Scouting The Trade Market: Diamondbacks

Open Thread: 2/27 Camp Notes
2014 Season Preview: Contract Years
Owings. (Presswire)
Owings. (Presswire)

Even after signing Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, and a small army of guys on minor league contracts, the Yankees continue to look for infield help before the start of the season. They need both short and long-term help too. With Stephen Drew the only appealing free agent still on the board, trading for an infielder seems like the best way for the club to get the help it needs. One of the few teams with infield depth to spare is the Diamondbacks.

“For us, it would have to be the right deal,” said former Yankees special assistant and current D’Backs GM Kevin Towers to Nick Piecoro when asked about trading an infielder. “Our biggest needs in our system are catching. If it’s the right, top-notch catching prospect. Someone we could have right behind [Miguel Montero]. More of an upper-level guy. Maybe a top, upper-end starter. We have a lot of bullpen depth, infielders. Maybe an outfielder, but probably more catching and Double-A, Triple-A type starter.”

Towers went on to say the team has not had many trade discussions about their infielders recently, likely because Drew remains unsigned. Marc Carig heard the D’Backs were looking for a Travis d’Arnaud type, a premium catching prospect, but I suspect that is posturing more than anything. No harm in asking for the moon. The Yankees have a bunch of young catchers and as luck would have it, they really need a young infielder. The trade fit is obvious. Let’s see what Arizona has to offer.

Nick Ahmed
Ahmed, 24 next month, is local product out of UConn who went from the Braves to the D’Backs in last winter’s Justin Upton trade. He hasn’t hit much during his three years as a pro, including putting up a weak .236/.288/.324 (77 wRC+) batting line with four homers and 26 stolen bases in 538 Double-A plate appearances last season. Ahmed is considered a top notch gloveman though, with Baseball America calling him a “plus defender at shortstop with soft hands, a strong, accurate arm and a quick release” in their 2014 Prospect Handbook. They ranked him as the 18th best prospect in Arizona’s system and likened him to John McDonald long-term.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Didi Gregorius
The D’Backs acquired Gregorius from the Reds last offseason as part of the Shin-Soo Choo three-team trade. They insisted the 24-year-old could hit for weeks after the deal, then he went out and put up a .252/.332/.373 (91 wRC+) line with seven homers in 404 plate appearances as the team’s everyday shortstop last summer. That’s a touch better than Eduardo Nunez production. Acceptable for a good defender but not enough to erase the doubts about his bat.

Gregorius hit his first career homer at Yankee Stadium early last year, but his calling card will always be his glove. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked him as Arizona’s fifth best prospect before last season and said he has “smooth actions, plus range and a sniper rifle of an arm [that] rates as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, allowing him to make plays from deep in the hole that other shortstops can’t.” You really have to squint your eyes to see Gregorius as a hitter long-term, but there is no doubt about his glove and he showed that during his rookie season. The kid can pick it.

Chris Owings
Owings, 22, made his brief big league debut late last season after hitting .330/.359/.482 (121 wRC+) with 12 homers and 20 steals in 575 plate appearances in the hitter friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked him as the 72nd prospect in the game last month and had this to say:

His 2013 line was boosted by playing in hitter-friendly Triple-A Reno, but Owings’ bat speed is undeniable and his swing is simple and direct. I don’t see loft in the swing for home-run power, but he’s an above-average runner and I think he’ll hit plenty of line-drives to the gaps for 30-40 doubles a year. At shortstop, he has great instincts, quick feet, and a plus arm, everything required to be at least a 60-grade defender there — very much what Didi Gregorius was supposed to be, but with better hit and run tools.

Owings was 17 years old when he signed, so he had 2,000 pro plate appearances before he turned 22 and is more than ready to take over as the everyday shortstop in Arizona now, where he might walk once a week but will contribute in plenty of other ways to keep the job.

Strikeouts have been a concern over the years (23.4% from 2011-12) but Owings cut down on them a bit last year (17.2%), which is a positive sign but hardly definitive proof he has cleared that hurdle. Owings is a right-handed hitter like Ahmed and unlike the lefty swinging Gregorious, and he has the best all-around potential of Arizona’s various young shortstops. He has a chance to contribute both at the plate and in the field, something that isn’t all that easy to find at the position.

