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AL Wild Card Race 2013: Breaking Down Tiebreakers and Scenarios in Heated Chase

They don’t call it the wild card for nothing.

This year’s American League Wild Card race has three teams left fighting for two spots in the Wild Card Game. The Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays currently sit one game above the Texas Rangers, but anything can happen in the closing days of the season.

These three teams’ immediate futures are linked together. Depending on what the others do, each team’s outlook can change in an instant. We’ll look at all of those possibilities below.

But first, here’s a look at the standings and the remaining games for each team:

Three-Game Playoff Sequence

The breakdown of possibilities is complex, but it’s easy to understand when simplifying it. Basically, if there is a three-game tie between the teams, a series of games will be played to determine which clubs earn the right to then play in the one-game playoff.

Extra baseball!

Here’s a look at the head-to-head and overall records between the three teams in 2013:

Keep in mind, if the Indians and Rays both win out, they will meet in St. Petersburg for the AL Wild Card Game. If both lose and Texas wins out, this sequence will be put into effect.

The Indians chose the designation of Club A since they had the best overall record between the three teams. Tampa Bay chose to be Club B and the Rangers will be Club C.

These designations determine how the playoff games before the playoff game will shake out in the event of a three-way tie. As Club A, the Tribe would host Tampa Bay on Monday, with the winner advancing to play in the AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday.

The loser would get another shot by traveling to Texas to take on the Rangers to determine the second team in Wednesday’s matchup.

Needless to say, avoiding any extra games after a 162-game season is ideal. All the Rays and Indians have to do is keep winning this weekend and they’ll meet Wednesday in the playoffs.

For Texas, its fate is out its hands. Even if the Rangers win out, they could end up missing the postseason altogether.


Three-game sequence information obtained from

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2013 MLB Mock Draft: Best Fits for Every Major League Team

The MLB draft is a whole different monster when compared to other major sporting events.

Expecting the unexpected is the best approach to Major League Baseball’s yearly 40-round selection process. Not only will teams throw curveballs, they will do some pretty questionable things when picking from the top available talent in the world.

Beyond the first round, it’s truly anyone’s guess what direction teams will go with their selections.

But in that first round, teams are most likely to pick the best available player. That is clearly the best approach as most of these prospects will take some time to develop.

By the time they end up cracking a major league lineup, there could be any number of needs on the team’s big-league roster.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a full first-round mock before the June 6 to 8 event.


1. Houston Astros: RHP Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma

Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma’s 6’4″, 240-pound ace-in-the-making, is as MLB-ready as prospects come. He has the tools needed to be an effective rotation leader and can likely achieve that projection soon after being selected.

Houston has an immediate need for several positions but would benefit most by finding a leader for its starting pitching staff. Gray could eventually become a key component of its rotation by the time the Astros are ready to turn things around. 

2. Chicago Cubs: RHP Mark Appel, Stanford

Stanford’s Mark Appel could potentially be the Astros’ pick with the No. 1 overall pick. He looks as close to a “sure thing” as a team can find in this or any draft. His fastball is the key. The 6’5″, 215-pound right-hander consistently deals in the mid-90s and tops out around 99 mph.

Chicago would definitely be glad if Houston passes up Appel. He could step in quickly and help accelerate Theo Epstein’s turnaround.


3. Colorado Rockies: 3B/OF Kris Bryant, San Diego

Passing up a player like Kris Bryant, if he falls, would be lunacy for the talent-starved Colorado Rockies. Bryant is a great athlete who presents some flexibility where he will play at the next level.

At the plate, Bryant can be a monster, but he may struggle with his share of strikeouts while adjusting to professional pitchers.


4. Minnesota Twins: RHP Kohl Stewart, St. Pieux X HS (Texas)

Kohl Stewart is a great athlete who has a scholarship offer to play quarterback at Texas A&M. He already has an impressive arsenal of pitches at his disposal.

Getting Stewart here is a consolation prize for the Twins, who will have to develop the youngster for a number of years before he is ready to take the rubber in the bigs.

