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The Diamondbacks followed up their surprising pennant run with an active offseason. They’re still long shots to challenge the Dodgers in the NL West, but they go into 2024 with clear expectations of a second consecutive playoff berth.

Major League Signings

2024 spending: $35MM
Total spending: $136.5MM

Option Decisions

Trades and Claims

Notable Minor League Signings


  • None

Notable Losses

The Diamondbacks came up a little short of the second championship in franchise history. After clinching the National League’s last playoff spot on the final weekend of the season, they knocked off the Brewers, Dodgers and Phillies en route to the Fall Classic. The Rangers put a stop to that run with a five-game triumph in the World Series, yet the Snakes went into the offseason seeking to build on that finish.

Arizona’s first order of business was to reward their longtime manager. Within the first few days of the offseason, the Snakes signed Torey Lovullo to an extension running through 2026. Now the third-longest tenured manager in the NL, Lovullo seemed as if he might be on the hot seat as recently as 2022. The front office stuck by him through three straight losing seasons in 2020-22 and was rewarded for that patience last year.

Once Lovullo’s contract was settled, GM Mike Hazen and his staff set about strengthening the roster. It wasn’t lost on the front office that their regular season performance — which is likely a better predictor of the future than their small-sample postseason run — was merely fine. Arizona went 84-78 and was outscored by 15 runs. They had clear areas to address in the middle of the rotation and at third base. The impending free agency of left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was another question.

Third base was the first domino to fall. While they were linked to free agents Jeimer Candelario and Justin Turner within the offseason’s first couple weeks, they turned to the trade market. Arizona dealt hard-throwing reliever Carlos Vargas and third catcher Seby Zavala to the Mariners for Eugenio Suárez. While Vargas is an interesting developmental flier, the biggest appeal for Seattle was offloading the $13MM which Suárez is owed this year — taking the form of an $11MM salary and a $2MM buyout on a $15MM club option for 2025.

Arizona bought a declining asset to some extent. After topping 30 homers in both 2021 and ’22, Suárez hit 22 longballs a season ago. He led the American League in strikeouts for a second consecutive year, punching out 214 times. His .232/.323/.391 batting line was almost exactly league average after accounting for the extreme pitcher-friendly nature of Seattle’s T-Mobile Park. It was his third average or worse offensive showing in the past four years.

Even if Suárez is trending downward as he nears his 33rd birthday, he’s an upgrade over utility types like Emmanuel Rivera and Jace Peterson. Moving to Chase Field should offer a boost to his power production. He draws plenty of walks and is a capable defensive infielder. There’ll be plenty of strikeouts, but that’s a trade-off Arizona was willing to accept to add a righty power bat to a lineup that has been built largely around athletic contact hitters.

They followed up with their big strike for rotation help at the Winter Meetings. The D-Backs landed Eduardo Rodríguez on a four-year, $80MM pact. It’s the franchise’s biggest free agent investment since the ill-fated Madison Bumgarner deal from 2019. Rodríguez’s contract generally aligned with expectations and adds a needed mid-rotation arm.

The southpaw turned in a career-low 3.30 ERA with solid strikeout and walk marks in 26 starts for the Tigers last year. He’s familiar with Hazen and Lovullo from their time with the Red Sox, addressing any concerns they might have had after Rodríguez missed a chunk of 2022 attending to a personal matter and vetoed a deadline deal to the Dodgers last summer. He pairs with Merrill Kelly as mid-rotation arms behind ace Zac Gallen. That knocks Brandon Pfaadt into the fourth starter role that had been so problematic last year, both in the regular season and into October.

One can still quibble with the starting pitching depth, but the front office felt the bigger priority after landing Rodríguez was building out the lineup. They stuck with Gurriel in left field, bringing him back on a three-year, $42MM guarantee that allows him to opt out after the second season. Retaining Gurriel and adding Suárez addressed their desire for right-handed bats but still hadn’t satisfied the goal of bringing in a full-time designated hitter.

For that, they turned to lefty-swinging Joc Pederson. The D-Backs brought in Pederson on a one-year, $12.5MM deal. He’s coming off an unspectacular .235/.348/.416 showing for the Giants. Arizona is betting on Pederson to recapture something closer to his excellent 2022 form. He raked at a .274/.353/.521 clip with San Francisco two seasons ago.

Pederson’s hard contact rate remains elite and he posted better strikeout and walk numbers last year than he had in ’22. He’s a limited player — he should be shielded from lefty pitching and is best served as a DH only — but he should hit in the middle third of the lineup when opponents start a right-hander.