* * *

The D’Backs could also push the veteran Cliff Pennington in trades for a catcher, but he has little value. He’s another no-hit, all-glove type like Brendan Ryan and that simply doesn’t fetch much when they aren’t in their early-20s. I mentioned him as a possible target while looking for Ichiro Suzuki trade matches and that was basically a salary dump situation. Owings is the guy to me; he’s the one the Yankees should target because he’s a legit two-way shortstop. Another no-hit, all-glove guy doesn’t make much sense with Ryan already on board.

I really like John Ryan Murphy — I didn’t rank him as the team’s second best prospect for nothing, you know — but man a Murphy for Owings swap sure seems to make sense for both clubs. The Yankees signed Brian McCann long-term this winter and they would still have Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez around as catching depth. I mean, if they’re not open to trading Murphy for a desperately needed MLB-ready shortstop prospect, then what are they going to do with him?

Obviously there is more to be considered than positional needs. How do the D’Backs value Murphy and New York’s other catchers? Prospect-for-prospect trades are rare because teams always love their players more than everyone else’s. Also, is there any urgency to make a trade now, or is Arizona content to wait around and play the market a bit? I’m a fan of getting a deal done quickly just so the player can spend a few weeks in camp working with the coaches and learning the organizational ropes before the season starts. That’s just me. These two clubs appear to match up very well for a trade, but, as we’ve learned over the years, that is hardly a guarantee a deal will actually get done.

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Open Thread: 2/27 Camp Notes
2014 Season Preview: Contract Years
  • Brandon

    Would the Diamondbacks think Sanchez for Owings would be fair? Granted, Gary is a few years away from being a big leaguer, but he’s still only 21.

    • greg

      Everything I read is that towers is looking for a mlb ready catcher. sanchez might be a higher ranked prospect but hes still 2 years away at least.

      • The Great Gonzo

        This. John Ryan is the answer if you want help in the more immediate future, methinks.

        • Poconos Adam

          Arizona has Montero (Miguel) on payroll for 10+million the next 2-3 years….not sure why they need Murphy….I mean, aren’t they going to play Montero 3/4 of time anyway?

          At that salary I would think Montero is untradeable (unless they are paying for salary) so he’s there starting for several years…..it would make sense for them to go for a Cervelli type backup….not a guy who is going to waste away on their bench.

          BTW, Chase D’Arnaud SS just got DFA’d by the Pirates. He can be had for little or nothing I would think and provides a young middle infield body to stash at AAA….maybe change of scenery allows him to recapture something?

          • Mandy Stankiewicz

            I think they meant Travis d’Arnaud, the hyped catcher that went to the Mets from the Jays last year.

            • Mandy Stankiewicz

              Oh, I should really read the rest of your comment. Sorry man!

    • ALZ

      Sanchez is rated quite a bit higher than Owings.

  • jjyank

    Hm. Literally all I know about Owings is what I read in this post, but I’m quite intrigued by the idea of a Murphy/Owings swap.

    • Costanza

      No way they do Murphy for Owings straight up. We would have to throw in a Ramirez/Turley/other pitcher or OF they like type player.

      But Murphy for Gregorious? I could do that one. Decent defensive catcher, .270 avg without power in minors for ~league average hitting, slick fielding SS who has done it in the Majors? Sign me up

      • jjyank

        Eh. I’m not a fan of Gregorious. If it takes more than Murphy to Owings, I think I’d rather do that.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Never really been on the Gregorious bandwagon.

          • The Great Gonzo

            Meh… I mean Didi is fine, perfectly adequate, and might be a useful shortstop for the future. Whatever…

            But if we’re playing the game, go all in on Owings.

            • jjyank

              Agreed.

  • Phil

    I would John Ryan Murphy for Chris owings he could play second base and help out at ss. In 2015 he could start at ss fulltime. I would even throw in another prospect Like Slade Heathcott….

  • TWTR

    I would like to find out what they could get for Romine or Cervelli.

    • jjyank

      By themselves? Probably not much.

    • The Great Gonzo

      A Coke and a smile.

    • ALZ

      Why?

      If it is just the backup catcher spot why bother? McCann should be starting for the next 3 years at least, if Murphy can get a legit shortstop they should do it.

      • TWTR

        Because I would have to weigh that return against the cost of losing Murphy before we have a better idea of his true upside (or downside).

        McCann will be starting in all likelihood, but his production will probably be extended if he can play C less. Given the potential of his bat, especially at YS, and the length of his contract, that should be a priority.

