D-Backs “seem keen on giving Juan Miranda an opportunity”

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Arizona has been relatively quiet on the first baseman front despite letting 2010 starter Adam LaRoche walk as a free agent, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks seem likely to give minor-league veteran Juan Miranda a chance to claim the everyday job.

Acquired from the Yankees for a mid-level prospect last month, Miranda has consistently posted solid numbers in the minors and is a career .287 hitter with a .374 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 301 games at Triple-A.

He was never going to get a chance stuck behind Mark Teixeira in New York, but if platooned and given starts primarily versus right-handed pitching the 27-year-old is capable of being very useful for the league minimum.

According to Piecoro “new general manager Kevin Towers is rolling the dice on a few buy-low candidates” like Miranda and “seems keen on giving him an opportunity.”

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).