5. Cleveland Indians: 3B Colin Moran, North Carolina

Lonnie Chisenhall is coming along slower than anticipated, increasing the possibility the Cleveland Indians looking to add another body to their system with this pick. Hitting has been Chisenhall‘s downfall, but it appears to be Moran’s strength.

He won’t hit for power like current Indians third baseman Mark Reynolds, but he can get on base and eventually make a difference in the middle-to-end of the lineup.

6. Miami Marlins: OF Austin Meadows, Grayson High (Ga.)

The Miami Marlins are in disarray. They could go in any direction with this pick and it would be a welcome addition for the struggling franchise.

Austin Meadows has the potential to be an impact player at the next level. His numbers are down this year, but he has the natural ability to be a well-rounded star.

7. Boston Red Sox: OF Clint Frazier, Loganville High (Ga.)

The Boston Red Sox have the luxury of picking their favorite target due to an exceptionally strong farm system. Adding outfielder Clint Frazier will give the Sox another top-end outfielder with a very fast bat.

8. Kansas City Royals: LHP/OF Trey Ball, New Castle High (Ind.)

Trey Ball makes perfect sense here for the Kansas City Royals. The tall (6’6″) left-hander projects well as a solid starting pitcher at the next level should the Royals choose to employ him as such.

If not, he is athletic and naturally gifted enough to be a solid player in the outfield and at the plate for the Royals.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates: C Reese McGuire, Kentwood High (Wash.) 

The Pittsburgh Pirates need a long-term solution behind Russell Martin and the draft’s best catcher could be their primary target to be that guy.

Reese McGuire is a solid defender with an amazing arm who would eventually be a heavy-use catcher for the Pirates if his bat catches up with the rest of his game.

10. Toronto Blue Jays: RHP Braden Shipley, Nevada

Braden Shipley falling to the Toronto Blue Jays would be a coup for an already talented rotation. Shipley can hit 99 mph on the gun and consistently throws mid-90s with little effort. He has just two years on the rubber but will catch on eventually atop Toronto’s rotation. 

11. New York Mets: SS J.P. Crawford, Lakewood High (Calif.)

J.P. Crawford is the best option for a team looking to add shortstop help in this draft. He’s an athletic prospect who is very well-rounded in all aspects of the game. New York could definitely benefit from adding a top middle infielder prospect who can do it all.

12. Seattle Mariners: 1B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico

New Mexico’s D.J. Peterson is an established plate presence who projects well as a first baseman at the next level. He could eventually make the transition to third base in the bigs, but he’ll likely find his niche early on at the opposite corner of the diamond.

13. San Diego Padres: RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas

Pitchers excel in the San Diego Padres system and Ryne Stanek would be no different. The pitcher-friendly Petco Park will allow him to seamlessly come into his own in SoCal.

His command is coming along, and he could be a solid bullpen arm until he develops further skills to take the rubber as a starter.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates: OF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State

Hunter Renfroe‘s production is down as of late, but there is no denying the tools he brings to the table. He’s a legitimate athletic prospect who wields the bat as efficiently as he covers ground in the outfield.

Renfroe could be ready sooner rather than later to fill any hole the Pirates ask of him.  

15. Arizona Diamondbacks: 1B Dominic Smith, Serra High (Calif.)

With the top pitching talent already picked through, the Arizona Diamondbacks could add youngster Dominic Smith. Smith would give the club a solid prospect with good plate presence and Gold Glove-capable skills at first base.

16. Philadelphia Phillies: RHP Alex Gonzalez, Oral Roberts

Alex Gonzalez could end up being a good professional pitcher but he might end up flopping just as easily. He’s a pretty risky pick here, but he definitely fills a need and could potentially become a strong starter for the Phils.

17. Chicago White Sox: LHP Ian Clarkin, Madison High (Calif.)

Left-hander Ian Clarkin is a potentially dominant left-hander who employs a variety of different pitches successfully. His deceptive delivery helps guide his fastball, which tops out in the low 90s.