        • ALZ

          But if I can flip Murphy for someone like Owings then that is going to help the team much more in the long run. You are talking about fractions of a win at best by that change. Most of the projection systems even has Cervelli producing more WAR than Murphy. Most of the shortstops next winter are pretty crappy. I want value for Murphy, but is a waste to sit him on the bench, especially when Jeter/Beltran/Soriano figure to take up some DH ab. Either trade him, or keep him in the minors, no need to start spending his service time when he isn’t going to give any upgrade this year.

  • greg

    Mike, or anyone who wants to reply, would you do this trade: Murphy, Williams ichiro for Puttz and owings?

    • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content

      I think everyone does that deal. Makes a lot of sense.

      • greg

        I was actually thinking id get killed for selling low on williams lol.

        • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content

          Good young Shortstops dont come cheap though. They just dont. I think they STILL might not do it because theyd need Sanchez instead of JR

          • greg

            im just going off of what towers said he wants mlb ready catcher and sanchez is still at least 2 years away

          • ALZ

            Good young catchers don’t come cheap either. BA has Sanchez at 35, and Owings like 65, so as it is he should have more value than Owings.

            • gageagainstthemachine

              Yes, but you can’t play Sanchez in Owings’ position or vice versa, so those rankings are all relative when comparing/swapping players that don’t play the same position.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Who’s paying Putz’ salary? I like the deal in theory, but JJ is the kind of guy you don’t take at face value with the $7M he’s owed. Do they actually _want_ to move Putz though??

      • jsbrendog

        arent putz and ichiro a wash salary wise?

      • greg

        Im just going off of a rumor from a few months ago, plus towers recent comments on bullpen depth. We would pay JJs salary but we would also be off the hook for ichiros 6.5 million salary. 500k for the yankees isnt a big deal.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Sorry, missed the Ichiro part of your proposal. I dig it

  • RM

    Mike could have not written a more accurate story. All points are on the money. I will throw this one out there…Murphy and Betances also maybe a low A player for Owing and Putz. I would think that is a fair trade with some money relief for the D-Backs. I want no part of Didi Gregorius. To me he a lefty Nunez with better defense. I could see Owings developing into a Brian Dozier type of player at short and I would be fine with that.

    • greg

      Sorry i know im not mike but. towers has said that they have good bullpen depth hes looking for starting pitching or catching maybe outfield.

      • JAG

        Well in this case a relief pitcher would be going both ways, so neither team’s bullpen depth would be affected. The Yankees would just be taking on Putz’s salary in exchange for giving up less prospect-wise.

  • uyf1950

    Wouldn’t it be more preferable to sign one of the potential 2015 FA for SS at the end of this season? With Jeter’s, Soraino’s, Roberts and Ichiro’s salaries coming off the books at the end of the year that’s more then enough money to sign any one or 2 FA’s and still not exceed what’s coming off the books by much one way or another.

    Just as a possibility Hanley Ramirez, J.J. Hardy and Jed Lowrie are all scheduled to become FA’s. Sign one of them as SS then move Johnson over to 2nd base assuming A-Rod returns (which I think is a definite possibility) for 2015. The infield is pretty well set for 2015 then.

    A starting line up of:
    Outfield: Gardner / Ellsbury / Beltran
    Infield: Tex / Johnson / Ramirez or Hardy or Lowrie / A-Rod / McCann

    Looks pretty darn good starting line up to me.

    With a little bit of luck the Yankees starting rotation of:
    CC / Tanaka / Pineda / Nova / Banuelos has the potential to be lights out.

    • jjyank

      I’m not sure we can count on all those guys becoming free agents. Even if they do, as we’ve seen in the recent past, players have to want to sign here as well. There’s no guarantee that they would want to sign here. I believe Hanley is already on record saying that he wants to stay in LA.

      It’s not a bad strategy. It worked out pretty well when the Yanks passed on trading for Santana and signed Sabathia the next year. However, the moves the Yankees have made this offseason indicate that they are trying to win now. If they can get a legitimate MLB option at 2B or 3B for this season (who could maybe slide to SS next season) without selling the farm, I think they should pull the trigger and improve the 2014 club.

    • Nick

      Cost controlled talent is always preferable to overpaying on the FA market. Additionally, if you grab a player like Owings and stick him at SS, it allows you to play a flexible player like Lowrie (2B/3B) or Hanley (3B) at another position or target a 3B like Chase Headley instead. Who says ARod is even able to play 3B full time in 2015?

