How I'd fix the Diamondbacks
April, 18, 2014
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
Entering the season, many people saw the Arizona Diamondbacks as a .500 team with an outside shot at the playoffs. After a 4-14 start, those postseason odds seem remote because not only is this team losing, it's getting crushed -- with a run differential that would be comparable to the '62 Mets if prorated over a full season.
The D-backs have made a lot of mistakes in recent years in their attempt to mimic the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, teams that have thrived by targeting "high-character" players. The difference is that Arizona did this at the expense of talent, something Boston or St. Louis never did.
For example, the trades of Justin Upton and Adam Eaton were both made with team chemistry in mind, but those players are better than the guys who replaced them -- Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock. And the D-backs also had to give up Tyler Skaggs in the Eaton deal, a quality young starter they could desperately use right now.
So what should Arizona do? A lot of fans probably want to see GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson fired, but I don't think that is the solution. They were both recently given contract extensions -- terms were not disclosed -- but they have good continuity with president Derrick Hall and owner Ken Kendrick, and continuity is a virtue.
I'd like to think that Towers and Gibson can learn from recent mistakes and start rebuilding the team with talent as the priority. The good news for the D-backs is they have some intriguing trade assets.
Looking at Arizona's roster, four names jump out to me as trade candidates: Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Miguel Montero and Trumbo.