D-backs: It’s better to be lucky and good

Jan 26, 2012, 12:23 AM | Updated: 12:45 am

Once upon a time, a time not that long ago, the Arizona
Diamondbacks couldn’t catch a break. Bad luck, bad
decisions, bad baseball.

Just about every guy they kept with an extended contract
was a waste of money. Just about every guy they traded
blossomed. Brandon Webb happened. A.J. Hinch happened.
Manny Ramirez in Dodger Blue happened. Seasons of 90-plus
losses happened.

This time a year ago, some were saying the Diamondbacks
roster was the least talented in the National League.
Yeah, that was just a year ago. Now, a writer like Buster Olney
says the World Series is a possibility

The D-backs’ hot streak continued Tuesday with news of
Prince Fielder signing with the Tigers. A major deal for
Prince that serves as a minor victory for Arizona; one of
the best players in the game just vacated the National
League. Just like Albert Pujols bolting to the Angels.

The offseason has been nothing short of incredible for the
Arizona Diamondbacks. In addition to bringing just about
everybody back from last year’s 94-win campaign, they
added Trevor Cahill to upgrade the rotation, Jason Kubel
to provide needed pop in the lineup and Takashi Saito and
Craig Breslow to deepen the bullpen. With the surprising
re-signing of Joe Saunders, the D-backs now possess four
starters who are capable of 200-plus innings. Now, Kevin
Towers has the luxury of bringing along his young starters
at a pace dictated by him and not by necessity. The front
office green lighted a higher than expected payroll, a
sure sign of a go-for-it-now mentality.

Certainly luck has been involved as well. Pujols is now in
the AL West. Prince in the AL Central. Ryan Braun might be
suspended for the first 50 games of the season. Ryan
Howard is hurt and the Phillies, at least offensively,
look old. The Dodgers are currently ownerless, which is
certainly a blessing; they might have been in on both of
the first baseman if they had an owner who could spend.

At this point the only negative, and it’s not as much a
negative as it is an unknown, is the health of Stephen
Drew. Some might argue the departure of Jarrod Parker or
the demotion of Gerrardo Parra as negatives. I’m more
inclined to buy the latter and not the former. Cahill is
not much older than Parker and already has around 600 big
league innings. He makes them better now. The Parra/Kubel
debate is a good one and the pressure is on Kubel to prove
he’s worth it.

Either way, it’s been a great offseason. And as the Prince
signing proves, it pays to be lucky and good.

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