Who are the Diamondbacks’ free agents after World Series run?
Nov 3, 2023, 4:30 PM
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — At the conclusion of the 2023 MLB season, 130 players were declared free agents with others pending option decisions in their Uniform Player Contracts.
Three Arizona Diamondbacks from their World Series run hit the open market: third baseman Evan Longoria, outfielder Tommy Pham and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The D-backs also have a mutual option on reliever Mark Melancon, who did not pitch in 2023 (shoulder).
All three position players were in the starting lineup during Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to the Texas Rangers.
Players can begin signing with new teams five days after the World Series, which ended Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks traded for Gurriel and catcher Gabriel Moreno last December for outfielder Daulton Varsho. Longoria signed as a free agent before the 2023 season, and Pham was a midseason trade acquisition.
Longoria is 38 years old and has a decision to make. He has not committed to playing again in 2024 or retiring after a decorated 16-year career.
“I answered these same questions last year under different circumstances when it was just the end of the regular season and I was not necessarily healthy and not necessarily in the best frame of mind,” Longoria said on Wednesday. “I mean, this year, honestly, I can say I can walk out of here happy and proud of this group. I don’t know what the plan is.”
Longoria started 16 of 17 postseason games and had a .456 OPS with three doubles. His signature moment came on defense during Game 1 of the wild card round against the Milwaukee Brewers:
We have no words. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/lHBR8evZ8v
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 4, 2023
The veteran had a .717 OPS and 11 home runs in his first year with the D-backs, although his production tumbled after he suffered a back injury in July (.448 OPS after return from injured list on Aug. 21). He said this postseason run reminded him a lot of why he plays the game.
Pham started the season with the New York Mets, who sold heavily at the deadline. Arizona traded minor leaguer Jeremy Rodriguez for Pham, who stepped in as a middle-of-the-order bat and veteran clubhouse presence.
The 35-year-old said he’d like to play for five more seasons and is hungry to get back to the Fall Classic.
When asked if joining a contender will be his preference, Pham said, “It definitely helps. I haven’t really reflected on that yet. I’ll take some time to talk to my agents. But as you saw last year, man, a team could go from a non-playoff team to a winner pretty quick.”
Pham had a pair of four-hit games this postseason and finished with a .279/.297/.475 slash line with three homers. He produced a .720 OPS in 50 regular-season games for Arizona with a walk-off hit against the Rangers in August.
Sup Pham? pic.twitter.com/ZRHbWtpagK
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 28, 2023
Gurriel made his first career All-Star Game this season after a monstrous May in which he hit .352 with eight home runs. He turned around a midseason slump with a strong final two months (.291/.338/.497 slash in August and September). He played 145 of 162 games, fourth on the team behind Christian Walker, Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte.
His postseason had its ups and downs with a .744 OPS and some defensive highlights.
“I’ve felt like we’re a family here, very grateful for the whole collective group,” Gurriel said via Spanish interpreter Alex Arpiza. “… thankful for my teammates here, I was able to make that adjustment and feel comfortable.”