Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 73-72 record, team president Derrick Hall doesn’t feel like he’s part of a .500 team.
Instead, Hall said Thursday, it feels like the team is hovering around 10 games below .500 because of the multitude of opportunities it’s missed this season.
“It’s been a good season,” Hall told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Thursday. “But I don’t want good seasons. I want each season going down to the last few days if we aren’t running away with the division like the Dodgers are doing.”
Hall said that the D-backs’ ownership makes it possible to stretch the team’s payroll in the offseason if it has an opportunity to add a position of need — perhaps a quality rotation piece or corner outfield bat — though any additions will likely come via trade.
Arizona finds itself in a unique position with regard to its impact players. Both Patrick Corbin and Paul Goldschmidt are under club control through 2018, with Corbin making less than $500,000 until he’s arbitration eligible in 2016, and Goldschmidt finishing the first season of a five-year, $32-million extension he signed during the offseason — a bargain for a .300-hitting first baseman with 40-home run potential.
But while their two best players are under control at a team-friendly price, the D-backs have a large portion of their $89.1 million payroll tied up in players that are either under-performing or off the roster.
Catcher Miguel Montero is owed $50 million through 2017, and while he’s become one of the better defensive catchers in the game, he’s hitting .230 with just 23 extra-base hits. Recently traded outfielder Jason Kubel is making $7.5 million this year with a $1 million buyout after the season, and the D-backs are paying the vast majority of the money he’s still owed.
Brandon McCarthy is owed $10.2 million in 2014, and despite showing improvement over his last several starts, is 4-9 with a 4.66 ERA and missed more than a month with shoulder issues. Trevor Cahill — the owner of a 6-10 record and 4.22 ERA this season — is owed up to $46.7 million through 2017.
“We can’t just sit on our laurels and say that we had injuries this year and we’ll have a better next year,” Hall said. “We owe it to our fans and players to try and get better. But if the guys we have produce, we’ll be fine.”
Hall also added that a team-record 23 extra-inning games and near-MLB record 75 extra innings have likely taken a toll on the team’s health and ability to put together a lengthy winning streak.
“We’re talking about eight or nine more games because of all the extra innings,” Hall said. “It’s tough to play 170 games.”
But Hall said the D-backs can still finish the season strong and build momentum for next year.
“We had a disappointing season, but that’s because our expectations are high,” Hall said. “People are asking for massive changes, but we don’t need to. We have the parts here.”