As the calendar page turns, talks will begin to heat up as the Winter Meetings begin a week from tomorrow. The National League West will continue to make moves to try and take over the top spot next season.
Here are some of the moves and rumors from around the division this week:
The Diamondbacks made a coaching decision this week when they hired former Yankee bullpen coach Mike Harkey as their new pitching coach. The move comes on the heals of hiring Dave Duncan last week as a special assistant, presumably to help with the pitching staff as well.
Harkey spent the last five seasons in New York serving as the bullpen coach and will be making his debut as a pitching coach. He replaces Charles Nagy at the position, who wasn’t retained after a season in which the Diamondbacks finished 17th in total ERA.
The Diamondbacks were also in the news this week for comments made by relief pitcher Brad Ziegler on Twitter about PED users. He wasn’t impressed by the new contract that PED user Jhonny Peralta got from the St. Louis Cardinals. The Diamondbacks have often avoided high profile players that were PED users because of managing general partner Ken Kendrick.
The Rockies didn’t do much in terms of roster moves this week; however, they did lose Double-A outfielder Rafael Ortega to the Texas Rangers on a waiver claim. Ortega spent last season in Double-A and hit .228 with nine stolen bases before suffering a hairline fracture in his shin.
There were moves made this week by the team; they were just on the coaching staff. Eric Young, Sr. was hired as the first base and base running coach, while Blake Doyle was hired as the hitting coach. Young spent four and a half seasons with the Rockies in the 1990s and hit the first ever home run at Mile High Stadium. He has first base coaching experience from his time with the Diamondbacks.
Doyle has no professional coaching experience but has dealt with major league players coming from his Florida school that runs baseball development camps and amateur showcases. He replaces Dante Bichette at the position.
San Diego Padres
The Padres made two minor league trades this week to add to their farm system. The first one was a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for first baseman/outfielder Alex Dickerson in exchange for right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas and outfielder Jaff Decker. Dickerson is from San Diego and spent last season in Double-A, hitting .288 with 36 doubles, 17 home runs and 68 RBI.
The other trade was for minor league right-handed pitcher Devin Jones from the Baltimore Orioles for right-handed pitcher Brad Bach. The trade comes after Bach was designated for assignment on November 20. Jones spent time in Double-A last season, going 4-7 with a 5.84 ERA in 24 starts.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants continued to shore up their pitching staff for next season; this week they re-signed starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. The team declined the $6.5 million option on the right-hander’s contract earlier this off-season, but have now given him a deal worth a reported $5 million with incentives. Last season, Vogelsong went 4-6 with a 5.73 ERA in 19 starts before missing the rest of the season with two broken bones in his pinkie and a dislocated knuckle.
They also finalized their three-year, $13 million deal with left-handed reliever Javier Lopez. The lefty is coming off a season in which he had a 1.83 ERA in 69 appearances out of the bullpen. Lopez wanted to test the free agent market this off-season, but ultimately decided to stick with the Giants.
The Giants also made a minor trade, sending catcher Johnny Monell to the Orioles for cash considerations. Monell played in eight games for the Giants last season but was designated for assignment last week.
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