Suárez, Rodríguez, Gurriel and Pederson are the four big acquisitions (or retentions, in Gurriel’s case) of the offseason. The Snakes brought in a couple veterans to deepen the bench. They guaranteed Randal Grichuk $2MM, indicating he’ll serve as a right-handed hitting depth outfielder and perhaps a complement to Pederson in the DH slot. Grichuk clobbered lefties in 2023 and has a strong track record against them, making him a sensible fit in that role. Two-time Gold Glove winner Tucker Barnhart inked a minor league pact. He has a good chance to surpass José Herrera as the backup to franchise catcher Gabriel Moreno.

The only other notable transaction was a swap of young players with the White Sox. Arizona dealt lefty-hitting outfielder Dominic Fletcher to Chicago for pitching prospect Cristian Mena. The D-backs have subtracted a couple fringe outfielders via trade — they included Dominic Canzone as part of the Paul Sewald return last summer — reflecting the depth they have on the grass.

Gurriel is locked into left field. Defending Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll will handle the other corner. Defensive stalwart Alek Thomas will man center field. Jake McCarthy is still on hand as a depth option who can play all three outfield spots. Grichuk can play some center field as well, although Arizona’s collection of talented young defenders means he’s likely to spend the majority of his time in a corner or at DH.

Fletcher still has two options remaining, so the Snakes could have kept him in Triple-A Reno. He’s already 26 and wasn’t going to have a clear path to everyday playing time at Chase Field, however. It made more sense to flip to the White Sox, where he entered camp with the leg up on the starting right field job. That allowed the D-backs to bolster their rotation depth, a comparative weak point for Arizona.

Mena, 21, has yet to make his MLB debut. He’s on the 40-man roster and briefly reached Triple-A last season. The 6’2″ righty spent the bulk of the year in Double-A, where he turned in a 4.66 ERA with an impressive 27.9% strikeout rate but an 11.3% walk percentage. He’s still developing as a strike-thrower, but scouting reports praise his curveball and potential for command improvement. Mena could reach the majors at some point this year.

That’s unlikely to be on Opening Day. He’ll likely slot behind Ryne NelsonSlade Cecconi and Tommy Henry in the battle for the fifth rotation spot. It’s not a great group and an injury to any of the top four starters could stress the pitching staff. If the Diamondbacks are in contention at the deadline, acquiring rotation depth could again be a summer goal.

Lovullo could lean heavily on the bullpen to help cover for some of the unproven arms at the back of the starting staff. Arizona enters 2024 with the strongest on-paper relief group they’ve had in years. The Sewald trade is a big part of that, although they’ve also been aided by the unheralded Ryan Thompson pickup and steps forward from Kevin Ginkel and Andrew Saalfrank.

The D-backs didn’t make a single major league acquisition to the relief group. Hazen suggested early in Spring Training they could still look for depth additions given the volatility of relief pitching (link via Alex Weiner of Arizona Sports). Still, it was far less of a priority than it had been in the last few offseasons. Non-roster lefties Brandon Hughes and José Castillo are the most significant pickups thus far.

Arizona also inked a couple minor league contracts to bolster the infield depth. Kevin Newman and Elvis Andrus are in camp as non-roster shortstops. Lovullo has already declared Geraldo Perdomo his starter at the position. One of Andrus or Newman should make the team as a backup.

Aside from Perdomo, prospects Jordan Lawlar and Blaze Alexander are the only other shortstops on the 40-man roster. It’s better to get Lawlar everyday playing time in the upper minors than to use him sparingly off the major league bench. Alexander has yet to make his MLB debut and struck out at an elevated 27.2% clip in Triple-A. Lawlar might be the first option up if any of the starting infielders suffer an injury. At full health, the D-backs will run a primary group of Christian WalkerKetel Marte, Perdomo and Suárez around the dirt.

Walker, one of the sport’s more quietly productive first basemen, is now a year away from free agency. He and Sewald are the team’s top rentals. Both players are approaching their mid-30s, so the front office might not have much urgency to keep either off the open market. Walker told the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro last month that there hadn’t been much talk about an extension, although he indicated he was open to that conversation.

If the front office were to consider extension targets, they might prefer to secure a younger member of the core. They successfully inked Carroll to a $111MM deal last spring, cementing the star outfielder as the face of the franchise. Moreno, who hit .284/.339/.408 in his first full big league campaign, would be the most obvious target for similar overtures this spring. Arizona would presumably love to keep Gallen around for the long haul, but that’s a much taller task. The Cy Young finalist is two years from free agency and trending towards a massive contract.

Whether or not the Diamondbacks can work out long-term deals with anyone this spring, they’ll go into the season with more optimism than they’ve had in years. Their active offseason has pushed their player payroll around $144MM, as calculated by RosterResource. While middle-of-the-pack by league standards, that’s the highest mark in franchise history.

Few people will predict Arizona to close what was a 16-game gap with Los Angeles even before the Dodgers’ offseason spending spree. Anything short of another Wild Card berth would count as a disappointment, though. The Diamondbacks raised expectations in October. Adding Rodríguez, Suárez and Pederson only bolsters that.

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