MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks Off-Season
As the Hot Stove trades cool down let’s take a look at the Diamondbacks’ off-season moves so far and other possible signings. The Diamondbacks traded Heath Bell, Tyler Skaggs, Adam Eaton, Matt Davidson and David Holmberg for Mark Trumbo, Addison Reed and $6 million. There were some other minor league players acquired by the Diamondbacks, but only time will tell if they turn out to be MLB players.
In Trumbo they have a proven slugger who is expected to provide some protection for Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup. Trumbo, with 95 homeruns in three years, is moving from a pitcher’s park in Anaheim to a hitter’s park at Chase Field. New First Base Coach Dave McKay will work with him in spring training on his left field play as he will instantly be put in starting line-up. He will have a lot of early season pressure on him as the fans are not in favor of this trade. If he starts the season off well, all might be forgotten.
The trade for Reed cost the Diamondbacks a top third base prospect in Matt Davidson. Reed will be counted on early in the season in a relief role, but expect Reed to beat out J.J. Putz for the closers spot eventually. In Reed the Diamondbacks did get an established closer, a hard-throwing right-hander who is coming off a 40-save season. Reed saved those 40 games throwing 71 innings with a 3.79 ERA, including 72 strikeouts and 23 walks, while holding opponents to a .215 batting average. He will make the minimum salary in 2014 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season, so the Diamondbacks will be getting a long-term answer in the closer’s role.
With the Diamondbacks trading their young top prospects, the team seems to be creating uncertainty and hesitation, among their fans.
The team is also still looking to sign another starting pitcher. Possible candidates for that position include Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, Bronson Arroyo or Ervin Santana. As for Tanaka, his Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, made the decision to allow him to go to MLB. Any team willing to pay his former club a posting fee of $20 million will have the right to negotiate with Tanaka over the next 30 days. We will have to wait and see if the Diamondbacks continue to pursue him.
Arizona finished both the 2012 and 2013 seasons with 81-81 records. And, with general manager, Kevin Towers, and manager, Kirk Gibson, entering the final year of their contracts, this team is determined to find ways to get over that average hump and that includes trading the Diamondbacks top prospects to fill their needs.
What matters is winning and getting to the post-season, so if these trades work out then Kevin Towers and the rest of his staff will look good, but if they don’t you can bet there will be significant changes made by Owner Ken Kendrick and CEO Derrick Hall.
The Diamondbacks will be the first team to open Spring Training when pitchers and catchers report to Salt River Fields on February 5th. The early report date is necessary because they have a pair of regular-season games against the Dodgers in Australia on March 22nd and 23rd.
So I hope to see you at Salt River Fields in 38 days.
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