When it comes to trades and players leaving in free agency, the Arizona Diamondbacks seem to have some bad luck.
Just take a look at trades that did not work our for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Max Scherzer is the headline of transactions that didn’t go Arizona’s way. At the same time, there were plenty of former Arizona Diamondbacks that had productive seasons in 2016.
First, Didi Gregorious finally proved to Yankee fans that he can be a franchise shortstop. His slash line is .276/.304/.447 with power numbers finally showed up with 20 homers and 70 RBI’s. His defense is also above average and his strong arm is always a plus.
A former infielder from the 2014 Arizona team that had another great year was Martin Prado with the Marlins. For reward of a .305 batting average, 37 doubles and 75 RBIs, Prado recently signed a 3-year deal worth a reported $40 million. Versatility has been his calling card in the past, but this year his contact tool has been his biggest asset.
White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton, who played with Prado and Gregorious in Sedona Red, had a career year. He finished with a .285 batting average. His offense wasn’t the only thing that stood out. A move to right field as allowed him to use his speed effectively. His 20 defensive runs saved is proof of a strong arm and range in right field. Considering the Diamondbacks basically received nothing out of the trade (Eaton and Mark Trumbo were part of a three-team transaction), this deal is one former GM Dave Stewart may not wish to put on his resume.
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This leads to the next former Arizona player Mark Trumbo. He led the Major Leagues in homers with 47, and emerged as one of the offensive leaders in a high powered Orioles line-up. Trumbo’s defensive skills remains little to note, but his power numbers rose. That could portend well for Trumbo, and he seeks a large contract.
Elsewhere, outfielder Ender Inciarte, had a solid year with the Braves, and battled injuries during the first half of the season. He hit .291/.351/.381, and stole 16 bases in 131 games. With defense as a principal strength, Inciarte contributed with 15 defense runs saved.
Although these position players seem like a mistake, pitchers leaving the Diamondbacks in recent seasons appear to hurt more.
The Nationals’ Max Scherzer is obvious a hard pill to swallow, and his story has been told repeatedly.
The bullpen was been just as big of an issue as the starting rotation. Several former relievers had great 2016 seasons.
Consider the Astros’ Will Harris, and a member of the American League All-Star team, and Addison Reed of the Mets. Harris appeared in 66 games out of the Houston bullpen with a 2.25 ER.A His strikeouts were up to this year with a 9.7 K/9 rate. This is the second solid year in a row that Harris has turned in for the Astros.
Reed had an even better year with a 1.97 ERA and 10.6 K/9. This was no secret Reed struggled with his command in Phoenix. Yet, he seemed to turn it around with a 1.5 BB/9 rate during the 2016 season in Citi Field. His BB/9 in 2014 was 2.3 and 3.1 in 20r15 while pitching for Arizona.
Like Reed, Trevor Cahill struggled for Arizona as a starter, but recovered this year for the Cubs. He had a 2.76 ERA in 50 games with the Cubs, and pitched mainly out of the bullpen. One thing to consider was his high walk rate and recorded at 4.8 per 9 innings. That is very high although he kept runs to a minimum.
Then, there’s Jeremy Hellickson, who had a solid year with the Phillies. He posted his lowest ERA (3.71) since 2012. The target of trade rumors all season, Hellickson’s name could also float around during the coming off-season.
Although this seems like the Diamondbacks lost many good players, teams do dump players who bounce back. Fans usually have a short memory when it comes to Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Bauer, Justin Upton and others.