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SnakePit Round Table: Winter is here

It’s cold, even here in Arizona...

Snowstorm In Krakow, Poland Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Are you concerned by the lack of moves from Arizona so far?

Spencer: On the contrary, I’m pleased Hazen & Co. have shown restraint. It would have been easy to replicate November/December 2015 already and feel good about the status of the 2023 roster. To me, this shows Hazen values the cash and talent on the team in correct ways (or at minimum, doesn’t undervalue them at least). The work is by no means done as a result, but there’s plenty of offseason left to make intelligent moves.

Missing on Joe Jimenez disappointed me and I hope it was a balk at giving up a prospect of Justyn-Henry Malloy’s caliber+ and not because they were busy chasing Bogaerts.

DBacksEurope: Not concerned, but disappointed. It basically shows what this FO has been doing for a couple of years now: stay pat and see what comes. Let’s hope they make a couple of interesting trades.

Makakilo: Patience is good. Action is good. Hopefully, walking the middle path between patience and action will be the most rewarding path.

ISH95: Considering my top three acquisitions are already off the table (DeGrom, Verlander, and Trea Turner), I’m very disappointed.

Back on planet earth, not really. Most of the free agents we could be reasonably expected to be chasing are still out there, and the trade market hasn’t gotten going yet. I am disappointed that Senga didn’t happen despite us being rumored to be in contact. 5 yrs and 75 million was surprisingly reasonable for a pitcher of his potential, in my opinion

Justin: I am with Spencer. I was hoping they didn’t make an “itchy trigger finger” move… a move because they think they HAVE to make one. I am glad Hazen is showing constraint.

What do you think of the Miguel Castro signing?

Spencer: Seems pretty low risk to me. $3.5m ain’t exactly cheap, but also, in 2023 it’s basically cheap for a baseball team. I don’t know much about him, but I’m excited to see if he can be better than we had last year (can’t really be worse right?...right?).

DBacksEurope: Might be better than Reyes Moronta, but apart from that I don’t see the upside. Scrap heap signings and pray they work out.

Makakilo: I very much liked the signing because he is the type of pitcher I would sign. Reasons follow:

This AZ Snake Pit article lists what I would look for in a reliever. Miguel Castro has much of it including:

  • Age 27 (less than 30).
  • Fastball Velocity 97.9 MPH (>94 MPH).
  • His SO/BB ratio of 2 approached the desired ratio of 3.

What I like most: 13.4 % of his pitches resulted in whiffs, which is above the average in the Majors.

What I also liked: 33.0 % of his pitches resulted in either whiffs or called strikes, which was comparable to David Bednar, who had the best statistics of the four pitchers considered in the article.

ISH95: don’t really know a whole lot about him, but at first glance, he seems to be another in a long line of bullpen reclamation projects so not thrilled. He’s got better velo and younger than Hazen’s typical signing, which is a plus.

Justin: I am alright with it.

Aaron Judge; Trea Turner; Xander Bogaerts. $940 million in contracts. Which will end up being best and worst?

Spencer: Bogaerts in Xan Diego will be the best. Mostly because he doesn’t have Judge’s injury history and doesn’t rely on speed like Turner. Too rich for my taste, but of those three, I’d take him. I think Turner will be worst because it’s a new team (no historic good will), and his speed could go at any time. If it goes early, this contract is going to be gross in just a few years. Especially on a roster as bloated as Philly’s is now. Judge just feels right. It’s too much money for someone his age, but he’s too important to the Yankees. If he’d signed elsewhere, he’d pass Turner for worst.

DBacksEurope: I think Bogaerts is a terrible overpay. I’d have loved to see him here but not with that contract. I think MLBTR was on the right side of what he is worth, but obviously he got much more. I believe Trea Turner’s is the best contract of those 3 although if you press me, I think all of those contracts are too long.

Makakilo: Best will be Xander Bogaerts. Longevity is important in long contracts. Often, shortstops have the longest careers per this AZ Snake Pit article. Although last season Bogaerts and Turner both played through injuries, my intuition was that Xander Bogaerts will hold up better over the years than Trea Turner.

Worst will be Aaron Judge. From 2018 to 2020, twice he missed playing time due to his calf muscles. Last season he missed playing time as a preventative measure due to lower body tightness (including his calf muscles) per this MLBcom article.

ISH95: I think a decade from now, fans of all three will be wishing the players aren’t on their teams. The contracts are much too long for all three players, and all three have pretty obvious reasons why they won’t be worth the roster spots by the end of them. Judge is a 280 pound slugger. Guys like that don’t typically age well. Turner relies on speed which is the first to go. Bogaerts has the fewest obvious red flags, but 11 years for a 30 year old shortstop with questionable defense is not my idea of a smart contract, even if he is willing to move to third.

As for the best, it all depends on what you’re looking for out of your signing.Turner and Bogarts are two of the best shortstops in the game right now, so for probably the next 3-4 years, the contracts will be great. Both have the potential to be the piece that pushes their team over the edge for a WS.

