Who takes over in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. likely departing in free agency, who takes over in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks next season?
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Trade Market

If the Diamondbacks want to get really bold, they could go after Juan Soto. Soto is coming off another Soto-like season: a lot of walks, fewer strikeouts, a lot of home runs, and unimpressive defense. Soto appeared in all 162 games, batting .275/.410/.519 with a .395 wOBA and 155 wRC+. The left fielder's 35 home runs were a career-high, and he paired that with a .245 isolated slugging percentage. Soto struck out in just 18.2% of his plate appearances and drew a walk 18.6% of the time.

Soto probably had the worst defensive season of his career thus far. He had -6 DRS and -9 outs above average. Soto's 26.8 feet/second speed was right around average, and his 86 MPH arm strength was slightly better than average, but it still wasn't a great year for Juan with the leather. Soto would definitely be the all-in play, though. He's the best pure hitter in the sport and has more walks than Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente, Andre Dawson, and Orlando Cepeda. Of course, this one might be a bit too bold.

The Minnesota Twins may listen to offers on right fielder Max Kepler. He is coming off arguably the best season of his career, as he hit .260/.332/.484 with a 124 wRC+. While his 9.2% walk rate is the lowest single-season rate since 2017, and his 21.6% strikeout rate was the worst of his career, both were still better than the league average. Kepler also hit for good pop, going yard 24 times with a .224 ISO. Kepler also had an OPS over .900 at .926 and wRC+ above 150 at 154 after the All-Star break.

Kepler is a great defensive outfielder and had +2 DRS and +4 OAA. He has both an above-average arm and sprint speed. Kepler's option for 2024 was recently picked up, and he is owed just $10 million for 2024. But it is the final year remaining on his contract.

Alex Verdugo has also recently been the center of some trade rumors. The Boston Red Sox outfielder is coming off a season where he batted .264/.324/.421 with a .322 wOBA and 98 wRC+. That makes his production around average. Both Verdugo's 7.5% walk rate and 15.4% strikeout rate are right around what you'd expect from him.

Verdugo had his best season with the glove since his 2019 rookie season. He racked up +9 defensive runs saved and +1 out above average out in right field. Verdugo is entering his age-28 season and the last year of his contract. However, he is a consistent average to above-average player.

The St. Louis Cardinals have also been open to trading one of their multiple outfielders. It's possible they move one of Dylan Carlson, Jordan Walker, Tyler O'Neill, Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, or Brendan Donovan. Nootbaar would probably be the best option, given his quality bat and strong defense in the outfield corners. The highest ceiling belongs to Jordan Walker, a former first-round pick who went into 2023 as a consensus top-five prospect and showed off some hitting talent. Both O'Neill and Carlson would be on the cheaper end of things but are rebound candidates.