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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Pirates Outright Chase d’Arnaud, John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that infielder Chase d’Arnaud and pitchers John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez have all been outrighted and all three are now minor league free agents. Both Axford and Gomez were designated for assignment last week to make room for Justin Sellers and Charlie Morton, who needed to be activated from the 60-day disabled list. Chase d’Arnaud was still on the 40-man roster, which was full before free agency started.

These player announcements came at the same time as the announcements of Qualifying Offers for Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano.

 

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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NSA

Only 1 I’ll miss might be Gomez. Reliable arm for two years and a terrific spot starter last year before Cole made him obsolete. His agent needs to sell him as a cheap SP option. Axe will get an NRI NEXT spring but I just see DArnaud as a AAAA playa.

Monkshot

All sound moves, I liked d’Arnaud but he never became the player the Pirates needed. Good luck kid.

R Edwards

Why not be loyal to the kid you invested in and developed – d’Arnaud – who has speed and some potential to be a decent utility player, instead of bringing in someone else’s castoff in Sellers (who clearly cannot hit)??

This team has a history of not trusting their own prospects. I don’t get it, given the investments they make in these kids.

StevePegues

Because d’Arnaud is not that good, that’s why.

Y2JGQ2

Teams always take the trash they don’t know over the trash they do know…..it doesn’t make any sense because I think D’arnoud has just gotten an unfair label on him for some reason. The kid came up and played the hell out of third base as a 22 year old, but was outmatched at the plate. He never got an opportunity after that for whatever reason. I would choose him to take over the utility role all day

StevePegues

He never got an opportunity after that for whatever reason. I would choose him to take over the utility role all day.
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The “whatever reason” is because he never played well enough to earn an opportunity.

Somebody has to play the utility role, I guess. But if you’re handing it to d’Arnaud, you’re just rolling the dice that he makes something outta it that actually helps the team– and those dice are stacked against you. Might as well roll them with Sellers (or someone else with his skill set and options or whatever). As long as you’re throwing dice on a guy, what the heck does it matter who you’re betting on? It ain’t like keeping either of them on the team is causing the next Babe Ruth to never see the playing field.

R Edwards

I’d take him over Sellers….not even close….

StevePegues

Why? They’re both significantly offensively-challenged aging minor leaguers. What exactly is the huge difference between the two that makes it not even close? It sure as heck can’t be either of their very blah track records of performance.

R Edwards

d’Arnaud:
(1) can play more positions – including the OF.

(2) is faster and more of a threat as a base runner to steal a base
(3) he is a year younger
(4) he is much bigger and IMO a better hitter and athlete….Sellers hitting stats are inflated from time in the CAL and PCL leagues
(5) d’Arnaud is one of our guys – someone who we drafted and developed – and who has persevered despite some injuries in the past 2-3 years.

StevePegues

OK…

(1) D’Arnaud doesn’t play any position so darn well that he’s an elite defender anywhere on the diamond. Sellers may play fewer positions, but his reputation as a defender is that he’s top notch at the ones he does play. Can’t see as how this factor is such an extreme positive in d’A’s favor; the minor leauges are filled with non-hitters who can be put anywhere on the diamond and play passable defense.

(2) OK, I’ll give you this one. But he can’t steal 1B and it’s hard to utilize that speed when he can’t get on base at all at the MLB level. Most clubs don’t carry a guy at the MLB roster all season when the only thing he can do well is pinch run; it’s kind of a waste of a bench spot. If you stash a guy like that at AAA, it’s no problem, but d’A ain’t that guy anymore.

(3) One year is now a significant difference between players? Seriously? Next…

(4) Neither of them have any kind of impressive (or even adequate) track record of hitting, so I don’t see how this is such a positive in d’A’s favor.

(5) Thus we get to the heart of it: he’s one of “our” guys and “he has perserved.” In other words: you have an emotional investment in the guy, so therefore he’s so much clearly better than Sellers. It doesn’t matter how much you like the guy or dislike Sellers, but any reasonable, detached evaluation of his track record suggests he’s reached his level of performance and it’s not all that impressive such that he’s irreplaceable. I’m not suggesting that he’s washed up and should be outta baseball– it’d be great if he was one of those late-bloomer success stories that happen from time-to-time. But when you’re hoping for that, you’re hoping for a lucky roll of some dice that are stacked against you; you’re just as likely to hit that lucky dice roll with Sellers as you are with anyone else.

Bottom line to me is that d’Arnaud is just not that great a player, or that great a potential, that keeping him over any other replacement is the “not even close” no-brainer you say it is.

John Lease

I’d much rather have d’Arnaud then Sellers. At least he can pinch run.

leowalter

I’ll bet you would.

John Lease

You don’t have to bet, I just said so.

StevePegues

There is no significant difference between d’Arnaud and Sellers.

Y2JGQ2

Steve- comeon now. John is right

StevePegues

Prove it.

ginbear

Yes there is. Sellers can actually field. Also, he has an option.

StevePegues

They’re both very underwhelming overall.

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