18. Los Angeles Dodgers: SS Tim Anderson, East Central CC (Mississippi)

Tim Anderson is a speedster who makes solid contact to get in position to make plays on the bases. After playing both basketball and baseball at East Central, Anderson focused solely on baseball in 2013. It paid off; he hit .495 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI and a .568 on-base percentage. 

19. St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Phil Bickford, Oaks Christian High (Calif.)

Phil Bickford is a prep pitcher with a solid 93-mph fastball and excellent curveball. St. Louis’ cupboards are full with talent, so it can afford to take a risk here on a right-hander it will have to develop. 

20. Detroit Tigers: OF Billy McKinney, Plano West High (Texas)

Billy McKinney isn’t the most athletic or prototypical outfielder in this class, but he has the bat teams crave. His beautiful swing will attract the Detroit Tigers, who could use a more prominent bat in left field.

21. Tampa Bay Rays: C Nick Cuiffo, Lexington High (S.C.)

Nick Cuiffo is a top catcher prospect in this class, making him very desirable to the Tampa Bay Rays with pick No. 21. He’s strong in every area catchers have to be and would eventually be a primary backstop for the St. Petersburg-based Rays (for now).

22. Baltimore Orioles: LHP Marco Gonzalez, Gonzaga

Marco Gonzalez isn’t a hard thrower who is going to blow past hitters, but he comes nearly ready to play at the next level. His command and arsenal of pitches will allow him to beat batters instead of trying to blow them away.

He has a high probability of panning out and is a safe pick at a position of need for Baltimore.

23. Texas Rangers: RHP Chris Anderson, Jacksonville

Chris Anderson could drop out of the first round after struggling thanks to a heavy workload this season. He has excellent command and a solid delivery that screams potential starter at the next level.

The Texas Rangers could potentially get a steal here for a player who struggled after being overworked this year.

24. Oakland Athletics: OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State

Consistency at the plate was a problem for senior Aaron Judge prior to this season. He seems to have ironed that out and just in time. However, his inconsistency has led to a big gap in teams’ perception of the slugger.

ESPN’s Keith Law said Judge “elicits the widest range of opinions” in this class. Oakland would be taking a risk with this selection, but the potential to land a 30-homer and solid outfielder is too much to pass up at this point in the draft.

25. San Francisco Giants: RHP Jonathon Crawford, Florida

Jonathon Crawford is a raw talent with all of the natural ability needed to be an effective starting pitcher in the bigs. His command has issues and he will need time to improve his mechanics, but the San Francisco Giants can afford to groom and develop him.

26. New York Yankees: 3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame

Eric Jagielo quickly shot up boards due to an excellent presence at the plate. His solid combination of attributes has helped turn him into a well-rounded hitter with decent power.

He is a third baseman but could end up making the switch to first for the New York Yankees due to some concerns about his throwing arm.

27. Cincinnati Reds: RHP Andrew Thurman, UC-Irvine

Andrew Thurman has second-round grades in many places but could be a surprise late first-round selection. The Cincinnati Reds have plenty of arms but could add another by selecting Thurman here. He has had his ups and downs but pitches well over time.

28. St. Louis Cardinals: OF Philip Ervin, Samford

Philip Ervin exploded last summer in Cape Cod and turned that performance into a first-round selection by a top-tier ball club. The Cards are talent-rich and can afford to take a chance here on a good athlete with excellent bat speed.

29. Tampa Bay Rays: RHP Ryan Eades, LSU

The Tampa Bay Rays are notorious for finding top pitching talent in the MLB draft. LSU’s Ryan Eades could be the next addition to a plentiful cupboard full of talent at the position for the Rays.

Eades pitched extremely well for the Tigers this season, especially during the team’s elimination game against Alabama in the early running.

