Arizona Diamondbacks sign two players to minor league contracts

The Arizona Diamondbacks added two more players via minor league contracts on Wednesday.
Jun 24, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Kevin Newman (28) throws to first
Jun 24, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Kevin Newman (28) throws to first / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed a handful of different players to minor league contracts this winter. They’ve added a lot of organizational depth, and on Wednesday, they announced two more minor league signings. Both have Major League experience, with the first of the day being infielder Kevin Newman.

Newman spent the 2023 season with the Cincinnati Reds after they sent reliever Dauri Moreta to the Pittsburgh Pirates for him. Newman batted for a poor .253/.311/.364 triple-slash. He has always been a low strikeout player and had just a 13.4% K-rate last season. But he’s also never walked much and had just a 6.7% BB% through 253 plate appearances. He also had just a .111 isolated slugging percentage, but this did mark the first time he had an ISO of .100 or greater since his 2019 rookie season.

Newman saw playing time at all four infield positions, but shortstop and second base are his primary spots. Aside from 2021, when he had +7 defensive runs saved and +4 outs above average, he’s never graded out as a particularly good defensive infielder. But he does bring some utility. Another positive is that he had a solid .278/.349/.464 slash line and 115 wRC+ against left-handed pitching last year. But it wasn’t enough for the Reds to DFA Newman in September.

Diamondbacks sign INF Newman and LHP Allen to minor league contracts.

The second minor league signing was left-hander Logan Allen. Not to be confused with the Cleveland Guardians pitcher of the same name, this Logan Allen hasn’t found much success in the Major Leagues. A former top prospect, Allen has been part of two high-profile trades in his pro baseball career. The first was back in the 2015-2016 off-season when the Boston Red Sox sent him along with three other prospects for Craig Kimbrel. The second was at the 2019 trade deadline when the Padres sent him to Cleveland in the three-team swap involving Trevor Bauer, Franmil Reyes, and Yasiel Puig.

Allen last appeared in the big leagues in 2022 with the Baltimore Orioles. In 96 MLB innings, Allen has just a 5.89 ERA, 5.62 FIP, and 1.66 WHIP. Allen split the 2023 season with the Seattle Mariners’ and Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A affiliates, where he had a 5.77 ERA, 6.17 FIP, and 1.74 WHIP. But all 103 of his innings were pitched in the ultra hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Newman and Allen join Tucker Barnhart, Jose Castillo, Francisco Morales, and Ricky Karcher as other minor league signees who have Major League experience. While these two may not be set to take over an active roster spot next season, they do provide some solid depth that can be called upon if needed.