Lowdown: Saving the Da-vis

David Shovein
Dave Shovein examines the Rockies' signing of Wade Davis and the Red Sox' pursuit of an impact bat in Monday's Offseason Lowdown

Lowdown: Saving the Da-vis

Dave Shovein examines the Rockies' signing of Wade Davis and the Red Sox' pursuit of an impact bat in Monday's Offseason Lowdown

Saving the Da-vis

The Colorado Rockies made a major splash in the free agent market on Friday, reeling in star closer Wade Davis on a three-year, $52 million contract.

The contract also includes a $15 million vesting player option for the 2021 season. The deal was first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Friday morning.

Davis replaces the departing Greg Holland in the ninth inning.

Historically, the Rockies have struggled to lure top starting pitchers to their club due to the fact that they play their home games at Coors Field, where the high altitude in Denver leads to a significant increase in offense, and therefore a decline in overall numbers from pitchers.

The Rockies appear intent on fighting back against that axiom by bolstering their bullpen this winter. They have already signed Bryan Shaw and re-signed Jake McGee to $27 million contracts respectively, and they still have former closer Adam Ottavino and southpaw Mike Dunn in the mix.

That quartet will now bridge the gap between their young starters and Davis who will assume the mantle in the ninth inning. The Rockies’ bullpen as a whole struggled in 2017, finishing with a combined 4.40 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.

Davis, 32, has been unbelievable over the last four seasons, compiling a minuscule 1.45 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11.7 K/9.

His fantasy value will take a slight hit due to the ballpark shift and the fact that he's leaving the Cubs (one of the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series) to head to the Rockies, but he's still locked in as a top 10 option at his position.

He is currently going off the draft board around pick 100 in early drafts, ranking him as the 9th closer off the board, just behind Ken Giles, Edwin Diaz, Raisel Iglesias and Felipe Rivero.

Waiting on J.D.

While the rest of the world was out ringing in the new year over the weekend, the hot stove chatter around Major League Baseball continued to be ice cold.

The free agent market as a whole continues to be in a waiting period, waiting for the upper-echelon bats to find new homes before everyone else can settle in below them.

The Red Sox are one of the clubs that’s waiting for that very thing.

On Sunday, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported that the Red Sox are waiting for free agent slugger J.D. Martinez to decide where he wants to play in 2018 before they commit any resources toward filling other team needs.

The 30-year-old outfielder is coming off of an incredible season where he slashed .303/.376/.690 with 45 homers and 104 RBI in only 119 games between the Tigers and Diamondbacks. His massive power would play extremely well in the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

Even without knowing where he’ll play in 2018, Martinez’ fantasy value is sky high. So far in the early draft season, he has been selected in the late second round on average in 12-team drafts.

Maybe Manny?

Martinez isn’t the only big bat that the Red Sox are trying to add to their lineup this winter

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Red Sox have expressed continued interest in acquiring Manny Machado from the Orioles.

The 25-year-old superstar is set to hit free agency following the 2018 season and it doesn’t appear as though the O’s will be able to work out an extension with him before then. There seems to be an increasing likelihood that he will be dealt, though there’s no guarantee that it’ll be before the season.

The Red Sox would seemingly prefer to sign an impact hitter like Martinez via free agency, rather than having to surrender top prospects (in addition to money) through a trade, but they’re exploring all possible avenues at the moment.

The Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees, Giants, Phillies and Diamondbacks are also believed to have serious interest in acquiring Machado.

Blast from the Past

The Padres brought back two of the most effective right-handers in club history on Friday, agreeing to minor league deals with both Tyson Ross and Chris Young. Ross pitched for the club from 2013-2016, posting a stellar 3.16 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 9.2 K/9. He also made his first, and only, appearance on the National League All-Star team with the club in 2014.

Coming back from Tommy John surgery, he signed on with the Rangers prior to the 2017 season. The results never materialized though, as Ross posted a disappointing 7.71 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and 36/37 K/BB ratio across 49 innings in 12 appearances (10 starts).

It's a nice low-risk investment for the Padres, as he could turn out to be a tremendous value if he can regain any bit of his old form.

The Padres dug even deeper into their history by inking Chris Young to a minor league contract. The tall right-hander took the hill for the Padres from 2006-2010, where he posted a 3.60 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.0 K/9.

Young, now 38, compiled a disastrous 6.52 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over 118 2/3 innings over the last two seasons with the Royals. The chances of him re-capturing the magic he had in San Diego are much less likely than Ross, but it's still a low-risk signing for the Padres.

Quick Hits: Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports that due to the slowly-developing free agent market, there’s a chance that the Royals could bring back Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer or Lorenzo Cain… Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Sunday that the Brewers have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb… The Rockies are expected to talk to Nolan Arenado soon about the prospects of a long-term contract extension… Bryan Kerr of MASN reported Sunday that Bryan Harper, the brother of star outfielder Bryce Harper, could make the Nationals’ bullpen in 2018… The Twins have yet to talk to Brian Dozier about a long-term contract extension… Thomas Harding of MLB.com noted that the Rockies’ don’t seem excited about the idea of re-signing Carlos Gonzalez… Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted Saturday that the Yankees could make a run at signing Yu Darvish if his price drops into their range…  Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported Friday that the Phillies are one of the team’s that has discussed a trade for Christian Yelich with the Marlins. The price for the star outfielder is said to remain sky-high though.

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