MLB Free Agency 2012: Diamondbacks Show Interest In Bartolo Colon

The MLB offseason is officially underway. We have all your Arizona Diamondbacks free agent news right here.

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MLB Free Agency: Diamondbacks Reportedly Sign OF Jason Kubel

The Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly signed free agent OF Jason Kubel to a substantial contract. This move raises a few questions about how Kubel will be used and what the signing means to the rest of the line up.


MLB Free Agency Rumors: Diamondbacks Add Saito To Improved Pen

Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers wasn't kidding when he said (many times) that he believes pitching wins championships. He proved that yet again by landing yet another solid piece to the D-backs bullpen that was already vastly improved in 2011. According to a report from the reliable Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Diamondbacks agreed to terms with valuable reliever, RHP Takashi Saito.

Twitter / @JonHeymanCBS: hearing saito has agreed t ...
hearing saito has agreed to terms with #dbacks. another good pickup for them.

Towers said just a few days ago after the trade that added starting pitcher Trevor Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow that he wasn't done dealing and was still looking for either another starter, more bullpen help, or both.

Saito will turn 42 before the season so that will be a concern. He's been extremely effect, however, in his six seasons in Major League Baseball. Saito has a career ERA of 2.18 and posted a 2.03 in 30 appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers last season.

Contract terms with the D-backs aren't available. The free agent made a reported $1.75 million last season.

If he can remain healthy and effective, Saito adds even more depth to the Diamondbacks bullpen that already received an upgrade in with the addition of Breslow.

The free agent signing of Takashi Saito has not been officially confirmed.

For more on the Arizona Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit. 


Trevor Cahill Traded For Jarrod Parker In Deal Between Oakland And Arizona

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A's have reportedly completed a trade featuring D-backs prospect, Jarrod Parker and A's young pitcher, Trevor Cahill. Multiple media outlets are reporting the deal with Steve Gilbert and Jane Lee of the first to say it's been completed. Also included in the deal are Arizona outfielder Collin Cowgill and RHP Ryan Cook and Oakland lefty reliever Craig Breslow.

Cahill is just 23-years-old but has three years experience pitching for the A's with 96 starts and 583 innings under his belt with a solid 3.91 ERA over that span. The righty is listed at 6-4, 225 pounds and was drafted in the second round of the 2006 draft. He grew up and went to high school in southern California.

Cahill had the fifth-highest ground ball rate in the major leagues in 2011 which makes him a good fit in a rotation with Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson who are more fly-ball pitchers. Trevor's primary pitch is a high 80's sinker. He also throws a slider, change-up and curve ball.

Here's what the A's had to say about him a few years ago:

Trevor Cahill Top 50 Prospects Profile | Minors
"Trevor Cahill has the unique combination of being able to induce groundballs at a very high rate and still be able to have a very high strikeout-to-innings-pitched ratio. Trevor is the quiet assassin type that is extremely competitive and is driven to achieve at the top level. Combine that desire with athleticism, a heavy natural sinking fastball, an out pitch knuckle-curve, intelligence and strike-throwing ability and that equals an elite starting-pitching prospect." -- Billy Owens, A's director of player personnel

Cahill's contract is reported to be $3.5m in 2012, $5.5m in 2013, $7.7m in 2014, $12m in 2015, $13m option in 2016, $13.5m option in 2017 with $800k total buyouts. 

Breslow, 31, is a six-year vet who's pitched well as a lefty specialist. He owns a career 3.06 ERA with a total of 279 total innings over 295 games. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 26th round of the 2002 draft out of Yale. Breslow is arbitration eligible after making $1.4 million last year. He's under club control for two more years. 

The Diamondbacks are giving up one of their top pitching prospects, Jarrod Parker, who was called up in September and even made the playoff roster. He was expected to compete for a rotation spots in 2012. Losing Parker will be painful for many Diamondbacks fans who have waited since 2007 to see him make the team only to have him traded right before getting his big chance.

The D-backs, however, still have plenty of of top pitching prospects with Tyler SkaggsTrevor Bauer and Pat Corbin set to compete for a starting job this spring.

Arizona also gave up OF Collin Cowgill and RHP Ryan Cook.

Cowgill, 25, served well as a fourth outfielder but doesn't appear to have a ton of upside as a hitter although he is a solid defender at all three positions. Cook, 24, struggled in 12 relief appearances with the D-backs last season (7.04 ERA).

The deal adds a proven pitcher to the D-backs rotation who is under control with a good contract and a veteran lefty to the pen. There's no question the trade makes the D-backs more formidable heading into 2012 without sacrificing too much of the future.

The Oakland A's are in cost-cutting mode as they position the team to possibly move to San Jose.

For more on the Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.