Judge buys the Yankees some of their prestige back. The Dodgers had stolen their thunder as the Evil Empire who always gets their way, but locking up a hotly contested homegrown star gives them some of that shine back. Plus, if you’re the Yankees, you can’t let him go chase single season home run records somewhere else. It’s one thing for Goldy to finally win the MVP after leaving the Diamondbacks. It would be another entire for Judge to break home run records elsewhere. It’s a matter of reputation at that point.

Justin: I guess I agree with ISH.

Justin Turner, Evan Longoria or neither at third-base for Arizona in 2023?

Spencer: I lean neither. But at the right price, I’m not opposed to either. Turner over Longo if I can choose.

DBacksEurope: The way this FO is crawling through the gutter, probably neither one of them.

Makakilo: Neither. The Diamondbacks are a young team, and they are 38 and 37 years old. And more importantly the Diamondbacks have bigger needs than third base.

ISH95: Maybe it’s the Stockholm syndrome talking, but I think this team could use some Gritty Veteraness who’s been there, done that. Lots of young players on this team, and I think it would be beneficial. I’d go with Turner in particular, since he was actually productive last season. 460 ABs for the “best team ever” is not something you luck into. Obviously the wrong side of 35 caveats apply, but if the price is right, I wouldn’t be supposed to some level of a multi-year deal.

Justin: Neither. I would like to see them give Rivera a chance to hold 3B and Rojas did it competently. Jeremy Young made some good points in the Unsung Heroes Nominations article regarding Rojas as well.

Which young outfielder - if any - gets traded this winter?

Spencer: Hopefully someone like Fletcher/Patino/Canzone for quality relief or backup catcher and that’s it?

But if I’m choosing a bigger name, I shop McCarthy since he could be a mirage. Thomas feels like selling low, Varsho feels too valuable to realistically get enough back, and why trade Carroll before he’s had his shot? We shouldn’t be anticipating competing in 2023, just eyeballing the Wildcards hoping we’ll be able to try for one come September. Carroll would be a foolish ALL-IN, MUST WIN NOW move.

My caveat to this idea: if you can truly get market value for Varsho, maybe you shop him. Jack’s article touching on finding the right big piece to add, making this team a contender is enticing. I doubt that piece is affordable on the open market for this team this winter, so perhaps we can find it as a return for Varsho in a trade. I’m skeptical, but it could happen.

DBacksEurope: Thomas moves to Oakland for Sean Murphy. They have nothing over there except for Murphy, so he makes a great fit in the outfield. I’d do it.

Makakilo: In this AZ Snake Pit article, I proposed trading Jake McCarthy and Buddy Kennedy for Danny Jansen. Jake McCarthy’s playing time with the Diamondbacks could be small because it’s likely the Diamondbacks’ primary outfielders will be Corbin Carroll (LF), Alek Thomas (CF), and Daulton Varsho (RF). Nevertheless, it bears noting that Torey Lovullo said Jake McCarthy took his game to the next level.

ISH95: Given his finish in ROTY and the higher-than-the-rest chance of it not being for real, I’d personally trade McCarthy. For the right deal, it still could be any of them, bar Carroll though.

Justin: I hope none, but I have a feeling it will be McCarthy. Varsho isn’t going anywhere, Thomas would be selling low before getting a real shot and trading Carroll would just be idiotic. Does any team want Pavin? Can… I go with that?

What are you doing for Christmas?

Spencer: Hoping not to get called into work so I can spend the day off with my brother and brother-in-law. We Facebook Portal the parents and open presents together.Then maybe go see a movie. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” might be one my BIL is willing to go see.

DBacksEurope: I am travelling across Europe to visit my parents in The Netherlands.

Makakilo: Friends will visit my house for vegetarian pizzas cooked on the grill (some with regular cheese and some with vegan cheese). We will talk and hopefully play my miniature curling game.

ISH95: Dad’s house is this Sunday, MIL is Christmas Eve after work, and my mom is on Christmas Day. We used to do all three in the span of about 24hrs, from 6pm Eve through Christmas Day, but that’s just too much. Spreading it out this year so hopefully we’re less exhausted. Then somewhere in there my wife and I are going to have a quiet dinner at home for our Christmas. I’m thinking Ribeye this year on my Apartment complex’s nice new gas grills they installed

Justin: I am not 100% sure yet, but usually my mom and stepdad have a large Christmas dinner, inviting neighbors. One of my moms friends is a lady in her early 70s from either Latvia or Estonia. She makes a Slavic dish I look forward to every year. Christmas in my family is more important or whatnot than Thanksgiving (and we are secular not religious). My mom has already told me Christmas dinner will be on the 26th though. I am not really sure of the reason, but since she is an RN and has always volunteered to work holidays for the holiday pay I am betting that is it. I do remember her telling me once, “I don’t have two little boys anymore.”