Based on recent comments, it appears the Arizona Diamondbacks are comfortable with Brad Ziegler as closer.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Arizona Diamondbacks were rumored to be in the market for a top-flight closer. Supposedly, they made an offer for Aroldis Chapman at the trading deadline, a deal would have included top pitching prospect Braden Shipley. The deal never materialized and the thought was Arizona would try to acquire one in the offseason either via trade or free agency. However, according to this article by Nick Piecoro at azcentral,that idea might have been scrapped, thanks in large part to the job done by Brad Ziegler.
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What changed? It seems that Ziegler’s 30 saves in 32 opportunities went a ways in altering Dave Stewart‘s thinking. What also might have played a role was the price the Boston Red Sox paid to get San Diego Padres’ stopper Craig Kimbrel which included two of Boston’s top ten prospects according to mlb.com. As Stewart says:
"With Ziegler doing the job that he has, I am looking to better ourselves more than likely in the front end versus the back end (of the bullpen)"
His thoughts on giving up players in order to land a closer:
"I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m just not in the mood to give up three or four players for one guy at the back end of my bullpen."
Is this public posturing by Stewart in order to perhaps drive down a potential trading partner’s asking price? Or are we to believe that the D-backs are now steadfast in their refusal to give up any top young players for a closer?
I really hope that Stewart is sincere in his desire not to trade anyone of value for a ninth inning guy. I have written that there is no need to trade or sign for one because of the number of internal options the Snakes have. Ziegler was tremendous taking over from Addison Reed and Andrew Chafin and Daniel Hudson proved to be capable bridges. If the team wants to move Ziegler back into an eighth inning role, Hudson or even Randall Delgado could serve as the closer. I also wrote that there are options they can be acquired via trade that won’t require giving up a bounty in prospects.
If you still believe Arizona needs a Chapman or a Kimbrel to be their solution at the back of the bullpen, ask yourself this. How many more games would have they won last year with one of them there? Would they have been that much of a better team? Also, the San Francisco Giants have won three World Series over the last six seasons, each time with a different guy closing out games. In fact, it was a starting pitcher, Madison Bumgarner, that recorded the final out of their last World Series victory. I am not saying it is not important to have someone reliable finishing off contests. I am saying the D-backs should have to give up the farm to get it, particularly when there is someone now who can do it.