30. Texas Rangers: OF Austin Wilson, Stanford

Having already addressed pitcher in the first round, Texas looks to add another high-ceiling player in Stanford’s Austin Wilson. The outfielder has tremendous upside with a strong arm and bat but may not be ready to leave school right away to make the leap to the next level.

31. Atlanta Braves: LHP Hunter Green, Warren East High (Kent.)

The Atlanta Braves love left-handers in the early rounds and will get another potential good one with Hunter Green. He is ranked as the 31st-best prospect of this class, so the value and need matches well here for the Braves.

32. New York Yankees: OF Michael Lorenzen, Cal-State Fullerton

Michael Lorenzen was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 but opted to play college ball at Cal-State Fullerton. He is a bit of a risk at the plate but is a potential five-tool guy and has solid bullpen experience in the event he doesn’t pan out at the plate.

The Yanks will get a top-tier prospect, but his 15.6 percent career strikeout rate is alarming.

33. New York Yankees: LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana State

Injuries and inconsistency with his fastball have pushed Sean Manaea from being a Top 10 pick to barely being selected in the first round at all. The New York Yankees won’t complain as they add a potentially dominant left-hander to their system with this selection.

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Yasiel Puig Would Catapult LA Dodgers Back into Contention

Now is the time for Yasiel Puig to get his first crack at the big leagues.

The Los Angeles Dodgers need something, anything, to turn around a 2013 season that is slowly getting away from them.

The time is right to bring in the organization’s top prospect. It just might happen too, as the Dodgers are considering making the move, according to CBS Sports’ MLB insider Jon Heyman:

Puig (pronounced Pweeg) is indeed said by sources connected to the Dodgers to be “under consideration” for a call-up after initial word from manager Don Mattingly initially was interpreted by the media to mean that they were going to pass this time on both their top outfield prospects, Puig and Joc Pederson. And Puig was switched to center field for Thursday in what looks like a clear signal just how seriously the Dodgers are considering his callup.

Puig has been playing phenomenal baseball in the minors, garnering the attention of both local and national media. He received increased attention after exploding on Thursday night while playing center field.

ESPN SiruisXM co-host Jim Bowden pondered whether or not his move to center and remarkable stat-line are an indicator of a pending move (via Twitter):

No call-up has ensued following his 3-for-4, one-RBI, two stolen bases and two-run performance during that Thursday night ballgame.

However, it wouldn’t be shocking to see something happen in the near future.

Bernie Pleskoff, a writer and scout, said Puig has a similar physique and abilities to former standout player Bo Jackson.

Specifically, Pleskoff highlighted his aggression at the plate, “good eye-hand coordination” and fast hands which allow him to drive the ball to anywhere on the field.

His physique is what has people buzzing the most and drawing Jackson comparisons.

Puig stands at 6’3” and weighs 245 lbs. Despite his large size, the 22-year-old prospect doesn’t lose any athletic edge. In fact, his physical attributes are off the charts. Stealing bases and covering ground in the outfield won’t be a problem at the next level—at least from a physical standpoint.

Pleskoff, who scouted Puig in the minors, said there are some things he still needs to work on:

Improved plate discipline and pitch recognition are among the components of Puig‘s offense that need more seasoning… Defensively… He has to continue to work on recognizing the flight of the ball off the bat more quickly. Puig also has to continue to gain accuracy on his throws. His basic skills project Puig to be an average outfielder. 

Whatever ends up happening in the near future, Puig looks to have the measurables and ability to develop into a major star. The Dodgers shouldn’t rush things to help fix an immediate need, but there is no denying the predicament they are currently in.

It’s also hard to imagine the youngster not having a positive effect for the limping Dodgers. Matt Kemp is on the 15-day disabled list and the team desperately needs someone to fill the void until he gets back.

This is, without a doubt, the best time to test Puig’s progress and give him a sizeable amount of major league action. Los Angeles is fading; they have to do something to help energize their dugout in order to avoid falling further behind the talented NL West.

