Arizona Diamondbacks – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-25T20:59:40Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Release Artie Lewicki]]> 2020-10-25T00:28:42Z 2020-10-25T00:28:21Z The Diamondbacks have released right-hander Artie Lewicki, as per the transactions page.  According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Lewicki will be signing with a team in Asia.

Lewicki appeared in two games for the D’Backs this season, making his return to the field after Tommy John surgery sidelined him for all of 2019.  Lewicki posted a 5.14 ERA over 49 innings for Detroit in 2017-18 before the D’Backs claimed him off waivers following the 2018 campaign.

Originally an eighth-round pick for the Tigers in the 2014 draft, Lewicki had some solid numbers over 398 2/3 innings in the Detroit farm system.  Starting 68 of 81 games, Lewicki had a 3.54 ERA, 3.54 K/BB, and 8.1 K/9 as a minor leaguer.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[D-backs Claim Taylor Guilbeau From Mariners; M’s Outright Gerson Bautista]]> 2020-10-23T23:46:06Z 2020-10-23T23:46:06Z The Diamondbacks have claimed left-hander Taylor Guilbeau off waivers from the Mariners, per an announcement from Seattle. The M’s also announced that righty Gerson Bautista has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma.

Now 27 years old, Guilbeau joined the Mariners as part of their return from the Nationals in a 2019 deal that sent relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland to Washington. Guilbeau went on to toss 20 innings of 2.70 ERA ball with a 59.1 percent groundball rate as a member of the Mariners, though he also struck out barely more hitters (10) than he walked (nine). He dealt with a shoulder strain in 2020 and saw his velocity tumble.

Bautista, whom the Mariners acquired in their pre-2019 trade with the Mets centering on Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, has only thrown nine innings with Seattle. He racked up all of those frames in 2019, as the 25-year-old missed all of this season with a flexor strain in his right elbow.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Interview Luis Urueta, Don Kelly, Skip Schumaker, James Rowson]]> 2020-10-25T01:25:50Z 2020-10-23T23:15:08Z 6:15pm: The Red Sox have also interviewed Marlins bench coach James Rowson, Speier tweets.

5:46pm: The Red Sox have asked the Twins for permission to interview their bench coach, Mike Bell, according to Speier.

3:33pm: Boston has also interviewed Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker, Kevin Acee of the San Diego-Union Tribune tweets.

10:45am: The Red Sox interviewed Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta for their vacant managerial post last week, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports. It’s the second time in the past year that Urueta has interviewed for the position. He was also a candidate after Alex Cora was let go, although the team opted to instead stick with an internal option in Ron Roenicke, who won’t return as skipper in 2021. Meanwhile, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link) reports that the Sox interviewed Pirates bench coach Don Kelly as well.

Urueta, 40 in January, has held his current position in Arizona for three seasons. He’s previously served as Arizona’s minor league field coordinator in addition to managing the Diamondbacks’ Rookie-level affiliate, managing in the Dominican Winter League and managing Team Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The 40-year-old Kelly has fast risen as a popular managerial candidate after retiring as a player following the 2016 season. The longtime Tigers utilityman began working in Detroit’s player development part upon retiring and moved to their scouting staff the next year. He was hired as Houston’s first base coach for the 2018 season and hired as the Pirates’ bench coach under rookie skipper Derek Shelton last offseason.

There’s considerable speculation that Cora could return to Boston after his suspension for his role in the Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal has been served. That ban runs through the current postseason. However, the Red Sox have also reportedly interviewed Cubs third base coach Will Venable and, per Heyman, could talk to Dodgers first base coach George Lombard.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Junior Guerra Changes Representation]]> 2020-10-08T03:23:48Z 2020-10-08T03:23:48Z Diamondbacks reliever Junior Guerra is changing representation, per Robert Murray (Twitter link). He’ll now be represented by MVP Sports Group.

Guerra, 35, signed a one-year contract with Arizona last offseason worth a guaranteed $2.65MM. That deal comes with a $3.5MM club option for 2021. It’ll be an interesting decision for GM Mike Hazen and the rest of the D-Backs front office. The veteran righty worked to a strong 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings this season, but that was driven by an unsustainably low opponents’ BABIP (.250) and HR/FB rate (7.1%). Guerra’s 21:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio hints at potential regression. If Arizona decides to exercise the option, they’ll control him through 2022 via arbitration.

