With the World Series behind us and the impending deadline for players to accept qualifying offers, the offseason is officially underway. Jeff and I have been hard at work on an offseason plan for the Diamondbacks, complete with recommendations for trades, signings and roster construction. Check back next week for the full plan.
Do you have an idea for a trade match or an axe to grind with the roster? Drop us a note through the comments section here, and we’ll make sure we include it in our analysis. We’ve written background pieces for the offseason plan, including a top prospects list (1-10, 11-20, 21-30) and roster breakdowns (outfield, infield, rotation, bullpen). Last week, we added a breakdown of the D-backs payroll. As always, we welcome differences of opinion.
Here are some others’ opinions:
- Don’t miss Steve Gilbert’s interview with Ken Kendrick. Kendrick’s comments on payroll mirror that of Towers: $100M is very possible, as Kendrick is not against “spending that kind of money if we found the right players to help the team do better.” Of course, I concluded last week that the club would have to spend about that amount just to keep together the current roster. I also found it interesting that Kendrick came right out and said he was disappointed in the 2013 season. It’s nice to know that they’re aiming higher.
- In his latest notebook, Nick Piecoro polled six scouts and executives on a couple of pressing Diamondbacks questions. Great to get some insight on how the league views Arizona’s shortstop and center field tandems. Both controversies had votes in either direction, but both were landslides. Also in the notebook, Piecoro notes that Towers is looking to be “more aggressive” in trying to retain Eric Chavez than Willie Bloomquist. I think we all know Bloomquist is gone — that point seemed crystal clear when it was Prado filling in at second base in September. Even if Chris Owings or Didi Gregorius gets traded, Cliff Pennington is under contract for 2014. Chavez is a harder question. I think the Chavez fit was perfect for 2013, even if he spent time on the DL; Martin Prado is such a big part of roster construction for Arizona, and so having the two players essentially split 3B duties (with Prado getting the rest of his starts at 2B and LF) worked beautifully. I have no idea if Matt Davidson will be with the organization in March, but if he is, it’s really hard to see Chavez as a fit. Tuiasosopo becomes the backup first baseman, and the roster crunch in LF means that Prado will probably still start at 3B at least once or twice a week. In my opinion, chances are good that another team will value Chavez more than the D-backs.
- Jim McLennan at Snake Pit took a look at the payroll, with some cool graphics. My thoughts are in my post last week. Jim also took a look at the case for bringing Wil Nieves back; my thoughts are here.
- Jim also covered the wins by Gerardo Parra and the D-backs for Wilson Defensive Player/Team of the Year. He also had great coverage of the SABR Defensive Index used as a component (25%) of the Gold Glove determinations. I didn’t realize that Patrick Corbin was so good a fielder.
- Tyler Roberts of Venom Strikes posted a 2014 D-backs Wish List. Really, some good thoughts here. I’d respectfully disagree on Daniel Hudson (he’s likely to be a late-season bullpen contributor, if anything) and while I agree that the team would be best off declaring Heath Bell a sunk loss, J.J. Putz was fantastic since bringing back his slider, and I’m cautiously optimistic that Brad Ziegler can repeat his performance and that David Hernandez can get back to form (particularly since he seemed to have it back in September). As noted above, the offseason plan that Jeff and I are working on will be highly comprehensive.
- Thomas Lynch, also of Venom Strikes, posted position reviews in LF and in RF. I agree with the assessment of RF; Parra deserves the lion’s share of time out there, even against lefties, and it’s possible that A.J. Pollock or Adam Eaton will have to learn to back up there if Cody Ross is not ready to go when the team breaks camp. As to LF, Lynch is right; a huge chunk of teams lack stability there. This is by design. You can put almost anyone in left field, so teams routinely fill that position last — RF requires a strong throwing arm, while CF requires more range. On a team with a huge number of time shares and a lot of roster flexibility, LF is destined to be the catchall position. We’ll see Martin Prado there a lot if Davidson plays, with Eaton likely to be the #2 guy in terms of playing time. As with many roster questions this offseason, Cody Ross is a real monkey wrench.
