Seeking a change from last season’s bullpen performance, the Arizona Diamondbacks have made a concerted effort to boost their relief corps in the offseason. However, Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said that he is not done yet.
After a disappointing 2022 MLB season, Hazen is optimistic about the position player depth his front office has built. This includes players like Evan Longoria and Gabriel Moreno, who are expected to make an impact in 2023. However, Hazen acknowledged to reporters on a Zoom call Friday that the bullpen — a sore spot in 2022 — is not a finished product about a month before spring training ramps up.
“I have more work to do there,” Hazen answered. “The offseason has still a month and a half to go, never know what could happen at this point.”
“I think we’ve at least addressed most of our major needs, but I still think there may be, we’ll see where the mark takes us from here. … From a position player standpoint, we’ve built out a decent amount of depth.”
A Lot of Options for the D-Backs
The D-backs continue to make significant strides toward strengthening their position this season with an impressive acquisition of Evan Longoria. The veteran infielder, who has had a long and successful career in the majors, will bring invaluable experience and prowess to the Arizona Diamondbacks roster. Alongside Josh Rojas, they’ll be competing for a spot as a third baseman as well as the designated hitter.
Additionally, the team acquired Gabriel Moreno in a trade with Toronto to build out their catching options, and right-handed outfielders Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Kyle Lewis offer much-needed balance in their lineup. It’s clear the D-backs are intent on piecing together a powerful roster for 2023 and it looks highly promising there forward.
“Almost the entire team has options, (which) will give us the flexibility to withstand injuries. I think we’ll have a healthy amount of competition at spring training,” Hazen said.
More Acquisitions for 2023
Highly experienced Miguel Castro, Japan League veteran Scott McGough, and young Carlos Vargas have all been recruited to increase the velocity at the mound for the upcoming season. The Diamondbacks ranked No. 25 in the MLB in ERA last year with 27 blown saves due to underperformance.
Additionally, their strikeout rate was significantly below league average, at 19.7%, while their average fastball velocity was second-lowest of any team at 92.6 mph. With this trio now on board, look for an improvement across these metrics as they seek an injection of added variety and speed.