      The one thing we know is that Murphy is – at best – a backup catcher in NY for the next few years. If you can turn him into talent at a position of need, why not do it?

    • Mr. Roth

      Those guys have to become free agents before you can sign them, and there’s a good chance 2/3 of them get extended by their current teams.

      • greg

        Id be all for trading for owings and signing headly for 3rd.

        1. Elsbury CF
        2. Gardner LF
        3. Headly 3B
        4. McCann C
        5. Beltran DH
        6. Tex 1B
        7. Johnson 2B
        8. Almonte RF
        9. Owings SS

        • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content

          Do we really have to deal with Almonte in right? Thats bubba crosby territory of suck

          • greg

            idk why everyone is down on almonte. the dude hit in AAA and has hit well in the minors. you need to be patient with prospects.

            • LK

              Almonte is already 24 and was pretty putrid in his limited MLB sample. None of the projection systems have him as even a league average hitter, and it’s not like he’s a great defender as a corner OF. I think he’s probably an MLB player and I’m not giving up on him, but I don’t think you can make him Plan A for a starting spot.

              • greg

                almonte had 113 at bats. thats nothing, you cant judge him on that. If you look at his minor league numbers his power shows up in his second year at a level. If the guy hits in AAA this year (280/360/480 with 25hrs) I see no reason not to slot him in the 8 hole and let it play out. We are talking about the 8th spot in the lineup here.

          • The Great Gonzo

            That, good sir, is the Starting Center Fielder in 2005 you are talking about. Bite your tongue.

          • LarryM Fl

            I have a warm spot in my heart for Bubba Crosby. As far as Almonte he can run,catch, switch hits if given some playing time. He might produce.

          • BC-203

            I’m taking Almonte over any of the 2015 FA OF class… That is some impressively week class with almost no power… If we can get Headley at 3B, I’ll take a 25 year old Almonte batting 8th.

            • Jonathan

              Cmon now….Almonte over Rasmus? Some of these guys are old but a bunch of them are going to end up better than Almonte.

              • BC-203

                C’mon now — do we really need 3 CFs? Rasmus gets injury essentially every year and is going to want $15+/yr over some ridiculous 6-7 yr deal — PASS! I think we’re going to need money for Headley and pitching — no more OFs…

                • Jonathan

                  The guy can hit and hit for power as well as play good defense. I don’t care where he’s previously played. By the way Almonte played some CF in the minors…OH NO!!! Can’t have 3 CFs!!! Not to mention I’m pretty sure Almonte has been hurt in 100% of his years in MLB if you want to get ridiculous.

                  All you said was you’d take him over anyone in the class. What do you see in him? He plays okay defense in the corners and doesn’t run, hit, or hit for power very well, at all. If you seriously want a guy who was awful last year in the majors, doesn’t have many tools and has proven nothing over Colby Rasmus…you’re out of your mind. And do you know why he’d want that kind of money? BECAUSE HE’S GOOD AND PRODUCED AT THE MLB LEVEL and is still young.

                  • greg

                    In this possible future we are speading top Money at C, 3B, 1B, CF DH, and the rotation. cant have a star at all the spots. and we are talking about the number 8 hole

                    • BC-203

                      WHAT? Why can’t we just buy every injury-prone FA out there b/c they hit 20 HR a year?

                  • BC-203

                    I never said Rasmus sucks so take a Xanax or two before you type… What I did say is that I don’t think he’s the player you want to throw 15/yr at for the next 6-7 years when we have much greater needs (let’s say pitching)… The guy is injured almost every year — comparing injury history of Almonte is meaningless since he would cost peanuts vs Rasmus’s monster contract.

        • BC-203

          I’d take that lineup — please tell me AROD is not on the bench though…

          • greg

            Hes not. Bought out.

            • greg

              If i had to put a bench together…..romine, ryan, Chris Denorfia and a rh middle infielder to pair with johnson.

