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How would you spend the Arizona Diamondbacks' new TV deal money?

As expected, the Diamondbacks will be considerably richer, due to TV rights, beginning at the end of this season. Where should the money go? Let's brainstorm...

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

"This is game-changing for us. It puts us on par with a lot of our colleagues. Any increase in revenues, as we've said in the past, will go directly toward our (organization). It will help the franchise. It will help the product on the field."
-- Derrick Hall

For the sake of simplicity, let's say that at the end of the 2015 campaign, the team can afford any two free-agents you want, to add to the team going forward. This will involve some degree of prophesy, because you will need to predict what will happen over the course of the upcoming season, and what will then be our greatest areas of need. For instance, if you think Peter O'Brien won't be able to handle the position, you might want to look at a catcher. Or, you may think, you can never have enough pitching, and opt to use one (or both!) of your slots there. Is our outfield going to be good enough? What about the middle-infield?

You could probably make a plausible case for just about any position on the diamond, bar first-base: I don't think we're going to need a replacement there for a few years! For your consideration, below, from Cot's Baseball Contracts, find a list of the currently expected free agents who may hit the market at the end of this season. Those with an asterisk have a contract that includes a 2016 option, hence the "may" thing. Bonus credit: explain your decision. Bonus bonus credit: state the terms (years and total cost) you think your target will cost.

First Basemen
  • Chris Davis
  • Edwin Encarnacion *
  • Garrett Jones
  • Adam Lind *
  • Justin Morneau *
  • Mike Napoli
  • David Ortiz *
  • Steve Pearce
  • Mark Reynolds
Second Basemen
  • Mike Aviles
  • Kevin Frandsen
  • Maicer Izturis *
  • Howie Kendrick=
  • Daniel Murphy
  • Sean Rodriguez
  • Adam Rosales
  • Skip Schumaker *
  • Marco Scutaro
  • Chase Utley *
  • Ben Zobrist
  • Joaquin Arias
  • Clint Barmes *
  • Willie Bloomquist
  • Asdrubal Cabrera
  • Ian Desmond
  • Alcides Escobar *
  • Cliff Pennington
  • Alexei Ramirez *
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Brendan Ryan *
Third Basemen
  • Adrian Beltre *
  • Alberto Callaspo
  • David Freese
  • Casey McGeheee
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Juan Uribe
  • Alex Avila
  • Chris Ianetta
  • John Jaso
  • Jeff Mathis
  • Dioner Navarro
  • Brayan Pena
  • A.J. Pierzynski
  • Matt Wieters
  • Jeff Baker
  • Jose Bautista *
  • Yoenis Cespedes
  • Alejandro De Aza
  • David DeJesus *
  • Marlon Byrd *
  • Rajai Davis
  • Chris Denorfia
  • Dexter Fowler
  • Alex Gordon *
  • Corey Hart
  • Jason Heyward
  • Torii Hunter
  • Austin Jackson
  • Matt Joyce
  • Nate McLouth *
  • David Murphy
  • Gerardo Parra
  • Carlos Quentin *
  • Ryan Raburn
  • Alex Rios *
  • Cody Ross *
  • Grady Sizemore
  • Denard Span
  • Drew Stubbs
  • Ryan Sweeney
  • Justin Upton
  • Will Venable
  • Shane Victorino
  • Chris Young
  • Delmon Young
Starting Pitchers
  • Brett Anderson
  • Bronson Arroyo *
  • Clay Buchholz *
  • Mark Buehrle
  • A.J. Burnett
  • Trevor Cahill *
  • Chris Capuano
  • Jhoulys Chacin
  • Wei-Yin Chen
  • Bartolo Colon
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Ross Detwiler
  • R.A. Dickey *
  • Marco Estrada
  • Doug Fister
  • Gavin Floyd
  • Yovani Gallardo
  • Jaime Garcia
  • Zack Greinke (opt-out)
  • Jeremy Guthrie *
  • J.A. Happ
  • Dan Haren
  • Tim Hudson
  • Hisashi Iwakuma
  • Scott Kazmir
  • Ian Kennedy
  • John Lackey
  • Mat Latos
  • Mike Leake
  • Colby Lewis
  • Tim Lincecum
  • Kyle Lohse
  • Justin Masterson
  • Brandon Morrow
  • Bud Norris
  • Mike Pelfrey
  • Rick Porcello
  • David Price
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Alfredo Simon
  • Jerome Williams
  • Jordan Zimmerman

[I'd also add Kenta Maeda as a possibility in this section; he wasn't posted this winter, but if he pitches well in Japan, there's a good chance his club will make him available next year]

Relief Pitchers
  • Jeremy Affeldt
  • Scott Atchison *
  • Grant Balfour
  • Antonio Bastardo
  • Joaquin Benoit *
  • Jerry Blevins
  • Craig Breslow
  • Jonathan Broxton *
  • Santiago Casilla *
  • Tyler Clippard
  • Wade Davis *
  • Matt Belisle
  • Randy Choate
  • Brian Duensing
  • Jason Frasor *
  • LaTroy Hawkins
  • David Hernandez
  • J.P. Howell *
  • Tommy Hunter
  • Jim Johnson
  • Shawn Kelley
  • Brandon League *
  • Sean Marshall
  • Jason Motte
  • Edward Mujica
  • Joe Nathan *
  • Darren O'Day
  • Eric O'Flaherty
  • Jonathan Papelbon
  • Bobby Parnell
  • Manny Parra
  • Joel Peralta *
  • Oliver Perez
  • Chad Qualls *
  • Fernando Rodney
  • James Russell
  • Joakim Soria
  • Tim Stauffer
  • Huston Street
  • Matt Thornton
  • Ryan Webb
  • Wesley Wright
  • Brad Ziegler

Here's my take. First things first: I'm basically ruling out everyone on the wrong side of 30, because the odds are, they are declining, or will be before too much longer. Free-agent contracts don't reflect that: indeed, the later years tend to be the more expensive ones, and it makes no sense to pay more for worse performance. I also ruled out any relievers, because I think spending big money on and/or trading for such a volatile position is a fool's errand. We should be able to fill the gaps from what we have coming up through the farm system. I've split the difference, and gone for one starting pitcher and one position player.

Starting pitcher. It's a numbers game with young pitchers: the more you have, the better. So, I don't expect all of Blair, Bradley, Lopez, Shipley and Toussaint to flame out, but equally, I don't expect all of them to reach their ceiling.  The odds are, at least one (and likely more than that) will encounter an issue that makes a free-agent a better source of production. Maeda is interesting, but when you're looking at committing possibly a nine-figure sum, I would want someone with proven ability to get major-league hitters out. The three top starters who'll be 30 or younger in 2016 are Johnnie Cueto, David Price and Jordan Zimmermann, and it's the last-named whom I'd pick.

Position player. Difficult, because there are so many question-marks. As well as O'Brien, is Yasmany Tomas able to handle third-base? Are David Peralta and Ender Inciarte one-season wonders? Will Aaron Hill rebound, and if so, does he get traded? It's very, very hard to say where the biggest hole in the Diamondbacks will be by the end of 2015. However, unless O'Brien is defensively at the level of a traffic-cone, I think the team will give him time, and we have options at second, e.g. Brandon Drury. I suspect one of our OF may not sustain, and while re-signing Justin Upton would amuse, the best among the free-agents is clearly Jayson Heyward, who will still only be 26 in 2016.