Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros’ arbitration hearing with right-hander Ken Giles is taking place Thursday in Phoenix, reports Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The team submitted a $4.2MM salary figure for Giles, who countered with a $4.6MM proposal. While the $400K difference between those sums will likely seem trivial to most fans, it’s worth remembering that the salary set today will impact the raises that Giles receives in his next two trips through the arb process. Furthermore, teams are ever cognizant of not inflating the future arbitration market by making too many concessions and often feel a responsibility to take a firm negotiation stance. I spoke with a few different assistant GMs and GMs on the matter a few years back in a lengthier exploration of arbitration from the team vantage point, for those interested in some of the intricacies of the process.

A few more notes on some teams in the game’s Western divisions…

  • Looking to add a bit of versatility to his repertoire, Mariners designated hitter/outfielder Nelson Cruz revealed that he’s been working out at first base this offseason (Instagram link). Seattle already acquired Ryon Healy from the A’s in hopes that the young slugger can hold down their first base spot for years to come, but Cruz could conceivably see some time there when Healy needs a day off or in the event of an injury.
  • Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times takes a lengthy, comprehensive look at the Mariners’ bottom-ranked farm system (by Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law). Divish’s column has extensive quotes from GM Jerry Dipoto, director of player development Andy McKay and a pair of scouts from other clubs, each weighing in on Seattle’s lack of depth. Dipoto, as he has in the past, indicates that his front office has elected to use the bulk of its prospect depth to acquire MLB assets such as Healy, Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel, Dee Gordon and Jean Segura. The rival scouts are critical of the system, with one calling it “barren.” However, they didn’t condemn the actions of the Dipoto-led front office as unwise. “It wasn’t a very good system when he got here so you use what you can to build for the big league and then down,” a scout from an AL club tells Divish. “I see their vision. They’ve traded a lot of midrange prospects, but you can’t replenish them as quickly as they’ve traded them off and that affects depth.”
  • The Diamondbacks’ signing of Alex Avila over Chris Iannetta (at a near-identical price) came down to simple timing, GM Mike Hazen tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The D-backs, according to Piecoro, made a two-year, $4MM offer to Iannetta before he signed for slightly more than twice that with the Rockies, but that came back in early December. Arizona wasn’t ready to make an $8MM+ commitment at that time, preferring first to explore the trade market for a longer-term solution. When that didn’t materialize, the club circled back to the still-available Avila. Hazen, according to Piecoro, added that the D-backs are likely to carry three catchers on their roster early in the season. Jeff Mathis, John Ryan Murphy and Chris Herrmann are all on the 40-man roster, though Murphy and Herrmann are out of minor league options. The D-backs could still add an outfielder as well, per Hazen.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peter King believes Kirk Cousins will end up with Broncos

Teddy Bridgewater calls 2017 ‘my favorite season by far’

Gus Kenworthy happy NBC televised him kissing boyfriend

New format leads to competitive NBA All-Star Game

Big crash takes Danica Patrick out of Daytona 500

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL teams wondering if Marcus Peters will be traded

Adam Silver floats seeding playoff teams regardless of conference

Paul George wants his next team to be his last team

Mayweather Sr. indicates Floyd Jr. is training for UFC

10 takeaways from the first week of the Winter Olympics

Detroit GM 'at top of list' to run potential Seattle franchise

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Ten bold predictions for 2018 MLB season

Wil Myers has a tough adjustment ahead of him

10 NFL offseason moves that need to happen

Champions League Round of 16 preview, predictions

Signing A.J. McCarron would be a typical Browns move

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

Big surprises, disappointments heading into NBA All-Star break

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'My Bronny valentine' quiz

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The '100-point game that you never heard about' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker