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 left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (12) celebrates after hitting a three-run home
Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (12) celebrates after hitting a three-run home / Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic / USA

Resigning Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

The Diamondbacks sent Daulton Varsho to the Toronto Blue Jays last off-season for Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. This trade could go down in D-Backs history as one of, if not the best trade ever made by the franchise, or at least in Mike Hazen's tenure as GM. Gurriel Jr. only had one year of control remaining, but the D-Backs brought him back into the fold with a three-year contract at $42 million.

Gurriel made his first all-star season in 2023, finishing the season batting .261/.309/.463. Gurriel's 24 home runs were a career-best total, but he paired that with a quality .201 isolated slugging percentage. His 5.6% walk rate was well below league average but not unusual for him. But on the plus side, he only struck out 17.4% of the time. All told he had a .329 wOBA and 106 wRC+.

Gurriel's season at the dish was solid, but he had a career year in left field. He only appeared in 778 innings, seeing a handful of appearances as a designated hitter. But with his defensive metrics, he's definitely earned regular playing time in left. With +14 DRS, he led all National League left fielders and fell just two runs saved short of Steven Kwan for the MLB lead. With a +16.7 UZR/150 remark, he led all LFs with at least 700 innings played. OAA was less bullish on his defense but still graded him out as good with +1 OAA.

Gurriel's only major weakness is his month-to-month consistency. He got off to a poor start to 2023, then OPS'd over 1.000 in May. His production came back down to Earth in June (.625) before taking another massive drop in July (.480). But he rebounded through August (.846) and September (.826).

But if that's the only major negative about Gurriel Jr., then he's a solid player. He's worth the $14 million a season the D-Backs are giving him. Gurriel Jr., Alek Thomas, and Corbin Carroll could make up the best outfield in baseball next year.

Grade: A