MLB Trade Rumors: Diamondbacks And A's Explore Deal Involving Trevor Cahill And More

The 2011 MLB Winter Meetings ended on Thursday but that doesn't mean the Hot Stove is turned off. According to multiple reports, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics are deep in negotiations for a trade that would send one or more prospects from Arizona in exchange for RHP Trevor Cahill and possibly LHP Craig Breslow.

Both Cahill and Breslow have experience at the major league level and could bolster the D-backs staff. It's not clear what prospects the D-backs would have to give up, but according to reports RHP Jarrod Parker may or may not be included and OF Collin Cowgill has been mentioned. 

Trevor Cahill, 23, has three seasons with the A's with 96 total starts and a career ERA of 3.91 over 583 innings. He's known as a ground ball pitcher with his strongest pitcher a 88-92 mph sinker. He also throws a change-up and curve.

Breslow, 30, is a reliever with six seasons of major league experience with a career ERA of 3.06. Last season he pitched 59 innings with 44 strikeouts and 21 walks as a lefty specialist. He's considered one of the smartest players in the league.

Who Has the Brainiest Team in Baseball? -
Judging by his résumé, Craig Breslow is the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world. A lefty reliever for the Athletics, Mr. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry before trying his hand at professional sports.

Here's a few reports on the on-going trade discussions from respected baseball writers. As is common with these situation, there are conflicting reports which indicates how fluid the situation is:

Twitter / @nickpiecoro: 
Hearing talks have advanced between Dbacks-A's regarding RHP Trevor Cahill. RHP Jarrod Parker thought to be involved.

Twitter / @Ken_Rosenthal: .
#Dbacks expected to receive Breslow as well as Cahill from #Athletics. #MLB

Twitter / @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: 
Sources: #Dbacks close on Cahill. RHP Jarrod Parker, OF Collin Cowgill in play for #Athletics. Could be others coming from A's. #MLB

Twitter / @BNightengale: 
The #Dbacks are hopeful that #Athletics will accept their offer of prized pitching prospect for Trevor Cahill. #mlb

Twitter / @BNightengale: 
The #Dbacks plan on Parker being their 5th starter so he is NOT in potential deal

The previously reported discussions involving A's pitcher Gio Gonzalez seem to have cooled with Oakland seeking what Fox Sports Arizona described as a "Dan Haren package" that would be too pricey. 

For more on the Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.


MLB Winter Meetings: Diamondbacks Score Again In Rule 5 Draft; Reportedly Retain Overbay

The Arizona Diamondbacks haven't made the kind of splash their former interim GM Jerry Dipoto made Thursday morning with the signings of Mr. Albert Pujols and Mr. C.J. Wilson. They are reported, however, to be discussing trade options for one or both of the A's young pitchers (Gio Gonzalez and/or Trevor Cahill). The team has also reportedly agreed to a one-year, $1m deal with 1B Lyle Overbay. 

Amid all that, GM Kevin Towers did make one move Thursday by way of the Rule 5 Draft. They D-backs announced they selected right-handed pitcher Brett Lorin Pirates organization.

Here's Lorin's numbers from the press release: 

Lorin, 24, was 7-6 with a 2.84 ERA (37 ER in 117.1 IP) and .230 opponents average (103-for-447) with 19 walks and 99 strikeouts in 25 games (17 starts) for the Single-A Advanced Bradenton Marauders in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

In 17 starts, he went 4-5 with a 3.26 ERA (31 ER in 85.2 IP) and .239 opponents average (79-for-330) with 15 walks and 70 strikeouts. In 8 relief appearances, he went 3-1 with a save, a 1.71 ERA (6 ER in 31.2 IP), a .205 opponents average (24-for-117) with 4 walks and 29 strikeouts.

Over parts of four seasons in the farm systems for the Seattle Mariners and Pirates, Lorin was 18-16 with a save, a 3.03 ERA (115 ER in 341.1 IP) and .232 opponents average (295-for-1272) with 91 walks and 318 strikeouts. 

The D-backs used the Rule 5 Draft last year to acquire LHP Joe Paterson who pitched well for the Snakes out of the pen in 2011. The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to snag players out of other team's minor league systems under circumstances. Here's a scouting report on Lorin from SB Nation's MLB Daily Dish:

2011 Rule 5 Baseball Draft Results and Reports - Minor League Ball
He has a mediocre fastball in the upper-80s, but has a good slider, changes speeds well, and throws strikes. He could be a fifth starter or long reliever.

Lorin was drafted by the Mariners as their fifth-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He was acquired along with first baseman Jeff Clement, shortstop Ronny Cedeno and pitchers Aaron Pribanic and Nathan Adcock by the Pirates on July 29, 2009 for infielder Jack Wilson and pitcher Ian Snell. He played collegiately at Long Beach State in 2008 and the University of Arizona in 2006-2007.

