Parents aren’t the only people spending big bucks during the Holliday season. So are general managers for Major League baseball clubs.
After the Red Sox shocked the league by spending a record deal, 217 million dollars on left handed hurler, David Price, the Arizona Diamondbacks became contenders for next year in the span of one week. On December 4th, the D-backs agreed to a deal with right handed free agent, Zack Greinke, worth 206 million dollars over six years. Just a couple days later, they traded former 2015 1st overall pick, Dansby Swanson and a couple of other players to the Atlanta Braves for All Star pitcher, Shelby Miller.
People had mixed signals with the deal but general manger, Dave Stewart, is in a “win now” mentality. He knew that he was losing a lot of prospects with crazy amounts of potential, but he spoke about how that potential isn’t going to help them contend in 2016. With Greinke coming off one of his best years in 2015, finishing second in the Cy Young award, he will be carrying the rotation in the desert for years to come, while also making around a million bucks for each start.
With Miller now traded to a team with a decent offense, he won’t have to think about starting a petition for more run support. In 2015, Miller went 6-17 while keeping his ERA just above 3, showing how he was more than capable of throwing some good outings, but lack of run support kept his win total much lower than he deserved. He won his last start as an Atlanta Brave on October 4th against the Cardinals. But his last win before that came way back on May 17th. That’s over 3 months without collecting a win. Miller was tossing quality starts throughout the season, but there was no offense to help him out. With having all star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and centerfielder, A.J. Pollock being in Miller’s new offensive line up, you can guarantee that he will be getting many more W’s this year.
With adding Greinke and Miller to their rotation, the Diamondbacks just became the team in the N.L. West to look out for next year. But there was another team who everyone thought was going to be great a year ago leading up to the 2015 season after they made a splash in the winter meetings, the San Diego Padres. After acquiring former rookie of the year Wil Myers, former all-star outfielders Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, postseason stud James Shields, and lights out closer Craig Kimbrel, people thought the Padres were the real deal. But after season ending injuries and players simply not playing up to the hype that fans were expecting, the Padres did not make the playoffs, finishing 4th in the division, and ending the season with a 74-88 record.
The N.L. West is always a competitive division. The Dodgers have been the favorites lately and you can never count out the San Francisco Giants. With that being said, I don’t think that the Diamondbacks are there yet. They are, however, definitely going in the right direction. Do they have an ace with Zack Greinke? Yes. Do they have offensive all-star in Paul Goldschmidt? Without a doubt. But that’s about it. You know who also has a top tier ace and one of the best offensive weapons in the game? The Miami Marlins, with José Fernández and Giancarlo Stanton, two young studs in the game of baseball, and look how they are doing (71-91 record in 2015).
The D-Backs are making the right moves right now and are taking care of much needed holes on their team, but once they get a couple more offensive weapons to help out Goldschmidt and Pollock in the line up, they will be a scary team. Until then, I believe we will be watching the Dodgers and the Giants fighting for the N.L. West crown in 2016.