Mike Hazen is playing a waiting game
To say the Diamondbacks have had a slow off season would be a massive understatement. It’s January 9th, less than 6 weeks from when Pitchers and catchers are supposed to report. It’s exactly 7 weeks from when the first Spring Training game is supposed to be played on February 27th. And yet the only player the team has added to the 40 man roster is Taylor Guilbeau who was signed to a minor league deal.
While it’s still up in the air whether or not ST will start on time, the lack of movement to date is surprising and a bit unsettling. As much as I thought they would slow play the off season, to see it play out this slowly in real time is beyond boring. Lord knows we could use the distraction and something to talk about.
Clearly the team is hanging back and waiting to see what will happen with the start of the season and if or how many fans will be allowed to attend before they finalize their budget. This was highlighted by Nick Piecoro wrote at AZ Central the other day:
“Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall said the club remains in a holding pattern with its 2021 payroll. Given the uncertainties surrounding the season — namely, whether the team will be able to sell tickets and welcome fans at Chase Field — it has yet to determine its budget, he said. “
Perhaps they are waiting until the very last moment to snap up an underpriced and desperate free agent. That appears to be the strategy of choice for this payroll challenged team. I guess this is a case of be careful what you wish for. In the article I just linked in the previous sentence, I called for the team to go with a youth movement and give as much playing time as possible to younger players who either just made their MLB debut last season or are due to arrive this year. Not trading for or signing major league players, (so far) is actually conforming to that unsolicited advice.
That doesn’t mean they will stay on this course. There is still plenty of time for them to do something …er…more interesting? To date the only moves we have seen are minor league signings and transactions. Below is a list of players that have been signed. (If I missed anyone of note please let me know in the comments and I’ll edit the article)
I’ll be honest I don’t know a lot about any of these players. I’d heard of some of them of course, and have looked them up as they’ve entered the organization. But I’d like to open it up to you the reader and the other Snakepit writers, and specifically seek responses from those that follow the minor leagues and prospects closely. I have three questions for you:
1.) Which player do you think is most likely to see time in MLB in 2021?
2.) Which player has the most long-term upside in this group?
3.) Who is the biggest “sleeper” in this group?
I look forward to seeing the feedback in the comments section.
(Note: player name links to player’s Fangraphs Page)
10/6/20 signed free agent C Michael De La Cruz to a minor league contract.
11/4/20 signed free agent C Jamie Ritchie to a minor league contract.
11/17/20 signed free agent RHP Bradley Roney to a minor league contract.
11/17/20 signed free agent LHP Sam Moll to a minor league contract
11/19/20 signed free agent OF Drew Weeks to a minor league contract.
12/10/20 LHP Tyler Gilbert assigned to Arizona Diamondbacks
1/8/21 Signed free agent RHP Seth Frankoff to minor league deal