Justin Turner is “atop [the Diamondbacks’] want checklist” this offseason, USA At this time’s Bob Nightengale writes. It isn’t any shock that the D’Backs could be in pursuit of Turner, because the staff additionally had curiosity within the veteran infielder final winter, and Turner’s inventory is kind of excessive after a profitable yr with the Pink Sox.
Turner hit .276/.345/.455 with 23 homers over 626 plate appearances with Boston final season, as he hasn’t proven a lot signal of decline despite the fact that he turns 39 later this month. He’s again on the free agent market after declining his participant possibility to stay with the Sox, and appears prone to land one other multi-year contract even at his superior age. Something past two assured years could be a little bit of a attain, nevertheless, which maybe retains Turner inside the Diamondbacks’ value vary.
A number of contenders or would-be contenders are prone to test in on Turner this winter, so the reigning NL champion D’Backs received’t be alone of their pursuit. Enjoying in Phoenix would additionally carry Turner a bit nearer to his residence in Southern California, and if Turner had designs on being an everyday third baseman once more, the Diamondbacks have a gap on the scorching nook since Evan Longoria can also be a free agent. Turner would in all probability be within the lineup most on daily basis as both a 3rd baseman, designated hitter, or occasional first baseman if Christian Walker is at DH or getting a relaxation day. When Turner isn’t at third base, Gerardo Perdomo or Emmanuel Rivera could be readily available to man the place.
Signing Turner would additionally add a right-handed bat to Arizona’s lineup, and GM Mike Hazen instructed reporters (together with The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic) that protecting the lineup balanced is “in all probability going to be an space that we’re going to want to handle once more.” Free brokers Longoria, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Tommy Pham all hit from the suitable aspect, leaving the Snakes slightly heavy on lefty swingers and switch-hitters. High prospect Jordan Lawlar is a right-handed hitter who is predicted to get a bigger position after making his MLB debut in 2023, although putting in Lawlar because the on a regular basis shortstop could be slightly daring, and it could be depending on how the D’Backs handle the third base state of affairs.
Past one other hitter or two, Hazen harassed that his staff can be wanting so as to add some skilled rotation assist. Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly had been the cornerstones of an in any other case subpar rotation, as many of the youthful arms had some rising pains, veteran Zach Davies was injured and largely ineffective, and Madison Bumgarner was launched completely after continued struggles.
Rookie Brandon Pfaadt established himself through the playoffs, so he’ll be penciled into one spot together with Gallen and Kelly. That leaves room for an additional seasoned pitcher inside the rotation’s high 4, and Hazen felt the Snakes had been merely missing on this division through the postseason, most notably of their now-infamous bullpen sport in Sport 4 of the World Sequence.
“Having veterans in that rotation matter. I believe you appeared throughout the aisle right here on this collection and [the Rangers] had extra veteran beginning pitchers than we did,” Hazen mentioned.
To this finish, Hazen had some regrets over not already addressing this want final summer time. The overall supervisor mentioned he “chased each beginning pitcher within the free market” on the deadline, and famous that groups usually requested for Pfaadt and Alek Thomas in commerce calls for. Whereas Hazen had no intention of transferring both of these gamers, “had been there different avenues that we may have pushed, by including extra prospects within the offers the place it didn’t embrace these guys? The place I ought to have gone down that route? I don’t know. I don’t know the reply to these issues. However I do know I didn’t get a beginning pitcher. And that’s on me.”