The Athletic gives D-backs ‘C’ grade for offseason moves

Dec 19, 2021, 7:30 AM
Mark Melancon #33 of the San Diego Padres looks on during the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Coor...
Mark Melancon #33 of the San Diego Padres looks on during the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

During an offseason of personnel moves and coaching changes, the Arizona Diamondbacks received a C grade from The Athletic’s Jim Bowden in his early offseason grades for National League teams.

The D-backs were relatively quiet in free agency, but did make a splash signing veteran reliever Mark Melancon to a two-year deal. Melancon spent the 2021 season with San Diego Padres, having a 4-3 record with a 2.23 ERA in 64.2 innings of work.

Bowden called the signing of Melancon the D-backs’ best player move, even with the reliever being a veteran and signing to a team when that’s not perceived to contend.

Why do I like the idea of the Diamondbacks signing a 36-year-old closer when they’re not contenders? For future trade purposes. Melancon will help them be more competitive in the first half of the 2022 season, but more importantly, he’ll give them a trade chip at the deadline in July.

– Jim Bowden

Additionally, Bowden calls the signing a smart play by the D-backs because if they were to deal Melancon, he would still have another year of his contract instead of being a two-month rental for a team, which could make him an even bigger trade piece.

Arizona made two key hires along the coaching staff bringing in a new pitching coach and hitting coach.

The D-backs hired Brent Strom from the Houston Astros to be the new pitching coach, a move Bowden calls their best of the offseason.

The Diamondbacks’ best move this offseason was hiring pitching coach Brent Strom, the guru who guided the Astros over the past eight years. Strom’s blend of old school and new school and his embracement of analytics and technology are special, and he should help expedite the development of several Arizona pitching prospects.

– Bowden

Other moves made by Arizona include acquiring infielder/outfield Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays for infielder Ronny Simon, as well as hiring hitting coach Joe Mather from the Cincinnati Reds.

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