Arizona Diamondbacks Team Preview
When a baseball team finishes with a .500 record for two consecutive seasons you can expect some changes to be made. That is certainly the case with Arizona Diamondbacks this offseason.
Arizona has been one of the more active teams in trying to improve their team for the upcoming season. One move they made to help fix a bad bullpen that had problems shutting the door late in ballgames was trading reliever Heath Bell to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league prospects. Bell had an up-and-down season, as indicated by his 4.11 ERA, where in some appearances he looked unhittable and then other times he had issues throwing strikes. The one guarantee he did provide was plenty of drama, as you were completely unsure if he could save games.
This move does open a spot for one of the young relievers in the minors for Arizona. They have two promising pitchers in Jake Barrett and Matt Stites that could prove very valuable to the team. Arizona was not done making moves to fix the bullpen as they acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Chicago White Sox for third baseman Matt Davidson. Reed will compete in Spring Training for the closer position and this was something he did well for the White Sox. He saved 40 games last season for Chicago and had 72 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched.
The move also ensures that Martin Prado will remain at third base. There was a chance he could have played in the outfield, but this move takes away that possibility. The other thing Arizona was looking to do this offseason was acquire a corner outfield bat and they found their man in Mark Trumbo. This was part of a three-team deal where they sent young southpaw Tyler Skaggs to the Los Angeles Angels for Trumbo; they also moved outfielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox. The focus of this deal is all about Trumbo and the type of impact he could provide for Arizona. The power is there with Trumbo hitting 30 home runs last season, but the main concern with him is the 184 times he struck out and his low OBP of .294.
Those are areas of concern, but if he hits well that won’t be an issue. It should be fun to watch him and Paul Goldschmidt in the same lineup. The other concern with Trumbo is that he’ll playing left field and that’s a position he doesn’t have too much experience in.
This also opens up the door outfielder A.J. Pollock to be the Diamondbacks everyday center fielder with Eaton gone. Pollock shined last season when he had a chance to play and it was his defense that really stood out.
The other player this move impacts is pitching prospect Archie Bradley, as he'll compete in Spring Training for a spot in the starting rotation. He’s one of the better young pitchers in the minors and could be a boost in the rotation for Arizona.