The D-backs didn't lose any players from their system in the Rule 5 Draft.

For more D-backs discussion, visit AZ Snake Pit.


MLB Trade Rumors: Diamondbacks Chasing Gio Gonzalez

The Arizona Diamondbacks went to the MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas with a pretty short shopping list: One veteran starting pitcher. A couple of names (Mark Buehrle and Hiroki Kuroda) have popped up before and the D-backs already made an offer to Joe Saunders. Now a new name has entered the mix, Oakland A's All-Star lefty, Gio Gonzalez.

The A's are said to be holding a fire sale and Gonzalez, 26 and arb 1 eligible, is apparently being shopped.

Gonzalez hottest lefty - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN
No, the lefty generating the most attention is the Athletics’ Gio Gonzalez, who is attracting trade interest from nearly a dozen teams, major league sources say. The Tigers, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Reds and Phillies are the known suitors for Gonzalez, according to sources.

It's possible that cost is a factor here with vets like Saunders, Buehrle and Kuroda likely commanding upwards of $8m or more on a yearly basis while a younger guy like Gio could be had for less via arbitration or extension.

It would, however, cost Kevin Towers some trade assets to pry him away from the A's with so many other teams interested. The D-backs have a lot of depth in their farm system and could offer any number of young pitchers who are not as ready to contribute as guy like Gio.

Gonzalez won 16 games with a pretty poor (74-88) A's team last season and pitched a 3.12 ERA in 202 innings. In 2010 he went 200 innings with a 3.23 ERA. The biggest concern is walks: He recorded 92 in 2010 and 91 in 2011 which was the most in the American League.

MLB Winter Meetings are all about rumors and many don't happen but this one certainly is interesting for the D-backs and seems legit:

Twitter / @BNightengale: Arizona #Dbacks pushing ha ...
Arizona #Dbacks pushing hard with #Athletics trying to get Gio Gonzale

For more on the Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.


MLB Winter Meetings: Diamondbacks Targeting Veteran Starting Pitcher

The annual MLB Winter Meetings have opened at the Anatole Hilton Hotel in Dallas, TX. Unlike years past, the Arizona Diamondbacks don't come to this free agent swap-fest with a long list of needs to fill. They've already solidified their infield with the re-signings of Aaron Hill, John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist. The outfield was already set and the bullpen and starting rotation are largely good to go.

There are three open questions although none of them are major. GM Kevin Towers told us last month that he's interested in adding a veteran starting pitcher to the mix  that already will include Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Josh Collmenter and a bevy of young arms that will compete for a spot in spring training. 

The D-backs have Joe Saunders under control through arbitration and have until December 12 to tender him an offer or lose him to free agency with no compensation. Towers was clear about his intent to explore the market before making a decision on Saunder.

"If we get out there and find that the price for free agent pitching is above and beyond where we think the value is for those guys, we've got a great internal candidate in Joe (Saunders)," Towers said in November.

The two names mentioned are Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Buehrle but both could come at a higher price than Saunders. There is a report out of Dallas that the D-backs are closing in on Kuroda:

Twitter / @HensonYahoo: Dbacks are after a starter ...
Dbacks are after a starter. Kuroda is the target and if he'd drop demand for 2nd year player's option, official sez cld get done this week.

We'll see how that goes.

Other than the search for a veteran pitcher, the D-backs have an offer out to Lyle Overbay to backup first base. They are also going to try and work on an extension for catcher Miguel Montero but he still isn't arbitration eligible until next season so there's time with him.

For more on the D-backs, visit AZ Snake Pit.


2012 MLB Offseason: Diamondbacks At Standstill With Miguel Montero

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is coming off a career-year in 2011 and is under contract through 2012. While his short-term future with the organization already in place, there is mutual interest between the D-backs and Montero to sign a contract extension. Unfortunately, the two sides cannot come to an agreement on the length of any potential contract.

According to this report, General Manager Kevin Towers said he has spoken with Montero this off-season about a contract extension, but talks are at a standstill because Montero is seeking more guaranteed years than the Diamondbacks are comfortable offering.

He's a big part of our organization," Towers said Tuesday at the Pfister Hotel, where he spent the day in meetings with fellow general managers. "I'm hoping at some point in time there's a meeting of the minds on where we go and we can find middle ground where we'd be comfortable."


"I would really like to stay here, but at the same time I have confidence in myself and I know what I'm capable of doing," Montero said by phone Tuesday. "I feel like I'm in great shape now and for years to come. I'm still 28 years old. I could be one of the youngest free-agent catchers out there next year.

