The Arizona Diamondbacks have found a taker for outfielder Peter O'Brien today as they traded him to the Kansas City Royals for right-handed pitcher Sam Lewis, the teams announced.
In O'Brien, the Royals get a strong lottery ticket who was ranked seventh of the Diamondbacks' prospects at the time of the DFA. While the defense and strikeouts are a cause for concern, the power is absolutely real. O'Brien has 25-30 home run potential. Kansas City is a great landing spot for the young masher, as the Royals watched designated hitter Kendry Morales depart for Toronto earlier this offseason. While Soler figures to see the lions share of playing time out of the designated hitter spot at this point, multiple Royals currently blocking O'Brien or Soler are potential trade candidates.
Going back to Arizona in the deal is minor-league right-hander Sam Lewis. Lewis is a 25-year-old reliever who pitched 33 innings between Class-A and High-A last season. His bottom line numbers were solid, but his peripherals showed that those bottom line numbers were helped by a very low BABIP. While Hazen and co. were probably just happy to get anything for a player who didn't fit into their plan, Lewis doesn't figure to be anything more than an organizational player, or at best, a taxi squad reliever.
Arizona swung another move today, bringing back right-handed pitcher Rubby De La Rosa on a minor league agreement. De La Rosa was one of two surprising Diamondbacks non-tendered a month ago, and quite frankly, given the lack of rotation depth on the market, I am shocked that he didn't score a major league deal.
Instead, De La Rosa will compete for a spot on the 25-man roster with the potential to earn a $750,000 base salary and up to $3.5 million in incentives, according to AZCentral Sports. Arizona has stated that they would like to utilize him in a relief capacity to keep him healthy, which I believe is wise, as De La Rosa is one of those pitchers who's just not as cut out for the rotation.