Arizona Diamondbacks organizational report: Trades bring hope

About this series: Sports Weekly is taking an in-depth look at each major league organization this offseason, starting with the teams with the worst records and moving up. This week: Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, feeling a sense of urgency with general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson in the final years of their contracts, have made an array of aggressive moves in an attempt to return to prominence in the National League West.They tried to spend their money on the free agent market, offering outfielder Carlos Beltran a three-year, $48 million deal and listening to outfielder Shin-Soo Choo’s demand for $140 million.When no one would bite, Towers turned to the trade market.He came up with power hitter Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels and closer Addison Reed from the Chicago White Sox.And he insists he’s not done.The biggest move, and the one most necessary, Towers says, was the acquisition of Trumbo. Trumbo is blocked at first base by Paul Goldschmidt, so he will play left field this year.It came at a prohibitive cost, giving up promising young players in pitcher Tyler Skaggs and outfielder Adam Eaton, but the D-Backs thought they had to come up with a slugger to protect Goldschmidt in the lineup.Trumbo, 28, hit 34 home runs with 100 RBI for the Angels last season, and he has produced 95 homers in his three full seasons in the big leagues. That’s the fifth most in the big leagues over that span, trailing Miguel Cabrera (118), Jose Bautista (98), Adrian Beltre (98) and Jay Bruce (96).The knock on him is that he has a career .299 on-base percentage, and he hit just .234 last season.”I think he has a chance to hit 40 home runs in our park,” Towers said. “He should put up better numbers than he did in Anaheim based on park factors and how the park plays. I like the idea of potentially 100-plus RBI and 30 homers to go with Goldy (Goldschmidt). It’s hard to find the guys that hit 30 to 40 home runs with high on-base as well, but we’re excited about the player.”We had to give up a lot to get it, but I think we’re all pretty happy with how things worked out.”They also beefed up their bullpen by acquiring Reed at the cost of 22-year-old third baseman Matt Davidson. Reed saved 40 games last season, and the move gives the D-Backs three veteran closers in the bullpen along with J.J. Putz and Brad Ziegler.Putz was the D-Backs closer in 2011 and 2012, but injuries opened the door for Ziegler to win the job in the second half last year. Ziegler, who leads all relievers with 38 double plays induced since 2011, will return to the setup role. He also has yielded a .534 OPS against right-handed hitters in his career, the third lowest among major league relievers.The D-Backs plan to hang onto Ziegler, giving him a two-year, $10.5 million extension over the winter, but Towers acknowledged he will listen to offers for Putz, who earns $7 million in 2014.Towers says the club would like to attract another frontline starter, but could go into spring training with a deep rotation.”We don’t feel like we have to,” Towers says. “We still have plenty of depth there. We don’t really feel like we have to do something unless it’s the right deal. We’d still like to add somebody if we can, but if we don’t, we all feel like we value the prospects that we still have.”Unless it’s a significant upgrade to what we currently have, we’ll just stand pat.”So the D-Backs will open the 2014 season without top prospects Skaggs, Eaton, Davidson and pitcher David Holmberg (whom they traded to the Cincinnati Reds), but now have Trumbo, Reed and $6 million in savings.”We’re happy with where we’re at,” Towers says. “We haven’t added a lot to the payroll, we still have payroll flexibility and I think we’re a better offensive club than we were at the end of last year.”

from Top Sports


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: