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Offseason In Review: Arizona Diamondbacks

Next in our Offseason In Review series, the Diamondbacks.

Major League Signings

  • Brandon Webb, SP: one year, $8.5MM.  Club option exercised.
  • Adam LaRoche, 1B: one year, $6MM.  Includes $7.5MM mutual option for 2011 with a $1.5MM buyout.
  • Kelly Johnson, 2B: one year, $2.35MM.  Arbitration-eligible for 2011.
  • Bob Howry, RP: one year, $2.25MM.  Includes $3MM club option with a $250K buyout.
  • Total spend: $19.1MM.

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

This offseason Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes revamped his rotation and the right side of his infield, acquired a pair of veteran relievers, and added cost certainty with three extensions.  Let's take a closer look.

You already know how I feel about the LaRoche and Johnson signings - they were two of my ten best free agent signings of the offseason.  LaRoche is a clear upgrade over the players the D'Backs used at first base in '09, though Johnson's ceiling is the .298/.372/.448 second base line Arizona got from Felipe Lopez, Ryan Roberts, and Augie Ojeda.  The team has good depth at second base, with Roberts and Ojeda still around and Tony Abreu in the mix.

Webb had August shoulder surgery and may miss all of April.  Still, I feel that choosing the $8MM net price was the right move at the time and Webb will still provide 175 above-average innings.  I'm not enthused by the Howry and Heilman additions; they may combine for a good number of devastating home runs allowed.

The D'Backs have a new-look rotation for 2010.  Davis, Scherzer, Petit, and Jon Garland are gone after providing two-thirds of the team's starts in '09.  The move from Scherzer to Jackson may actually be a more expensive downgrade.  I like the Kennedy pickup, but maybe Byrnes would've been better-served trying to pull off a trade without the Scherzer-Jackson component.  On the other hand, the D'Backs know Scherzer better than anyone.

Byrnes' arbitration buyout extensions have been a mixed bag so far, with Webb and Dan Haren on the positive side and Chad Tracy, Chris Young, and Chris Snyder on the negative.  This winter, the Upton signing was a huge win, while the Reynolds extension didn't appear to bring significant cost savings.

The D'Backs did a solid job in free agency, and have crafted a lineup with few easy outs.  Webb is the key to the season, as they'll open with Kennedy as the #3 starter.








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