin Prado, RHP Randall Delgado, RHP Zeke Spruill, SS Nick Ahmed and 1B Brandon Drury.

– As some probably guessed, I’m a big fan of this deal for the Braves. I wrote an entry trying to pair the Upton brothers in Atlanta before the Braves had B.J. signed.

That said, I would have liked this deal a bit more two months ago, when the Braves would have had more flexibility to deal with the losses of Prado and Delgado. I still think it’s a great value trade, and I expect that the competitive Upton brothers could push one another to new heights. Prado is a very good player right now, but he was under control for just one more year and I don’t think he’ll live up to his next contract. I’ve never seen Delgado as much more than a No. 4 starter. None of the prospects are elite talents. I’m surprised the Diamondbacks didn’t insist on right-hander J.R. Graham in the deal.

– As for the Diamondbacks, well, there’s really been no plan from the beginning. They’ve now parted with two terrific young talents in Upton and Trevor Bauer and still haven’t set themselves up as obvious contenders for 2013.

Here’s a possible lineup:

CF Adam Eaton
3B Martin Prado
2B Aaron Hill
LF Jason Kubel
1B Paul Goldschmidt
C Miguel Montero
RF Cody Ross
SS Didi Gregorius/Cliff Pennington

That’s certainly not bad. A rotation of Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Brandon McCarthy and Delgado/Tyler Skaggs/Patrick Corbin is also pretty good.

Still, this is a team without a definite All-Star and it’s going up against a Dodgers club full of them and the defending world champs in San Francisco. Towers did add some nice minor league depth today, but he’s still given away arguably his two top talents and inflated the payroll, all for an 85-win, third-place team.

– The Diamondbacks just keep backing themselves into corners. It’s what forced them to trade Upton. And now it’s going to force them to give Prado a big extension, since there’s no way they’re going to let the key piece in the deal leave after one year.

Prado has hit .300 and topped a .350 OBP in three of his four full seasons in the bigs. I’ll be curious to see whether his terrific 69/58 K/BB ratio from last season holds up or if he reverts to previous form (86/40 K/BB in 2010, 52/34 in 129 games in 2011). A quality walk total will make the difference between him being an above average regular or an overpriced mediocrity in those seasons in which he hits .280 or so. And he will have those seasons after turning 30. The Diamondbacks are probably going to have to give him $30 million-$36 million for three seasons, and I have my doubts he’ll prove worth it.

A Prado extension would also cut off prospect Matt Davidson’s current path to the majors, though I don’t really see that as a problem. He projects better in left field than third base anyway. And if the Diamondbacks did want to leave him at third base, they could put Prado back in left field in 2014.

– This trade does leave the Braves lineup in a bit of a weird place. Prado was their only great option to bat first or second this season. Right now, we might be looking at:

SS Andrelton Simmons
CF B.J. Upton
RF Jason Heyward
LF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Dan Uggla
C Brian McCann
3B Juan Francisco/Chris Johnson

With McCann set to miss at least the first few weeks following shoulder surgery, the third baseman will likely bat seventh, putting Gerald Laird in the eighth spot.

This arrangement will work out just fine if Simmons builds on his .289/.335/.416 line from his rookie campaign. I’m not sure the Braves can count on that, though.

And then there’s B.J. Upton, whose OPS went from .331 in 2011 to .298 last year. If he comes back in at .330 or so, he’d be an asset at the top of the order. If not, he’s a problem.

The Braves could always drop either Simmons or B.J. and simply move everyone else up a spot. I’d be good with Heyward batting second and Justin hitting third. I’m guessing that’s not how Fredi Gonzalez will want to play it, though.

– At third base, the current play should be to play Francisco versus righties and Johnson versus lefties. Johnson will get a chance to win the starting job outright, but I’m not a fan at all. He’s a poor defender, and while he does have pop, I doubt he’ll hit .281 again.

One potential problem with the platoon: the right-handed-hitting Johnson has actually performed much better against righties (.283/.323/.452 in 896 AB) than lefties (.255/.294/.372) in his career. Still, I think Francisco will outhit him against righties.

– Now that the Braves have question marks at the back of the rotation and at third base, they should be in contact with some free agents. Roy Oswalt and Javier Vazquez would make tons of sense as the new fifth starter. Vazquez would likely come cheaper, and Atlanta is about as close as he can get to his home in Puerto Rico. Of course, he pitched for the Braves in 2009 and went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA. Some other inexpensive possibilities: Carlos Zambrano, Carl Pavano, Kevin Millwood, Freddy Garcia and Chris Young.

