What Can the Arizona Diamondbacks Afford in Free Agency?
Oct 28, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) throws a pitch against the New York Mets in the 9th inning in game two of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
With all that said, as long as the Diamondbacks are smart with their money, they could afford a couple of high-priced free agents. Was David Price ever a real option? Doubtful. He signed the largest pitching contract in history, weighing in at a cool 7-years at $31 million per year. If the reports that Johnny Cueto declined a 6-year, $20 million per year offer by the Diamondbacks are true, you have to believe it has to do with the deal Price signed.
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Could the Diamondbacks make a run at trading for Shelby Miller and then paying him enough to keep him? Maybe, but reports are that everyone is interested, which means some team will ante up the farm to get him. Maybe the Diamondbacks can work something out since the Braves have been solid trade partners in recent years, but maybe not. On one hand, the Diamondbacks have an allegedly strong farm system and teams don’t want to sell the farm. On the other hand, that farm system has not produced in the last couple seasons and it’s trade value may never be higher.
If I were to put odds on it, signing two $15-20 million type pitchers and a $8-10 million reliever makes sense. In the starting pitcher category, you can think of guys like Wei-Yin Chen, Jeff Samardzija, Tim Lincecum, John Lackey, Dan Haren, Yovani Gallardo, and Gavin Floyd. As for relievers, Tyler Clippard, Joakim Soria, and Darren O’Day are the only guys I could see getting that kind of money from the Diamondbacks.
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Do they make another push at Cueto? Maybe. Do they make a run at Zack Grienke? Highly Doubtful. I would not be surprised if Grienke signs a contract richer than Price just signed.
One thing is certain though: the Diamondbacks need better pitching to compete. So, they must sign someone (or a couple would be better) to improve because there is no guarantee, based on past results, that any of the prospects in the system could help in the coming season.