Grading the Arizona Diamondbacks’ off-season moves

Let's review each of the moves the Arizona Diamondbacks have made this off-season.
Arizona Diamondbacks Press Conference
Arizona Diamondbacks Press Conference / Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/GettyImages
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Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez holds up his jersey with GM Mike Hazen
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez holds up his jersey with GM Mike Hazen / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

Signing Eduardo Rodriguez

The D-Backs needed to add at least one starter to the rotation, and they did it in a big way. Eduardo Rodriguez was one of the top starting pitching free agents available, and the D-Backs signed him to a four-year deal valued at $80 million. His contract also includes a fifth-year mutual option at $17 million but a $6 million buyout.

The veteran lefty pitched just 91 innings with a 96 ERA+ in 2022 but rebounded in 2023. Rodriguez tossed a total of 152.2 frames, working to a 3.30 ERA (134 ERA+), 3.66 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP. Rodriguez had a 23% strikeout rate as well as a 7.7% walk rate, his lowest BB% since his '15 rookie campaign. His 0.88 HR/9 was a career-best, but do keep in mind he played in the most pitcher-friendly stadium in baseball, Comerica Park.

Rodriguez was above average at limiting hard contact with an 88.6 MPH exit velocity, 38.5% hard-hit rate, and 7.5% barrel rate. All fell short of the 60th percentile but were above the 50th percentile. Rodriguez has been much better in the past at limiting hard contact, for what it's worth.

I think Rodriguez will play very well with the Diamondbacks. Chase Field is also good at keeping the ball in the park. He's also going from a good defense to a great defense. The Tigers totaled +22 DRS and -8 OAA. Meanwhile, the D-Backs had +46 DRS and +31 OAA. The only knocks you could make is that his underlying numbers weren't great, and the first year of his contract will be his age-31 season. But this is still a good deal for the D-Backs. He should slot in nicely behind Merril Kelly and Zac Gallen in the starting rotation.

Grade: A