- Joe Lucia thinks the D-backs are pretty set for 2014.
- I don’t think of myself as a homer for the D-backs, but I’m still amazed by the media backlash against Arizona in the whole Dodgers rivalry thing and the pool fiasco. I think the club’s response has been measured, stoked only because it’s a good business decision to do so. I doubt any other club would react much differently. I don’t get it, and it’s a little insulting to be cast as inferior and petulant. The main problem is that complaining about it seems… petulant. Anyway, here’s Craig Calcaterra piling on again.
- Lastly, take a look at this St. Louis Dispatch article on probably the most-advertised need in baseball: the Cardinals’ search for a shortstop. Good to see Owings and Gregorius finally mentioned as possible targets. I’ve been on that since suggesting a trade around Owings for Carlos Martinez before the trade deadline (skip to the end).
The Pool ShotEpisode 19 of The Pool Shot: Armed with information from their trip to Arizona, the guys tackle great topics from @youknow_OJ (players who changed our minds), @coldblueAZ (Drury's psyche), @brandonharaway (what comes next with Tomas off 3B), @TylerNickelASU (likely D-backs rotation). At 1:13:30, they have a ton of fun with a topic posed by two people (@jgonzol16 and @PB_HR): should the team consider a 6-man rotation? They then circle back to topics from @Ascend_Descend (likely trade candidates) and @coldblueAZ (Hill's production in 2015). Many thanks to these guys, and to those who sent ones we thought would fit better next week -- send them to @thepoolshot! Subscribe on iTunes!
- Real D-backs Defensive Shifts, Really
- Andrew Chafin Leading Race to Be Only Real Bullpen Lefty
- Spring Notes from D-backs Minor League Camp
- Roundup: Roster in Focus; Tomas Contract Discussions; Six Man Rotation?
- Robbie Ray’s New Breaking Pitch Much Different, Much More Consistent
- Working the Count: Forget About It (And Don’t Feel Guilty)
- Spring Notes From D-backs MLB Camp
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- RT @cdgoldstein: I get that you want to avoid cliches but if you start limiting phrases writers can use the ones they use will just become cliched., 12 hours ago
- RT @thepoolshot: Episode 19: player notes from spring training, and tons of Twitter questions, including a possible 6-man rotation http://t.co/O0iX0DfKaw, Mar 21
- Gloves out: The Mark Trumbo Advantage http://t.co/o6kkT5Ez5A http://t.co/EsXFdzrwZU, 13 hours ago
- RT @DustinDietz18: Listen to Episode 18 of @SDI20Grade with @OutfieldGrass24 from @InsidetheZona . We discuss the Mariners. Enjoy. https://t.co/3YgpM3jV8P, 15 hours ago
- RT @SandwichWingman: Episode 11: Corned beef, and the John B. Keane essays "Humble Pie," "Foul Talk" and "Fear." Happy St. Patrick's Day! http://t.co/vyWfPk2W3W, Mar 26
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- Whether you're a #GoBeavs fan or not, @Beaver_Baseball has been on it's A-Game all year. Highly recommended follow., 3 hours ago
- RT @Beaver_Baseball: Liner to 3rd and Moore is out of the first after six pitches #GoBeavs http://t.co/mFJOTbAnjI, 3 hours ago
- RT @SDI20Grade: Looking for a podcast to listen to this weekend, I recommend this one with @OutfieldGrass24 and myself talking M’s. https://t.co/N2FwzBl21Y, 4 hours ago
- I know the writer --> RT @VICESports: How the System Screws Kris Bryant and Other MLB Rookies. http://t.co/i47Q5ucsL7 http://t.co/oOS3wPK3Zr, 5 hours ago
- RT @nickpiecoro: Dbacks closer Addison Reed's stuff ticked up a little today. He was 91-93 mph after sitting 88-89 earlier in the week., 5 hours ago
FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).