Derrick Hall will remain the Diamondbacks’ CEO for the foreseeable future, but that won’t necessarily preclude a major overhaul to the franchise’s baseball operations department. Hall stated this week that the club will make decisions on the two heads of that department, chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart, after the season.
“There’s a lot to think about here,” said Hall, who doesn’t seem eager to make radical changes to Arizona’s front office.
La Russa and Stewart only took the helm in Arizona during the 2014 campaign, but the team has regressed enough under their leadership to make a regime change a legitimate possibility. After going 79-83 and posting a plus-7 run differential in 2015, the Diamondbacks’ first full season with La Russa and Stewart at the controls, the club has plummeted to 53-75 this year. Only two teams have lesser records than the D-backs, and just one has a worse run differential than Arizona’s minus-132. Injuries, primarily the fractured elbow that has kept star center fielder A.J. Pollock out all season, haven’t helped Arizona’s cause. However, even with a healthy roster, it’s fair to say the Diamondbacks would not have pushed for a playoff spot this year. Their front office had other plans, however, as evidenced by its aggressive offseason maneuverings.
The Diamondbacks’ most notable winter transactions included signing 32-year-old right-hander Zack Greinke to a $206.5MM contract and swinging a trade with the Braves for righty Shelby Miller. While still a quality option, Greinke has gone backward in his first year as a Diamondback (and spent time on the DL himself), which wasn’t the scenario they envisioned when awarding a franchise-record payday to him.