After a September fade right out of the playoff race, the Arizona Diamondbacks are set to be open for business this offseason.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were a playoff team last year, with a 93-69 record in manager Torey Lovullo’s first season. They followed up by leading the National League West on the first of every month this season, but an 8-19 record in September dropped them to third place, nine games back and right out of the playoff race.
Two of Arizona’s best players, starter Patrick Corbin and center fielder A.J. Pollock, will be free agents after the postseason is over. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be in the final year of his contract next year under a club option, while outfielder David Peralta and starter Robbie Ray are slated to hit free agency after the 2020 season.
So it’s not all that surprising general manager Mike Hazen told Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic the Diamondbacks will gauge trade interest in the roster before setting an offseason course.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY named a couple names who could be available.
Goldschmidt started rather slowly this year, with a .393 slugging percentage through the end of May. But he ultimately got close to his typical numbers, with a .290/.389/.533 slash-line, 33 home runs and 83 RBI while earning his sixth straight All-Star selection.
Zack Greinke has been better the last two seasons than he was in his first year with the Diamondbacks, with ERAs in the 3.20 range and a rebound in strikeout rate. But he will turn 35 later this month, with three years and a total of $104.5 million left on his contract. That contract was given by the previous front office regime, so offloading it at a high point in Greinke’s value has to be considered this offseason. Outfielder Yasmany Tomas’ contract is also a particular albatross, with player options for the next two years totaling $32.5 million.
As noted by MLB Trade Rumors, the Diamondbacks have 14 players who are arbitration-eligible this winter. Non-tendering some of those has to be on the radar, most notably Shelby Miller ($4.9 million salary this year).
A rebuild is never easy to do, even if it’s been proven to work in a couple notable cases in recent years. As currently constructed the Diamondbacks are toward the top of the middle ground between the legit World Series and the bottom-feeders. But they are also expensive as a whole, so adding a key piece to push them to the top this offseason seems untenable. A tear-down is likely, with a need to restock a lagging farm system.