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Arizona Diamondbacks: Top 5 First Base Contenders

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PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Pavin Smith #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks takes batting practice for the MLB game against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on September 23, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Pavin Smith #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks takes batting practice for the MLB game against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on September 23, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Adrian Gonzalez

The Diamondbacks reportedly have some interest in veteran Adrian Gonzalez, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). There’s no real reason to believe Adrian Gonzalez, at age 37 (in May), is geared up for a resurgence, no matter what Buster Olney says.

With the Mets last season, Gonzalez hit .237/.299/.373 in surprisingly regular playing time through 54 games. That marks the second straight campaign where Gonzalez failed to slug over .400 SLG, which is a problem for an immobile first baseman. If Gonzalez can’t slug better than .400, it’s hard to imagine what value he’s adding to your ballclub.

Granted, I can’t imagine the Diamondbacks would seriously consider Adrian Gonzalez as a starter at first, not when he wouldn’t seem to bring much back as a trade piece in July. If I’m being generous, on a minimum salary deal as a clubhouse presence who takes the at-bats otherwise earmarked for a Christian Walker type, a Gonzalez signing could be palatable, if nonsensical.

In sum, Jake Lamb is likely to get most of the first half at-bats, as well he should, but the soonest the Diamondbacks are able to get something of value for him, they should. Kevin Cron had an excellent season in Triple A last season, and if there’s momentum there, the Dbacks should seize on it. If they end up waiting half a year before giving Cron significant run, that’s not the end of the world.

I don’t see the value in Christian Walker or Adrian Gonzalez getting anything more than emergency at bats, but Justin Smoak is a viable trade candidate, assuming they don’t have to surrender a top prospect to get him.

Next. The Paul Goldschmidt Trade. dark

Imagine the Blue Jays ask for Kevin Cron (which they wouldn’t, btw, because of Tellez). Is Arizona’s #20 prospect per MLB.com worth a year of Smoak at $8MM?

Not a chance. To me, that says it all.

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