Arizona Diamondbacks State Of The Union For 2016

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. Tony La Russa also knows that his club is setup for a winning window of approximately 3 - 4 years.

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. La Russa also knows that his club is set up for a winning window of approximately 3 – 4 years.  Keep the aggression when it comes to upgrading this team.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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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.

Arizona was carried offensively by Goldschmidt and a great productive OF in A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte.

The club dealt Inciarte in the Shelby Miller deal, but could pick up the slack with giving his OF position to Yasmany Tomas full time in 2016.

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 a career record of 142 - 93 (.604) with a 3.35 ERA stretched out over 12 years of his 4 different teams (LAD, LAA, MIL and KC), however he posted a 51 - 15 mark with the Dodgers - toting a 2.30 ERA over his 3 year tenure with them. Greinke was even better in 2015, finishing 2nd in the NL Cy Young Voting after going 19 - 3, with a league leading 1.66 ERA and an unbelievable WHIP of 0.644. Greinke led the league in win percentage.

Greinke, has a career record of 142 – 93 (.604) with a 3.35 ERA stretched out over 12 years of his 4 different teams (LAD, LAA, MIL and KC), however he posted a 51 – 15 mark with the Dodgers – toting a 2.30 ERA over his 3 year tenure with them. Greinke was even better in 2015, finishing 2nd in the NL Cy Young Voting after going 19 – 3, with a league leading 1.66 ERA and an unbelievable WHIP of 0.844. Greinke led the league in win percentage.  At age 32, this guy will be the stalwart chucker for the team over the next 3 – 4 years at least.

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.

Rubby De La Rosa, acquired in the Wade Miley deal last year, won 14 Games and held a WHIP of 1.36.  These are decent marks for a #4 or #5 Starter.

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.

You can also add Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley (the club’s two top prospects) as guys who might see action in the rotation for 2016.

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.

Brandon Drury and Phil Gosselin will also serve as backups for the Infield.

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.

Maybe a guy like Erick Aybar or a Jimmy Rollins may be a decent option as a midseason acquisition, but I am not sure those guys are any better than the guys they got.

David Freese and Howie Kendrick would definitely fit the bill in Free Agency for slight upgrades,  but even that my cost too much money for the return they provide.

Former D’Backs like Martin Prado and Kelly Johnson may also be guys worth taking a look, or a guy like Brett Lawrie that could play 2B or 3B.

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. 

Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon would perfect addition for a packaged to be returned with a young Starting Pitcher and a Yasmany Tomas might work to pry either one of them lose to the desert. 

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 Diamondbacks set themselves up for the bargain of the MLB when they signed Goldschmidt to a 5 YRs/$32 MIL deal a long time ago. The slugging 1B will only make $40 MIL over the next 4 years - which is a huge reason why the club is in such great financial position to contend right now. He would easily be worth $30 MIL+ a year on the open market right now.

The Diamondbacks set themselves up for the bargain of the MLB when they signed Goldschmidt to a 5 YRs/$32 MIL deal a long time ago. The slugging 1B will only make $40 MIL over the next 4 years – which is a huge reason why the club is in such great financial position to contend right now. He would easily be worth $30 MIL+ a year on the open market right now.  Last year Goldy 3 Slashed .321/.435/.570 with 33 HRs and 110 RBI.  He also added 20 HRs to the fold, 38 Doubles and 103 Runs.  He earned a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, made the ALL – Star squad for the 3rd year straight, and he finished 2nd in MVP voting for the 2nd time in 3 years.

*** 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.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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Posted on December 30, 2015, in MLB Reports, MLB Teams State Of The Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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