New TV Deal Means No Excuses for Diamondbacks Front Office
By Joseph Jacquez
When Tony La Russa took over as the Diamondbacks front office as the franchise’s first ever Chief Baseball Officer, the one thing that he repeated over and over again is he isn’t interested in waiting very long to win.
“There’s two or three things that we can do — some of the conversations Dave’s had — if all three or four things come through then yeah we’d get better than 82 wins,” La Russa said.
“If we can only do one, we’ll see. I think the message that we’re careful to send to our fans is that we are not a patient bunch. We are not going to ask them to hang with us for four or five years.”
President Derrick Hall said back in July on the Doug and Wolf show on arizonasports 98.7 F.M. that this process wouldn’t be a two or three year rebuild:
“Any moves that we make, and we are going to make more moves, they have to be in those areas where we have depth and areas where we think we can strengthen ourselves as early as next year.” “I want to make it perfectly clear, we’re not looking at a two to three-year rebuild here.”
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The 2014 season was unfortunate, and most of it can be attributed to injuries to key players at the wrong times.
Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez were injured before the team got on the plane to go to Sydney, A.J. Pollock was injured when he was getting hot, Chris Owings got injured who everybody was talking about him as a frontrunner for N.L. Rookie of the Year.
Oh yah and Paul Goldschmidt was i injured for the final two months of the season. Are you seeing a pattern?
This team has the core in place to compete this year if everything falls into place.
If this team didn’t have Pollock, Owings, Goldschmidt, and the young pitching in the germ system, then maybe this team could consider doing a two or three year rebuild.
However, given this team’s talent, a two or three year rebuild would be a tough sell for fans. The Diamondbacks don’t want to be patient.
This franchise’s new TV deal makes it an even harder sell.
In case you missed the news, the Diamondbacks and Fox Sports agreed on a $1.5 billion dollar contract through the next 20 years. Hall called it a financial game changer:
“This is game-changing for us,” Hall said. “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.”
Owner Ken Kendrick and the front office can’t make excuses anymore. If this team improves this year and wins between 76-82 games this season, then there is no reason why the Diamondbacks shouldn’t be aggressive, have a payroll over $100 million, and compete with big market teams to lure top free agents next winter.
This team has all the resources it needs to go out and get a veteran no.1 starter next winter, and if they fail to get it done, something is wrong, and the fans aren’t going to be pleased.
My point is it’s great that this team was able to get this deal done, but it’s useless if the team doesn’t use the extra dollars to improve this team, and be aggressive in free agency.