The change has been updated in our Agency Database.  If you see any notable errors or omissions within the database, please let us know via e-mail:

TC Zencka <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Will Retain Coaching Staff For 2021]]> 2020-10-06T01:25:23Z 2020-10-06T01:22:49Z The Arizona Diamondbacks are bringing back their coaching staff intact for the 2021 season, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

After remaining surprisingly competitive throughout the 2019 season, the Diamondbacks entered 2020 as a dark horse contender in the National League. The season went about as poorly as possible for Arizona, who finished 25-35, last place in the NL West. They ended with the second-worst record in the National League, better only than the 19-41 Pirates. Still, manager Torey Lovullo and those in the organization are not letting themselves be swayed by the bizarre circumstances of a 60-game season. It would not be uncommon, of course, for a team in their situation to make some changes on the coaching staff, even if ownership were intent on retaining the manager. Credit the Diamondbacks for their show of faith in this group. Arizona’s coaching staff will now get at least another season to prove the anomalous nature of their 60-game stretch in 2020.

The starting pitching presented particularly poorly over the first half as Robbie Ray, Madison Bumgarner, and Luke Weaver each got off to poor starts. Their struggles were untenable over a full campaign, and positive regression was sure to come had it been a normal season. Of course, how much of a return-to-form to expect is difficult to gauge. Bumgarner, for example, entered the 2020 campaign without ever yielding an ERA or FIP over 3.99. The 31-year-old free agent prize nevertheless posted a 8.53 ERA over his first 7 starts while opposing hitters slashed .319/.392/.689.

A pair of spotless 5-inning outings to finish the year somewhat salvaged his campaign, though Bumgarner still finished with a highly uncharacteristic 6.48 ERA/7.18 FIP. Though his final two outings didn’t accomplish much in terms of lessening the eyesore of his 2020 season, they did lend some credence to the idea that significant positive regression was in the offing has the season continued to its usual length.

Regarding the true talent level for this group, Piecoro provides a quote from General Manager Mike Hazen, who said, “My mindset going (into the offseason) is I feel like we have a good baseball team. I feel like we have a good baseball team that did not — and as a group, for whatever reason — we didn’t come out on the end of making the playoffs. That still doesn’t take away from what I feel like is the talent base of the roster and we need to make sure we maintain some focus on that and not overreact in the other direction.”

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Outright Joe Mantiply]]> 2020-10-01T23:17:58Z 2020-10-01T23:17:26Z OCT. 1: The D-backs announced that they have outrighted Mantiply to Triple-A Reno.

SEPT. 28: The Diamondbacks announced that they have designated left-hander Joe Mantiply for assignment. They reinstated infielder Domingo Leyba from the restricted list in a corresponding move.

Mantiply, a former Tiger and Yankee whom the Diamondbacks signed to a minor league contract last winter, threw 2 1/3 innings of four-run ball for the D-backs in 2020. The 29-year-old has tossed just eight major league innings and surrendered 12 earned runs on 13 hits with more walks (eight) than strikeouts (six) thus far.

Leyba, meanwhile, is back with the Snakes after receiving an 80-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing drug test last March. The 25-year-old Leyba made his D-backs debut a season ago with 30 plate appearances and seven hits. FanGraphs ranked Leyba as the D-backs’ 26th-best prospect last November.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall On Payroll, Future Plans, 2020 Disappointment]]> 2020-09-27T03:54:01Z 2020-09-27T03:54:01Z On the strength of three consecutive winning seasons and an aggressive offseason, the Diamondbacks were a trendy playoff pick and even a dark-horse NL pennant contender last spring, but things didn’t at all go to plan.  The D’Backs have a 24-35 record, and tonight’s loss to the Rockies ensured that Arizona will finish last in the NL West for the first time since 2014.

It was “a disappointing season, obviously, for everybody” in the organization, team president and CEO Derrick Hall told The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan and other reporters.  How the D’Backs will regroup for 2021 is still up in the air, and it is quite possible “the uncertainty of this upcoming season” means that the club might just decide to run things back as best as possible next year.

I would never say never, but I have had no indication that anyone wants to make changes as a result of this year,” Hall said.  “I also think it’s so difficult to judge the performance of either leadership or the majority of the players in such a short and strange season.  It may not have worked out well for us, and I think there’s obviously nearly half the teams that could say the same thing and be disappointed, but it’s too short a season in a strange season to make those judgment calls.  I’m excited to turn the page, start over and see how we do with guys that we have a lot of confidence in down there.

