So the 2013 season didn’t turn out as well as we did, so what are we going to do? Dwell on it? I think not! I know it’s early, but every year, I post my “If you were a General Manager” thread at another dbacks site, seeing what hypothetical moves would be to strengthen our rosters as if we were sitting in the GM chair. This is my hypothetical moves if I were the one sitting in that chair.
So as we know, our biggest off-season concerns deal with three main areas: shortstop, a veteran starting pitcher, and left-handed reliever.
Let’s work backwards here, we hadn’t had a reliable lefty in the ‘pen since Craig Breslow in July, and beforehand Joe Paterson last year (if you mention Zagurski, I will find you). It seemed that one of our weaknesses late in the game was match-up wise against lefties, and a reliable left handed pitcher will ideal in helping with that problem. Nothing against Zagurski, but he was worth -0.1 WAR (according to Fangraphs), and most of us held our breaths while we hope for the best as Zagurski was called into the game.
So who do I have as possible targets for left handed pitchers? Well here’s a couple below, and a brief explanation as to why.
Before you look at the -0.3 WAR, take account his horrendous May in which he had an xFIP over 5 did inflate his numbers such as his FIP a bit. He did have a nice 3.04 ERA, and a not so good 4.78 FIP, but throughout his career he consistently outperforms his FIP by quite a lot. Looking at his lefty/righty splits, he’s pretty tough on lefties, leaving them at triple slash of .198/.306/.306. Righties do hit him a bit more with a slash of.242/.340/.456, but he can hold his own against them. I can imagine that signing him would probably be around $1M.
The screwball pitcher who most recently played with the Mets in 2011, played all of his 2012 in the minors. While his numbers may not be the most impressive if you look at his Major League stats, I’m a firm believer of the 5’6 pitcher. He’s a buy low pitcher, and he’ll probably come by cheap. Plus Herrera fits the bill of a diverse bullpen that Towers typically likes to build: pitchers who throw different speeds, and at different arm angles. Maybe trade Demel or Graham for him? Or even cash considerations?
I’ll probably post a couple more later, but as of right now, those two are the ones that really jump at me.
Next on the agenda is addressing our starting rotation. Whaaat, but but we have Miley, Cahill, Kennedy, and a combination of Skaggs/Corbin/Bauer for next year?! Exactly, I’m not saying that Skaggs/Corbin/Bauer are useless and that they’re terrible, but I believe that they still have some seasoning in Triple A that’ll further progress their development. Yes, at times those three were brilliant and had flashes of dominance, but as a GM you can’t take that chance of having two spots open up in the air with pitchers who have yet to have consistent success in the majors. But how do they do that if they don’t have that chance? Well, as we saw this last year, guys get hurt, guys underperform. It’s baseball, and it’s incredibly rare for a team to go through the same five pitchers throughout a full season.
Now, I believe bringing in a veteran pitcher on a one year deal, would do wonders in stabilizing the starting rotation. Here’s a few who I’d look at.
Yes, he has his temper tandrums, but he’s a buy low candidate. He had a decent season in Miami in 2012 sporting a 4.49 ERA and 4.47 FIP, which is good for a 0.8 WAR. As a fifth starter, that’s pretty decent in my opinion. And if we can have him at around $1MM for a one year deal, I’ll sign that deal.
The reliever!? Yea, that guy. I know his numbers look ugly, but the guy is a sinkerballer along with a 1.1 WAR this season. Is his ERA ugly? Yea, but I expect his groundball rate of 59.2% work well in Chase Field and with our defense. Again, a deal around $1.3M, I’ll take it.
He’s been out with out a flexor strain injury since April!? Uh, only a minor league deal guys, calm down. I don’t have much to say about him, but I like him, and I have a hunch he’ll have a decent year this year. That’s all I have to say about him.
Realistically, this one is quite the stretch, and highly unlikely. But if his asking price somehow comes down $8M-$10M, take it. But realistically, he’ll probably get something like a 2yr deal for $32M. So let’s move on.
Again, realistically, this one is a stretch. Yes, he pitched here, and I dunno if he’ll pitch here again, as last time the Home Run bug pretty much bit him, but if we can get him for like $7M-8M, that’s not bad. But realistically, he’ll probably get like a 2yr for $24M.
Again, I have more, but too lazy to write much more on starters, but will throw names in the fire for discussion later.
FINALLY! We’ve made it down to short stop, the position in which everyone is focusing on as our big weakness for 2013. With Drew gone, Bloomquist hurt, Johnny Mac getting older, and Elmore not being more than a utility infielder, the Diamondbacks really need someone to handle the role of everyday short stop.
With this particular position a trade is highly likely as the free agent market is pretty thin on shortstops this year.
So here’s a few guys that I would love for us to target.
The Boston short stop worth about 1.7 WAR, is a pretty solid fielder. The offensive stats aren’t sexy with a .250/.282/.381, but a lot has to do with a career low BABIP of .269. A deal involving Young would be ideal for both sides as it gives Boston another outfielder outside Ellsbury, and we get a solid shortstop. Now money, and what other players would revolve that would still be fuzzy, but I can see this one possibly happening.
Escobar recently was under fire after a homophobic remark was spotted on his eyeblack during a game, in which he was suspended. Now rumor has it that Escobar has recently have fallen out of favor from Toronto’s front office, and that they’re more open to trading him. Escobar is another solid defender, who’s offense is considered above average. Now last year he did have a 75 wRC+, a career low, but the year before he did have a 116 wRC+, so there is still hope. His contract is incredibly team friendly at $5M with team options for ’14 and ’15 for $5M each. A trade revolving one of our young pitchers is more likely (Meo, or Chafin?) and perhaps Gerardo Parra as well.
Unfortunately, he’s not close to big league ready, but I included him here due to one reason: If we trade Justin Upton, he must be in this trade. You see, Luis Sardenas is below the depth chart between a couple of guys you may have heard of: Andrus and Profar. And with Texas being the name Upton’s name has been associated with when it comes down to trade partners, most people are speculating that an Andrus for Upton is in the works. Now with Andrus, it’ll give us a major league/gold glover/top of the order threat shortstop, I also think it’s an overpay since we probably wouldn’t be able to extend him. So if we do have a trade with Texas involving Upton, we MUST receive Mike Olt (fixes third base with a solid defender, and power third baseman), Luis Sardenas (here’s a link as to why he’s a beast), and another couple of prospects.
Now, these are simply some of the moves that I’d make, and I know everyone has a different opinion as to how to fix our DBacks, so go ahead and post them. Again, these are very brief hypotheticals, and my views may change as more information do come available. Also, I will comment more as more players come to mind, and discuss them amongst you guys.
So what do you guys think of these moves?
What moves would guys make as GM? Who would you target? What would your trade scenarios look like?