The Arizona Diamondbacks might've had a thrilling postseason run, but they shouldn't forget that they barely snuck into the playoffs with an 84-78 record and a negative run differential. Despite the last-minute greatness, there's still a lot of work they have to do if they want to find themselves competing in the World Series again next year. The Dbacks are a relatively low-spending team, but they are also going into upcoming Winter Meetings as a hot commodity, which might be able to attract some top talent and well as push them to spend more. Here are the basics of the Diamondbacks' trip to the Winter Meetings this year.
What are the Winter Meetings?
The Winter Meetings are an annual conference attended by representatives from all 30 MLB teams — executives, managers, agents, as well as journalists — who do the most crucial of their offseason negotiations and signings over the course of four days. While they're not a deadline for trades or signings by any means, a lot of the league's most significant deals are expected get done during the meetings, so they usually operate as the climax of the offseason. Last year, the meetings were uneventful for the Diamondbacks, who didn't make any major trades or signings. This year, the meetings will be held from Dec. 3 - 6 in Nashville, TN.
What could the Diamondbacks do at Winter Meetings?
Dbacks GM Mike Hazen called out pitching and third base as top-of-mind concerns for the team this offseason. Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly will easily be Arizona's one-two combo, with Brandon Pfaadt, whose ability as a starter was on full display during the postseason, making three. The Diamondbacks' name was just thrown into the mix on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but they'll certainly still need to look out for more options. This year's free agent class is chock full of starting pitchers that range in price, so they won't be lacking for choices.
Hazen didn't mention the gaps being left in the outfield due to the departures of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Tommy Pham to free agency. It's possible that the team could bring up Dominic Fletcher again, who got a few starts in the outfield this year, but it's unlikely they'll depend on him as a long term option. Converse to the bevy of starting pitchers in free agency this year, there are much fewer position players, so the Dbacks will want to be competitive at the Winter Meetings if they have their eyes on any of them.
Rule 5 draft
The Rule 5 draft, made up of minor leaguers with 4-5 years of service time, also takes place during the Winter Meetings. Only teams without a full 40-man roster participate; as of writing, the Diamondbacks have two open spots after moving No. 27 prospect Blake Walston to the 40-man to protect him from the draft, and non-tendering outfielder Kyle Lewis.
MLB Draft lottery
The second MLB Draft lottery, wherein the 18 non-playoff teams will draw to determine draft order in 2024, will also take place during Winter Meetings. As World Series contenders, the Diamondbacks' position is already set at 29th of 30.