1.) Sign/Trade for some pitching
This should be a pretty obvious one for the D’backs. The Diamondbacks finished the 2015 season ranked 27th in baseball in pitching, 28th in starting pitching and 21st in bullpen. This is priority number one and with a huge crop of free agent pitchers this season, they should be very aggressive this winter. Having a new TV deal that is worth more than $1.5 billion will help, with them having enough payroll space to perhaps lock up a starting pitcher or two.
A couple names to look out for:
Coming off what was a very disappointing year for the Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann didn’t have the year he had in 2014, but still put up decent numbers. His 2015 ended with an ERA of 3.66, a FIP of 3.75, 201.2 innings pitched and 164 K’s. The best pitcher the D’backs had last season was Robbie Ray who posted a line of 127.2 innings pitched, 119 K’s, an ERA of 3.52 and a FIP of 3.53. Zimmermann would be a heavy upgrade to the rotation that also includes Jeremy Hellickson, Rubby De La Rosa, Patrick Corbin and Chase Anderson.
2.) Johnny Cueto
Johnny Cueto is coming off a World Series victory with the Royals, and is also entering free agency. He’s coming off a year in which he posted a 3.44 ERA with a FIP of 3.53 in 212 innings pitched with 176 strikeouts. He is a bonafide ace and he would go perfect right atop the D’backs rotation and would be an upgrade that is so desperately needed. He may be out of their price range, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
3.) Mike Leake
Mike Leake has been a name linked to the Diamondbacks as a possibility according to Bob Nightengale. He would compliment a Johnny Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann type of pitcher and be another instant fix in that rotation. Leake, 27, is coming off a decent year in which he posted an ERA of 3.70 and FIP of 4.20 in 192 innings pitched. He also had 119 strikeouts on top of his other strong numbers.
4.) Aroldis Chapman
The trade deadline is where this really took off. The D’backs and the Reds were actually somewhat close to a deal that would send the 104 MPH throwing closer to the NL West. The D’backs will have an opportunity to seal the deal this offseason, and arguably should, to sure up their shaky bullpen.