Puig‘s plate aggression and base-running ability could help lead a late-first-half resurgence that would propel the Dodgers back into contention before the All-Star break. There is plenty of time to get things back on track. Making this move at this point in time is the best option for Don Mattingly.

It’s a win-win; a move the Dodgers have to pull the trigger on.

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Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Dodgers Star’s Hamstring

Hanley Ramirez was helped off the field Friday night after clutching his left hamstring following a slide into third base.

UPDATE: Saturday, May 4, at 6:21 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow

The Dodgers have officially placed Ramirez on the 15-day DL, per the team’s official Twitter account.

—End of update—

The Los Angeles Dodgers (via Twitter) verified the injury after he was removed from play Friday night:

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Ramirez is going to the disabled list.

Andrew Baggarly of CSN San Francisco originally speculated after the play that Ramirez likely would be headed back to the disabled list, which proves this is a serious injury (via Twitter):

If Ramirez misses any significant time, it will be another setback for the infielder. Nothing is official yet, but he could be heading back to the DL just three games after making his season debut.

He recently made his first start of the year during the Dodgers’ April 30 win over the Colorado Rockies. Ramirez was sidelined until that point after undergoing offseason thumb surgery to repair a torn ligament in the finger.

Ramirez homered in that first start to help spark a stagnant Dodgers offense that has scored just 91 runs so far in this young 2013 season. That’s good enough for second to last in baseball.

Expect the Dodgers’ offensive struggles to continue as long as they have key players like Ramirez in the dugout and not on the field. No one else on the diamond seems to be ready to play ball at this point, and Ramirez’s return was the lone beacon of hope for the club.

That beacon appears to be slowly fading, as the shortstop could have significantly injured his hamstring.

Slugger Matt Kemp has also yet to find his groove and could still be feeling the effects of offseason shoulder surgery.

The Dodgers aren’t in despair just yet. Despite their offensive woes, the team is close to .500. They should be all right in the long run if they can remain in contention in the NL West until their bats come around.

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Tim Lincecum Haircut: New-Look, Heavier Righty Will Recapture Old Form

Pitchers and catchers report to San Francisco Giants spring training on Tuesday, and they’ll have a much different Tim Lincecum upon arrival. The Giants ace put on some pounds and got a haircut, shaving off his long trademark locks and opting for a more clean-cut look.

Will the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner be better this year after going just 10-15 and posting a 5.18 ERA in 33 starts in 2012?

Chances are he will be because of the great success he has achieved in years past. It won’t be because of any haircut, though, and it won’t come easy.

Lincecum is on a mission after being relegated to the bullpen during the Giants’ World Series run just one season ago. “The Freak” appears focused and ready to get to work, not wanting to return to the bullpen again this season.

“In the years past I kind of used spring as work, just to get my work in, and if things go south, no big deal,” Lincecum said, according to Matt Wilhalme of the Los Angeles Times. “But now it’s like I’ve got to prove myself. That game is just the same as it is when we’re playing during the season.”

Proving himself in the spring is unknown territory for the former uncontested top pitcher in baseball. It’s something that came naturally since he exploded onto the baseball landscape in 2008.

At the same time, it may be just what he needs to focus and get himself back in the mindset to tackle a full 162-game season with the tenacity and dominance of years past.

In addition to chopping off his locks, Lincecum has added some weight during the offseason, as Andrew Baggarly of reported (via Twitter):

Adding weight and getting his mind right are positive steps in the right direction and will show immediate returns for the right-hander.

If Lincecum can continue that momentum throughout camp and into Opening Day, there is no reason to think he’ll be anything other than a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Giants this season.

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Justin Upton Will Be an Arizona Diamondback to Begin 2013 Season

After months of trade rumors it’s looking more and more like Justin Upton will remain on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 25-man roster.

Recent reports indicate that Upton vetoed a trade that would have sent the outfielder to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a lucrative multi-player swap, according to CBS Sports’ Scott Miller.

Miller’s sources indicate that Upton still may not be in Arizona for long, although the difficulty in moving him is increasing as teams fill needs through other means.

