The Arizona Diamondbacks have received a lot of criticism over the last few years for some of the roster decisions they have made. This is one of the reasons Tony LaRussa was brought on board as team president. Well, it doesn’t look like it is taking.
Consider this quote from Kirk Gibson yesterday.
Unto itself, it is an innocuous comment. Arizona needs rotation help and Cahill could help them solve that. In fact, his failure as a starter early in the season is part of why they need help. Cahill had been a decent mid-rotation starter in his first two years in Arizona, but got hammered in four starts early this year. He since went to the bullpen where he has actually been quite good. He’s walking nearly five batters per nine innings, but he striking out over 10 per nine, which is big for Cahill fanned just above six per inning in his career as a starter. Gibson’s though is actually a pretty good one. Maybe Cahill figured something out and can be an impact arm again, right?
Then, almost exactly one hour later, this happened:
So, that’s probably not a great sign for the job security of Kirk Gibson, right? Clearly he isn’t getting info from the front office or they aren’t listening to him or both.
Or maybe just can’t figure out what the front office is thinking because they’ve made so many short-sighted moves in the recent past. Cahill certainly seems to have some utility left in him, even if just as a reliever, but now they are designating him for assignment, meaning that the could be on the hook for the remainder of the $7.7 million he is owed this year, the full $12 million he is owed in 2015 plus the $800,000 in option buyouts for subsequent seasons. Now, they may very well end up trading Cahill and saving some, if not all, of that money, but they won’t be negotiating from a position of strength now. More than likely though, Cahill will simply pass through waivers and head to the minors to be a very expensive farmhand.
What is truly troubling is that this seems like a knee-jerk reaction to a bad few weeks. That has been costly for Arizona before. Just ask them how they feel about how Ian Kennedy is pitching for San Diego after Arizona dumped him after a bad half season in 2013. Or maybe ask them what they think about the solid work Tyler Skaggs is doing for the Angels after the D’Backs soured on him when he encountered a correctable mechanical issue back in 2013.
It almost seems like destiny now that Cahill will get scooped up by a contender that will put him back in the rotation and get three weeks of league average performance at a discount price. All the while the Diamondback front office will continue to scorch the earth all around themselves.
Yep, it must be a fun time to be a D’Backs fan.