            • BC-203

              I’m with you on that hopeful thought, but we’ll see…

    • Jonathan

      The problem is that’s some serious wishful thinking. We don’t know which of those 3 will make it to FA if any and Johnson is only signed for 1 year. Plus, they might just release ARod and we’d need 3 players. The point is if you want to keep Murphy so bad that you wouldn’t trade him for our biggest need, what do you do with him? McCann is going to be the catcher for a long time and it’s a total waste to have Murphy playing in AAA for 3 more years when we still need an entire infield. Would it be amazing if we could get Hanley/Headley in FA? Of course, but Hanley will most likely re-sign and if Lowrie makes it to FA he’s extremely injury prone and isn’t a very good SS.

      Also, the money thing. Those salaries coming off the book are about equal to ARod’s yearly contract. So there is no extra money with those guys coming off the books. We’d have to add salary. Plus, we’ll need to either re-sign Robertson or get a new closer. Plus, Gardner goes from $5.5Mish to $13M next year as well as Nova and others in arbitration.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      You can trade for Owings and still sign those guys. The Yankees need a 2B, SS, and 3B after the season. Cheap Owings for one spot means more money for FA.

      • Jonathan

        Hey Mike, this is sort of off the topic but also on, but everyone seems to think Hanley needs to move off SS rather soon and have him going to 3B. I think most of us want Headley even if ARod returns (possibly a RF/3B/DH rotation of Beltran/ARod/Headley with obviously Headley and Beltran in the field the most and accounting for the inevitable ARod/Beltran injury as well). So the question is: Do you think Hanley can play 2B?

        • The Great Gonzo

          Not without being a distraction.

        • LK

          I think Hanley probably *can* play 2B, but I highly doubt you’re going to convince him to sign if you tell him that’s where you’re putting him.

          • Jonathan

            I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about signing Headley and Hanley to play SS and 3B. Everyone talks about Hanley needing to move eventually and puts 3B as his eventual spot. If we have Headley that’s not happening. So basically is it possible to sign both is the question. Hanley would have to go to 2B, or I guess 1B, if we have Headley. I want to know if he’s capable of playing the position.

            • Chris H

              The point is whether he can or not he won’t, he should already be playing third full time but he threw such a tantrum in Miami about it you have no choice but to play him at short.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Give me the potential of trading for Owings over rolling the dice on overpaying for Hanley Ramirez, J.J. Hardy and Jed Lowrie any day of the week.

    • Chris H

      Lawrie isn’t a SS, the A’s are letting him now but I have no interest in giving him a free agent deal to do so.

      As for the rest Hanley isn’t likely to play for anyone but LA, Hardy will be 33 mid season next year, and Cabrera is already in steep decline. Just like most of the hyped free agent classes this one is a mirage of overhype and never gonna happen.

  • Dan

    I don’t think Murphy is enough to get Owings. I’m pretty sure Towers is also looking for SP depth, and I think Phelps or Warren could fit the bill of getting him a MLB ready SP, and a guy who could be a number 4 starter in the NL.

    • greg

      my trade scenario had williams ichiro and murphy for puttz and owings. I think we are selling low on williams but i would do that trade to get a potential 2 way SS

      • Dan

        That trade is okay; at first I though AZ would balk, but Putz is owed a lot of money. But, I’d rather not trade Williams at his lowest value. If you think he’ll rebound and could get back to being a consensus Top 100 prospect, you should hold off, and include someone whose value is closer to his apex. Williams could be a more valuable trade piece down the road.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          I don’t believe they would be trading Williams at his lowest value– I think they would be trading him at his highest value. These toolsy guys have a limited shelf life before they need to prove they can actually produce. Melky Mesa would have been worth something in a trade a couple of years ago.

          • Dan

            Even if he doesn’t work out, he’ll be repeating AA this year after a breif call up last year. There’s a good shot a second year at this level will get him back on track. Then you can trade him.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    for a second there I thought Micah Owings had turned himself into a star slugger. I still remember those days when he was the pitcher who could hit.

  • I’m One

    Comments like the ones above get me depressed. Seems that whenever something makes so much sense that the overwhelming number of responses are positive, it never happens.

    That said, I’d do John Ryan Murphy for Chris Ownings, even with one of Williams/Heathcott type thrown in. Probably even a Phelps/Warren-type instead.

    • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content

      +1

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      The fact that it never happens should tell us that one side or the other takes a very different view of the relative values and/or needs than does the other, or do the posters on this site.

      For example: the fact that I would trade JR (sorry JR) Murphy for Owings straight up in a heartbeat means that I’m probably overvaluing Murphy and/or Arizona’s needs.

