Quick Hits: Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Rangers

Quick Hits: Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Rangers

The Diamondbacks they have added the old launcher Rolando Valles to his major league coaching staff, by Nick Piecoro of Arizona Republic. Valles fills the position vacated by former D-Backs bench coach Luis Urueta, who left the team in November to join the Marlins in the same capacity. When discussing the hiring, manager Torey Lovullo told reporters that Valles will be part of Arizona’s prevention team.

Signed by the Astros as an undrafted free agent in 1997, Valles would spend five years in the club’s system, reaching low A, before playing five more seasons in the independent leagues. He then moved into an organizational role, spending two seasons with the Brewers in their player development system helping players with their off-field needs and on-field development before becoming a minor league pitching coach in 2010. Valles joined the Reds in 2019 in an associate coaching role where he handled pitching and offensive duties.

A few more game notes

  • The recent passage of a “millionaires’ tax” in Massachusetts has led to an increase in state income taxes in 2023 from 5% to 9% of annual income over $1 million, which may affect the season down from Boston, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe. Speier reports that the agents who have been negotiating with the Red Sox are taking the tax into account when considering offers, stating that “is potentially millions of dollars in the deal.” Speier adds that Boston is now “was lumped with teams in California and New York for having to beat clubs in more favorable tax environments (especially Texas and Florida, where there is no state income tax) submit offers of equal value.” Speculatively, that tax may have played a role in Red S0x’s five-year, $90 million deal with the NPB star. Masataka YoshidaWHO many around the league predicted they would win significantly less.
  • With the Red Sox witnessing the departure of longtime shortstop Xander Bogarts in free agency, the club has been linked to several center fielders to fill the hole, most recently. signing Niko Goodrum to a Minor League agreement and arguing Joey Wendle with the Marlins. However, the door for Kike Hernandez playing a key role in the interior of the field has not been completely closed. The super utility told reports that it did “I’m preparing to play center field every day … but I haven’t thrown away the infield glove”, and adds that he continues to catch ground balls. Through nine seasons, the 31-year-old has logged 2,335 innings at shortstop and second base, but has mostly patrolled the outfield at Fenway in recent years. From a defensive standpoint, the advanced metrics on Hernandez’s midfield production are split. Since 2014 at the shortstop position, the righty is credited with 9 defensive runs saved (DRS) and a 5.4 end zone rating (UZR) but a -3 strikeouts above average (OAA). Similarly, since 2014 at second base, Hernandez has accumulated 18 DRS but a -6.1 UZR and -5 OAA.
  • Despite missing the entire 2022 season, Michael Comfort and agent Scott Boras were able to secure the outfielder a two-year, $36 million contract with the Giants. Important to the deal, according to Evan Grant The Dallas Morning News, was the no-hitter presented to Conforto by San Francisco. Grant adds that while the rangers offered the left-handed hitter a similar deal to the Giants, Conforto would have to meet certain game thresholds to execute the exclusion.

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