For third base, it makes plenty of sense to check in with Scott Rolen and see if he has any interest in a part-time role. I’d take him over Johnson to pair with Francisco. And I know this won’t be very popular, but it’s worth offering Chone Figgins a minor league contract. The smart money says he’s done as a useful player at 35, but if he does have something left, he’d be a pretty great fit on a team with little speed, no obvious leadoff man and no plus defensive third basemen.

Teams feel like Roy Oswalt “doesn’t want it bad enough”

Roy Oswalt

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that Roy Oswalt “may still want to pitch, but, again, on his terms and perhaps for only a half a season.” He adds:

“… many teams have given up trying to persuade him to pitch, feeling the vibe is that he just doesn’t want it bad enough.”

Sounds about right.  In addition to not pitching very well last season — Oswalt posted a 5.80 ERA over 59 innings for the Rangers — he was not at all happy when Ron Washington moved him to the bullpen.

One can never know what truly lurks in the hearts of men, but there seems to lack a sense of self-awareness in Oswalt.  Dude must think he’s still some ace-for-hire as opposed to, well, what he is.

UPDATE: The Rangers have an offer out to Lance Berkman


UPDATE: Ryan confirmed to Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston that the Rangers have an offer out to Berkman. Meanwhile, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow tells Berman that the club has been in touch with Berkman over the past two days and that talks are continuing.

3:30 PM ET: We know that the Rangers are one of the teams interested in Lance Berkman. Jon Heyman reports that, to woo the Puma, they are using their secret weapon: Nolan Ryan:

Ryan, a former Astros great as well as a former Rangers great, has a connection to Berkman and is said to be spearheading the Rangers’ efforts to land Berkman.

If memory serves, Ryan also personally reached out to Roy Oswalt last year.  Hey, if it first you don’t succeed with signing over-the-hill ex-Astros, try, try again.

2013 Free Agency Tracker

Zack Greinke, Ned Colletti, Magic Johnson

We’ll be updating this one throughout the offseason. Players are listed based on their ranking in the Top 111 Free Agents. At the bottom is a listing of free agents who signed before the ranking came out, and we’ll be adding signings of players who didn’t make the top 111 as they come in.

(Update: I’ve added non-tendered players to the Top 111 below, with ** indicating the new players).

Re-signings are posted in red, while players signing with new teams get blue.

1. Josh Hamilton (OF Rangers): Angels – 5 yrs, $125 mil
2. Zack Greinke (RHP Angels): Dodgers – 6 yrs, $147 mil
3. Anibal Sanchez (RHP Tigers): Tigers – 5 yrs, $80 mil + option
4. B.J. Upton (OF Rays): Braves – 5 yrs, $75.25 mil
5. Michael Bourn (OF Braves):
6. Kyle Lohse (RHP Cardinals):
7. Nick Swisher (OF Yankees): Indians – 4 yrs, $56 mil + vesting option
8. Edwin Jackson (RHP Nationals): Cubs – 4 yrs, $52 mil
9. David Ortiz (DH Red Sox): Red Sox – 2 yrs, $26 mil-$30 mil
10. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP Yankees): Yankees – 1 yr, $15 mil
11. Adam LaRoche (1B Nationals): Nationals – 2 yrs, $24 mil + mutual option
12. Mike Napoli (C-1B Rangers): Red Sox – 1 yr, $5 mil + incentives
13. Mariano Rivera (RHP Yankees): Yankees – 1 yr, $10 mil
14. Dan Haren (RHP Angels): Nationals – 1 yr, $13 mil
15. Ryan Dempster (RHP Rangers): Red Sox – 2 yrs, $26.5 mil
16. Torii Hunter (OF Angels): Tigers – 2 yrs, $26 mil
17. Rafael Soriano (RHP Yankees): Nationals – 2 yrs, $28 mil + vesting option
18. Andy Pettitte (LHP Yankees): Yankees – 1 yr, $12 mil
19. Shane Victorino (OF Dodgers): Red Sox – 3 yrs, $39 mil
20. Kevin Youkilis (3B White Sox): Yankees – 1 yr, $12 mil
21. Stephen Drew (SS Athletics): Red Sox – 1 yr, $9.5 mil
22. Shaun Marcum (RHP Brewers):
23. Angel Pagan (OF Giants): Giants – 4 yrs, $40 mil
24. Ryan Ludwick (OF Reds): Reds – 2 yrs, $15 mil + mutual option
25. Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP Mariners): Mariners – 2 yrs, $14 mil + option
26. A.J. Pierzynski (C White Sox): Rangers – 1 yr, $7.5 mil
27. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP Royals): Royals – 3 yrs, $25 mil
28. Cody Ross (OF Red Sox): Diamondbacks – 3 yrs, $26 mil + option
29. Marco Scutaro (2B Giants): Giants – 3 yrs, $20 mil
30. Shohei Otani (RHP Japan): Remaining in Japan with Nippon Ham
31. Jonathan Broxton (RHP Reds): Reds – 3 yrs, $21 mil
32. Russell Martin (C Yankees): Pirates – 2 yrs, $17 mil
33. Jeremy Affeldt (LHP Giants): Giants – 3 yrs, $18 mil
**. Mark Reynolds (1B Orioles): Indians – 1 yr, $6 mil
34. Delmon Young (OF Tigers): Phillies – 1 yr, $750,000 + $2.5 mil incentives
35. Ichiro Suzuki (OF Yankees): Yankees – 2 yrs, $13 mil
36. Brandon McCarthy (RHP Athletics): Diamondbacks – 2 yrs, $15.5 mil
37. Brett Myers (RHP White Sox): Indians – 1 yr, $7 mil + option
38. Kyuji Fujikawa (RHP Japan): Cubs – 2 yrs, $9.5 mil + vesting option
**: Brian Wilson (RHP Giants):
**. John Lannan (LHP Nationals): Phillies – 1 yr, $2.5 mil
39. Carlos Villanueva (RHP Blue Jays): Cubs – 2 yrs, $10 mil
40. Lance Berkman (1B Cardinals): Rangers – 1 yr, $11 mil + option
41. Sean Burnett (LHP Nationals): Angels – 2 yrs, $8 mil + $4.5 mil vesting option
42. Koji Uehara (RHP Rangers): Red Sox – 1 yr, $4.25 mil
43. Melky Cabrera (OF Giants): Blue Jays – 2 yrs, $16 mil
44. Joe Saunders (LHP Orioles):
45. Kelly Johnson (2B Blue Jays):
46. Ryan Madson (RHP Reds): Angels – 1 yr, $3.5 mil + $3.5 mil incentives
47. Francisco Liriano (LHP White Sox): Pirates – 2 yrs, $12.75 mil
48. Jose Valverde (RHP Tigers):
49. Mike Adams (RHP Rangers): Phillies – 2 yrs, $12 mil + vesting option
50. Roy Oswalt (RHP Rangers):
51. Jeff Keppinger (INF Rays): White Sox – 3 yrs, $12 mil
52. Joakim Soria (RHP Royals): Rangers – 2 yrs, $8 mil
53. Hiroyuki Nakajima (SS Japan): Athletics – 2 yrs, $6.5 mil
54. Brandon Lyon (RHP Blue Jays):
55. Joe Blanton (RHP Dodgers): Angels – 2 yrs, $15 mil + option
56. J.P. Howell (LHP Rays): Dodgers – 1 yr, $2.85 mil + $1.2 mil incentives
57. Scott Baker (RHP Twins): Cubs – 1 yr, $5.5 mil
58. Juan Pierre (OF Phillies): Marlins – 1 yr, $1.6 mil
59. Matt Lindstrom (RHP Rockies):
60. Maicer Izturis (INF Angels): Blue Jays – 3 yrs, $10 mil + option
61. Kyle Farnsworth (RHP Rays):
**. Tom Gorzelanny (LHP Nationals): Brewers – 2 yrs, $6 mil
62. Erik Bedard (LHP free agent):
63. David Ross (C Braves): Red Sox – 2 yrs, $6.2 mil
64. Jon Rauch (RHP Mets):
65. Scott Hairston (OF Mets):
66. Jason Grilli (RHP Pirates): Pirates – 2 yrs, $6.75 mil
67. Jonny Gomes (OF Athletics): Red Sox – 2 yrs, $10 mil
68. Kevin Correia (RHP Pirates): Twins – 2 yrs, $10 mil
**. Mike Pelfrey (RHP Mets): Twins – 1 yr, $4 mil + incentives
69. Eric Chavez (3B Yankees): Diamondbacks – 1 yr, $3 mil
70. Raul Ibanez (OF-DH Yankees): Mariners – 1 yr, $2.75 mil
71. Roberto Hernandez (RHP Indians): Rays – 1 yr, $3.25 mil + incentives
72. Luke Scott (OF-DH Rays):
73. Vicente Padilla (RHP Red Sox): Signed $3.25 million to play in Japan
74. Scott Rolen (3B Reds):
**. Jeff Karstens (RHP Pirates): Pirates – 1 yr, $2.5 mil
75. Carlos Zambrano (RHP Marlins):
76. Carlos Lee (1B Marlins):
77. Francisco Rodriguez (RHP Brewers):
78. Placido Polanco (3B Phillies): Marlins – 1 yr, $2.75 mil
79. Jose Veras (RHP Brewers): Astros – 1 yr, $2 mil + option
80. Grady Sizemore (OF Indians):
81. Scott Feldman (RHP Rangers): Cubs – 1 yr, $6 mil
82. Alex Gonzalez (SS Brewers):
**. Jair Jurrjens (RHP Braves):
83. Matt Capps (RHP Twins):
**. Geovany Soto (C Rangers): Rangers – 1 yr, $2.75 mil
**. Nate Schierholtz (OF Phillies): Cubs – 1 yr, $2.25 mil
84. Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP Red Sox):
85. Carlos Pena (1B Rays): Astros – 1 yr, $2.9 mil + incentives
86. Jason Marquis (RHP Padres): Padres – 1 yr, $3 mil
87. Jason Frasor (RHP Blue Jays): Rangers – 1 yr, $1.5 mil
**: Manny Parra (LHP Brewers):
88. Derek Lowe (RHP Yankees):
89. Chris Young (RHP Mets):
90. Andruw Jones (OF Yankees): Signed $3.6 million deal to play in Japan
91. Michael Gonzalez (LHP Nationals): Brewers – 1 yr, $2.25 mil + incentives
92. Miguel Olivo (C Mariners):
**. Manny Acosta (RHP Mets): Signed $1.65 million deal to play in Japan
93. Jason Bartlett (SS free agent):
94. Kevin Millwood (RHP Mariners):
95. Jim Thome (DH Orioles):
96. Rod Barajas (C Pirates):
97. James Loney (1B Red Sox): Rays – 1 yr, $2 mil
98. Jeff Francis (LHP Rockies): Rockies – 1 yr, $1.5 mil + $1.5 mil in incentives
99. Kelly Shoppach (C Mets):
**. Jesus Flores (C Nationals): Dodgers – minor league contract
**. Andres Torres (OF Mets): Giants – 1 yr, $2 mil
**. Ryan Sweeney (OF Red Sox):
100. Mark Lowe (RHP Rangers):
101. Brandon Inge (3B Athletics):
102. Jonathan Sanchez (LHP Rockies):
103. Ty Wigginton (INF-OF Phillies): Cardinals – 2 yrs, $5 mil
104. Takashi Toritani (SS Japan): Remaining in Japan with Hanshin
105. Chien-Ming Wang (RHP Nationals):
***. Ian Stewart (3B Cubs): Cubs – 1 yr, $2 mil
106. Travis Hafner (DH Indians):
107. Ramon Ramirez (RHP Mets):
108. Carl Pavano (RHP Twins):
109. Reed Johnson (OF Braves): Braves – 1 yr, $1.75 mil + option
110. Hideki Okajima (LHP Japan):
111. Juan Rivera (OF Dodgers):

