Results tagged ‘ Jon Garland ’

D-backs quiet at deadline

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went Friday with the D-backs, as expected, remaining on the sidelines.

“It didn’t entirely surprise me,” GM Josh Byrnes said. “There are other times to make a trade and more things could happen for us in August for us and other teams. There just was nothing really in the last several days that were appealing to us so we got to the deadline and it was pretty quiet.”

Names like Doug Davis, Jon Garland and Chad Qualls got bandied about quite a bit, but it doesn’t sound like any of the three was close to getting dealt.

From what I’ve heard there was not a lot of interest in Davis and Garland. Qualls drew a lot of inquiries, but the D-backs did not want to part with him because he they will have him next year at a very reasonable salary.

And just because the non-waiver deadline has passed it does not mean there is not the possibility of a deal being made in August. Players must be placed on waivers and could be claimed by teams wanting to block a trade, but then those teams run the risk of being stuck with a contract they don’t really want, or can’t really afford.

“I think pretty active,” Byrnes said when asked what August would be like. “Again, I think there are a few issues. Teams will be more motivated to complete their roster because they are still in the race and other teams might fall out of it a little bit. And with the economy I don’t think there will be a lot of claiming going on. I think it probably sets up to have a few trades around baseball happen in August.”

D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was happy the deadline had come and gone without a deal.

“I’m glad it’s over for the sense that so much was talked about with Qualls, Garland and Davis and what we were going to do,” Hinch said. “Now we can move forward knowing in the back of our minds that deals can be made until the end of August as well.”

Trade questions and answers

With Friday’s trade deadline approaching I thought this would be a good time to answer some of the more frequent questions that have been showing up in my inbox.

Will the D-backs get a deal done before the deadline?

The situation can always change, but as of right now it does not look like the D-backs will make a deal before the deadline. Keep in mind, the club has already made two deals over the past couple of weeks sending Tony Pena to the White Sox and Felipe Lopez to the Brewers in exchange for three prospects that they feel good about.

The D-backs have received inquiries about pitchers Doug Davis, Jon Garland and Chad Qualls and they’ve let teams know what they would expect in return. As of yet, no team has met that asking price.

Don’t they have to deal Davis and Garland since they are out of the race?

The D-backs are not in a fire sale mode. They do not need to move salary and they don’t feel they are entering into a massive rebuilding period. They feel they can retool this offseason enough to where they can compete for a playoff spot next year, so they are not just going to dump Davis and Garland. If both finish the season with the team they will need to decide whether to exercise the option on Garland’s contract or give him a buyout. Garland also holds an option and should he choose to exercise and the team decline theirs they would owe him a bigger buyout. It’s possible they could offer Davis salary arbitration this winter and if he declines it they could receive draft compensation, assuming he is a Type B free agent.

What about Qualls?

There has been plenty of interest from other teams with regards to Qualls, but the D-backs are not inclined to move him for several reasons. They control his rights next year and even though he is eligible for salary arbitration he would likely only command a salary of $4 million or so, which is not that expensive for a closer.

Should Qualls continue to pitch well next year he could wind up being a Type A free agent following the 2010 season, which means the D-backs would get a pair of high draft picks for him should he leave via free agency.

And again, the D-backs feel they can be competitive next year and finding a closer to take the place of Qualls would be a real challenge.

So while it’s not out of the question that they could deal him, it’s not likely and they would insist on a large return.

If these three are still with the D-backs after the deadline passes, then they can’t be traded?

No. They can still be traded. The only catch is they would need to clear waivers. The D-backs have done their share of post-deadline deals in the past and it’s possible that Davis or Garland might be able to get through waivers and be dealt in August should a contender decide they need one of the two.

What about a contract extension for Davis, and what are the chances they pick up Garland’s option for next year?

The D-backs do have some interest in giving Davis an extension and Davis does want to stay in Arizona. The question is whether  the two sides can agree on the financial aspect of the deal. So far I don’t know that things have progressed much on that front.

Garland’s $10 million option might be pricey given the way the market played out last offseason and the D-backs may be content to let things play out this offseason and see which pitcher falls to them much like they did last year when they signed Garland. Ironically, some of the same pitchers that were on the market last year, like Randy Wolf, will be out there again this year because they only signed one-year deals.

