Three bold free agents the Arizona Diamondbacks should go all in on

The Arizona Diamondbacks should get bold this off-season, and pursue these three top free agents.
Mar 21, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Japan starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (21) delivers a pitch during
Mar 21, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Japan starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (21) delivers a pitch during / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Rhys Hoskins

Right now, the Diamondbacks do not have a great answer at designated hitter. Maybe Ivan Melendez can solve that issue next year, or maybe Dominic Fletcher can fill the gap. But as of right now, MLB’s Diamondbacks depth chart currently does not list a player as the Diamondbacks’ DH. So why not go big and pursue Rhys Hoskins?

Hoskins missed all of 2023 due to an ACL tear. However, the last time he played, which was 2022, the first baseman was a very solid batter, slashing .246/.332/.462 with a .345 wOBA and 122 wRC+. His wRC+ in the four seasons prior to that was 123, so he was producing at about the same level despite posting an OPS below .800 for the first time in his career. Hoskins’ 10.7% walk rate was better than average but pales in comparison to his career average of 13.5%. He also struck out at a career-worst 25.1% rate.

2022 was a ‘down’ year, but only by Hoskins’ typically high standard. Hoskins looked to retake his position of first base for 2023, but an ACL tear in Spring Training brought his season to a standstill. Now, with the Phillies planning on using Bryce Harper at first base full-time and Kyle Schwarber at DH, it looks like they’ll move on from Hoskins.

Hoskins moving to DH full-time, at least in his first season back, may benefit him a lot. On top of coming back from an ACL tear, Hoskins was never that great defensively at first base. Throughout his career, Hoskins has had -7 defensive runs saved and -11 outs above average.

Hoskins is estimated to sign for two years at $36 million by MLB Trade Rumors, and the Athletic predicts he’ll sign for just one year at $12 million. That’s a pretty wide range of AAV for 2024. But a contract like MLBTR or the Athletic predicts wouldn’t block a line-up spot for Melendez or Gino Groover long term, assuming they develop properly and become productive big leaguers. Plus, it would give some added thump to the Diamondbacks’ line-up. Adding Hoskins to their roster would give them at least four guys (Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Corbin Carroll) who could all hit 25+ home runs next year.