However, some changes will be afoot for the D’Backs, as Hall called it “far-fetched” that the club will have the same payroll it was prepared to spend coming into a normal season.  The Diamondbacks were projected to have roughly a $124MM payroll going into Opening Day back in March, and they already have over $51MM committed to next year’s payroll.  Yasmany Tomas’ salary will finally come off the books, though those savings will mostly be eaten up by the second-year raise built into Madison Bumgarner’s contract.

The Diamondbacks have never had more than a $132MM payroll since Ken Kendrick’s ownership group bought the team in 2004, and though the team has spent up to and close to that amount over the last three seasons, Hall said the loss of revenues from this season and the unanswered questions about next year’s revenues will limit spending to some extent.  This doesn’t necessarily auger a drastic payroll cut or even anything beyond a minor cut, and Hall said Kendrick and company could potentially sign off on more player spending if fans are allowed at Chase Field.

It’s hard to pinpoint where our payroll will be at this point just because it’s going to be fluid….Not just us, but every other team as well,  we’re having to plan for different scenarios of revenue, different scenarios of attendance,” Hall said.  “Smaller minimal crowds, no crowds, no restrictions and what that looks like.  It’s going to take some time before we know exactly what that direction will be and what the payroll will look like.”

Hall also noted that GM Mike Hazen wasn’t under any mandate to cut payroll at the trade deadline.  The deals of Starling Marte, Robbie Ray, and Archie Bradley shaved some significant dollars off of Arizona’s books for both this season and (in the cases of Marte and Bradley) in 2021, and it’s probably safe to assume that Hazen was taking payroll into consideration just as a matter of standard operating procedure, even if he received no direct instruction from upper management.

In the broader financial picture, Hall said the team’s explorations into a potential new ballpark have been “completely put off to the side” in the wake of the pandemic, as “in this economy, it doesn’t make sense to even kick the tires or talk to anybody.”  The construction of the Diamondbacks’ new player academy in the Dominican Republic is also “on pause” for the time being.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Athletics Sign Jake Lamb]]> 2020-09-14T18:03:47Z 2020-09-14T18:00:33Z Sept. 14: The Athletics announced that they’ve signed Lamb to a Major League contract after he’d become a free agent (i.e. cleared release waivers). Lefty A.J. Puk, who is slated to undergo shoulder surgery, was moved to the 45-day injured list to open a roster spot. Oakland also placed Frankie Montas on the paternity list and added righty James Kaprielian as the 29th man for today’s doubleheader.

Sept. 13: The A’s are set to sign corner infielder Jake Lamb, as first reported last night by Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link). The Diamondbacks designated Lamb for assignment on Thursday.

Jake Lamb | Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The left-handed hitter isn’t officially eligible to sign until Monday, Rubin adds; presumably, he’s still on release waivers, although it’s a lock he’ll clear them since any team that claims him would absorb what remains of Lamb’s prorated $5.515MM contract. By waiting until he clears waivers, the A’s will leave the Arizona organization on the hook for all but the prorated portion of the league minimum salary. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle points out (on Twitter), Lamb’s deal should be finalized before Tuesday’s deadline for players to be eligible for a new team’s playoff roster.

Lamb came up as a third baseman, but he saw an increasing amount of time at first base in his final couple seasons in the desert. The A’s have Matt Olson locked in at first, so Lamb’s path to playing time in Oakland is surely back at the hot corner. The A’s just found out yesterday that star third baseman Matt Chapman was lost for the season. With Chapman out, Rule V pick Vimael Machin and veteran utilityman Chad Pinder have taken most of the third base work over the past week. Neither Machin nor Pinder has hit well this season, though, so the A’s are adding another bat to the mix. Additionally, Pinder also seems ticketed for the injured list after getting scratched from yesterday’s lineup with a hamstring strain.

Of course, that Lamb was designated for assignment this week speaks to his own recent struggles. While he once looked like a building block for the Arizona organization, the 29-year-old has never returned to form after a 2018 shoulder injury that eventually required surgery. Over the past three seasons, Lamb has combined for a paltry .199/.307/.330 line (73 wRC+) in 514 plate appearances. He’s continued to draw his fair share of walks, but the power he showed from 2016-17, when he combined for 59 home runs, has evaporated. Lamb has just 12 long balls over the past three seasons. He was off to the worst start of his career before the Diamondbacks moved on, hitting .116/.240/.140 in 50 plate appearances.

Lamb will be a free agent at season’s end, so he’s a short-term stopgap for the A’s. Oakland has a 40-man roster spot available already, and further space can be cleared by placing Chapman on the 45-day injured list.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Caleb Smith To Return Friday]]> 2020-09-10T23:19:35Z 2020-09-10T23:19:35Z After a nearly two-month layoff, Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith will return to the mound Friday with a start against the Mariners, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports. It will be Smith’s debut with the D-backs.

