The Arizona Diamondbacks made an interesting move today when they traded Detroit Tigers two relatively unknown and completely unheralded minor league pitchers for Armondo Galarraga. Galarraga, you might recall if you watch any sports at all, made news last season when he was robbed of a perfect game on a blown call in the last out of the ninth inning.
The Tigers were willing to move Galarraga after signing another former Diamondback, Brad Penny. He will join what has suddenly become a very interesting battle between seven guys for the five starting spots in the Diamondbacks rotation. Galarraga will join Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Barry Enright, Zach Duke, and Aaron Heilman who will all be competing for the jobs with Heilman and Enright as the early favorites to be voted off the island and into the bull pen. And lets not forget that the promising young Jarrod Parker is expected to be ready to see some time in the majors at some point this season.
So while some pitching staffs are top heavy, the Diamondbacks suddenly find themselves with a lot of depth even if it's just a depth of mediocrity. Given the youth involved and overall lack of dominance on the staff, it's about how you would draw it up while waiting to see if either Parker or any of the other young arms like Patrick Corbin or Tyler Skaggs develop into ace material.
"We are excited about the opportunity to acquire a pitcher of Armando Galarraga's ability a few weeks before the start of Spring Training," D-backs' Executive Vice President and General Manager Kevin Towers said. "Armando is a quality pitcher as well as individual that will compete for a spot in our rotation with all of the other starting pitchers this spring."
The prospects traded for Galarraga are right-handed pitcher Kevin Eichhorn and left-handed pitcher Ryan Robowski, according to an official team press release. Galarraga is under contract for this year for $2.3 million but with arbitration will be under Diamondbacks control for a total of three seasons.
Here's a bit on Galarraga's numbers from the Diamondbacks press release:
Galarraga, 29, posted a 4-9 record and 4.49 ERA (72 ER in 144.1 IP) with 51 walks and 74 strikeouts in 25 games (24 starts) for the Tigers last season. Over parts of four Major League seasons with the Texas Rangers (2007) and Tigers (2008-10), he has a 23-26 record and 4.58 ERA (242 ER in 475.1 IP) with 186 walks and 301 strikeouts in 87 career games. In 78 career starts, he has a 23-25 record and 4.47 ERA (229 ER in 460.2 IP) with 175 walks and 291 strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks also announced today that they signed former Diamondback pitcher Micah Owings to a minor league contract. Owings was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 as part of the deal that brought Adam Dunn to the desert. Ownings has struggled as a pitcher but is well-remembered here for his prowess at the plate.
Towers said that Owings will compete for bull pen job as a long reliever but he could also see some time at first base.
Here's the numbers on Micah per the press release.
Owings, 28, posted a 3-2 record and 5.40 ERA (20 ER in 33.1 IP) with 25 walks and 35 strikeouts in 22 relief appearances for the Cincinnati Reds last season. He also pitched in 8 games (5 starts) for Triple-A Louisville, posting a 2.21 ERA (5 ER in 20.1 IP) with 10 walks and 13 strikeouts.
Over parts of four Major League seasons with the D-backs (2007-08) and Reds (2009-10), he has a 24-31 record and 5.11 ERA (233 ER in 410.1 IP) with 180 walks and 296 strikeouts in 99 career games (64 starts). In 35 career relief appearances, he has a 4-3 record and 4.99 ERA (32 ER in 57.2 IP) with 42 walks and 50 strikeouts.