NL West Report: D-Backs, Dodgers not done dealing

Last Monday, the Diamondbacks traded Jon Garland to Los Angeles for infielder Tony Abreu.  Sort of.  In a bizarre twist, Arizona is now balking at the deal they originally agreed to, which includes the D-Backs picking up the remainder of Garland's salary this season.  But don't worry, it has nothing to do with the fact that Garland promptly beat the Diamondbacks in Dodger duds days after the deal.

The issue is actually with  Tony Abreu, who Arizona though would be earning near the league minimum for the next two seasons before having three controlled arbitration eligible seasons. What Arizona didn't realize was that Tony Abreu currently has a grievance filed with the Dodgers stemming from the 2007 season.  

On July 18 of that year, Los Angeles optioned Abreu to the minors even though he had suffered an abdominal injury.  He was not placed on the disabled list as he believed he should have, robbing him of 47 days of service time in the majors.  Remember from Purple Row Academy that a player earns service time while on the disabled list but not if optioned to the minors (obviously).

The significance of that move is that Abreu could be the Diamondbacks' starting second baseman next season.  If he were to play the entire season with his current 95 days of service time and that additional 47 days, he would be eligible for "Super Two" status, which certainly changes the economic package Arizona thought they were receiving.

The Diamondbacks believe they had no way of knowing of Abreu's filed grievance; moreover, sources state Arizona believes Los Angeles acted in poor faith by failing to inform them of it.  Since the scheme of the trade has changed, Arizona may attempt to get a monetary kickback from the Dodgers to cover the expected difference in salary due to the service time issue.  They could also choose a different player from the agreed upon list or ask the Dodgers to amend the list so that they could select a player other than Abreu.

Naturally, Dodger and D-Back fans see the situation a bit differently.  Check out True Blue LA's reaction and compare the the reaction at AZ Snakepit.  The issue could be resolved this week.

 

Before we get to the team capsules, I thought I'd mention that Peter Gammons has started to realize the NL West might actually be worth a damn.  Of course, now is well past the point of plausible denial.

 

NL West Report

 

Arizona (61-77, t-4th, L4, 20 GB)

Last Week: 2-5. 2-2 vs Dodgers. 0-3 vs Rockies.  By being swept in Colorado, Arizona fell into a tie with San Diego for last place in the division.  It's hard to imagine their week helping the Rockies more.

Pace: 72-90.

Divisional Change: Lost 1.0 games on LAD.

This Week: 3 game home series vs Dodgers, 3 game home series vs Brewers.  

News: Nick Piecoro notes Chris Snyder's health is a concern, though not in the way you might think.  The Diamondbacks have not been shy about their desire to deal him, but he has yet to prove he is healthy returning from injury.  He will need to come back and have a solid September to improve his trade stock.

Piecoro also notes Josh Byrnes' reaction to the Rauch and Garland deals.

If you watched the Rockies game yesterday, you no doubt witnessed Justin Upton being removed in the third inning after failing to run on a deep fly ball that bounced off the warning track, thinking it was a clear home run. 

Punk

#10 / Right Field / Arizona Diamondbacks

6-2

205

R

R

Aug 25, 1987

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Justin Upton 115 438 76 136 27 6 23 72 47 113 19 4 .311 .378 .557

Instead, he was stuck at second with a 415-foot single.  AJ Hinch wasn't shy about flexing his judicial muscle, which is probably what The Punk needs.  He's listed as "probable" for the series opener against the Dodgers, presumably for disciplinary reasons.

Speaking of Hinch, he supposedly takes the spoiler role seriously, choosing to put the best team out every game rather than giving young callups playing time.  It didn't help this weekend.

The series at Colorado wasn't special for any Diamondback.  Well, actually, it was a pretty special homecoming for Daniel Schlereth, who grew up watching baseball at Coors Field.

What would you do if you were in last place, putting a prized and talented young starter out every fifth day with a history of injury problems?  If you said shut him down, consult Hinch's spoiler role philosophy.  Instead, the D-backs will keep "close tabs" on Max Scherzer's innings.  

Transactions:  Called up RHP Bryan Augenstein, Billy Buckner and RHP Daniel Cabrera and acquried RHP Kevin Mulvey from Minnesota to complete the Jon Rauch trade.  Traded Jon Garland to Los Angeles.

Injuries:  Activated OF Eric Byrnes and RHP Bryan Augenstein from the DL.  Placed RHP Chad Qualls on the 60-day DL with a dislocated left kneecap.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Justin Upton other-excused 09/07/2009

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Snyder lower-back 08/23/2009
Scott Schoeneweis other-excused 08/10/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chad Qualls knee 08/31/2009
Conor Jackson pneumonia 05/12/2009
Brandon Webb shoulder 04/07/2009

Los Angeles (81-57, 1st, L1)

Last Week: 3-4. 2-2 vs Diamondbacks. 1-2 vs Padres.  Losing four home games in a week against the worst teams in the division is just a bad week.

Pace: 95-67.

Divisional Change: Lost 2.5 games on COL.

This Week: 3 game road series @ Diamondbacks, 3 game road series @ Giants.  This week is dangerous for Los Angeles' divisional lead.  The Rockies should be favored to take their series with Cincinnati and that series at AT&T Park will be difficult to win. 

News:   Check out some reactions from the Jim Thome trade at MLBTradeRumors.

The Nationals took MAA lefty reliever Victor Garate to complete the Belliard deal.  Garate has had a strong season in AA, shutting down lefties and righties and being called a "poor man's Brian Fuentes."  If he reaches that, or even if he makes the makes, he'll give the Nationals a fair deal on the trade.

