Diamondbacks Mailbag: Solving A Complex OF Situation
By Joseph Jacquez
It’s almost Christmas, and we thought this would a perfect time to answer some questions about your Arizona Diamondbacks. Thanks to our loyal readers for submitting questions on twitter! Let’s dive in!
1. Randy K. @CubsnDbacks
Let’s say Tomas doesn’t work out at 3rd base and goes to LF. Where does Trumbo go assuming Peralta in RF Pollock CF?
First of all, I’m really not sure if Tomas will be a good fit at the hot corner. Most scouts that I talk to believe he is best served as a corner outfielder, even though his body build is similar to Pablo Sandoval, who has had success at third. The Dbacks will give him a look.
That being said, Dbacks General Manager Dave Stewart has indicated many times in the past that the Dbacks will not trade Trumbo. Plus I just don’t see any team taking on his contract, after his injury riddled season. He is projected to make $5.7 million in arbitration. If we do trade Trumbo, we would have to eat most of his salary.
Assuming that Stewart sticks to his word, Trumbo will probably play right-field where he is more comfortable. A.J Pollock like you indicated is a lock to play in center. That leaves David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, and Cody Ross to platoon in left, and backup Trumbo in right. If Tomas wows at third, it would make things a lot easier.
Of course, teams can never have enough depth, but the Dbacks are going to have to deal an outfielder at some point to clear the logjam. The Mariners might have interest in Trumbo’s right-handed power, but Trumbo will probably be patrolling right when the season begins.
2. Randy K. @CubsnDbacks
Would the Cubs and Dbacks entertain a Mark Trumbo for Travis Wood and Wellington Castillo swap?
Again, I don’t think that Trumbo will get traded, considering what Stewart has said. However, the Dbacks could consider moving him if they get the right offer.
This could be one of those types of offers that would be hard to pass up. Wood is a young starting pitcher, who has had a lot of success already at the major-league level. 2014 was a down year for him, ending up with a 5.03 era in 173.2 innings, but he is durable, and he is left-handed which would add some versatility to the Dbacks rotation.
He isn’t a free agent till 2017, and at age 27 he hasn’t even entered his prime. Meanwhile Castillo is a young controllable catcher who is average behind the plate and with the bat.
The Cubs haven’t shown any interest in Trumbo, and I don’t think they would be willing to take on his contract considering he doesn’t get on base very much, and he strikes out way to much.
3. Susan M. @shorrai
How active will the Diamondbacks be on the international market?
Great question Susan. The Diamondbacks in the recent past, especially with this new front office, has shown that they plan on being very active on the international market. That started last March when the Dbacks took part in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia.
The signing of Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas to the largest contract in franchise history validated their intentions. I think when the international signing period comes around they will be very active.
For whats it worth, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com tweeted this week that the Dbacks front office was looking at prospects in the Dominican Republic while visiting Tomas.
4. Susan M. @shorrai
Will we have a true ace this season?
The Diamondbacks are interested and have had internal talks with James Shields and Max Scherzer, arguably the two best free agents left. Both would command a lot of money, but sometimes you have to spend money to get something special.
Scherzer and Shields would certainly be an upgrade for the Dbacks rotation, and would provide some leadership for a relatively young staff.
As I wrote in a previous post, the impact of Shields or Scherzer would be tremendous: “Only two starters pitched more than 115 innings last season, not counting Miley who was traded to the Red Sox. Additionally, just two of the seven starters that made at least 14 starts for the Dbacks managed an era below 4.00.
If the rotation remained the same, Trevor Cahill, according to Beyond the Boxscore, would lead the Dbacks staff in 2015 with an fWAR of 1.2. Scherzer had a WAR of 5.7, and Shields had a 3.7 WAR.
The Dbacks have cleared up $16 million in payroll this offseason. Shields market is starting to develop. The Giants, Yankees, and Red Sox are involved, and when big market teams get involved, his price is only going to go up.
The Yankees say that their not in on Scherzer, but it’s the Yankees, and they need an ace. Scherzer’s agent Scott Boras is demanding $200 million plus for him, and there is no way the Dbacks are going to pay that kind of money.
Ultimately I think the Dbacks are going to wait till next winter. Stewart says he likes next yesr’s free agent pitching market better. David Price and Johnny Cueto could be avaliable.
5. Anna B. @CrazyDbacksfan6
What do you think the 2015 Dbacks lineup will look like?
This is another great question! If the outfield stays this way, it will be tough to construct a lineup on a daily basis for manager Chip Hale.
Then there is the question of where Yasmany Tomas plays if he even starts the season in the majors. The Dbacks have stated they will give him a look at third. He could start the season in the minors.
I honestly don’t think the Dbacks payed the largest contract in team history to Tomas intending him to start in Reno or Mobile.
As far as the mess in the OF goes, unless they trade one a platoon might be the best solution especially if Tomas doesn’t work out at third.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think Trumbo is a good fit for this team, and he just makes everything hard to figure out! Thanks KT!
According to FanGraphs, Peralta hit .312 against right-handed pitching, but just .197 against southpaws. Meanwhile, Trumbo hits much better against left-handed pitching. Inciate was about the same, and Ross kills lefties.
The Dbacks could platoon Ross and Trumbo in right, Pollock in center, and Inciarte and Peralta platooning in left. They could also platoon Peralta and Trumbo in right given massive split differences against righties/lefties (Peralta: 132/38 wRC+, Trumbo: 83/115). However, the Dbacks have also indicated that they want Trumbo in the lineup every day. This is with Tomas playing third which of course makes it easier.
The National League doesn’t have a DH, which makes things even more complicated. Dumping Ross would make things easier, but we shall see. If Jake Lamb can show some positional flexibility that would help.
Here is a rough idea of what I think the Dbacks lineup could look like with Tomas playing third. (I really have no idea at this point)
vs. LHP pitching:
LF Ender Inciarte
CF A.J. Pollock
SS Chris Owings
1B Paul Goldschmidt
RF Mark Trumbo/Cody Ross
2B Aaron Hill/Jake Lamb?
3B Jake Lamb
C Tuffy Gosewisch
vs. RHP pitching:
1. CF A.J. Pollock
2. SS Chris Owings
3. LF David Peralta
4. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
5. RF Mark Trumbo
6. 3B Yasmany Tomas
7. 2B Aaron Hill/Jake Lamb?
8. C Tuffy Gosewisch
9. Starting pitcher
Again I really have no idea. Just going based off the splits. The Dbacks have a lot of options and something has to be done to clean up the mess. All I know is that a Goldschmidt-Trumbo-Tomas middle of the order would be something special!
We love our readers! Thanks for the interaction and to those of you that submitted questions! Leave any Dbacks questions in the comments section for our next mailbag!