So, to answer the question, they are interested in signing Davis, but only for a price they think is fair, and they will wait to see on the option for Garland.

Spring Training is over

Boy, it sure seems like this spring has lasted forever. I know a lot of you out there love going to Spring Training games, but even you guys must be ready for the games to start counting, right?

It was good to see Ryan Roberts make the team. We’ll see how much of an impact he has — typically the 25th man on the roster does not get a lot of playing time (can anyone name the final player to make the roster out of spring last year?) but he’s a hard-nosed player, who deserved the shot.

We talked to him for a while today and you could just tell how excited he was about the whole thing. I’m sure when Opening Day comes he’ll be even more of an emotional wreck, but that’s good. It will be something he remembers forever.

— Jon Garland said he was pleased with the way his spring went. The numbers weren’t great, but he was working on adding a cut fastball and using his curve a little more so that could be a reason.

Really with a guy like that who has had success in the big leagues for the length of time he has, I don’t think you can be concerned with spring numbers.

The cutter he said felt great and he’s to the point where he is very comfortable throwing it. It’s a pitch that he can use on lefties to keep them from getting out on his sinker as much. They’ll need to sit back just an instant if it’s the cutter and that could be just enough to keep them from squaring the ball up on the barrel.

Busy day

Busy today here in camp…

The pitching staff was set after the game and there were no real surprises. I’ll have more to say on this subject tomorrow.

Here are a couple of things Bob Melvin told us following the game…

— RHP Bobby Korecky, who was claimed off waivers from the Twins early in camp, has pitched better of late, but it wasn’t enough to win a spot on the staff.

“He got off to a little bit of a rough start coming into a new place and probably put a little too much pressure on himself early on,” Melvin said. “But pitched well the last couple of times out. Certainly a guy that we wouldn’t be afraid to call on at some point during the season.”

— Brandon Webb threw in a Minor League game and pitched around four innings (hard to say exactly since they tacked on a few outs in an inning or two). He threw 57 pitches, intentionally lower than his last few starts to keep him fresh.

“My fastball location was pretty good I thought,” Webb said. “Kind of working with the new catcher, threw a few more breaking balls than I would have, so I got some of those under my belt.”

Webb may throw two bullpen sessions between now and his start Opening Day on Monday.

— Tom Gordon continues to progress. He’ll throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and then a few more on just one day’s rest rather than the two days rest he has been working on for most of the spring.

We should know more about a possible timetable for his return in the coming days.

— Jon Garland threw around five innings in a Minor League game on Monday and Melvin said the right-hander continued to work on his cut fastball and curve.

— It wasn’t really a ringing endorsement when Melvin was asked if he would still use Jon Rauch as a setup guy despite his poor spring.

“Based on his history I think we’re pretty much locked into that,” Melvin said.

Wednesday notes

First, thanks to those of you that responded to my call for blog suggestions. Please keep them coming

— Conor Jackson got plunked right in the left elbow by a pitch from Vicente Padilla in the fifth inning. Spoke with him a few innings later and he had ice on the elbow to keep it from swelling.

“I’ve been hit in the elbow before,” Jackson said. “I really don’t think it’s anything bad.”

Jackson was scheduled to get Thursday off even before being hit.

— Jon Garland numbers continue to not be overly impressive — four runs in five innings — but both he and manager Bob Melvin seem pleased with how he’s progressing with two new pitches, a cut fastball and a curve.

The right-hander said he has been experiencing a little bit of a “dead arm” period common for pitchers during Spring Training, though his velocity (or V-Lo as Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic likes to call it) didn’t seem down on Wednesday.

Garland’s location got better as the night went on and he said he was ready for the season to start though he will have two more spring outings.

“We can break right now,” he said.

Amen to that.

— Reliever Tom Gordon felt good one day after throwing his first bullpen session of the spring. He is due to take the mound again on Friday.

— Just when you thought Travis Blackley had pitched himself out of contention for a spot in the bullpen, the lefty tossed a scoreless inning in relief on Wednesday.

Blackley seemed to have better life on his pitches and kept them down in the zone, something he has struggled to do this spring.

