The Arizona Diamondbacks entered Monday night with a 21-18 record and are currently 3rd in the NL West. This club may not look like a champion right now, but players should still want to come to Arizona and perform with the rattlesnake on their uniform. Here’s why:
- There’s a strong core group of players here.
Paul Goldschmidt is a great slugger, but other members of Arizona’s squad have stepped up over the past couple of years. A.J. Pollock has a career batting average of .293 and Jake Lamb knocked in 91 runs last season. Brandon Drury has only played in 188 games, but he already has a .284 career average. Outfielder Yasmany Tomas smacked 31 homers in 2016 and has an average of .270. Chris Owings had career-highs in triples(11) and steals (21) a season ago and is currently hitting over .300. If star players want less pressure placed on their shoulders, then they should come to the D’backs. This is a young group of players that need a veteran presence to help them win a division crown and possibly a few playoff games.
2. The NL West is up for grabs.
The NL West is a division that contains plenty of flaws. The Giants are in the cellar and are one of the worst hitting teams in the MLB. They currently have a .229 batting average and are second to last in runs scored with 131 runs. The Padres only have Wil Myers and a box of markers.
I understand the Dodgers are in great position right now as they are in 2nd place in the NL West, but they won’t be World Series contenders much longer. LA has a good, young group of hitters that aren’t in their prime yet and Clayton Kershaw seems to struggle more often than not, come postseason time.
The Rockies have shown the ability to smash the baseball with Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds(early MVP candidate) making noise in the west. I liked how this team has emerged throughout the early going in 2017, but they still have to correct their pitching staff. There’s a lot to like about this team now and in the future, but they are still looking for that ace to help push them to another level. Also, the D’backs have a younger core group of players than the Rox.
Right now this division is up for grabs and Arizona has a chance to seize it and put it under their name. With a strong number two starter, more bullpen arms and a couple of good veteran bats, the D’backs can contend for a World Series title sooner rather than later.
3. Payroll isn’t very high.
The D’backs payroll is currently 25th in the MLB, but this shouldn’t scare away free agents. This organization hasn’t been afraid to sign players that give them the best chance to win. Arizona is paying Zack Greinke $34 million, Paul Goldschmidt is receiving close to $8.9 million and Yasmany Tomas is getting a nice $9.5 million.
This is a franchise that has the ability to reach out and sign a few players that can really create a positive impact in the clubhouse and on the field. I’m not saying they should throw money around without a care in the world, but they should be able to bring in guys that can help them achieve that championship formula really soon.
The Diamondbacks should remain on the minds of soon-to-be free agents and those that are looking to compete in a warm weather city for years to come.