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Arizona Diamondbacks

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In 2019, Brandon Pfaadt worked primarily as a reliever at Bellarmine, a then-Division II university in Louisville, Kentucky. Entering 2023, he is widely viewed as the best overall pitching prospect in the Diamondbacks organization, and he could break into the big leagues as soon as Opening Day. “He just keeps getting better and better,” Diamondbacks farm director Josh Barfield said.…

Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen reacts after allowing a home run to Kris Bryant at Chase Field.

For the first time since early 2020, there is a palpable buzz around the Diamondbacks. It’s not that the Diamondbacks are favored to win the NL West. Heck, the San Francisco Giants just signed Carlos Correa — the latest addition to a long list of obstacles in what is arguably baseball’s best division. It’s that there is an increasing sense among fans that the next generation of Diamondbacks — including Corbin Carroll, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas and a plethora of young pitchers in Drey Jameson, Ryne Nelson and eventually Brandon Pfaadt — could usher in a new era of Diamondbacks baseball that is not only good, but sustainable. In many respects, that hype is justified. The emerging core…

In a trade for Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Daulton Varsho, Houston Astros starting pitcher Christian Javier could be a primary part of the return.

It’s no secret that the Diamondbacks have been discussing trades for their young outfielders in recent days, but those rumors got more specific on Monday as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Diamondbacks and Houston Astros have discussed a trade that would send outfielder Daulton Varsho to Houston. https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1602400289662935040?s=20&t=0jzApYKySa4MDbe9qiFR7w With free agent Brandon Nimmo now off the board, Varsho is arguably the most valuable outfielder readily available. The only comparable player is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds, who is more accomplished offensively but leaps and bounds behind Varsho on defense. Varsho would certainly net a handsome return in a trade for Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that the Diamondbacks want to part with him. Not only was he one…

Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte could be hurt by MLB's new shift restrictions in 2022.

For the last decade, the sight of curmudgeonly, traditionalist baseball fans clamoring for players to learn to beat the shift by hitting the ball to the opposite field has grown more and more prevalent. Just bunt down the third-base line already, they say. In theory, it shouldn’t be that hard, right? Baseball is a game of adjustments, after all. Opposing...

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The lobby of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, the host site of the 2022 Winter Meetings.

SAN DIEGO — As Day 2 of the 2022 Winter Meetings was winding down Tuesday, Chicago Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins had already prepared himself for another long night of negotiations. “I’m not sure how the circles under my eyes are looking, but you guys can be the judge of that,” Hawkins told the media cohort in front of him at about 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday. “It’s certainly been full bore here over the last couple of days, and I would expect that to be the same tonight.” Yes, Cubs officials who’d made the trip were going to be back in negotiations for most of the night, at least until news broke a few hours later that they had…

Arizona Diamondbacks trade target Sean Murphy homers for the Oakland Athletics.

SAN DIEGO — The Diamondbacks did not make a trade at the Winter Meetings, but they did make plenty of phone calls. According to a report from the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro, one of them was to the Oakland A’s to discuss a trade for catcher Sean Murphy. In 2022, Murphy slashed .250/.332/.426 with 18 homers and 66 RBI in 612 plate appearances. He also ranked third among all MLB catchers in fWAR at 5.1, trailing only the Philadelphia Phillies’ JT Realmuto and the Baltimore Orioles’ Adley Rutcschman. Defensively, Murphy is well-regarded, having won a Gold Glove in 2021 and ranking among the league leaders in pitch framing in 2022. The Diamondbacks’ interest in Murphy initially may seem like an…

Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen spoke with the media about the MLB draft lottery on Monday.

SAN DIEGO — “First pick is unrealistic,” says Mike Fitzgerald, sunken into a couch with feet propped up by an ottoman in the Diamondbacks’ general manager suite. “Third pick is greedy. So we’re going four. “Greed doesn’t get rewarded in this world,” he says. “There is a process,” Mike Hazen adds. “We’re trying to show gratitude to the universe, and we think four is realistically not greedy.” Fitzgerald is the Diamondbacks’ director of research and development, and is one of the most well-respected analytics minds in baseball. Hazen is the Diamondbacks’ general manager and had just been discussing the balance between StatCast data and scouting reports when evaluating infield defenders. But ask them about the inaugural MLB draft lottery —…

Diamondbacks free agent target Xander Bogaerts doubles against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

SAN DIEGO — For the second time in the past week, the Diamondbacks have been tied to free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The rumor was first circulated by ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan in a column that he published last week. On Monday, MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi followed that up with a report of his own. Bogaerts is an outstanding player. In his age-29 season with the Boston Red Sox in 2022, he slashed .307/.377/.456 with 15 homers, 73 RBI and 6.1 fWAR. Bogaerts’ shortstop defense has historically been below average, but his defense metrics in 2022 were well above average for the first time in his career. Despite Bogaerts’ impressive résumé, he and the Diamondbacks are an odd pairing for several reasons.…

Sunrise in San Diego, the host city of the 2022 Winter Meetings.

SAN DIEGO — For the first time since 2019, neither a global pandemic nor an owners-imposed lockout could prevent baseball’s biggest annual gathering from taking place. The Winter Meetings are officially back, and there is a growing consensus in the industry that there will be no shortage of headlines made over the next few days. It’s not hard to see why. As the meetings get under way, there are as many as seven, $100-million-plus free agents still on the board in Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodón and Brandon Nimmo. Intriguing trade candidates are plentiful as well, including Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, Miami Marlins righty Pablo Lopez and…

Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis, who has since been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, rounds third after hitting a home run at T-Mobile Park.

Since winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2020, the last two years have not gone as planned for Kyle Lewis. After a decent start to his 2021 season, Lewis tore his meniscus and needed a third major surgery on his right knee. It took almost a year to work his way back, and when he did, he played only a few games before a concussion sidelined him for an additional month.  Upon returning a second time, Lewis tallied 46 albeit uninspiring plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners before being sent down to Triple-A Tacoma to finish the season. The Mariners went on to clinch their first playoff berth since 2001 without him. Now, Lewis is a Diamondback.…

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