“Something is going to happen somewhere with them,” Miller’s source said of the Diamondbacks’ Upton situation. “I just don’t know where or when.”

Seattle would have given up Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, two relievers and Taijuan Walker, a top pitching prospect in the M’s system, in order to add a key bat to the middle of their lineup.

Shortstop prospect Nick Franklin was also thrown into the deal to sweeten it for Arizona.

Walker, 20, has vast potential and is a valuable trade chip. He was ranked as the 20th-best prospect in the minors by Baseball America prior to the 2012 season.

That sets the bar for the type of player and package Arizona is attempting to get in exchange for its top trade chip.

Upton’s refusal to go to Seattle is understandable, though, so where else might he end up?

Let’s take a look at where he is NOT going.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted Upton’s four-team no-trade list on Thursday:

Atlanta and Texas are starting to cool on the idea of giving up big packages in order to bring Upton to town.

The Braves seem content with what they’ve got heading into spring training, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

O’Brien did note that the Braves would likely jump at the chance to unite the Upton brothers if the Diamondbacks were to lower the asking price.

Texas has reportedly dropped from the chase altogether.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Arizona offered Upton to the Rangers prior to their deal with the Mariners, but that they weren’t willing to pay the steep price to get a deal done (via Twitter):

Upton, at this point, will most likely be an Arizona Diamondback when the 2013 season kicks off. All of the young outfielder’s top suitors are turned off by the idea of taking on his large contract and sacrificing a sizeable amount of talent in the process.

A deal could still get done, but it isn’t likely at this point. Unless, of course, Arizona is willing to cave on its demands in order to ship Upton.

The Diamondbacks have been trying to move the talented outfielder for a good amount of time. They may be willing to keep waiting for the right opportunity to come along before pulling the trigger.


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Drew Stubbs: Projecting Role and Production for Indians’ New Outfielder

The Cleveland Indians did some house cleaning on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The team acquired Cincinnati Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs and various new pieces in a nine-player deal that sent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Jason Donald to the Reds, and reliever Tony Sipp to Arizona, according to an AP report (via ESPN).

The Tribe got various other valuable assets back in this deal, including starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and right-handed relief pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw.

Bauer was the third-overall pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 MLB first-year player draft.

But what about the outfielder who will presumably replace Choo, or bump someone over to right field?


Where does he fit?

Choo was the Tribe’s everyday right fielder, but Stubbs has been a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder for his entire four-year MLB career. Center fielder Michael Brantley has experience in left field and could shift over to make room for Stubbs at his most comfortable position.

Though Choo’s departure still leaves a gap in right field, the Tribe may seek to address that concern later in the offseason. 

Stubbs’ role, given his speed and superior fielding ability, will likely remain the same regardless of any deals that are made.

He’s also an especially welcome right-handed bat in a lineup that has a plethora of lefties.


How will he perform?

Stubbs’ .213 average and 14 HR may not be inspiring, but the center fielder is definitely a solid pickup defensively. Most concerning is the number of strikeouts the 28-year-old has accumulated during his short career. He led the National League with 205 Ks in 2011 and followed that up with 166 more in 2012.

Stubbs’ performance has fluctuated each season since his debut in 2009. His career numbers shake out to a .241/.312/.386/.698 slash line. He’s also stolen 30 bases twice and 40 bases once (2011).

His biggest problem, as mentioned, is not being able to make consistent contact with the ball.

Still, Stubbs was a key piece for the turnaround in Cincinnati and should be able to spark some life into Cleveland with his speed and hard hitting.

The change of scenery might help him get back on track, and the Tribe should be excited about that possibility.


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Didi Gregorius: 5 Things You Need to Know on Arizona Diamondbacks’ New Prospect

The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired shortstop Didi Gregorious, first baseman Lars Anderson and veteran left-handed reliever Tony Sipp from the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 11, according to a team press release.

Cleveland received right-handed pitchers Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw in the deal and sent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and other players to the Cincinnati Reds.

