Despite being one of the most active teams this winter, the Arizona Diamondbacks are merely a fringe contender.
This offseason the D-backs spent $206.5 million on ace pitcher Zack Greinke, they acquired Shelby Miller via trade, giving up a huge haul, and they recently traded for starting shortstop Jean Segura.
Starting with the big splash, they gave Greinke a huge chunk of change to anchor the rotation. Greinke is coming off a phenomenal season and is undoubtedly one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball right now.
They followed this up with a bold move to acquire Miller to be Greinke’s partner in crime. This trade saw them give up Ender Inciarte who hit .303 in 524 at bats in 2015, along with the no. 8 and 56 prospects in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline in Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair.
Miller is a quality starter, but, that’s about it. His career xFIP is an unimpressive 4.08. While his 7.56 K/9 and 3.24 BB/9 career totals leave a lot to be desired as well.
He is an adequate no. 2 starter that they gave up an inordinate trade package for. He is certainly not a piece that makes them stand out in a division that included the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.
The D-Backs rotation will be rounded out by Patrick Corbin and some combination of Archie Bradley, Rubby de la Rosa, and Robbie Ray in the last 2 spots.
Top prospect Bradley and recently back from Tommy John surgery Corbin represent the two highest upside guys, who could catapult the D-Backs into serious contenders. As it sits now though, they are too big of question marks to expect productive seasons from the both of them.
In de la Rosa and Ray they have two decent back of the rotation types, nothing more.
Overall the D-Backs rotation is nothing to scoff at, but, it’s also nothing that stands out to you either.
Onto the position players, the D-Backs are led by underappreciated super star Paul Goldschmidt and the 1st time All-Star from 2015 A.J. Pollock.
Occupying the corner outfield spots will be David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas. The former McDonald’s employee Peralta had a breakthrough campaign in 2015 posting a .893 OPS with 16 HR’s and 78 RBI’s.
Tomas on the other hand had a disappointing 2015 campaign after signing a huge deal out of Cuba. He posted a measly .707 OPS despite posting an unusually high BABIP of .354.
While Goldschmidt, Peralta, and Pollock form a respectable trio, it’s the rest of the lineup that leaves a lot to be desired.
Their two other highest upside players are Tomas and Segura. As previously mentioned, Tomas has the makings of a potential bust, while Segura has not been the same since his All-Star campaign in 2013.
The rest of their lineup is will be composed of below average Major Leaguers in Wellington Castillo, Jake Lamb, and Chris Owings.
While they have 3 potential All-Stars in their lineup it is asking too much for them to carry the rest of the mediocre at best lineup. Overall their lineup does not look like that of a playoff contender.
A slightly above average rotation and a mediocre lineup are not the only things that will keep the D-Backs out of the playoffs. Their most troubling areas are their bullpen and their overall lack of depth.
In Brad Ziegler they have a 36 year old closer who does not strike anyone out. Their other relievers are league average guys at best who will not scare opponents in the later innings.
Brandon Drury and Peter O’Brien are their only two bench options that look even somewhat appealing. Even they are not top prospects and they are young guys who still need to prove themselves.
In the no-DH National League the D-backs lack of depth will hurt them, and that’s not even considering potential injuries.
The D-Backs are a decent team, they will probably finish over .500, but they aren’t anything for the Dodgers, Giants, or the rest of the National League to worry about.