Every week on Sunday, Venom Strikes will look at the transaction report to see what movement has been made by the Arizona Diamondbacks that might go unnoticed by many fans. Here is the first edition of the Wacky Wire.
The D’backs signed three pitchers over the past couple of weeks.
On December 12th, Arizona signed 38 year-old right handed pitcher Nelson Figueroa. Some Diamondback fans might remember Figueroa from his first stint with the club. He was initially acquired by the organization in 1998 as part of the deal with the New York Mets that brought Bernard Gilkey to Arizona. He pitched in the minor leagues for a couple of seasons before making his major league debut for the club in 2000. He started three games for the D’backs posting an 0-1 record with a 7.47 ERA in 15+ innings pitched.
In 2000, he was part of the monumental deal that shipped he, Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla and Omar Daal to Philadelphia and brought Curt Schilling to the desert.
Figueroa has bounced around the major and minor leagues since then. In nine major league seasons with six different teams (Arizona, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, New York Mets, Houston), he has amassed a 20-35 record with a 4.55 ERA.
Arizona also signed free agent Warner Madrigal on Monday. The 28 year-old right handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic will look to win a position in the bullpen during Spring Training.
Madrigal last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Texas Rangers. He appeared in 13 games out of the bullpen and posted a 0-0 record with a 9.95 ERA in 12.2 IP. In 2008, he also pitched with Texas and posted better statistics, compiling an 0-2 record with a 4.75 ERA in 36 IP.
Madrigal has 10 years of minor league experience. Last season, he was with the New York Yankees organization in Class AA Trenton in the Eastern League. In two games for Trenton, he racked up a 20.25 ERA before he was released. During his minor league career, Madrigal is 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA in more than 200 innings of work. It is this type of production that the D’backs are hoping to get from Madrigal this season.
Finally, the D’backs came to terms with free agent Alexis Lara on Tuesday. The 25 year-old right handed pitcher has pitched the last five seasons in the minor leagues.
Last season, Lara played at four different levels in the minors with the Padres organization (Low A, High A, Class AA, Class AAA). Over the four levels, Lara posted a 1-1 record with a 4.31 ERA in 31 innings pitching out of the bullpen.
He just finished pitching in the Dominican Winter League where he compiled a 0-0 record with a 2.08 ERA in 8 appearances. Those are solid numbers in a highly regarded Winter League.
All three men who were signed this week did not have their contract’s disclosed to the press at the time of publication.