But who is Gregorious and why should Diamondbacks fans begin to get excited?

Ken Griffey Sr., his manager in 2010, projected Didi’s outlook as a hitter at the next level (via Dayton Daily News):

“Didi’s a very aggressive hitter,” Griffey said. “He makes contact and understands how to use the barrel of the bat. He’s going to have the pop to hit 10-15 home runs.”

Gregorious, 22, is a 6’1″, 185-pound left-handed hitter who excelled down in the minor leagues. He was named to the Arizona Fall League’s Top Prospect Team in November after compiling a .284 average with one home run, three doubles and eight RBI.

He also saw some MLB action with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012. During his limited time in the bigs (eight games in September), Gregorious accumulated a .300 batting average and two RBI.

According to the release, “[Gregorious] entered 2012 rated by Baseball America as Cincinnati’s sixth-best prospect and named the organization’s Best Defensive Infielder and possessing the Best Throwing Arm.”

He is built as a defense-first shortstop but is handy with the bat at times as well. Gregorious hit .265/.324/.393 while moving between Double and Triple-A in the Reds’ farm system in 2012.

Overall, the Diamondbacks should be excited about the youngster’s potential. His solid Triple A performance in 2012 is encouraging and he may be ready for a jump to the majors on a more permanent basis in 2013.


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Diamondbacks Reportedly Agree to Deal with RHP Brandon McCarthy

The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly inked 29-year-old free-agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy, according to John Gambadoro of Sports 620 AM KTAR in Phoenix (via Twitter):

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman followed up that report, confirming it, and then provided some details about the deal (via Twitter):

Nick Piecoro, a Diamondbacks beat writer for AZCentral Sports, chimed in next with the financial details (via Twitter):

The phrase “the rich get richer” certainly applies to the Diamondbacks after acquiring someone of McCarthy’s talent to supplement their starting-pitching rotation.

McCarthy posted a 3.29 ERA in two seasons in the Oakland Athletics‘ rotation and is, barring injury, ready to settle into the prime of his career. In 2012 alone, he went 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 111 innings of work.

The A’s Opening Day starter didn’t get a chance to finish his season, though.

On Sept. 5, a line drive hit by Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar hit his head and put him into a “life threatening” situation, according to an AP report following the incident. As a result, McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and a skull fracture and was hospitalized (via ESPN).

McCarthy was medically cleared to resume a normal offseason and participate in drills on Nov. 15, less than three months after the ensuing brain surgery, according to He seemed upbeat about the offseason and getting back into the swing of things after the announcement.

“It worked out well I recovered in the time I did,” McCarthy said. “This shouldn’t be something lingers into the offseason.”

For his career, McCarthy is a modest 37-39 with a 447-to-191 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s posted a 4.02 ERA and made 99 starts during his seven years in the majors.

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Brian Wilson Hits MLB Free Agency After Being Non-Tendered by SF Giants

Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is now a free agent after not receiving a tender before the Nov. 30 deadline, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Schulman’s report was later confirmed by Chris Haft of

Andrew Baggarly of reported earlier on Friday that the two sides were nowhere near an agreement—a good indicator that no offer would be made on San Francisco’s behalf. 

Wilson saved 171 games throughout his career in San Francisco but missed nearly all of the 2012 campaign after blowing out his elbow. As a result, the hard-throwing and colorful closer underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

He would have been eligible to make $6.8 million next season if the team chose to tender him, according to Baggarly.

The Giants did, however, tender Wilson’s replacement—incumbent closer Sergio Romo. The slider specialist came on strong in relief of his fallen teammate and helped the Giants capture a World Series title for the second time in three seasons.

So, what’s next for the rehabbing Wilson?

Right-hander Ryan Madson recently inked a $3.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels, with $3.5 million more in incentives. Like Wilson, Madson is a proven closer coming off Tommy John surgery.

His contract could be a good gauge for what Wilson could expect to see on the open market.


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