Bill Baer

Baseball Daily Dose

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Offseason Dose: Jean-etics

Monday, February 1, 2016


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The Brewers and Diamondbacks mixed it up on Saturday night, agreeing on a five-player swap that sent shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Tyler Wagner to Arizona. In return, starter Chase Anderson, second baseman Aaron Hill, and minor league infield prospect Isan Diaz head to Milwaukee.

 

The rebuilding Brewers have made it no secret they are willing to ship off their veterans, as outfielder Ryan Braun and catcher Jonathan Lucroy are other potential trade candidates.

 

Segura, 25, is earning $2.6 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility. While he is relatively cheap with three years of team control, the shortstop has put up back-to-back subpar seasons which may not merit an ever-increasing salary in the Brewers’ eyes. Segura put up an aggregate .252/.285/.331 triple-slash line with 30 doubles, 11 triples, 11 home runs, 81 RBI, 118 runs scored, and 45 stolen bases in 1,141 plate appearances since the start of the 2014 season.

 

Per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart said on Saturday that Segura will compete for playing time at both second base and shortstop, but will get a majority of his reps at shortstop during spring training. This puts some fire under the seat of Nick Ahmed, who put up mediocre offensive numbers like Segura, but played solid defense. For fantasy purposes, it’s worth keeping tabs on the Diamondbacks’ middle infield situation. If Segura claims a full-time role, he will at the very least provide 20-plus steals, making him a target at the back end of drafts in deeper leagues.

 

Wagner, 25, impressed with Double-A Biloxi this past season, putting up a 2.25 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 45 walks in 152 1/3 innings. He made a spot start on May 31, his major league debut, and then started two more times in late September and early October. In total, he allowed 11 runs on 22 hits and seven walks with five strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. An unimpressive start to his career for sure, but Wagner could provide rotation depth for the foreseeable future.

 

Anderson, 28, joins the Brewers’ rotation after putting up two adequate seasons with the D-Backs. In 267 innings spanning 48 starts, he compiled a 4.18 ERA with 216 strikeouts and 80 walks. Anderson doesn’t do anything particularly noteworthy on the mound, with average strikeout and walk rates, and no particular batted ball profile. However, for the Brewers, his ability to reach the sixth inning will provide enough value in their eyes.

 

In moving the 33-year-old Hill, the Diamondbacks finally clear some of his salary off the books and open up his roster spot. Piecoro hears that the Diamondbacks will pay $5.5 million of Hill’s $12 million salary for the 2016 season. The veteran has battled injuries over the past three seasons, limiting his effectiveness. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Hill has hit a lackluster .238/.290/.359 with 16 home runs and 99 RBI spanning 894 plate appearances. He can still hit lefties, though, and could form one half of a platoon with the left-handed-hitting Scooter Gennett at second base.

 

Diaz, 19, may be the most interesting player in this entire trade. The Diamondbacks’ second-round pick in the 2014 draft, Diaz hit an eye-popping .360/.436/.640 with 44 extra-base hits in 312 plate appearances in rookie ball last year. He is still a long way from the major leagues, and a position change to second base could be in his future as he’s behind current top prospect Orlando Arcia. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, “quite a few executives” like Diaz.

 

Dodgers Bring Kendrick Back


On Friday evening, the Dodgers inked second baseman Howie Kendrick to a two-year, $20 million contract. It hasn’t been made official yet, but Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Saturday, "the reports that are out there are accurate,” per Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA.

 

Stephen also reported that new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already spoken to Kendrick about mixing in some playing time at third base as well as second base. The Dodgers already have Chase Utley, Enrique Hernandez, and Micah Johnson at second base on the depth chart, and third baseman Justin Turner is recovering from surgery on his left knee, so it makes sense to expand his versatility. Kendrick has only six innings of playing time at third base in his major league career, all of which came in one game during his rookie season in 2006.

 

Kendrick, 32, batted .295/.336/.409 with nine home runs and 54 RBI in 495 plate appearances with the Dodgers last season. The club had acquired him from the Angels in December 2014 in exchange for pitching prospect Andrew Heaney.

