2 years and 5 days ago I wrote a fanpost advocating for the team to embark on a rebuild. The article and the comments are worth a read to better assess the point of today’s article.
The team was coming off it’s 3rd straight losing season and hadn’t had a winning season since 2011. It was already evident that the farm system was not strong and not going to deliver enough talent to the major leagues to sustain a strong roster beyond the service time of the players they had hitting free agency in a couple of years.
The timing seemed right to me, because at that moment they were in a position to truly maximize their returns. Paul Goldschmidt still had 3 years of control, A. J. Pollock had 2, & Jean Segura had 2. They could have gotten huge prospect hauls at that point for this group of players. And the money saved could have been used to eat some of Zack Greinke and Yasmany Tomas contracts, making it possible to get at least something back for them . (Tomas coming off a 30 homer season might have had some trade value perhaps, if you ate enough money). I argued if the team continued to wait, there would be ever diminishing returns in any future selloff due to the reduced years of control. And thats how it has played out. The “Rebuild Window” was widest at that point. Now, not so much.
It wasn’t a perfectly thought out plan, and in the comments section there was some good discussion and back and forth. Not every aspect of the timing worked out like I thought of course, but the gist of it was correct and intact.
In 2017 the team surprised me and many others (but not everyone) by making the playoffs as a Wild Card team and winning an exiting WC game before getting swept in the divisional playoffs. The 2018 team was in contention for a playoff spot for most of the year, (although it felt quite shaky ever since May). In the end they collapsed and won just 82 games. The Dodgers have won 6 straight Division titles, have more pre arb top level talent and a deeper farm system than the DBacks, and of course more money than any team in the National League.
The Diamondbacks come to a crossroads where the rebuild assets are greatly diminished, there are no impact prospects about to reach the majors, they have a bloated payroll, and face an uncertain future. Should they rebuild, retool, go all in ....who knows ?!?! Opinion is as divided as ever on that. And frankly that’s probably because NONE of the plans presented really give one much confidence for success. The deep dives exposed the reality of the situation.
My question for today though is simply was the 2017 Wild Card game and 5 months of rather tortuous 2018 contention worth it ? They were never really close to a championship team in my opinion, but they did win a lot of games and there were entertaining moments. Had they gone with a rebuild as I suggested surely the team would have been terrible in the won loss column these past 2 years. It would have been painful to watch for all but the most die hard prospect junkies and player development aficionados.
But they also would have, if executed properly, a rebuild that was heading into the 3rd year and starting to bear fruit. They would have also had much higher draft picks for these couple of years to keep the pipeline full well into the 2020’s . They’d have a young, cost controllable roster and money to burn in free agency now in 2019 to speed up the process. In short, they almost certainly would be in better shape than they are now for 2019 and going forward.
Or am I completely wrong. The rewards of sticking with it the last 2 years brought some exciting baseball, and lots of entertainment value. We’ll always have Archie’s triple. And who’s to say they can’t successfully navigate the narrow path they have at the moment ? Rebuilds suck. Full Stop.
What say ye ?
Was it worth it to put off the rebuild ?
This poll is closed
Yes, the excitement and moments of 2017-18 worth putting off the rebuild
No, the team didn’t get far enough and now face difficult future