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MLB columnist: D-backs want to win now

LISTEN: Jeff Passan, senior baseball columnist Yahoo! Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks have made off season moves that have “immediate success” written all over them.

Highlighting the new acquisitions for the D-backs are starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, closer Addison Reed and former All-Star Mark Trumbo. Acquiring for these players leaves no doubt that the D-backs are playing to win.

“Long-term, I don’t know that the moves they made are all that great,” MLB Columnist for Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan told The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“The fact is the Diamondbacks want to win and they want to win now. They needed a closer and they got that in Addison Reed and they felt like they needed another power bat and they got that in Mark Trumbo. I don’t think these deals are things that we are going to look back on and say, ‘oh they just got ripped off,’ but they are definitely calculated risks that they were taking with 2014 and 2015 in mind.”

The D-backs don’t have to win the competitive NL West to make the playoffs, but a Wild Card position will be easier to grab, according to Passan. He says that while the American League has serious depth in playoff-contending teams, the National League doesn’t.

“When you have two Wild Cards and you have a league like the National League that is wide open as it is, for example, the Atlanta Braves losing Kris Medlen likely to Tommy John Surgery and maybe losing Brandon Beachy on top of that and having to scramble and sign Ervin Santana, it goes to show you that the lack of depth relative to the American League,” Passan said.

“That depth is not apparent in the National League. With the playoff race that wide open, you can understand why the Diamondbacks feel like this is an opportunity for them. I never hold it against the team for going out and trying to win if they do it in a reasonable fashion, and I think the Diamondbacks have done that.”

The D-backs reached out and got what they needed, however, the health of the team is still in question. With pitchers Trevor Cahill and Arroyo suffering from their own spring training injuries and Cody Ross recovering from hip surgery, the team cannot afford to have a player land on the disabled list anytime soon.

“I think it always comes down to injuries. If the Diamondbacks pitching stays healthy, I think they are going to be a contender and at least be in the wildcard race. I can’t see a scenario where they finish in last place in the division.”