  • Kevin

    See the “your trade proposal sucks” subsection.

    http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....son-19809/

  • John Duci

    Everyone here is underestimating John Ryan Murphy. He looks good and is going to be very solid everyday catcher. I wouldn’t do Murphy and more for Gregorius maybe for Owings

    • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content

      Definitely do a Murphy or Sanchez and pick one OF or SP for Owings.

      • John Duci

        Yea I’m with that. Still want Hanley or lowrie tho

      • ALZ

        Not Sanchez. He is a better prospect than Owings as it is. And then you want throw in another solid prospect?

        • The Great Gonzo

          Prospect self fornication aside, if the plan is to replace McCann behind the plate in 3-4 years… Sanchez in theory aligns better with that timing.

  • Mahkk

    I was actually thinking about this trade last week. I’d do this, I like this trade proposal and I agree with everything Mike said here. I know I know, it hurts me to say that too haha. I wouldn’t trade Sanchez, I mean, we DO have to replace McCann someday and the guy has the legitimate potential do be our next homegrown Yankee icon in 4-5 years. Gotta look way down the road when you’re talking prospects and I don’t want to trade away that potential. But Owings sure looks good, Murphy and Warren or something like that for Owings? Absolutely.

    Knowing the Yankees need in the infield and milb catching depth, you have to wonder if Arizona is specifically directing this at the Yankees.

  • Frank

    Murphy is the catcher should keep long term. IMO, he’s better than Sanchez who I have a feeling will be another Montero. You’re hearing rumblings of his less than stellar defense.

    • jjyank

      Actually, I’ve heard rumblings that his defense has been improving.

      And why do you feel like he’d be another Montero? As far as I can tell, plenty of people believe Sanchez can stick at C, while pretty much nobody thought Montero could.

      • blake

        It’s pretty much universal opinion that Sanchez has a much better chance to stick at catcher than Montero….he’s just not as established offensively as Montero was at similar ages.

        • jjyank

          No, he’s not. I’m not trying to argue that Sanchez is a better prospect than Montero was, just that they are two different players and I don’t see any evidence to Frank’s claim that Sanchez will be another Montero. Who is now an overweight DH who hasn’t hit MLB pitching yet. Kind of a harsh thing to say about the kid when there hasn’t been much, if anything, to support that.

          • Chris H

            Plus I’ve heard no rumblings of Sanchez being difficult to work with/coach, Montero had several discipline issues while in our system.

      • LK

        Agreed. Also, I think the fears of “another Montero” shouldn’t really be a factor here. All of the scouts thought Montero would hit; you can’t really predict that a player will be so lax that he’ll show up to camp 40 pounds overweight, it’s not like the talent wasn’t there.

        • The Great Gonzo

          He’s gonna need to saddle up to the buffet table if he wants to become another Montero, Amirite?

  • blake

    I think they should sign Drew AND trade for Owings….you could play Drew at 3B initially and stash Owings at AAA until Roberts gets hurt then bring him up. Then by the end of the year you have a real infield of Drew, Jeter, Owings, Tex……and also you have SS and 2B potentially solved for 2015 as well rather cheaply.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Goddammit do I want NOTHING to do with Drew…

      • blake

        you have an aversion to SS’s that can OPS .777 and play good defense? He’s not perfect but he’s a lot better than what they currently have and you can get him for like 50 cents on the dollar right now….

        • Mr. Roth

          So why’s he still a free agent on February 28th?

          • blake

            draft pick attachment

            • Mr. Roth

              That didn’t cause a problem for 75% of players that got qualifying offers. Perhaps Drew didn’t get the memo that he was willing to sign for 50 cents on the dollar?

            • I’m One

              So you’re saying (or more appropriately, all MLB teams that need infield help) that he’s not worth the salary he’s asking plus giving up a draft pick. Got it.

            • The Great Gonzo

              12 other ballplayers with draft pick attachment got jobs, however 3 guys who should have probably taken the QO remain unemployed.

              That, and he’s not worth his asking price.

        • HectorLopez

          HectorLopez

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            HectorLopez

        • nyyankfan_7

          Problem is he is only worth 50 cents of every dollar he wants.

      • jjyank

        Drew would be an upgrade. I don’t feel all that strongly either way.

        I do, however, want him to sign fucking somewhere so we can all stop talking about him.

    • mason williams blood alcohol content

      this makes sense to me.

