With the season in the rear view mirror, the 2015 offseason is in full swing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and that means it’s almost time for the crazy period known as free agency.
Five days after either the Kansas City Royals or New York Mets win a World Series championship, the free agency period in Major League Baseball begins. General managers, Presidents of Baseball Operations, other organization personnel and media insiders alike are preparing for a period of activity with very little sleep.
This is going to be fun but at the same time the D-backs have clear goals in mind of how to improve this team, and general manager Dave Stewart and President of Baseball Operations Tony La Russa have the money to meet those goals.
Starting Pitching, Starting Pitching, and more Starting Pitching!!!
That ultimately was the D-backs only weakness in 2015 and in my mind is the only thing stopping them from being a playoff contender come 2016.
Several options including Mike Leake were pointed out nicely by my colleague Tom Lynch a few days ago.
Here is one more name that the D-backs should strongly consider: Cardinals RHP John Lackey.
Lackey, a veteran of 13 seasons in the Majors is coming off one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 37! In 2015 Lackey made thirty-three starts which led the National League and he finished with 218 innings pitched, good for 4th in the N.L. He did this while compiling a 13-10 record and an ERA of 2.77 with a excellent 175/53 K/BB ratio. He did allow 21 home runs, a number he will have to improve in if he is going to pitch at Chase Field. It seems that Lackey has gotten better with age. Over the past three seasons the veteran has averaged 202 innings with a 3.35 ERA.
Lackey isn’t going to cost as much as some of the premium pitchers on the market will and he can still slot in at the top of the rotation. His experience and leadership in the clubhouse will be an added plus for the team’s young pitching staff.
Signing a veteran like Lackey will also give the D-backs an opportunity to pursue other key offseason priorities including extending A.J. Pollock. If Stewart and company decided to sign Zack Greinke they wouldn’t have the funds to do that.
I don’t see any reason why the Arizona Diamondbacks shouldn’t pursue John Lackey aggressively. Look for the D-backs to be linked to him over the coming weeks and months.