Fresh off a 93-loss season, the Diamondbacks weren’t a popular pick to make a postseason run in 2017. However, a bounceback from the biggest free-agent signing in franchise history (Zack Greinke), better health from star center fielder A.J. Pollock and breakouts from Robbie Ray, Zack Godley and Jake Lamb (among others) helped propel the team to a 93-win season in 2017.
First-year Diamondbacks execs Mike Hazen (general manager), Amiel Sawdaye (assistant GM) and Jared Porter (assistant GM) as well as the rest of the D-backs’ front office made some changes to the roster’s composition in the offseason, most notably shipping Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger to the Mariners in the swap that netted them Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. They were again active at the non-waiver deadline, adding arguably the most impactful trade pickup of the summer in J.D. Martinez. But by and large this is a team that looks fairly similar to the unit that underachieved in 2016. Here’s how they all came together…
- HOMEGROWN (6)
- ACQUIRED VIA FREE AGENCY (10)
- David Peralta, OF: July ’13 (Independent League) — Signed to minor league contract.
- Zack Greinke, SP: December ’15 (LAD) — Signed to a six-year, $206.5MM contract.
- Kristopher Negron, INF/OF: November ’16 (CHC) — Signed t0 minor league contract.
- Jeff Mathis, C: December ’16 (MIA) – Signed to a two-year, $4MM contract.
- Rey Fuentes, OF: December ’16 (KC) – Signed to minor league contract.
- Fernando Rodney, RP: December ’16 (MIA) – Signed to a one-year, $2.75MM contract.
- Chris Iannetta, C: January ’17 (SEA) – Signed to a one-year, $1.5MM contract.
- Gregor Blanco, OF: January ’17 (SF) – Signed to minor league contract.
- Daniel Descalso, INF/OF: February ’17 (COL): Signed to a one-year, $1.5MM contract (includes $2MM club option in 2018).
- Jorge De La Rosa, RP: February ’17 (COL): Signed to minor league contract.
- ACQUIRED VIA TRADE (9)
- Patrick Corbin, SP: July ’10 (LAA) — Acquired in the trade that sent Dan Haren to the Angels.
- Brandon Drury, INF: January ’13 (ATL) — Acquired in the trade that sent Justin Upton to the Braves.
- Robbie Ray, SP: December ’14 (DET) — Acquired in the three-team trade that sent Didi Gregorius to the Yankees and Shane Greene to the Tigers.
- Zack Godley, SP: December ’14 (CHC) — Acquired in the trade that sent Miguel Montero to the Cubs.
- Chris Herrmann, C/OF: November ’15 (MIN) — Acquired in the trade that sent Daniel Palka to the Twins.
- Ketel Marte, SS: November ’16 (SEA) — Acquired in the trade that sent Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners.
- Adam Rosales, INF/OF: July ’17 (OAK) — Acquired in the trade that sent Jeferson Mejia to the Athletics.
- J.D. Martinez, OF: July ’17 (DET) — Acquired in the trade that sent Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King to the Tigers.
- David Hernandez, RP: July ’17 (LAA) — Acquired in the trade that sent Luis Madero to the Angels.
The Diamondbacks likely feel more of a sense of urgency than some other clubs with younger cores. Martinez is set to hit free agency this winter, while Pollock will hit the open market next offseason. Greinke rebounded brilliantly in 2017 but still figures to decline over the final four years of his massive six-year deal, and Goldschmidt is presently controlled only through 2019.
That’s not to say that the D-backs don’t have a nice core of young talent, however. Lamb, Ray, Godley, Drury, Peralta and Bradley are among the quality young players that Arizona can control for a minimum of three more seasons, and the team’s payroll could have room to grow, as the massive television contract the D-backs signed in 2015 kicked in last season and will gradually provide increasingly larger revenues over its 15- to 20-year term.