Smith was part of the return that Arizona received from the Marlins for outfielder Starling Marte at the Aug. 31 trade deadline, but the hurler was on the shelf at the time because of COVID-19 issues. As a result of those problems, Smith has only pitched once this season, back on July 25.

The 29-year-old Smith broke into the league in earnest with 77 1/3 innings of 4.19 ERA/3.96 FIP ball in 2018. He then piled up 153 1/3 frames and 28 starts a year ago, but after a promising first half, his numbers fell apart as the season progressed. Smith wound up with a 4.52 ERA/5.11 FIP with 3.52 BB/9 and a paltry 26.1 percent groundball rate, but he did fan 9.86 batters per nine – in line with the overall 9.88 K/9 he has posted in the majors.

Now, with the Diamondbacks well out of contention, Smith will get a chance to end the season on a positive note and perhaps lock down a starting spot for 2021. Arizona could certainly use another shoo-in for its rotation going forward, as the current unit ranks just 21st in the majors in ERA and 26th in FIP. Zac Gallen (another former Marlin) has been one of the NL’s best starters, but Madison Bumgarner, Luke Weaver and others have had immense difficulty, and Merrill Kelly isn’t a sure bet to return to the team next year after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery this week.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Designate Jake Lamb]]> 2020-09-10T20:36:34Z 2020-09-10T20:25:21Z The Diamondbacks have designated infielder Jake Lamb for assignment and selected infielder/outfielder Pavin Smith’s contract, per a team announcement.

Arizona has been Lamb’s only organization since he went in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, but it now looks as if his run with the club will end. Primarily a third baseman, Lamb looked like a legitimate building block for the Diamondbacks from 2016-17. He combined for above-average offense then and totaled 4.9 fWAR, adding 30 home runs in 2017 and earning his lone All-Star nod. However, thanks in part to shoulder problems, Lamb’s career took a negative turn the next season and hasn’t recovered since.

In 514 plate appearances going back to 2018, the 29-year-old Lamb has batted .199/.307/.330 with 12 home runs. He was amid a horrid season this year (.116/.240/.210 without a homer in 50 PA) before the Diamondbacks designated him. He was due to reach free agency in the offseason anyway, so the D-backs decided to cut the cord a few weeks early.

Smith, the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft, signed a $5,016,300 bonus with the Diamondbacks on the heels of his selection. Despite his draft pedigree and the money he initially received, the former Virginia Cavalier is not regarded as a premium prospect anymore (Baseball America ranks him 18th in the D-backs’ system), though Smith did bat an impressive .291/.370/.466 in his first 506 Double-A plate appearances last year.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Place Ketel Marte On 10-Day IL]]> 2020-09-09T22:27:41Z 2020-09-09T22:27:41Z The Diamondbacks have placed second baseman Ketel Marte on the 10-day injured list with wrist inflammation, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter and right-hander Joel Payamps, and optioned lefty Joe Mantiply.

The Diamondbacks are arguably the majors’ most disappointing team at an NL-worst 15-28, and with their playoff hopes all but dead, it’s possible we have seen the last of Marte in 2020. His presence was among the reasons Arizona was a popular pick as a contender entering this year. After all, just a season ago, Marte posted an MVP-level 7.1 fWAR with a .329/.389/.592 line and 32 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 628 plate appearances.

On the heels of last season’s tremendous performance, there wasn’t much reason to believe Marte would fall off dramatically this year. But he, like his team, has. Thanks in part to a significant decrease in walk percentage (8.4 to 2.9) and a massive drop in power (.264 ISO versus .117), he has hit a relatively underwhelming .290/.342/.407 with two homers and a single steal over 173 PA. Marte has also endured a roughly 6 percent decrease in hard-hit rate, per FanGraphs, and has seen his expected weighted on-base average fall from .379 to .327.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Merrill Kelly To Undergo Thoracic Outlet Surgery]]> 2020-09-09T03:51:55Z 2020-09-09T03:51:55Z Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly will undergo thoracic outlet syndrome surgery on Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.

Kelly was already done for the season as a result of a procedure on a blood clot in his shoulder, though this latest surgery could perhaps put at least some of his 2021 campaign in danger. However, the Diamondbacks are optimistic Kelly will return to spring training at full health, according to general manager Mike Hazen. In the meantime, they’ll have to decide on a $4.25MM club option or a $500K buyout for Kelly for next season. Hazen said he doesn’t expect Kelly’s TOS procedure to “have a major impact on that decision right now,” though.

