Three free agents that could make the Arizona Diamondbacks National League West favorites

The Arizona Diamondbacks could target these three free agents to make themselves National League West favorites.

Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) pitches to
Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) pitches to / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 9, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28)
Oct 9, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

J.D. Martinez

The Diamondbacks need a designated hitter, and J.D. Martinez is one of the best out there. Martinez already had a stint with the Diamondbacks in 2017, where he hit 29 home runs in just 62 games. He then went on to play the next five seasons with the Boston Red Sox. His tenure with the BoSox didn’t come to a strong end, however. The Dodgers signed him to a one-year deal, and he has put up his best season since 2019.

In 479 plate appearances, Martinez batted .271/.321/.572 with a .369 wOBA and 139 wRC+. Martinez hit for an immense amount of power. His .301 isolated slugging percentage is his best rate since 2017, and for the second time in his career, he’s posted an ISO above .300. In total, he went yard 33 times. While his 7.1% walk rate and 31.1% strikeout rate were career worsts, there was an evident change in approach.

Martinez sold out for power and flyballs. His 93.4 MPH exit velocity, 54.8% hard-hit rate, and 17% barrel rate were the best in his career, and all ranked in the 98th percentile of batters. His 16.8-degree launch angle is also the second-highest of his career. But his 34.4% whiff rate was also a career-high, and not by a small margin (4.3% to be exact).

Signing Martinez would, of course, be a major addition to the Diamondbacks’ line-up. But more importantly, it steals one of the Dodgers’ best hitters from 2023. Martinez had the third-highest OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ on the Dodgers last season, trailing just Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman (min. 300 PAs). His home run total was the third highest on the Dodgers’ roster and surpassed Freeman by four. 

Adding Martinez would bring the Diamondbacks a 30+ home run hitter with the potential of posting an OPS approaching .900. Think of how many runs JDM would drive in if he hit behind Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte. Heck, think how many home runs Martinez and Christian Walker could combine for. You could see them approach 70 combined dingers.