This offseason has been a big one for the Arizona Diamondbacks looking for a 2016 playoff bid. Acquiring big names like Shelby Miller, Tyler Clippard, and Zack Greinke may prove to be their biggest moves since signing Curt Schilling to accompany Randy Johnson in the 2000 season which paid off just one year later.
The NL West team has been making strides to build a playoff contending team this offseason. After falling just two games under .500 in 2015, the D-Backs are poised to make a run at a division title, their first since 2011. As far as big expectations go, Zack Greinke will arrive this spring with the clear “ace” title. The team signed Greinke to a $206 million contract, showing they were prepared to put their future (and a good chunk of their salary cap space) in the hands of the 32 year old right-handed starter.
Shelby Miller will be expected to provide the second blow in the 1-2 punch combination. He posted a 3.02 ERA with 17 losses for the Braves in 2015, but showed much promise when he was with the Cardinals from 2012-2014 while also gaining postseason experience. Miller was acquired in a trade that sent the number one overall draft pick, Dansby Swanson, to the Atlanta Braves. The young right hander will be looking to make better use of his punishing four-seam fastball and deceptive sinker pitches, both of which clock in at an average speed of 95 mph.
Fans should remember that one of the league’s most valuable hitters and defensive infielders, Paul Goldschmidt, will be counted on to contribute largely for an offense that ranked 8th in runs scored last year. He has become the face of the organization over the past 5 seasons after being voted just short of NL MVP honors in both 2013 and 2015. The coaching staff will be anticipating an impressive return from outfielder Yasmany Tomas after a solid big league debut.
The talent on this Diamondbacks team has clearly made way toward positive light, which will (on paper) make for a great new season.