    • Vincent Vega

      Drew has no value at 3rd and if he get’s his 1 year opt out you have to find a SS next year. If that isn’t enough, he doesn’t desire to be a Yankee.

  • BC-203

    Perhaps because they don’t want to give up their 1st round pick for him — that is a major issue for many clubs. I personally think he is an upgrade over what we have and if we can get him on the cheap for a 1 yr deal, I’d snatch him up. I do think the trade should happen regardless of any action on Drew — Drew is no long term option for sure…

    • Havok9120

      There are a great many teams who would be giving up significantly lower picks and who still need IF help.

      • BC-203

        “Great many”? — the Mets are really the only team that is in a better draft pick situation than us that actually needs a SS…

  • HectorLopez

    You are talking about a guy whose own team won’t resign at ” 50 cents on the dollar” and they won’t have to give up a draft pick. I hope the Yanks are staying far away from this tool who is negotiating like he is a young Earnie Banks instead of a fill in douche bag. He is demanding an out clause after one year, sure lets do that. He played in a hitters paradise and had a career year stay away from this BUM!!!!

  • Gary

    “I’m a fan of getting a deal done quickly just so the player can spend a few weeks in camp working with the coaches and learning the organizational ropes before the season starts. That’s just me.”

    —–

    Well said, with all that experience you have running a team and coaching spring training.

    PS-Anyone who thinks the DBacks would trade Owings for Murphy straight-up is nuts.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      PS-Anyone who thinks the DBacks would trade Owings for Murphy straight-up is nuts.

      Well said, with all that experience you have running a team and coaching spring training being a GM and making trades.

      • Dalek Jeter

        Mike, don’t you know, even though teams love their prospects more than other team’s prospects fans; especially Yankee fans know the truth: Our prospects are shit and aren’t worth the time of day from other GMs?

      • The Great Gonzo

        hehe. Well played Mauer.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Bravo. Take the rest of the weekend off. You earned it.

    • jjyank

      So you can’t have an opinion unless you’ve actually unless you’ve coached a spring training?

    • mason williams blood alcohol content

      In no universe do the D’backs do Owings straight up for Murphy. Murphy will never be a top 100 prospect and Owings is. That’s all there is to that.

      • Mr. Roth

        Cano was never a top 100 prospect either…

        Just sayin’

        • mason williams blood alcohol content

          Cano wasn’t traded straight up for a top 100 prospect when he wasn’t one either.

          • Mr. Roth

            My point was that top 100 prospect status shouldn’t be a prerequisite to making a trade for a top 100 prospect. Maybe the DBacks rate Murphy higher than the prospect lists do.

            He can fill a need that they have, and that can be more valuable than appearing on a prospect list.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              This.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Hughes was a top 100 prospect, so was Joba. Soooooo, that’s something

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Law had Owings at 72 and Murphy as one of the ten who just missed the top 100. The difference between 72 and 100-110 is very small.

    • mahkk

      I understand why you’d feel that way, but I think that’s because Yankees fans have been spoiled by all the catching depth we’ve had over the last 5 years or so. I think catchers who can actually hit are pretty valuable too and although we as fans of the Yankees value infielders more highly right now, Arizona fans are probably feeling the same about catchers and are thinking of infielders as a dime a dozen. I just think this is all a matter of perspective.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      Fluff aside, I agree there’s no way in hell that Arizona would give us Owings for JR Murphy straight up.

      Why do I believe this? Because I would make that trade in a heartbeat.

  • Dalek Jeter

    I’ve read a lot of “Didi is essentially Nunez with the ability to field.” Well…isn’t the biggest thing preventing Nunez from being a league average/slightly above the ability to field? I mean, don’t get me wrong I don’t love the idea of John Ryan for Didi straight up…but maybe Towers wants to buy low on a guy like Romine? I know MTPS, but Didi for Romine and Turly?

    • jjyank

      I could get behind that with a little convincing.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      I can’t imagine that gets it done. I mean, maybe, but I think Romine would need to have a good/healthy April/May for that to be something Towers would bite on.

      • mason williams blood alcohol content

        Lettuce has negative trade value.

  • FLYER7

    I’d go Cervelli and enhance the package and numbers on the Yankees end…a 3 for 1 or 4 for 2 or even a 4 for 1 for Owings

  • Dalek Jeter

    Completely off topic, but the Orioles released LHP Chris Jones this morning. His periferals weren’t that impressive last season in the minors (6.2 K/9 rate and 4.1 BB/9 rate) he held same side batters to a .196/.291/.268 between AA and AAA last season and has career marks of 3.42 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 434 1/3 career MiLB innings. I’d take a flyer on him, personally.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Sold.

