The Arizona Diamondbacks have already been busy with moves this offseason and reports have them now entertaining more. After trading outfielder Chris Young to the Oakland Athletics last month, signs points to the D-backs once again trying to trade right fielder Justin Upton.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as Upton's name did appear in trade talks throughout the 2012 season. But what may come as a shock is according to ESPN MLB writer Jerry Crasnick, the D-backs are also looking to move top prospect Trevor Bauer.
Bauer, the third overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, made his Major League debut in June but struggled in his four starts with the D-backs, allowing 11 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings while striking out 17 and walking 13. He was sent back down to Triple-A where he remained for the rest of the season. But now, according to Crasnick, the young pitching phenom has fallen out of favor with the team that drafted him.
Former Diamondbacks manager and now color commentator Bob Brenly spoke with Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf and gave his take on Bauer's name being on the market.
"You're always surprised when young pitching comes up because that's something every team is looking to add and every team is looking to stockpile as many good young arms as you can," said Brenly.
Brenly went on to say he believes Bauer's unique warm up routine is one of the reasons the rift between the D-backs and the pitcher once believed to be the future of the franchise has manifested.
"I think perhaps because of his unusual warm up procedure and his unusual throwing program it kind of lends itself to some skepticism moving forward," said Brenly. "How is that going to affect him in the long term? It may have worked in UCLA, it may have worked in high school, it may have worked in little league but this is Major League Baseball and things are a lot different than anything you've experienced up to this point and I think he got a little taste of that last year."
While his unconventional methods for getting loose before a game have come under question, many have pointed to the fact Bauer constantly shook off catcher Miguel Montero in his first start at Chase Field as early signs the young hurler wasn't right for the D-backs.
Even after giving up seven runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings against the San Diego Padres, Bauer firmly stated he wasn't looking to change his approach and his catcher would have to get used to that.
Brenly, a former catcher for the San Fransisco Giants, added if Bauer wants to have a successful career as a major league pitcher he would needs to learn to communicate with his teammates.
"If the guy comes up and he has a real good idea what he wants to do and you're the catcher and you have a polar opposite idea of what he should do, your job as the catcher and the leader of the pitching staff is to figure something out," said Brenly. "Go out there or between starts and talk to the guy and explain what you're trying to do behind the plate, what you think his strengths and weaknesses are and how you think he needs to pitch the ball game. Let him speak his piece and then continue to negotiate.
"If you're confident in your ideas and pitch selection then you need to speak your piece and make that pitcher aware you're not some dummy sitting back there. You're not a pitch back. You're back there doing your job too, and you're trying to make him be the best pitcher he can be."