Signed pre-rankings:

Jake Peavy (RHP White Sox): White Sox – 2 yrs, $29 mil + vesting option
Brandon League (RHP Dodgers): Dodgers – 3 yrs, $22.5 mil + option
Chris Iannetta (C Angels): Angels – 3 yrs, $15.55 mil
Joel Peralta (RHP Rays): Rays – 2 yrs, $6 mil + options
Bartolo Colon (RHP Athletics): Athletics – 1 yr, $3 mil
Oliver Perez (LHP Mariners): Mariners – 1 yr, $1.5 mil

Other deals:

Randy Choate (LHP Dodgers): Cardinals – 3 yrs, $7.5 mil
Jack Hannahan (3B Indians): Reds – 2 yrs, $4 mil
Gerald Laird (C Tigers): Braves – 2 yrs, $3.3 mil
Nate McLouth (OF Orioles): Orioles – 1 yr, $2 mil
Dioner Navarro (C Reds): Cubs – 1 yr, $1.75 mil
Casey McGehee (3B Yankees): Signed $1.5 mil deal to play in Japan
Shawn Camp (RHP Cubs): Cubs – 1 yr, $1.35 mil
Eric Hinske (1B-OF Braves): Diamondbacks – 1 yr, $1.075 mil
Jason Bay (OF Mets): Mariners – 1 yr – $1 mil
Zach Duke (LHP Nationals): Nationals – 1 yr