D-backs' bullpen improved with Ziegler


The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto and first baseman Brandon Allen.

Ziegler, 31, was 3-2 with a 2.39 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 43 appearances for the A’s this year. He is one of the rare sidearmers in baseball, and right-handed hitters are batting just .198 against him as compared to .396 against left-handed hitters. He will fit in nicely as a situational righty for D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.

The Athletics acquire a big arm in Norberto. Norberto, 24, throws 94-95 mph with a solid-to-average breaking ball. He has above-average stuff, and now it’s a question of whether he can command it. Over the past two months, his command has improved, and the A’s feel he is heading in the right direction. He’s also a 0-3 service-time player with options, giving the A’s payroll and roster flexibility as they wait for the production to catch up with the electric stuff.

Allen, 25, brings the two things that Billy Beane loves -- home runs and walks. The question will be whether he can plug up the holes in his swing that have been exposed at the major league level and hit enough to allow the home runs and walks to work in his favor.

The Diamondbacks' bullpen just got stronger as Ziegler will certainly help them in the sixth or seventh inning to get to David Hernandez and J.J. Putz


Diamondbacks: B-

Athletics: C+