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The best one-season wonders in Arizona Diamondbacks history

Jean Segura had a heck of a year for Arizona. Where does it rank among others who only played one season here?

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In Diamondbacks history, 11 players who played for the team in just one campaign, have posted better than one bWAR. In ascending order of value, here they are:

11. Adam LaRoche: 2010: .261/.320/.468, 25 HR, 100 RBI, 1.1 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (1 year, $4.5 million)
Departed: Free agent (2 years, $15 million)
Arizona were looking for stability after nobody had started more than 56 games for them at 1B in 2009. They got it in LaRoche, who started 143 times there the following season. However, as for much of his career, Adam’s value at the plate was significantly diluted by his limited defense.

10. Felipe Lopez, 2009: .301/.364/.412, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 1.2 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (1 year, $3.5 million)
Departed: Traded to Brewers for Roque Mercedes + Cole Gillespie
Would have been much higher up if the list had he played the entire season here, but the second-baseman appeared in only 85 games for the D-backs. With the team out of it quickly, 18.5 games back by July 1, they decided to get something for Lopez, and dealt him to the Brewers. He hit ,320 and posted 2.0 bWAR there, but Milwaukee still missed the playoffs.

9. Jon Garland, 2009: 8-11, 4.29, 1.3 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (1 year, $6.25 million)
Departed: Traded to Dodgers for Tony Abreu
Much the same can be said for Garland, though his post-trade value for Los Angeles was lower, because his trade took place at the end of August. It actually occurred during a game with his new team, Jon being informed of the trade in the sixth inning. He swapped dugouts the next day, and made six starts for LA down the stretch, adding a further 0.3 bWAR.

8. Luiz Vizcaino, 2006: 4-6, 3.58 ERA, 1.4 bWAR

Arrived: Traded from the White Sox with Orlando Hernandez and Chris Young for Javier Vazquez.
Departed: Traded with Alberto Gonzalez, Steven Jackson and Ross Ohlendorf to the Yankees for Randy Johnson and cash.
The only reliever to make the list, Vizcaino both came and went as part of two significant trades; in between times, Luis was a linch-pin of the D-backs’ bullpen, albeit operating mostly in low-leverage situations. He appeared in 70 games and had a 132 ERA+, while striking out 72 in only 65.1 innings.

7. Albie Lopez, 2001: 4-7, 4.00, 1.5 bWAR

Arrived: Traded from the Rays with Mike Difelice for Nick Bierbrodt and Jason Conti
Departed: Free agent (1 year, $4 million)
When you think of the pitchers who started for us in the 2001 post-season, Lopez is the one most people would forget. Which is understandable, because he went 0-2 with a 9.95 ERA in the playoffs that year. But he put up a respectable 117 ERA+ in the regular season after arriving from Tampa Bay, as the second-half #4 behind Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Miguel Batista.

6. Rick Helling, 2002: 10-12, 4.51 ERA, 2.0 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (1 year, $3 million)
Departed: Free agent (1 year, $1 million)
Helling could be considered Lopez’s replacement the following year, the team signing him after trying and failing to land David Wells. Rick performed up to expectations, delivering the durability the D-backs wanted when they signed him. Helling was part of a solid rotation which saw those front four starters each throw over 175 innings with an ERA+ above 100.

5. Javier Vazquez, 2005: 11-15, 4.42 ERA, 2.1 bWAR

Arrived: From the Yankees with Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and cash for Randy Johnson
Departed: To the White Sox for Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino and Chris Young
Vazquez is remembered most for the worst Opening Day outing in franchise history, starting a horrendous 16-6 mauling by the Cubs. His next two starts were little better, and he had an 11.77 ERA in mid-April. But over the remaining 30, he threw over 200 innings with a 3.95 ERA, and Vazquez remains the most valuable single-season pitcher in franchise history.

4. Reggie Sanders, 2001: .263/.337/.549, 33 HR, 90 RBI, 3.2 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (1 year, $1.5 million)
Departed: Free agent (1 year, $1.75 million)
One of the last pieces of our World Series winning team, he signed with Arizona in January and was the team’s everyday right-fielder. Sanders was a particularly potent force in the NLDS against St. Louis, where he had a 1.113 OPS, but didn’t appear in Game 7 against the Yankees at all. Reggie also made the World Series in both 2002 and 2004, but with less happy endings, as a member of the Giants and Cardinals.

3. Troy Glaus, 2005: .258/.363/.522, 37 HR, 97 RBI, 3.4 bWAR

Arrived: Free agent (4 years, $45 million)
Departed: To the Blue Jays with Sergio Santos for Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson.
This one is more than a little like Segura, in some ways. Glaus had several more years of team control, and had performed very well in his single year for us, leading the team in both home-runs and RBI. However, Arizona had a younger, cheaper replacement available at the hot corner in Chad Tracy, who had hit .308 with 27 HR, mostly at first, and needed starting pitching more than Glaus’s offense.

2. Devon White, 1998: .279/.335/.456, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 3.7 bWAR

Arrived: From the Marlins for Jesus Martinez
Departed: Free agent (3 years, $12.4 million)
White was close to the most valuable player on the Diamondbacks inaugural season, and was the team’s first All-Star. The 35-year-old started 141 games in center, and combined good defense with solid offensive production for his highest WAR since 1993. The D-backs got the best of him; White signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Dodgers, but was worth only 1.4 bWAR over the three seasons it covered.

1. Jean Segura, 2016: .319/.368/.499, 20 HR, 64 RBI, 5.7 bWAR

Arrived: From the Brewers with Tyler Wagner for Isan Diaz, Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill and cash
Departed: To the Mariners with Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte
Yep, by a margin of two whole wins, Segura’s 2016 has been unmatched among the “one and done” crowd so far. Not bad, considering certain ESPN pundits wrote at the time that Arizona would regret the acquisition... Segura hit for power, for average, was active on the bases and a Gold Glove finalist: hard to ask anything more of him. He’ll be missed in 2017, and we’ll have to hope others will step up to replace Jean.

Putting it all together and adding a couple of other names, I present the following team of All-time Best One-Year Diamondbacks

  1. Jean Segura, 2B (2016, 5.7 bWAR)
  2. Devon White, CF (1998, 3.7 bWAR)
  3. Reggie Sanders, RF (2001, 3.2 bWAR)
  4. Troy Glaus, 3B (2005, 3.4 bWAR)
  5. Adam LaRoche, 1B (2010, 1.1 bWAR)
  6. Collin Cowgill, LF (2011, 0.8 bWAR)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (2015, 0.8 bWAR)
  8. Royce Clayton, SS (2005, 0.1 bWAR)
  9. Javier Vazquez, P (2005, 2.1 bWAR)