The Diamondbacks front office has repeatedly drawn flak for unusual trades and signings under GM Dave Stewart’s leadership. Club executives are unconcerned by the outside chatter, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The most often critiqued moves include the trades for Shelby Miller (full post), Jean Segura (post), and the salary dump of Bronson Arroyo (post). Many industry observers believe Arizona received terrible value on their young talent in these swaps. Executive Tony La Russa views the deals an instance of zigging while the rest of the industry zags. La Russa may be correct to view prospects as over-appreciated these days but part of a successful “zig” involves taking advantage of market inefficiencies. Arizona has seemingly ignored the current market for prospects.
- Of course, there’s more to it than just prospects. Since Arizona has to somehow beat the big payroll Dodgers, they have to pick their windows to contend, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The team has a window over the next few years while Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock are exceptionally inexpensive and in their primes. The club believes they have enough middle infield depth, explaining their willingness to part with Dansby Swanson and Isan Diaz for major league upgrades. They also believe pitching prospect Touki Toussaint is four to five years from major league ready – outside of their current window.
- DBacks executives compare Goldschmidt to former Cardinals star Albert Pujols, writes Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Goldschmidt is coming off a vintage Pujolsian season with 33 home runs, 21 stolen bases, and a .321/.435/.570 slash. He also earned a Gold Glove award. La Russa, who managed Pujols, is among those to make the comparison.
- Star outfielder Pollock remains questionable for Opening Day, writes Chris Gabel of MLB.com. Pollock has been held out of game action since March 8 due to right elbow soreness. The club may look to play him only in minor league contests for the remainder of Spring Training so they can backdate a potential stint on the disabled list.