Archie Bradley has been slated to start the Diamondbacks’ exhibition game in Australia. Considering the Diamondbacks are trying to make an organizational impact in Australia, taking Bradley is a great idea. His pitching is impressive, and he is a physical specimen. This is also a good opportunity for Bradley to get comfortable with the team in case of a call-up later this year. This decision does not mean that Archie Bradley will start the season in the majors, in fact, I will explain why it likely means the opposite.
The D-backs are trying to make a positive impression on prospective Australian fans. Archie seems like the perfect player to showcase — he’s a flame-throwing righty with a great curveball. The fans will be amazed by his scintillating fastball, and astounded by his majestic curveball. Okay, maybe that’s just how I feel about Bradley’s stuff. But surely the fans will recognize the talent Bradley possesses. He’s also built like a rugby player, which can only help Australian fans in becoming enamored with him.
Even if the fans overseas don’t fall in love with Bradley, they will hopefully remember him. Then when he gets called up to the major leagues and develops into one of the premier pitchers in baseball, he will have fans in Australia. As a by-product, more eyes will be on the D-backs, and hopefully that leads to increased revenue or a larger fan base.
This will also give Bradley a chance to travel with the team, and get even more comfortable with his surroundings. He has already spent a few weeks with the team, but another week surely can’t hurt. Hopefully this allows him achieve a certain comfort level, so when he does finally get called up, he can focus on pitching.
Despite this decision, Archie Bradley will still begin the season in the minor leagues. If the plan was to have Bradley start the season in the rotation, it would make little sense to make him travel almost forty hours before his first major league season. The team would be more likely to have him stay in Arizona, just like the other starters that are not traveling with the team. It just doesn’t make sense to subject a young guy to hours upon hours of travel for a meaningless game before he’s about to start his major league career. Bradley making the team as a reliever would be equally confusing. The roster is full of competent relievers; it’s a shame that Will Harris will likely start the season in triple-A.
But, here’s the biggest reason Bradley won’t start the season in the majors: he would become a free agent before the 2020 season instead of before the 2021 season. The Diamondbacks need to prevent Bradley from getting 172 days of service time this year in order to keep him through the 2021 season. If they call him up in late April but before mid-June (let’s say June 15), he will be eligible for arbitration for four of the seven years (2018-2021) by being a “Super Two” guy. If they wait after June 15, then he will be arbitration-eligible for his final three years. One extra year of Archie Bradley could be worth $20 million in 2020. Or maybe even more. Let’s wait a few months just in case Bradley turns out to be something worth keeping around.
Offseason Report Card
• Zack Greinke signing
• Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier for Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair
• Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner for Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, Isan Diaz and cash
• Jeremy Hellickson for Sam McWilliams
• Chris Herrmann for Daniel Palka
• Tyler Clippard signing
- Paul Goldschmidt is (Not) Broken
- D-backs Smartly Riding the Wave of Increased Replay Challenges
- An Attempt at Making Sense of Rubby De La Rosa
- Double Plus: Out of the Schedule Woods Atop Mount Five Hundred
- Double Plus: Friday Fun Facts (Or Not)
- What Happened to Silvino Bracho?
- Maybe Contact Management Pitching Doesn’t Work in Arizona
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- Here's the great @OutfieldGrass24 piece on Goldy that @BertDbacks just mentioned on air: https://t.co/1gJCW0GNyM (thanks, Bert!), 18 hours ago
- Brandon Drury breaking up with Blake faster than Gwen Stefani https://t.co/CltpQ4HgQO, 19 hours ago
- With a second consecutive appearance, Andrew Chafin is back on a good pace to beat the franchise record of 87 in a season: 15 in 29 games., 19 hours ago
- RT @OutfieldGrass24: LOG OFF BRO https://t.co/b3fnWFsbCc, 19 hours ago
- Tom Candiotti, on air: "I just heard @Mike_Ferrin laugh." And the world wants to know: what's so funny?, 20 hours ago
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- Oh FFS https://t.co/xcbCKvhZ0F, 3 hours ago
- LHP Gabriel Moya has been excellent in relief for @KCCougars this year: 14 IP, 17 K, 4 BB, 0.64 ERA. #DbacksMinors, 4 hours ago
- RHP Wei-Chieh Huang ran into trouble last night, going 3.2 IP, allowing 5 H, 3 BB 4 ER and 4 K. Tough start to season for him. #DbacksMinors, 4 hours ago
- RHP Taylor Clarke was solid for @KCCougars las night, going 5.1 IP with 4 K, 2 BB, 1 H and no runs. Has 2.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP. #DbacksMinors, 4 hours ago
- OF prospect Zach Nehrir was 2-4 for @KCCougars with a pair of doubles. Hit well for @HillsboroHops last season, now heating up #DbacksMinors, 4 hours ago
FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).