  • blake

    I think Towers is thinking Owings is gonna win the SS job and that Didi is expendable. He’d probably trade Owings but I bet the price tag is a lot higher for him right now.

    • Mr. Roth

      Kevin Towers spoke with reporters this afternoon, a few hours before news broke of the Diamondbacks’ agreement with right-hander Bronson Arroyo. A few highlights:

      *He called Didi Gregorius the “favorite” in the competition for the everyday shortstop job. Most would probably have guessed that distinction belonged to Chris Owings. Also, he said “it would be hard” to have both players on the roster. He’d rather have each guy getting everyday at-bats; that would allow both to continue to improve and for the player in Triple-A to remain sharp in case of an injury.

      http://www.azcentral.com/insid.....her-stuff/

      • blake

        maybe….but I will say that what GMs say and what they actually think aren’t always the same thing

    • RM

      I trend to agree with that, but what do I know. I do know that Towers was here in 2010 when Murphy was in Charleston. Maybe he see something that he likes in him. Like Mike said he is a top 5 prospect for a good reason.

      • Tanakapalooza Floozy

        The main reason is the relative weakness in our system. When our #2 (or even 5) best prospect isn’t a consensus top 100 prospect that’s a pretty sad statement about our farm.

  • Mike

    Interesting that both Owings and Nick Franklin could be available this spring training.

    I’d be much happier with an IF that had Jeter, Johnson, Owings and Franklin than what we have now.

    Would some combination of Murphy, Williams, Heathcott, Austin, and a pitching prospect be enough to get us both?

  • mason williams blood alcohol content

    For sure. And Everyone would feel better with Franklin and Owings I think.

  • Mike

    It’s not like in that scenario you’d be throwing away youth for experience either, Franklin (23) and Owings (22) are basically the same age as Williams (22), Heathcott (23), Austin (22), and Murphy (23) but they aren’t blocked and they have more major league experience.

    Next year you could have those two players up the middle and focus your trade/FA efforts on 3B where ideally you’d have a shot at Headley or Sandoval.

  • Chris

    Very much in the Murphy for Owings swap camp. As Mike stated, Yanks do need a SS, 2B, 3B (most likely) for next season. I bet on one premium SS and/or 3B making it to the open market given the rate of inflation lately. But for Owings, I might even add a AA-AAA arm like Mitchell or Turley to sweeten the pot. Sanchez for Owings might be a little unrealistic from both sides but it doesn’t hurt for Towers to ask.

    With all that said, the Yankees do have Brendan Ryan for two years and I think he could win the 2B job next year if given a legit opportunity. The entire resume says that most likely he can’t hit but the dude has a fantastic glove that could play the middle infield for just about any team. Ozzie Smith wasn’t really known for his bat either and basically made the HOF because of his defense. I think we are underestimating the importance of Ryan’s defense and deserves a chance to compete for a starting gig.

    • JMK

      Ozzie Smith may not have been known for his bat, but there’s a huge gulf between him and Brendan Ryan offensively. Brendan Ryan has a career OPS+ of 72, and that’s largely inflated by a 2009 season with a BAbip of .332 (career BAbip = .279). Ozzie Smith’s career OPS+ was 87.

  • Tanakapalooza Floozy

    Put the dope away folks. No way they give us Owings for JR Murphy straight up. Book mark to your hearts content.

  • Brett is Bubbas Son

    I would do John Ryan Murphy + insert starting pitcher here for Owings. With the depth we have at C plus a Phelps type we can have an above average in the field and at the plate everyday SS.

    Now in a perfect world we would be trying to do Sanchez for Addison Russell, have you seen what the A’s run out there at C?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    So my understanding is that, if you even think John Ryan Murphy could be traded for Chris Owings, you’re basically a homeless Nazi in need of a labotomy.

    Good to know.

    I don’t even think I know who Chris Owings is. You know how I am with those National Leaguers, White.

    • Giancarlo Murphy

      Yeah. Extremist position, repeated four times in a single thread: Big John Stud’s back.

  • Charles

    I can definitely see a Owings for Murphy trade going down before the end of Spring Training, makes sense for both sides.