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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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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…

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.…

Diamondbacks outfielder Jake McCarthy slides into home plate at Minute Maid Park.

Anyone who watched more than a few Diamondbacks games in 2022 knows that speed was one of the team’s defining characteristics. Infield hits, stealing bases, singles stretched into doubles — all were hallmarks of the 2022 Diamondbacks. Granted, not every player on the team was fast. (Don’t be fooled by Carson Kelly’s first stolen base since he was a 19-year-old...

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D-backs Podcast

According to a report, the Arizona Diamondbacks are among the teams that have checked in on free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts. We discuss how Bogaerts would fit in on the D-backs and whether the team has the financial means to make a deal happen. Plus, in a pair of possibly troubling moves for D-backs fans, Shelby Miller became a Dodger and Stone Garrett signed with the Washington Nationals.

Diamondbacks outfielders celebrate a win at Minute Maid Park.

With a large contingent of teams looking to upgrade in center field and few answers to be found in free agency, the Diamondbacks are in an enviable position this winter. They don’t just have one starting-caliber center fielder. They arguably have four. And there may be no time like the present to strike a deal, not just to capitalize when the market is hot, but to potentially solve one of the team’s on-going needs at another position. Making a deal happen will be easier said than done, however, for a couple of reasons. First, the D-backs’ asking price figures to be quite high, given how few center fielders are available in free agency and the fact that general manager Mike…

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