2024 Free Agency: 3 cheap options that would upgrade the Diamondbacks rotation

Veteran pitching wins World Series titles.  Right?
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

After last night’s goosebump-inducing victory in NY, the Diamondbacks now sit comfortably in the 3rd NL wild card spot; 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins and Giants.

The bullpen pitched 5 flawless innings, and Tommy Pham and Ketel Marte played hero with some clutch hits in the 8th and 9th.  To close things out (pun intended), Paul Sewald somehow escaped a man on 3rd with 1 out jam to save the day.

Tip your cap!  It was another impressive win for Arizona on Monday night.  Their pitching has surprisingly led this team as of late.  Over the last 15 days, the D-backs pitching staff has the 10th-best ERA in the league.  The offense has been lackluster, but they have scored enough to win games.  Grit, grit, and more grit.

I know everybody is solely focused on the race to the postseason right now, but it’s always fun to dream about the future.  The D-backs rotation has been a sore spot for most of the season, and it is likely that Hazen and the front office will want to upgrade it via free agency.

Taking into consideration that Arizona is the 10th poorest team in baseball, we probably won’t see any superstars land a contract with this club.  Therefore, cheap options are needed.  Allow me to present 3 options that if signed would put a smile on everyone's face…

Padres Seth Lugo would upgrade the Diamondbacks rotation

SP Seth Lugo would be a perfect fit for this Arizona rotation.

Lugo is 33 years of age, and on his way to being 34.  The seasoned veteran began his big league career in 2016 with the NY Mets and would end up pitching for them through the 2022 season.  

With the Mets, Lugo was mainly used as a high-leverage bullpen arm but the Padres had other ideas for him in 2023.

This season with San Diego, all of Lugo’s appearances (23) have been starts.  In 23 starts, Lugo has pitched 125.2 innings and has posted a 3.80 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP.

If Lugo is known for anything it is this; He virtually never walks batters.  Among all MLB pitchers, he is in the top 12% in walk percentage (5.7).  

A veteran arm with an impressive career ERA that also doesn’t give up free passes.  Sounds perfect to me!

( Lugo’s 2023 salary: $7,500,00 )

Brewers Wade Miley would upgrade the Diamondbacks rotation

How about another seasoned veteran for this young D-backs team!?

Believe it or not, Miley began his career with Arizona.  He debuted in 2011 and pitched for the Diamondbacks through the 2014 season.  

On December 12, 2014, the Diamondbacks traded Miley to the Red Sox in exchange for pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster as well as infielder Raymel Flores.

Miley has been really good over the last couple of years.  Here are his numbers since the 2021 season: 56 starts, 21-13 record, 303.2 IP, 3.32 ERA, 1.25 WHIP.

The 36-year-old has been lights out for Milwaukee in 2023.  He has the same ERA as Zac Gallen and the same WHIP as Max Scherzer.  A large reason for this is Miley rarely gives up hard contact.  He is in the top 9% in hard-hit percentage.

Soft contact, lots of ground balls, and a lefty arm to boot!

( Miley’s 2023 salary- $4,500,000 )

Padres Michael Wacha would upgrade the Diamondbacks rotation

Last but certainly not least, Michael Wacha.  Out of the 3 pitchers, Wacha is undoubtedly having the best season.

Wacha began his career in 2013 with the Cardinals.  His long St. Louis career ended after the 2019 season when the NY Mets signed him to a 1-year deal.  From 2020-2023, he has pitched for a different team every season.

Ironically, Wacha is having the best season of his life at the age of 32; 11 years into his career.  In 20 starts this season, he is 11-3 with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Baseball Savant indicates that things have really fallen his way this year.  His expected ERA (4.51) and expected on-base average (.327) are way higher than his actual numbers.  But hey, if a guy has an ERA under 3, I think he is doing something right.

Which veteran starter would you like to see join this rotation the most?

( Wacha’s 2023 salary- $6,500,000 )