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The Dreaded Designated for Assignment

Monday the Arizona Diamondback’s finally had enough of Trevor Cahill and designated him for assignment. This distinction means the club has one of three choices in the next 10 days; they can trade him, they can place him on waivers, or they can send him to the minors if he clears waivers. I am not sure if anyone will bite on him for a trade with his 1-6 record, 5.66 ERA in 4 starts and relief appearances 2014. If another team claims him off waivers the Diamondbacks must do one of the following with the claiming team; arrange a trade within two business days of the trade, they can pull the player off waivers canceling the claim and keep the player on their 40 man roster, or they can let the claim go through so that the claiming team then takes over the complete contract of the claimed player and pay the waiving team a waiver fee.  Therefore, based on the circumstances I believe the eventual result will be to send him down to the minors.

But, there is a problem with that, because of his service time Cahill does have the right to not accept the minor league assignment and become an outright free agent. “We’ve talked to Trevor at length, we talked to his advisor,” D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. “There’s a game plan in place for what we’re ultimately going to do, but as of right now he’s just designated. Because of service time and where he’s at, there’s a lot of hurdles and hoops you’ve got to jump through. The reason I can’t be totally upfront is there are a lot of things that can still happen in the next couple of days. I hate to put the cart in front of the horse right now.”

Not only were there some interesting comments made from Kevin Towers, but there were some equally interesting comments made by Cahill. “The way I’m throwing right now I don’t know necessarily what the outcome of that would be,” Cahill said of electing free agency. “I just want to get back to being a starter and right now I’m not built up. I’m sure they’ve got a plan and I trust them and I feel like they’ll do right by me. They haven’t given me an indication that they wouldn’t. So I’m just going to do whatever’s best for the team. I like playing here. I want to stay here, but I want to get better and be the guy that I can be.”

It is at this point that I have a question. Who do you blame for this debacle, the Diamondbacks or Cahill? You see Cahill said he wanted to do what was best for the team. What is best for the team is for them to be able to get out of his contract, especially since he is performing so poorly. I love it when athletes say this kind of thing knowing that they are still going to get paid regardless. Cahill says he trusts that the Diamondbacks will do right by him. Really, what about you doing right for them? If he had any other job and he performed this poorly, he would be fired with no pay. How much is he owed, you ask? He is owed roughly $5.6 million for the remainder of this season and $12 million in 2015. The Diamondbacks also hold options for the 2016 and 2017 seasons with a first option buyout of $300,000. And lets say he does refuse to go to the minor leagues, then the Diamondbacks would be paying the majority of his salary for the next two years minus the contract his new team would be paying. I do realize the Diamondbacks did agree to that contract as well, but $12 million for a six-year pitcher with a career 62-63 record and a career ERA of 3.97 seems a bit much to me. The Diamondbacks signed him to a ridiculous deal, but Cahill has ridiculously underperformed. Who’s at fault for this dreaded designated for assignment?

  • Michael Ballentine

    Today the Diamondbacks also DFAed J.J. Putz.

    Putz, 37, was 1-1 with a 6.59 ERA in 18 relief appearances for the D-backs this season.

    Putz appeared in 175 games for the D-backs over the past four seasons, going 7-9 with 83 saves and a 2.81 ERA. His 83 saves rank second on the D-backs’ all-time saves list, and his 2.81 ERA is second-best among D-backs pitchers all-time (minimum 50 games).
    He was in the final year of his 4 year $44 million contract that will pay him $7 million this year. He stated earlier in a press conference that he will not accept an assignment to the minor leagues.
    Brandon McCarthy may be the next Diamondbacks pitcher we see DFA.