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Diamondbacks open to trading a shortstop, perhaps for a catcher

Feb 27, 2014, 2:52 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

The Diamondbacks currently have youngsters Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings fighting it out for their shortstop job, but they’ve weighed settling the battle with a trade, the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro reports.

The preference would be to acquire a catcher who could potentially back up Miguel Montero in the near future and eventually supplant him as a starter.

“For us, it would have to be the right deal,” Arizona GM Kevin Towers told Piecoro. “Our biggest needs in our system are catching. If it’s the right, top-notch catching prospect. Someone we could have right behind Miggy. 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.”

Of the two, Owings would likely have the greater trade value because of his offensive potential. Towers might prefer that anyway, as he’s already stated that Gregorius is the favorite to retain the job.

One obvious suitor for either player is the Mets, but Newsday’s Marc Carig says the two sides haven’t talked since the winter meetings. He adds that the Diamondbacks would probably want Travis d’Arnaud in return, which wouldn’t fly. The Mets have another solid catching prospect in Kevin Plawecki, but a source told Carig that he’s not the kind of talent Arizona is requesting.

The Yankees could also use a shortstop of the future, and catching is the one real strength in their farm system; Gary Sanchez has a high ceiling on offense and John Ryan Murphy could be an average regular or at least a really good backup. Towers also has a good working relationship with the Yankees, having worked in their front office before joining the Diamondbacks. A match there could be a possibility.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    McCann is signed for 5 or 6 years now? Please do this.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      He’s signed for 5 years guaranteed with a 6th year vesting option.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Exactly, not a lot of chance for the JR Murphys or Gary Sanchez’ of the world to get playing time at the big league level. If they can flip one for an equivalent prospect at a position of greater or more immediate need, please let’s.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        @ Satathia…, the Yankees certainly have the pieces to make a deal like this happen. It also fits with the Yankees desire to not hand out anymore “large” contracts this season

  2. lazlosother - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    NY and Arizona seem to match up well on this one. Cashman has stated that they need infield help but they’ve spent all their money. A trade for a low cost player would be the only option to upgrade. NY does have a number of promising catchers. It wouldn’t surprise me to see something happen between the two.

  3. bostonboresme - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    As a Yankee guy, I think I’d prefer Didi.

    • tedwest - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      As a Diamondbacks guy, I’d love for you to get Didi.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Someone we could have right behind Miggy. 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.”

    Am I reading this right? Does he want a top end starter/prospect and he’s willing to trade a reliever?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      I took it as him saying he is not looking for bullpen or infield help in any trade, as he is deep in those positions. He might be open to trading for an outfielder, but would prefer a catcher. I don’t know if “Double A, Triple A type starter” is meant to describe the caliber of the catcher he is looking for, or if is is saying he would take a starting pitcher at those levels as an additional option.

  5. uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    I could see the Yankees matching up very well here with the Diamondbacks. Either J.R. Murphy or Gary Sanchez and if necessary another piece either a lower tier prospect or one of the excess relievers the Yankees have in the farm system. It’s a deal that fills both teams needs. Either Owings or Gregorius could be the long term solution the Yankees could use at SS..

    • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Just a quick follow up to the previous post; The Yankees have the following position players for catcher and outfield on their 40 man roster after the presumed starters:

      Catcher: Cervelli / Romine / Murphy / Sanchez

      Outfield: Almonte / Flores / Heathcott also available prospects: Austin / Williams

      Just pointing out the Yankees match up well with the Diamondbacks needs.

  6. cackalackyank - Feb 27, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Sounds like a definite conversation to be had between NYY and Arizona. I would almost rather see if the D-backs would take Cervelli or Romine. Sanchez and Murphy are still a couple of years away from MLB the last I heard. McCann is signed for five years and sixth option. However he will be 35 then, so I would say having a couple of strong candidates in house that he can first groom and then platoon with is not a bad idea. So I say trade one of the guys currently nearer to ready, and then start filling in Sanchez and/or Murphy late 15 or in 16.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Personally I like Murphy better than Sanchez. I would love for the Diamondbacks to take Cervelli but that ain’t gonna happen, unfortunately.

      I think McCann baring something happening is penciled in as the Yankees starting catcher for the next 3 season 2014 through 2016 after that he will probably split more time with my guess is either Murphy or Sanchez whichever one doesn’t get traded at some point.

      The Yankees also have another catcher a little lower in the farm system Peter O’Brien He’s a bit older 23 for the Tampa (High A) but he will certainly be serviceable as a back up a couple of years down the road if necessary.

      • cackalackyank - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Good to know, uyf. I for one would like a scenario to develop where McCann can groom his successor and avoid at least one future round on the FA express. In reference to your earlier post, I do find it disturbing that most of the notable “prospects” for NYY seem to cover only 3 spots on the field: catcher, and outfielders.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        @ cackalackyank, the Yankees do have other prospects further down in the farm system at other positions but in most of those cases you are looking at 3 or 4 years down the road for any impact to the big league team. And we all know a lot can happen to a prospect as he makes his way through the system. I think that’s one reason we are hearing so much chatter about the Yankees blowing past their allotment when they can start to sign younger international players by the way that starts in early July.

        Top rated Yankees prospects at “other” positions:
        Eric Jegielo – 3rd base
        Greg Bird – 1st base
        Gosuke Katoh – 2nd base
        Abiatal Avelino – SS

        They also have some very interesting starters that they drafted last year. So contrary to what some may have you believe the Yankees farm system isn’t really that far away from being pretty darn good. With the usual caveat that anything can happen to derail a “prospects” progress.

  7. entersandman42ny - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    The Yankees have the catching and outfield depth to match up with the Diamondbacks in a trade for a shortstop, but why are Yankee fans in such a rush to trade Sanchez and Murphy. Both are young enough that when McCann’s contract expires they would be ready to take over. I would prefer to see the Yankees trade Romine.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      I think it’s more a matter of what Yankees fans believe it will take to make the trade happen. I think and it’s just my opinion realize Romine isn’t enough to get the deal done.

      • cackalackyank - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        I agree Romine probably will not get this done. I have been feeling that there seems to be an issue where prospects start in NYY organization like gangbusters, and then fade. That certainly happened with Montero, to the point where he was no longer considered a catching prospect and then traded, and I think its happening with Romine now too. Is this my imagination, or is it the media sources overhyping these guys out of the gate, or is it me? In any case it would seem that any trade partner might want to do some serious scouting of their own before taking an NYY catching prospect in a trade.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        to the point where he was no longer considered a catching prospect and then traded

        He was never really considered a “catching” prospect, even if the Yankees insisted. Sanchez is getting far better reviews for his plate work, but he’s not exactly Bench. Romine hasn’t really showed any promise with the bat, but he’s dealt with back issues the last few years.

  8. lyon810 - Feb 27, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Stephen Drew buries his face into his hands upon reading this article.

    • nsauser - Feb 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      I think you meant ” burying his head in Scott Boras’ lap.”

      • bostonboresme - Feb 27, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        ass*

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