January 5, 2015
Haren Not Feeling Fish
Dan Haren still unwilling to pitch for Marlins
Frisaro wrote that the right-hander remains bent on pitching only for clubs that meet two criteria: 1) they play their home games on the Pacific coast and 2) they hold spring training in Arizona—which, as Frisaro pointed out, is moot given item (1). It’s uncertain whether that means Haren has broadened his horizons to include about a half-dozen clubs in the geographic region or is still limiting himself to L.A. But beggars can’t be choosers, so unless the Angels—who had no interest last month—come around, he could be cornered into retirement if he fails to give general manager Dan Jennings more options.
Looking around the west, the Giants (more on them in a moment) are a possible fit, though bringing in Haren would likely bounce both Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit from the rotation into a crowded bullpen, where the former’s role would be murky. The A’s, who saw Haren through his prime, might have a bit of interest, but Haren could be squeezed out if A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker recover smoothly from Tommy John surgery. The Mariners might work, too, but they’re also the farthest geographically from Los Angeles. Lastly, the Padres appear comfortable rounding out their rotation with either Josh Johnson or Brandon Morrow, though it’d be unwise to rule out another move from A.J. Preller.
All of which is to say that Jennings and the Marlins front office have their work cut out for them. There’s no financial risk for the Fish, who’d walk away with the $10 million in cash sent over by the Dodgers even if Haren hangs up his cleats or is released, but their return for the prospect package—fronted by Heaney—that went west for Gordon and Haren would seem light if the latter becomes a zero.
Giants out on James Shields, still in on Ben Zobrist
According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, San Francisco is content with its current rotation, which will now have Jake Peavy for the full season after he re-signed for $24 million over two years. Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson also have spots locked up, and Matt Cain has another waiting for him, assuming that he’s fully recovered from surgery to remove bone chips from his ankle and throwing elbow. Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit will duke it out for the no. 5 gig. The latter’s experience in a swingman role might make Lincecum the favorite to start the year in the rotation, though Petit was considerably more effective in 2014.
Bowden added that the Giants also won’t be signing Max Scherzer, to whom they’ve never really been connected outside of exhaustive lists of hypothetical suitors. Assuming Bowden’s sources are accurate, the Giants can be left off of such lists going forward.
Last but not least, Bowden confirmed the Giants’ pursuit of Rays super-utility player Ben Zobrist, which was initially suggested by Peter Gammons and echoed by a couple of others last week. Zobrist could play second, third, and left in San Francisco, spelling Joe Panik, Casey McGehee, and Gregor Blanco, respectively, as dictated by matchups. There’s no questioning the fit, but the lack of high-end talent in the farm system leaves some reason to wonder whether GM Brian Sabean has the prospects to acquire one of the Rays’ most valuable regulars. Looking ahead to the top 10 list, also up on the site today, our own Nick J. Faleris noted that the system is not entirely bereft of talent, so there may yet be a match:
Rockies not shopping Wilin Rosario
Hundley can bop a homer every now and then—and probably will do so more frequently in the thin air of Coors Field—but he strikes out a lot, doesn't walk very often, and isn’t a good defensive catcher. Rosario has more pop than Hundley, walks a little more often, strikes out less often, but is even more unsightly in the squat.
Now, the Rockies also employ Michael McKenry, who came out of nowhere to hit .315/.398/.512 in 192 plate appearances last year. The 29-year-old also has some pop, but he, too, strikes out frequently and does little of value defensively.
Carrying all three on the Opening Day roster would seem to be out of the question, so logic would dictate that Rosario is on the trading block. But ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted over the weekend that Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich isn’t exactly itching to move the backstop, who’ll turn 26 in late February. Instead, Crasnick was told that Bridich would need to be “overwhelmed,” which seems unlikely given the warts in Rosario’s overall game.
If no trade materializes, McKenry’s career year figures to earn him nothing more than a ticket out of town. A second-time arbitration eligible who was tendered back in December, McKenry’s bat should help him to command some trade interest if Bridich opts to retain Rosario.