The Diamondbacks won the Yasmany Tomas sweepstakes, signing the Cuban outfielder to a six-year, $68.5MM contract and drawing praise from some around the baseball world, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. One AL scout called the contract “a great deal,” since another AL scout told Piecoro that “most people thought it would cost between $80MM-$100MM” to sign Tomas. It’s possible that the Snakes were able to get a relative bargain, however, due to concerns that other teams had about Tomas’ defense and plate discipline, not to mention career numbers in Cuba’s Serie Nacional that fell well behind the totals posted by such stars as Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig. MLBTR wishes all our readers a Happy Thanksgiving, and here are some items from around baseball to go with your pumpkin pie for dessert… Pirates president Frank Coonelly tells Dejan Kovacevic of DKOnPittsburghSports.com that the team’s payroll “certainly can and I suspect will” top the $90MM mark in 2015. This works out to roughly $20MM in available funds by Kovacevic’s calculations, and “everything I’m hearing is that most, if not all, of that money will be committed to starting pitching,” with the Pirates hoping to re-sign both Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez. The Reds are looking for multiple “inexpensive Major League-ready players” in exchange for Jay Bruce, a rival scout familiar with the team’s demands told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Cincinnati is known to be listening to offers for Bruce, though it could just be a case of due diligence rather than a legitimate desire to deal the outfielder. The Rule 5 Draft is coming up on December 11, and Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper lists some of the intriguing names that are likely or unlikely be picked in two weeks’ time. BA’s Matt Eddy, meanwhile, examines some of the key statistics and factors that led several prospects to be added to team’s 40-man rosters in advance of the draft
Here’s the latest from the NL East… Ross Detwiler‘s camp “has suggested” that the Nationals trade the left-hander if possible, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports. After being used as a starter and swingman in previous seasons, Detwiler was used solely as a reliever in 2014 and he posted a 4.00 ERA and -0.2 fWAR over 63 IP. He told Wagner that he had trouble getting used to an irregular bullpen schedule and isn’t sure what his future holds in Washington. “I don’t feel they have confidence [in me] so I don’t feel like I’m going to be in any significant role whatsoever,” Detwiler said. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said he expects Detwiler to fill the same role as a reliever and emergency starter, though Wagner wonders if the club could non-tender Detwiler to save some money. The southpaw is arbitration-eligible and projected to earn $3.3MM by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz
It’s the critical time on the calendar when GM’s baseball shopping adventures overlap with your own. It’s Black Friday, and while clubs follow a methodical process to find their Hot Stove prizes, you can find a much more instant gratification right now at the MLB.com Shop, where you can save 30 percent on any order above $99, 25 percent on any order between $50 and $99.99 and 20 percent off with no minimum.
Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing some of the higher profile upcoming arbitration cases. I will rely partly on my arbitration model developed exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors, but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong. Todd Frazier enters his first year of arbitration this winter coming off a career year. In 660 PA, Frazier hit .273, stole 20 bases, smashed 29 home runs and collected 80 RBIs. The Reds’ third baseman has some solid pre-platform year numbers as well, having already accumulated 44 home runs and 155 RBIs before 2014, as well as 10 steals and a .249 average in 1186 PA
Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez has drawn “strong interest” from several teams, including the Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres and Yankees, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports. The 21-year-old Lopez held one showcase for scouts earlier this month and will showcase himself again next week in the Dominican Republic. Lopez is a 6’4″, 190-pound pitcher who has three seasons under his belt for Isla de la Juventud of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Major League Baseball has declared Lopez a free agent, but the righty still has to receive clearance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury before he can sign with a team. According to Sanchez, Lopez “throws a cut-fastball, a change, a curve and a slider, but is best known for a fastball that hovers in the 93-to-95 MPH range
Thousands came out to cheer Alex Gordon, but this time, not at Kauffman Stadium. On Thursday night, it was at the Country Club Plaza. And, oh yes — the roar of the crowd was also directed at thousands of holiday lights.
The Marlins are known to be looking for first base help and Allen Craig is the latest name to be added to their list of potential trade targets, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter link). Dealing Craig would help the Red Sox clear out some of their outfield surplus, while giving Miami a right-handed bat to platoon with Garrett Jones at first base. The Marlins are dangling young pitchers like Andrew Heaney in trades, though I’m not sure this would necessarily appeal to Boston — the Sox already have plenty of young arms and if they did move an outfielder, they’d likely prefer a proven starter who can immediately be slotted into their 2015 rotation. Here’s some more from around the AL East… Andrew Miller is in serious negotiations with between eight and 10 teams, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports. The Orioles aren’t one of the suitors, as Miller’s four-year asking price is higher than they would like to give to a setup man. Miller has already received multiple three-year offers and reportedly received interest from 22 of the league’s 30 teams. The Yankees have discussed signing Jason Grilli, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports. Grilli could be pursued by the team if David Robertson leaves in free agency
Here’s the latest from around the AL Central… The White Sox and Tigers have expressed interest in Justin Masterson, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, meaning that all five AL Central clubs have at least checked in on the free agent righty. Outside of this division, Masterson’s long list of suitors also includes the Braves, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants and Marlins. The Indians touched base with Masterson early in the offseason but “haven’t shown a lot of interest” since, Hoynes writes. In an interview with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter links here), Twins GM Terry Ryan said his team “could use a right handed bat in the outfield. We’re rather young here especially in the outfield.” Of course, the Twins have been connected to a right-handed hitting veteran in Torii Hunter, who recently said that he’d had numerous conversations with Ryan. Minnesota is one of at least 10 teams who have shown interest in Hunter’s services this offseason. Earlier today on MLBTR, Jeff Todd outlined Hunter’s free agent profile.
Agent Scott Boras has the prize of free agency in Max Scherzer, and Boras has taken to touting his client’s “pitching odometer.” Boras explained to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, “[Scherzer] really has the [arm] of a 25 or 26 year old. This is like signing a 25 or 26-year-old pitcher.” Perhaps reflecting what is found in Scherzer’s binder, Heyman cited the following stats: “Did you know Scherzer, 30, has thrown 20,954 pitches, to 26,321 for Jon Lester and 29,461 for James Shields, the other top two free-agent pitchers in a top-heavy market containing three aces?” Scherzer has thrown 8,507 fewer pitches than Shields and 5,367 fewer than Jon Lester. This difference may seem relevant, but in the end it will not matter. Instead, the focus should be on the trio’s birth date. Context For Number Of Pitches Thrown When looking at the total number of pitches, the zeros get in the way. For each game started, an ace will throw about 100 pitches. Most aces will start 30+ times a season, so each healthy ace-level pitcher can expect to throw at least 3,000 pitches in a season. The number could grow even higher with longer starts, more regular season starts and postseason games. Just using 3,000 pitches for a season and looking at each pitcher’s age, Boras’ difference can be explained by prorating the pitches thrown back to their age-29 season (Scherzer’s age at the end of last season).
As part of their partnership with the Padres, Papa John’s awarded Ross with 250 pizzas to the charity of his choice for his outstanding on-field delivery. Ross’ charity was the Monarch School, a school for children impacted by homelessness located a long fly ball from Petco Park.