Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic breaks down the tough choices facing the Diamondbacks this winter. Taking another crack at contention would mean filling several needs. It’d also come with some clear risks. As Piecoro well explains: “For years, the Diamondbacks have had just enough talent to want to keep pushing forward, but not enough to seriously contend for a World Series. And, it seems, each time they’ve tried to load up, they’ve only set themselves back further from a possible championship.” It’s a really interesting initial look at the complicated situation, including some takes from rival executives from around the game.
More from the NL West:
- The Giants are expected to wish a fond farewell this weekend to outfielder Hunter Pence, as Kerry Crowley of The Mercury News writes. He’ll get a prominent place on the lineup card, but that’s not solely honorary. Pence has turned in a bit of a late charge, after all, and the Giants still have a consolation prize (keeping the rival Dodgers from a division title) to play for. So, is this the end for Pence? That still seems unclear. He says he’ll “treat it just like I treat every game. You never know your whole career even when you’re young, it could be your last game.”
- It could soon also be the end of the line for Carlos Gonzalez with the Rockies, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post recently explored. Understandably, the veteran outfielder is focused on finishing out what could be a special season for the Colorado organization. He has been getting less opportunities of late, which seems likely to be the prelude to a departure via free agency this winter. Whether or not that’ll come to pass, CarGo (much like Pence) says he’ll continue to “try to take advantage every night” of the chance to suit up. Soon to turn 33, Gonzalez carries a .276/.329/.463 slash line through 489 plate appearances — good for an approximately league-average overall output once adjusted for park effects and league context.
- Finally, we’ll turn to yet another pending free agent. While the Padres’ youth movement is the primary hope for the franchise, the team still needs to fill roles. That could conceivably lead to a reunion with shortstop Freddy Galvis. As AJ Cassavell of MLB.com writes, Galvis has been on a tear at the plate to end the season. And it seems he has generally left a good impression. While fans are pining for Fernando Tatis Jr., skipper Andy Green notes that there are reasons to like the idea of a return for Galvis. Tatis, after all, still has some seasoning left. That leave room at short to open the year, at least, in addition to the possibility that Galvis “could bounce around,” as Green put it. Of course, the veteran infielder is also likely to test the waters to see whether he can pull down more money or a better opportunity elsewhere. He’ll be among several glove-first veterans hitting the open market.