MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Arizona Diamondbacks?

MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Arizona Diamondbacks?
Sun 14th February 2021

The Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to climb out of last place in the NL West, but the team will find that to be a daunting challenge. The Los Angeles Dodgers remain a favorite to win the World Series, and the San Diego Padres have been incredibly active on the trade and free agent markets.

The Diamondbacks did bring in a few players on the free agency market, but the team also decided to part ways with plenty of pending free agents.

Here’s a look at how the D-Backs are changing based on the current free agent market.

Prominent Losses

The Arizona Diamondbacks saw several losses in the free agent market. Relief pitchers Rogelio Armenteros, Joel Payamps, and Emilio Vargas left the team this offseason and respectively joined the Washington Nationals, the Boston Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox. Reliever Silvio Bracho has been invited to spring training by the San Francisco Giants.

Outfielder Jon Jay and starting pitcher Mike Leake are not expected to return. Leake’s club option was declined, and Jay has seen diminishing returns the past few years.

Jay went .160 last year with four RBI. The team also declined its option on reliever Hector Rondon. He had 23 strikeouts last season, but he also had a 7.65 ERA.

Who is New?

The Diamondbacks don’t have any new free agents that could immediately reach the big leagues. Catchers Bryan Holaday and Jamie Ritchie were signed to minor league deals respectively from the Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros

Holaday has some prior major league experience, as he has a little over 700 at bats in his career, but he also has a .238 average. The team also acquired prospect second baseman Christian Lopes from the Miami Marlins.

Starting pitcher Seth Frankoff was also signed as a free agent from the Seattle Mariners. He is expected to start the season with the Reno Aces, the team’s AAA club. He saw a brief bit of action with the Mariners last season, but he had a 16.88 ERA and no strikeouts in 2.2 innings of play.

The new faces that will appear on the Diamondbacks roster will mostly include prior prospects. Daulton Varsho will likely start in the outfield, while Zac Gallen will be the team’s top starting pitcher.

Slipping Behind

The free agent market hasn’t been very kind to the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the two top teams in their division have been more successful here.

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed starting pitcher Tommy Kahnle from the New York Yankees, plus they resigned reliever Blake Treinen. The Dodgers have yet to bring back Joc Pederson and Justin Turner, but the team has proven to be highly competitive regardless of what happens there.

The San Diego Padres have been even more active in the free agent market. While much of the Padres’ offseason changes came on the trade market, the Padres also were prominent in free agency.

They acquired outfielder Brian O’Grady from the Tampa Bay Rays and reliever Nick Ramirez from the Detroit Tigers. The team also acquired shortstop Ha-Seong Kim from the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO.

Where Will the D-Backs Go?

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have much success on the free agent market this offseason, as the team lost many of its major league players and chose not to resign a few others.

The team has a few new minor leaguers, but the loss of some major league players and advances from the Dodgers and Padres have made the coming season tougher for the D-Backs. It will be a challenge for the team to move out of the bottom of the NL West this season.

The MLB season is almost upon us! If you are like us, then you are counting down the days until the season opener. But until then, make sure you check out our MLB hub page, for all the latest on what’s going on in baseball.

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