Dan Uggla

#6 / Second Base / Los Angeles Dodgers?

5-11

200

R

R

Mar 11, 1980

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Dan Uggla 133 472 68 114 22 1 25 72 81 122 1 1 .242 .357 .451

After Dan Uggla criticized Hanley Ramirez, the LA Times' Bill Shaikin wonders if Los Angeles should pursue him this offseason, noting Frank McCourt won't engage in a bidding war for Orlando Hudson.

Ned Colletti deserves criticism for failing to land Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, but Peter Gammons notes he is pulling off highway robbery with some of his acquisitions, at least when considering what he's paying them.

Here is Eric Stephen's Week in Review at TrueBlueLA.

Transactions:  Called up C AJ Ellis, OF Jason Repko, LHP Scott Elbert and designated OF Jamie Hoffman and RHP Jesus Castillo for assignment.  Traded IF Tony Abreu for RHP Jon Garland.  Sent LHP Victor Garante to Washington to complete the Ronnie Belliard deal.

Injuries:  Activated RHP Hiroki Kuroda and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz from the disabled list.  Placed RHP Guillermo Mota on the 15-day DL.  Casey Blake is day to day with left hamstring tightness and will be back today or tomorrow.  Travis Schlichting is out for the year with back spasms.

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Will Ohman shoulder 05/28/2009
Hiroki Kuroda concussion 09/06/2009
Guillermo Mota other-excused 08/30/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Xavier Paul ankle 05/21/2009
Jason Schmidt shoulder 08/06/2009

Star-divide

San Diego (60-78, 5th, L2, 22.5 GB)

Last Week: 5-1.  3-0 vs Nationals, 2-1 @ Dodgers.  

Pace: 70-94.

Divisonal change:  Gained 1.5 games.

This Week: 3 game road series @ Giants, 3 game home series vs Rockies. 

News:  Adrian Gonzalez was nominated for Clemente Award.

Long-time majority owner John Moores has said he will limit his role with Padres by stepping away from the day-to-day operations of the club and some of his commitments to Major League Baseball.

Mat Latos has been shut down for the season after reaching 123 IP (he had never thrown more than 56.1 in a season before), but he'll continue to work with pitching coach on mechanical issues with his delivery.  The 21-year-old just from Low-A ball to the majors this season in just a couple months.

Mat Latos

#38 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres

6-6

225

R

R

Dec 09, 1987

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Mat Latos 4-5 10 10 0 0 0 0 50.2 43 29 26 7 23 39 4.62 1.30

In case any Rowbots love the Row so much they want a tattoo showing their love, it won't be hard to beat the quality of this Gas Lamp Ball tattoo.

Kevin Towers expects the Padres to be "pretty good" next year.

Transactions:  Recalled RHP Adam Russell, LHP Wade LeBlanc, and OF Drew Macias.  Optioned RHP Cesar Carillo to AAA Portland.

Injuries:  Activated 2B Edgar Gonzalez and C Eliezer Alfonzo from the 15-day DL.  OF Kyle Blanks will be evaluated this week but is expected to be out for the season.  RHP Mike Adams played catch over the weekend in an effort to return this month.

San Diego Padres Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brian Giles knee 06/19/2009
Edgar Gonzalez concussion 07/19/2009
Kyle Blanks foot 08/29/2009
Mike Adams shoulder 08/22/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark Worrell elbow 03/27/2009
Cha Seung Baek forearm 03/30/2009
Shawn Hill elbow 04/26/2009
Chris Young shoulder 06/15/2009
Cliff Floyd shoulder 06/18/2009

Star-divide

San Francisco (75-62, 2nd, L1, 6.5 GB in Div, 2 GB in WC)

Last Week: 3-3.  1-2 @ Phillies. 2-1 @ Brewers.  The Giants did what they were supposed to do, treading water on a tough road trip.  They remain legitimately in playoff contention despite the two game deficit given the remaining schedule.

Pace:  89-73.

Divisional Change:  Gained 0.5 game in NL West (LAD), lost 2 games in WC (COL).

This Week: 3 game home series vs Padres, 3 game home series vs Dodgers.  

News:  Keith Law speaks to Brad Penny's impressive debut in his latest ESPN Insider Blog.

Penny will face the Dodgers this week, a team he doesn't have a soft spot for anymore, to say the least.  He had several suitors including the Marlins, his original team, but he was not interested in returning to Miami because he "wanted to play in front of some fans, to be honest."

Brad Penny

#31 / Pitcher / San Francisco Giants

6-4

230

R

R

May 24, 1978

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Brad Penny 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 8.0 5 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 .75

Penny had a great debut for the Giants after shutting down the Phillies on the road.  Now Penny is out to prove that last start was no fluke.  He gets a much easier foe this time, facing the Padres on regular rest.

Despite cliaming him on waivers, the Giants were never interested in actually acquiring Trevor Hoffman.

Transactions:   Called up IF Jesus Guzman, OF John Bowker, C Buster Posey, Daniel Runzler and RHP Waldis Joaquin.  Acquired Joel Collins from PIT and assigned him to Augusta.  SIgned RHP Brad Penny.  DFA'd RHP Ryan Sadowski and LHP Jesse English.

Injuries:  Freddy Sanchez hopes to finally return today from a strained left shoulder.  Emmanuel Burriss was transferred to the 60-day DL with a broken foot.  Activated IF Rich Aurilia and OF Andres Torres from the DL.

San Francisco Giants Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Freddy Sanchez shoulder 08/18/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Randy Johnson trapezius 07/06/2009
Noah Lowry ribs 03/27/2009
Kelvin Pichardo shoulder 06/28/2009
Henry Sosa shoulder 08/05/2009
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