Offseason In Review: Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are next in our Offseason In Review series.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

In hiring Kevin Towers as GM, the Diamondbacks brought in a veteran dealmaker to right the ship after a 97 loss season.  However, don't forget that interim GM Jerry Dipoto was behind the summer trades that brought in Dan Hudson, Joe Saunders, Tyler Skaggs, Pat Corbin, David Holmberg, and Rafael Rodriguez.  Towers furthered the makeover during the offseason, revamping the Majors' worst bullpen, adding a couple of starting pitchers, and signing a half-dozen veteran role players to big league deals.

For each of the 2008-10 seasons, Diamondbacks hitters finished first or second in baseball in strikeouts.  Reynolds was public enemy number one in that regard, though he was also the team's biggest power threat.  LaRoche was allowed to leave, though I don't think the D'Backs had the payroll space for him regardless of his strikeout total.  With .320 OBPs and SLGs under .500, Reynolds and LaRoche weren't all that productive in 2010.  Nonetheless, Mora and Blum represent a downgrade at the hot corner.  Over at first, Branyan is a less healthy, poor man's Reynolds.  The team has a more interesting candidate in Brandon Allen, so hopefully Branyan doesn't steal too many plate appearances. 

Putz

Towers' return for Reynolds was nothing special, and I wonder if the new regime should have waited for him to rebuild some value in a healthier 2011 season.  Still, Hernandez is a sleeper who may end up filling in for Putz in the ninth inning this year.  Putz (pictured) represented Towers' big free agent splash; the team had vowed to import a closer.  Putz is coming off a strong season and $5MM a year is the going rate, but he's a 34-year-old who must be handled carefully.  Why not just let Hernandez run with the job?  The Putz signing seems like an overreaction to last year's awful bullpen, a risky luxury the team didn't need at this stage.  I'd been expecting Towers to show off his shrewd bargain basement bullpen-building skills.

Towers used free agency to assemble a veteran bench.  No one was particularly expensive, but the main benefit seems to be leadership and other intangible qualities.  The Bloomquists of the world become a concern only if they start taking plate appearances from younger, better players.

The D'Backs acquired Duke and Galarraga to round out their rotation, though Duke is out until late April with a broken hand.  They amount to $6.55MM worth of rotation filler.  More interesting is a potential 2013 rotation fronted by Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs, Dan Hudson, and Ian Kennedy.

The 2011 Diamondbacks are in an uncomfortable spot – right fielder Justin Upton is in his prime and shortstop Stephen Drew is only under contract for two more seasons.  They also spent over $25MM on short-term additions this offseason.  However, the team does not appear to have the talent to reach the playoffs this year or next.  Perhaps Towers should focus on restocking the cupboard to begin a sustained period of contending around 2013, starting with the #3 and #7 picks in the '11 draft.  Though Towers flirted with the prospect of trading Upton, the 23-year-old is under contract through '15 and should be a big part of the next good Arizona team.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


14 Responses to Offseason In Review: Arizona Diamondbacks Leave a Reply

  1. NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

    Retaining Drew may be a bit of a stretch, but they need to look into doing that ASAP or start testing the waters on his value.

  2. Putz, Heilman, Mora, Nady, Blanco. That’s a lot of crappy ex Mets they scraped up

    • WhiteSoxHomer 4 years ago

      Did you see Putz last year? He definitely was not crappy.

    • Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

      Add in Blum, Branyan and Willy Mo and they look more like Ex – Padres to me.

    • i was just gonna post that…they all sucked for the mets (blanco was ok because he was a good back up) and they always get better when they gett to another team…for exampl heilman, and putz

  3. pirates20 4 years ago

    Meet the Mets….. More like meet the Vets. I guess one team’s expendable waste is another team’s search for underlying value. Won’t be long before they realize more than half of those guys are drained of their talents. What a shame it is too, Nady and Putz were once household names. Now I suppose their loose change? I slay myself sometimes with my quips.

    • jdub220 4 years ago

      How can you say that Putz isn’t good anymore? He had a 2.83 ERA, and an even better FIP.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        And that was as a set up man. I think his numbers will get better while he’s closing.

    • Hubbs2 4 years ago

      Nady was NEVER a household name

  4. Jason Klinger 4 years ago

    Much like the Royals, the D-backs are facing a couple of tough years before the prospects can start turning things around. Three-quarters of the guys on this roster will be dumped for younger, more talented players by opening day 2013. Until then, 90 losses a year are probably in order.

    • iheartyourfart 4 years ago

      you obviously don’t know how KT operates… he will re-fill all those slots with more aging vets and journeymen before any youngsters get a chance. Just be glad human cloning is still illegal, or i’m sure he’d find a way to field a geoff blum at every position.

  5. disgruntledreader 4 years ago

    Any list of D-backs “notable” minor league signings which doesn’t include Sean Burroughs is clearly lacking! It may not be worthwhile, but it’s certainly notable!

  6. for some reason this new regime does not like Brandon Allen… for the life of me I can not figure out why… but getting Miranda and signing Branyon, that’s the indication I get

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