— Spoke to GM Josh Byrnes after the game and he said the team made the decision to put outfielder Alex Romero on waivers and outright him to Triple-A Reno was because they thought they would have a better shot at getting him through waivers now rather than at the end of camp.

Like Melvin earlier, Byrnes said the move does not mean Romero could not play a role for the team at some point this year.

“It’s not the end of the road for him,” Byrnes said.

D-backs vs. Giants rotations

Got an email this morning asking me which team had a better starting rotation, the D-backs or Giants?

Tough to beat a one-two punch of Brandon Webb and Dan Haren and Max Scherzer in the fifth spot has a chance to really be good, though, he still has to show it for a full season.

Let’s take it on a spot-by-spot look:

Webb vs. Tim Lincecum: Pretty even match here, though if you want to give a slight edge to Lincecum I can understand.

Haren vs. Matt Cain: Cain’s got a load of talent, but I think if you have to choose between the two for this year, Haren’s got to be the guy.

Doug Davis vs. Randy Johnson: If RJ is healthy he would have to get the edge in this spot, but health is an issue.

Jon Garland vs. Barry Zito: I think Garland’s consistency wins out among these two.

Scherzer vs. Jonathan Sanchez: Maybe you look at this as a wash right now, but given Scherzer’s potential, I would take him.

It’s an interesting question and I am curious to see what you guys think.

Update: I neglected to mention that my pick would be the D-backs, but not by a lot. San Francisco’s rotation will certainly be a big positive  this year. However, that offense…well, we’ll see.

Big Unit, big matchup

Tuesday’s matchup between the D-backs and Giants at Scottsdale Stadium should be more interesting than your typical Spring Training game.

That’s because the Giants are sending former Diamondback Randy Johnson to the mound.

It will be strange to see the big fella wearing Giants’ orange and black, that’s for sure. Of course we saw him wear a SF hat once before at Chase Field when he inadvertently picked one up and put it on his head following a bench-clearing incident.

It is only Spring Training so Johnson will not overdo it, but you can rest assured that he will have a little extra incentive when he pitches against Arizona during the regular season. He’s been careful not to take the bait when he’s been asked about his departure from the D-backs, but rest assured he was not pleased.

The D-backs offered him around $2.5 million on a one-year deal and then in January turned around and signed free agent Jon Garland to a one-year $6.25 million with an option for 2010.

It’s been well documented that the D-backs financial situation changed between the offer to Johnson and the signing of Garland, but still you know that Johnson could not have been happy.

Bank on him having a little extra in the tank when he faces the D-backs during the regular season. 

Notes from the last couple of days

Here are some notes from the last couple of days:

— Billy Buckner will start Wednesday’s opener. The right-hander will throw two innings as will Juan Gutierrez and Hector Ambriz. Cesar Valdez, Leo Rosales and Esmerling Vasquez are slated to throw one inning apiece.

— Other pitching notes, Dan Haren will start Thursday and be followed to the mound by Doug Daivs. Brandon Webb will go on Friday along with Jon Garland.

— Good news for the D-backs today with Max Scherzer throwing his first bullpen of the spring without any problems.

It’s worth noting that the D-backs will not need a fifth starter until April 14, seven games into the season, so it will be interesting to see what they do with Scherzer at the start of the season.

— All 11 of the ailing D-backs were back in camp on Monday after experiencing stomach problems the day before.

They were not asked to take part in the normal conditioning on Monday and the pitchers who had been sick did not have to go through pitcher fielding practice drills.

— Tuesday will be a light day for the team — maybe 45 minutes shorter than usual — before Wednesday’s first Cactus League game. In past years, they have played an intrasquad game the day before the opener, but since Spring Training is so long this year they don’t think they need the another game.

Speaking of which there will only be one “B” game on March 4 against the Rockies. Garland, Jose Marte, Leyson Septimo, Reid Mahon and Brooks Brown are slated to pitch that game.

— The D-backs early camp for Minor Leaguers got underway on Sunday.

Garland vs. Big Unit

I am a couple of weeks late with this link, but for those of you who have not see it, Fan Graphs had a column talking about the Jon Garland signing.

The column itself is interesting, but the debate in the comments section may even be better. Curious as what you all think about it.