Ken Kendrick: D-backs will continue to invest money in payroll
The Arizona Diamondbacks had a busy offseason, in which they made a couple blockbuster deals that reshaped their roster.
The D-backs traded two of their cornerstone players in Chris Young and Justin Upton while also saying farewell to one of their top prospects, Trevor Bauer.
But don’t be fooled. This is a ballclub that remains committed to adding talent, not subtracting it.
D-backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick said the team realizes it has to continue to invest money in the payroll to stay competitive with their division rivals.
“It’s always about how you play but it is about the opponent and so we’ve once again determined that we need to invest more,” Kendrick told reporters after a team meeting at Salt River Fields Friday. “We’re going to continue to do that and hopefully we’ve invested in the right players.”
The D-backs’ key offseason acquisitions include shortshop Cliff Pennington, veteran reliever Heath Bell, shortstop Didi Gregorious, outfielder Cody Ross, third baseman Martin Prado and a flurry of prospects from the Atlanta Braves in the Upton deal.
The club also made a conscious effort to bring in veterans like Eric Chavez and Eric Hinske, who have been a part of winning franchises over the years.
Kendrick said the D-backs expect their revamped and experienced roster to perform at a high level.
“We focused on putting a team together that we thought was principally built to win and we have a lot of guys that have had a tradition of winning and not only here but in other places and so we have high expectations for them,” he explained.
The D-backs will need to make good on their expectations if they hope to contend in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, as the NL West houses the Dodgers, with their $200-plus million payroll, and the defending World Series Champion Giants.
And if the roster isn’t good enough right now, team officials have the funds to make more moves to improve it.
“We don’t see our finances as an issue,” Kendrick said. “We don’t have unlimited resources but we have a lot more resources to apply to the major league payroll and frankly across the board with other areas in the player side than we’ve have in the entire history of my stewardship.”