Arizona Diamondbacks Off Season Report
- Updated: December 30, 2008
Season Wrap Up
After a red hot start to the 2008 season, the team in the desert cooled off come June and never really struck fear into anyone in the NL West from that point forward, but theacquisition of LF Adam Dunn must have turned a few heads though. April did show a look into the future of RF Justin Upton who looked to be on the verge of competing for the NL Rookie of the Year award, but like the rest of the team, he never fully recovered from that initial slump after such a hot start. Then came the nagging injuries to LF Eric Brynes that just about rendered his season useless. Over-the-hill starting pitcher Randy Johnson wasn’t healthy long enough to help and was hardly consistent when he was. The silver lining here was the matuing of 1B Conor Jackson (who also helped out when needed by playing some OFdue to the injuries that arose), in his first season as a full time player, proved to MLB that he can in fact play well on an everyday basis. As far as disappointments go, one of the biggest had to be the drop in numbers from CF Chris Young as 2008 saw both his HR and SB totals drop from his rookie year. He did; however, show signs of improved patience at the plate in his average and OBP.
Holes to Fill
To start from the back end on down, it is my opinion that they either need a bonafide closer or someone on that team needs to make this decision a no brainer (possibly Chad Qualls). Next, depends upon if they resign 2B Orlando Hudson; if they don’t, then they’ll need a replacement at 2B, but they coud move Reynolds to second in order to get Chad Tracy’s bat into the line up everyday by playing 3B. After that, they may need a fifth starter but they will likely do fine with Max Scherzer and Petit.
The D’Backs have 11 free agents currently on the market from their 2008 team. They are 2B Chris Burke (28), 1B Tony Clark (36), RP Juan Cruz (30, a type A Free Agent),LF Adam Dunn (29, a type A Free Agent), SS David Eckstein (33), C Robby Hammock (31), 2B Orlando Hudson (31, a type A Free Agent), SP Randy Johnson (45) signed a one year contract with the San Francisco Giants for $8M, RPWil Ledezma (27), RP Brandon Lyon (29), OF Jeff Salazar (28).The D’Backs can afford to loose Randy Johnson, Dunn, Hammock, Salazar and possibly Ledezma; they have already non-tendered Hammock, Salazar and Ledezma so they will probably not be back. SS David Eckstein could be resigned and turned into a second baseman, but not likely. If they don’t resign Hudson or Eckstein, then I would resign Chris Burke (who was non-tendered and this idea is unlikely for that reason) as insurance as he can also play in the OF. They only traded for Tony Clark last year due to all the injuries they were facing so it’s robably safe to say that they won’t resign him. To me, if they don’t resign Ledezma, they either need to resign Juan Cruz or replace him somehow in the bullpen as it is very likely that Brandon Lyon won’t be brought back in 2009.
I like how this team has been built and I think that they are a better team than their 2008 record showed them to be. They either need to see improvement from Young out of the leadoff spot in both batting average and OBP (more than 20 steals would be nice to see as well) or else they need to drop him in the line up between the third to 6th slot. If they can solidify their situation at the closer position, then that will help to solidify the rest of the bullpen and allow them to focus on other necessary improvements. If they can find answers to a few questions and do so before opening day (and stay healthy), they have a shot at giving the Dodgers a real run for their money in the NL West this coming season.
Off Season Moves Made So Far
Signed INF Felipe Lopez to a one-year contract and acquired LHP Scott Schoeneweis and cash from the New York Mets for RHP Connor Robertson. The transaction for Schoeneweis may have closed the book on them bringing back either both Cruz, Lyon and Ledezma, ut they still might be able to work out a deal with Cruz as ome reports have recently stated.