Before his health problems came to the fore, Kelly looked like a valuable summer trade chip for the Diamondbacks, as Steve Adams of MLBTR wrote leading up to the Aug. 31 trade deadline. A deal obviously didn’t materialize, as Kelly hasn’t taken the mound since Aug. 19. The 31-year-old ended the season with a 2.59 ERA/3.95 FIP and 8.33 K/9 against 1.44 BB/9 over five starts and 31 1/3 innings.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Activate Madison Bumgarner From 10-Day IL]]> 2020-09-06T00:35:59Z 2020-09-06T00:30:34Z SEPTEMBER 5: Bumgarner has been activated and infielder Andy Young was optioned to the team’s alternate training site, the Diamondbacks announced.

SEPTEMBER 2: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced that left-hander Madison Bumgarner will return from the injured list Saturday, Steve Gilbert of was among those to report.

Bumgarner, who has been out since Aug. 10 with a mid-back strain, will start against the Giants this weekend. The 31-year-old had an incredible run in San Francisco from 2009-19, when he registered a 3.13 ERA across 1,846 regular-season innings, made four All-Star teams and emerged as one of the greatest postseason performers in the history of the game. Thanks in no small part to Bumgarner, the Giants won three World Series when he was part of their organization.

Despite his overall brilliance as a Giant, they let him walk in free agency last offseason in favor of receiving draft-pick compensation via the qualifying offer. The division-rival Diamondbacks then swooped in with a five-year, $85MM guarantee, but the gamble hasn’t gone according to plan so far. Before going on the IL, Bumgarner made four starts and posted a hideous 9.35 ERA/8.60 FIP over 17 1/3 innings, during which he recorded career worsts in K/9 (6.75), BB/9 (3.63), groundball rate (23.7 percent) and average fastball velocity (87.8 mph).

The Bumgarner signing was among the reasons Arizona was a popular pick to vie for a playoff spot this season, but the team has instead crashed to a 14-22 record past the halfway point. While a postseason spot now looks out of the question, seeing Bumgarner end the year on a positive note – if he’s able to – would at least give the Diamondbacks some peace of mind heading into the winter. Conversely, should Bumgarner’s woes continue this month, it would be another negative for the D-backs entering the offseason.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Make Several Roster Moves]]> 2020-09-01T21:25:39Z 2020-09-01T21:25:39Z The Diamondbacks announced that they’ve selected righties Artie Lewicki and Keury Mella and lefty Joe Mantiply from their alternate site. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Josh Rojas, placed righty Taylor Widener on the 10-day injured list with a strained right rib cage and transferred a pair of hurlers – righty Merrill Kelly and Jeremy Beasley – to the 45-day IL. After all of that, Arizona has 39 players on its 40-man roster.

Lewicki has been part of the Arizona organization since it claimed him off waivers from the Tigers after 2018, but he hasn’t pitched for the Diamondbacks yet, owing to Tommy John surgery. He last took the mound professionally in ’18 for Detroit, where he recorded a 4.89 ERA with 6.98 K/9 and 3.26 BB/9 in 38 2/3 innings.

Mella, formerly a Red and Giant, joined the D-backs on a minor league contract in the offseason. The 27-year-old logged 17 innings as a Red from 2017-19, though he carries a much bigger sample of work – 172 2/3 frames – in Triple-A ball. Mella has notched a 4.59 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 at the minors’ highest level.

Mantiply also became a Diamondback on a minors pact last winter. He has 5 3/3 innings’ experience as a Tiger and Yankee in his past, though obviously most of his action has come in the minors. Mantiply, 29, combined for 39 2/3 frames at three different minors levels as a Yankee and Red last season, when he recorded a 4.31 ERA and put up 7.5 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Indians Had Interest In Starling Marte]]> 2020-09-01T18:46:06Z 2020-09-01T18:46:06Z Before the Diamondbacks traded Starling Marte to the Marlins yesterday, “the Indians made a run at” acquiring the outfielder, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required).  Marte would’ve been a enormous boost to Cleveland’s long-struggling outfield, and it is interesting to wonder what it would have cost the Tribe to land Marte.  Looking at what the D’Backs accepted from Miami, the Indians would have had to surrender a pitcher with some proven MLB-level ability (like Caleb Smith), another big-league ready young arm (like Humberto Mejia), and a lottery ticket of a long-term pitching prospect like Julio Frias.