December 2009 - Arizona Diamondbacks Wiretap
D-Backs, Kelly Johnson Close To Deal
The Diamondbacks are getting closer to landing free-agent second baseman Kelly Johnson. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the two sides are very close to a deal if they haven't already agreed on terms.
D-Backs Wait To Hear From Kelly Johnson
The Diamondbacks have $3 million left to spend and are waiting to hear from free-agent second baseman Kelly Johnson. Arizona is hoping to hear an answer from Johnson within the next few days. The D-Backs are interested in Johnson as a second baseman and an outfielder.
Arizona Monitoring Valverde's Availability
The Diamondbacks are monitoring the availability of free-agent reliever Jose Valverde. Arizona signed Bob Howry, which appears to make the return of Valverde less likely, but it's not out of the question. Team sources tell the Arizona Republic that they will continue to track Valverde and theoretically could stretch their budget for him if the cost makes sense.
Diamondbacks Remain Interested In Kelly Johnson
The Diamondbacks still have interest in free-agent infielder Kelly Johnson. Arizona is believed to have made a one-year, $2 million offer to Johnson.
Sources: Diamondbacks Add Howry To Pitching Staff
Reliever Bobby Howry has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks, sources confirmed to ESPN.com on Saturday. Howry, 36, pitched for the Giants last season, going 2-6 with a 3.39 ERA in 63 games.
D-Backs Agree To Deal With Augie Ojeda
The Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal with infielder Augie Ojeda. Ojeda will earn $825,000 for 2010 after hitting .246 with a .340 on-base percentage last season. "I'm ecstatic," Ojeda said. "I think this team is capable of doing a lot of special things. We have good core players, and with the addition of the pitchers we got I think we're going to compete."
Scherzer 'Blindsided' By Trade To Detroit
Max Scherzer had been following the Diamondbacks' off-season plans closely, hoping his team would make improvements. "Obviously, things change, and that's how baseball is," he said. "You can be thinking one thing one minute, and then another opportunity comes around." Scherzer used the words "shocked" and "blindsided" in describing his emotions upon learning he had been traded to Detroit. "Definitely caught me by surprise," he said. "But for me I leave the Diamondbacks and go to another good opportunity where I'll have a chance to make the playoffs."
Grading The Deal: Yankees Win Three-Way Deal
The Yankees have an inherent advantage in dealing away prospects because the expectations are so high and making the big league club is incredibly difficult when there are so many All-Stars at nearly every position. Plugging in high-priced free agents on a near annual basis, creates situations where a Yankee farm hand must make an overwhelming case for a chance, as Robinson Cano did several seasons ago. Austin Jackson may one day be a very good center fielder, but since they already know Curtis Granderson is an All-Star center fielder, along with Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke makes the trade a can't miss from the Yankees' perspective. Also included in the deal are Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks, as well as Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to Detroit. While Granderson is the biggest name dealt, Scherzer could develop into a reliable AL number two and Jackson should be a nice middle of the rotation guy in the NL West. Granderson isn't Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle or even Bernie Williams, but he has a career OPS of .828 and will be just 29 this season. He is in the very middle of his prime, under an affordable contract and does just about everything well. Despite hitting in a pitcher's park, Granderson hit 30 homers last season, with 22, 23 and 19 in the four previous seasons, showing a proven track record of power that will escalate significantly in Yankee Stadium. Like CC Sabathia, Granderson's intangibles are through the roof and he will immediately have an incredibly positive impact in the clubhouse and with the media, of which he has experience on the other side as a playoff commentator. Defensively, Granderson is well above average and will play a very good center field. Acquiring Granderson while only relinquishing players that probably would never be good enough to become anything more than long relievers or fourth outfielders makes the move a big win for Brian Cashman as a stand alone trade. But Cashman now has a few new options in the remainder of his offseason plans. He can now reasonably ask Johnny Damon to take a shorter deal with very apparent leverage. If Damon does re-sign, the terms will be far more favorable for the Yankees and it will allow them to potentially trade Melky Cabrera or Nick Swisher to acquire another asset. The New York outfield will likely have Granderson in center, Cabrera in right field and Swisher in left if they don't re-sign Damon. The move also won't affect the Yankees' ability to pursue Roy Halladay, as neither Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain were included. Grade for Yankees: A The Tigers will save a considerable amount of money in losing Granderson, while acquiring a stud arm in Scherzer. Scherzer had a 3.87 FIP while striking out 174 batters in 170.1 innings. He is just 25 and will be under Detroit's control for five seasons. Along with Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, Scherzer will give Detroit a frontline that can compare to New York's and Boston's in any given season. Austin Jackson doesn't project to be anybody's version of an All-Star, but his skill set should work well in spacious Comerica Park, where he will cover a lot of ground defensively and hit to the gaps for a lot of doubles and triples. Coke will be in the MLB for another 15 seasons as a left specialist, but that is what he is. He struck out 49 batters in 60.0 innings this season. Schlereth was the 26th overall pick in 2008 and had a 0.98 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 27.2 minor league innings this season. He struggled in his 18.1 MLB innings, but he did show some of that strikeout ability. Schlereth is clearly a late inning reliever and may even be a reliable closer. Grade for Tigers: B+ Even though the D-Backs now have two pitchers they can probably count on to round out their rotation, it is at a much lower ceiling. Jackson doesn't have any of the same dominant upside as Scherzer. Jackson's career FIP is just 4.72, though that should improve pitching in the NL West. Jackson's ERA dropped from 4.42 in 2008 with Tampa Bay to 3.62 with the Tigers, while he struck out 161 batters in 214 innings. Unlike Detroit, who now has a potentially dominant frontline and the Yankees, who won a World Series behind three arms, the D-Backs have essentially punted on that opportunity. Dan Haren, a healthy Brandon Webb and Scherzer would strike fear into San Francisco's excellent version or Colorado's, or anything the Dodgers will be able to muster this winter. But Jackson is just another starter and he is much closer to costing more money annually and closer to free agency. Kennedy has always been the third banana in the Yankees' big three of young potential starters. He missed most of 2009 due to injury and is older than than Joba and Hughes, without any of the same proven MLB innings. He has excellent command and will have a far better chance of success in the NL, but he won't be anything more than a third or fourth starter. Grade for D-Backs: D+
Granderson Comes To Yankees In Three-Way
Curtis Granderson is the Yankees? new center fielder, coming over from the Detroit Tigers in a three-way deal that also included the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal, which is pending approval of medical records, will send outfielder Austin Jackson and reliever Phil Coke to Detroit and starter Ian Kennedy to Arizona. The Diamondbacks will also receive starter Edwin Jackson from the Tigers, who will also get starter Max Scherzer and reliever Daniel Schlereth from Arizona. The move does not preclude the Yankees from re-signing Johnny Damon, but it puts them in a much stronger negotiating position.
Yankees Close To Getting Granderson
The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers are on the verge of a deal that would send Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson to New York, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney. In the trade, the Diamondbacks would obtain Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, while the Tigers will pick up Max Scherzer, Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson. In return, the Tigers would get a hard thrower in Scherzer and a well-regarded prospect in Austin Jackson, while the Diamondbacks get a pair of starting pitchers in Edwin Jackson and Kennedy.
Yankees, Tigers, D-Backs Talking Blockbuster
Curtis Granderson could be dealt to the Yankees, while Edwin Jackson would go to Arizona with Max Scherzer heading to Detroit.
Sources: D-Backs Unlikely To Deal Jackson
The Diamondbacks would want a young starter in return for Conor Jackson.