In what will surely be a season-altering move, the Diamondbacks have acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell from the Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Reno, where he’ll presumably serve as depth for the starting rotation.
Harrell successfully cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this month, which is an indication of how far his stock has fallen since he posted a 3.76 ERA over 32 starts in 2012. The 28-year-old had an ugly 5.86 ERA and a league-leading 88 walks in 153 2/3 innings last year and was finally given the boot after posting a 9.49 ERA in three starts this year.
The Astros likely would have received a nice return had they traded Harrell after his 2012 season, but they either decided to keep him around or didn’t find an offer to their liking. Still, it looks like a missed opportunity now.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.