 

Though Kendrick is not as nimble as he was before hitting his thirties, Kendrick is still a good bet to put up an OPS near .750, mashing around 10 home runs and potentially hitting double digits in steals as well. He’s a safer bet towards the end of standard roto drafts, but that may be a time when one prefers to take a gamble on higher upside.

 

Rays Acquire Dickerson


The Rockies cleared up their outfield on Friday, sending Corey Dickerson for the Rays in exchange for reliever Jake McGee and minor league pitcher German Marquez. The trade comes as no surprise as the Rockies’ signing of Gerardo Parra left them with four starting-caliber outfielders with only three spots.

 

Oddly enough, Dickerson’s arrival to the Rays leaves them with a surfeit of outfielders. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay times suggests the Rays could trade Desmond Jennings or Brandon Guyer to address needs elsewhere.

 

Dickerson, 26, will become eligible for arbitration after this season and can become eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. This past year with the Rockies, he hit .304/.333/.536 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 234 plate appearances. He missed a significant chunk of time due to plantar fasciitis and non-displaced fractures of two ribs. While Dickerson will be a power threat in the middle of the Rays’ lineup, fantasy owners should consider just how much a move from Coors Field to Tropicana Field can impact his numbers. According to Baseball Reference, Dickerson’s neutralized batting line last season comes out to .288/.316/.507, a 46-point decline in OPS over his actual batting line.

 

McGee, 29, will earn $4.8 million this season, his third of four years of arbitration eligibility. He has become a fearsome late-innings reliever, posting a composite 2.07 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 24 walks in 108 2/3 innings since the start of the 2014 campaign. With Adam Ottavino still recovering from Tommy John surgery, McGee will be a candidate to start the season in the closer’s role, but will have to vie with Chad Qualls and Jason Motte for that right. Even if McGee doesn’t win the job out of spring training, he may be worth stashing as neither Qualls nor Motte are anyone’s idea of a lock in the ninth inning.

 

Marquez, 20, spent the 2015 season with Single-A Charlotte. He posted a 4.40 ERA with 104 strikeouts and 29 walks over 139 innings. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke to a rival scout, who described Marquez as having plus command and an above-average curve along with a 91-96 MPH fastball.

 

Quick Hits: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun says he is still a few weeks behind schedule in his recovery from offseason back surgery, and won’t be at 100 percent by the start of spring training … The Marlins are reportedly considering free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse … The Mariners’ reported minor league deal with 1B/OF Travis Ishikawa is unlikely to be finalized and he is expected to pursue opportunities elsewhere …  Twins GM Terry Ryan confirmed on Saturday that first baseman Joe Mauer is done catching … The Royals signed outfielder Travis Snider to a minor league deal on Saturday … Outfielder Andruw Jones is expected to officially retire … The Mets placed reliever Carlos Torres on waivers on Saturday … The Reds inked lefty Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal on Saturday … The Blue Jays and infielder Maicer Izturis agreed on a minor league pact on Saturday … The Royals have reportedly discussed contract extensions with catcher Salvador Perez and third baseman Mike Moustakas … The Rangers avoided arbitration with reliever Jake Diekman at $1.255 million on Friday … The Red Sox and reliever Robbie Ross avoided arbitration at $1.25 million on Friday … Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow and has an expected recovery timetable of four to six weeks … Second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets avoided arbitration on Friday at $10.55 million … The Phillies designated for assignment former top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle on Friday … Rockies manager Walt Weiss said on Friday that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez could get some work at first base during spring training … The Brewers acquired outfielder Rymer Liriano from the Padres in exchange for minor league pitcher Trevor Seidenberger on Friday … The Rays finalized a one-year, $4.75 million deal with 1B/OF Steve Pearce on Friday … 



Bill Baer writes for HardballTalk and Rotoworld and covers the Phillies at his site Crashburn Alley. You can follow him on Twitter @Baer_Bill.
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