There is no denying that Montero is one of the better catchers in all of baseball and he will be a hot commodity should he hit the open market in 2012. With mutual interest on both sides, one has to believe a contract extension will be worked out sometime in the next 12 months. Montero is too good of a catcher to let go and Arizona knows it.

For more on the D-backs, check out AZ Snake Pit.


Kevin Towers, Diamondbacks Looking At Free Agent Pitchers

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a lot of depth at pitching. We counted ten guys who could possibly compete for a starting job in the rotation and forgot to in include Micah Owings in that list. All of those guy, except for Owings, are young and inexperienced which is why we argued for the D-backs to retain the services of veteran lefty Joe Saunders.

General Manager Kevin Towers seems to be on the same page. At a charity golf event benefiting veterans, Towers talked about his search for veteran pitching options. And while Saunders is still in the mix, he's also kicking the tires on the free agent market.

"The scenario we've looked at is we could add some more veteran pitching to our club we would. We've reached out to a couple of pitchers who are free agents but the primary focus has been our infield," Towers said on Friday which happened to be his 50th birthday.

Towers wouldn't comment on any specific pitchers although the D-backs have been rumored to have interest in Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda.

The infield is mostly set with the John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist signings. The only outstanding question is second baseman Aaron Hill

Towers has an offer out to Hill that expires early next week. He is expecting an answer one way or another by Monday which would give him a clear idea of team needs heading into the general manager meetings in Milwaukee next week.

"If we get Aaron (Hill) back our focus will change to pitching," Towers said.

If the D-backs don't get Hill back, they would likely move Ryan Roberts to second base and look for options at third when Geoff Blum is only other player slotted for that position. 

As for Saunders, the D-backs have until December 12 before then have to tender him an offer and begin the arbitration process. If they non-tender Saunders and allow him to leave as a free agent, the D-backs wouldn't receive a compensation draft pick.

"If we get out there and find that the price for free agent pitching is above and beyond where we think the value is for those guys, we've got a great internal candidate in Joe (Saunders)," Towers said.

"We might, when it's all said and done, find out that most of the best options are here internally with Saunders and the kids that we currently got in our system."

Stephen Drew update

Stephen Drew's status still remains a question mark coming off a serious ankle injury. He's currently slated to start baseball activities about six weeks before spring training. At that point the team would know more about his timeline and status for the start of the season.

Towers points out that it's a contract year for Drew and he will be highly motivated to do everything he can to prove he can play. If he's not healthy, the Bloomquist and McDonald signings give the team ample protection.

Venezuela situation

Towers said the Diamondbacks have seven or eight players in Venezuela where Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was recently kidnapped. Players such as Colin Cowgill and Barry Enright are there along with hitting coach Don Baylor. Other players who are from the country and there as well.

The D-backs have had discussions about bringing their players home but haven't made a decision. Towers, who played in Columbia and other Latin American countries said it's safe for guys who stay around their hotels and avoid the wrong areas. 

Charity Golf event

The event at Wild Horse Pass on veterans day brought together a mix of current and former players. Guys like former second baseman Junior Spivey and current first basemen Paul Goldschmidt got together to have a little fun and raise money that benefits a variety of organizations and programs aimed at military veterans.

"Just to be able to come out here and gold and remember the veterans and support out troops is what this whole things about. I feel like it's a fun thing for everybody to do," pitcher Ian Kennedy explained.


Willie Bloomquist Reportedly Comes To Terms With Diamondbacks

It's a good day for the Arizona Diamondbacks if early reports prove true. Utility man (and former ASU Sun Devil) Willie Bloomquist is said to have agreed to terms with the Arizona Diamondbacks. According to Scott Miller, of CBS Sports the contract is a two-year, $3.8 million deal.

Bloomquist was a big part of the Diamondbacks success in 2011 thanks to the versatility he brings on the field and the example he sets for his teammates.

Willie was originally brought in as a back up at various infield and outfield positions but was elevated into a larger role at short stop after Stephen Drew's season-ending injury. His glove as an everyday player at short was exposed but he's a great fit in a utility role.

The D-backs already brought back short stop John McDonald who is known more for his defense than his bat and with Stephen Drew expected to recover from ankle injury the Bloomquist signing does create a bit of a logjam at short.

The Bloomquist and McDonald signings, however, give the D-backs some insurance should Drew suffer a setback or take longer than expected to return to form. Drew could miss spring training and a the first few weeks of the season. After that much time off, it might take him awhile to get back to be productive starting player. 

Bloomquist has also played second and third base and left field during his career which makes him a valuable bench player who gives the team great depth.

Bloomquist hit .266 on the season with an on-base percentage of .317. He stole 20 bases on the season and was the lead-off hitting in five playoff games. Bloomquist had seven hits and three stolen bases in five playoff games.

For more on this signing and the Arizona Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.

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