Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst) Follow @chuckbooth3024
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You simply couldn’t have asked for a better start to a winter in 2015 for Arizona. They are legitimate contenders in the NL West, and still should have the wherewithal to spend another $20 – $25 MIL on salaries for 2016.
I love the aggression set forth by the management. I hope they keep the pedal to the metal on this one. A nucleus of a team lasts 3 – 4 years for a mid market club, and by the acquisitions the team has done here completely reflects that.
We have discussed how the Houston Astros developed their young club for a few years now. It is clearly the best way to rebuild a team.
Another reason why the team has had the financial flexibility to create these maneuvers is that they have Paul Goldschmidt on perhaps the best valued contract in the game of baseball right now.
The other Infielders in the mix for the Diamondbacks need to step up the production for he Arizona squad in 2016. Whether it is Chris Owings at 2B or Nick Ahmed at SS, these positions were not league average for the slots, as was third base either.
Welington Castillo was one of the most prolific Catchers in the Majors least year, featuring a 3 slash of .255/.317/.496 with the Diamondbacks, clubbing 17 HRs and knocking in 50 RBI during his 254 AB this past season
In a roundabout way, he bettered what the club had previously in Miguel Montero, who incidentally was the reason why Castillo was flipped to Seattle initially.
That trade made up for the previous fiasco that was the trade for Mark Trumbo the previous season.
Greinke has been the 2nd best pitcher over the last 3 years to Clayton Kershaw, and will anchor the D’backs Rotation for the next 6 years.
Shelby Miller has been the recipient of some bad run support over the last year, and that is why he was just 6 – 17 despite a decent ERA of 3.02 and a WHIP of 1.247. Both of these totals are reflective of his lifetime numbers.
Patrick Corbin, who was an ALL – Star in the 2013 season, which happens to be the campaign that Miller finished 3rd in NL ROY Voting, will tote the hill for the #3 spot in the rotation. Battling back from a Tommy John Surgery, Corbin will look to out decent numbers and 32 Game Starts in 2016.
Robbie Ray also had his 1st full season as a Starter, fashioning a 3.52 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Both Ray and De La Rosa could really cement the team contending in the NL West if they can both internally improve.
We haven’t even mentioned Chase Anderson, who is the #6 guy. and held down a respectable 4.30 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 27 Game Starts in 2015.
This is a nice problem to have. Running with 8 pitchers deep is about what it takes to get through a year.
Paul Goldschmidt has sandwiched two runner ups in the MVP, Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards between his 2014 campaign that was shortened by injury.
This guy epitomizes the all around franchise player every team tries to obtain. Because he only will make $40.3 MIL over the next four years (since he was signed to a brilliant extension that started in 2014) the club has the best valued contract in the Major Leagues.
With Goldschmidt in the lineup, this club has been at least .500. It was only when he missed the last few months in 2014 the club was free falling in the standings.
We have talked about Castillo just putting up decent numbers in 2016 again – after a great half season in 2015.
Nick Ahmed, Jake Lamb and Chris Owings are listed as the starters at SS/3B and 2B respectively. Lamb was the only one of the 3 to have an OPS over .700
Aaron Hill is a back up to the 3B and 2B position, and will eat up $12 MIL in salary to do so. Maybe Hill will have one of those years where all of the stars align and he can rake. Or at least give them averages respectable enough for a bench players.
I personally think the club will be fine for offense because of the strong Outfield offense – coupled with Goldschmidt, but if they wanted to make a dent on upgrades, a player could be brought in for anyone of the those slots.
It may even be better to wait until midway through the year to address the need.
Ian Desmond is the only other power hitting Shortstop available and I am not sure his style of play would cotton with the nucleus of this club.
Arizona may also benefit from signing a 4th OF that can swing it from the left side of the plate. Travis Snider or David DeJesus would be ideal fits, with both of them being able to hit right handed pitchers – and potentially spelling Tomas who doesn’t fare as well against Righties.
A.J. Pollock and David Peralta both hit well over .300 – with plenty of Extra Base Hits and great OPS stats.
Pollock scored 111 Runs and stole 39 bases. with 65 Extra Base knocks on the campaign, this guy is one of the top leadoff hitters in the game.
Peralta held a .893 OPS, and topped double digit in Doubles, Triples and HRs with 26,10 and 17 respectively.
These guys are just 27 right now and provide great support to Goldschmidt.
If the club wants to upgrade another area, they might consider bringing in a few Relievers as the year goes on. Again, having 8 pitchers who may be able to start, maybe that situation will help itself over in the Relief Core.
With at just being around $100 MIL for total team payroll, with lots of young talent and depth – Dave Stewart still could significantly make a big splash via trade with the Colorado Rockies.
I fully expect the D’Backs to challenge the Dodgers and Giants, and could take the overall Division with some luck. I would peg them about a 87 – 89 win club right now as constituted right now.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015. It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008.
During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews and be named the Baseball Blogger Alliance President.
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