D-backs' 5 biggest Winter Meetings moves

December 7th, 2020

PHOENIX -- This year's Winter Meetings were scheduled to take place in Dallas, but like a lot of in-person events in 2020, it was cancelled, and instead any group meetings that normally happen there will now take place via Zoom or conference call.

Without all baseball general managers and agents under one roof for three-plus days, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the usual level of trades and signings that happen there.

Given that, we decided to take a look back at the five biggest moves made by the D-backs in franchise history at the Winter Meetings:

1) Scherzer dealt in three-team deal
Dec. 8, 2009
D-backs traded
and Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers. Tigers sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and to the D-backs. Yankees sent to the D-backs and Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Tigers

It’s important to keep in mind when assessing this deal that Scherzer had not yet turned into Scherzer. He had just completed his first full year in the big leagues, and the D-backs had some concerns about his ability to stay healthy over a long career given the head jerk that was part of his pitching mechanics at that point. Meanwhile, the D-backs were looking to add depth to the rotation and jumped at the chance to add two starters for the price of one.

While Scherzer would go on to become a three-time (and counting) Cy Young Award winner, the trade was not a complete bust for the D-backs. Kennedy won 21 games in 2011 as the D-backs won the NL West that year. The No. 2 starter in the rotation that year was right-hander Daniel Hudson, whom the D-backs acquired from the White Sox at the 2010 Trade Deadline for Jackson.

2) Miller acquired from Braves
Dec. 9, 2015
D-backs receive
and Gabe Speier from the Braves in exchange for , and Aaron Blair

The D-backs had just signed ace Zack Greinke to a then-record six-year, $206.5 million contract, which was officially announced at the Meetings, and wanted a pitcher to follow him in the rotation.

Acquiring Miller was not a crazy idea. Though he was coming off a 17-loss season with the Braves his ERA+ that year was 127 and he was just 25 years old.

The problem was what the D-backs gave up. Inciarte was a highly undervalued outfielder who would go on to win three Gold Gloves in Atlanta, and Swanson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Making matters worse was just how bad Miller was for the D-backs, compiling a 6.35 ERA over three seasons.

3) Big price paid for Haren
Dec. 14, 2007
D-backs acquire
and Connor Robertson from the A’s in exchange for Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith

This trade wasn’t technically completed during the Winter Meetings, but most of the groundwork for it was done at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. In fact, the D-backs traded outfielder Carlos Quentin to the White Sox at the outset of the Meetings in order to acquire Carter because that was one of the pieces the A’s wanted for Haren.

The D-backs were coming off a surprise National League Championship Series appearance and were hoping that acquiring Haren would help put them over the top. While the D-backs did not make the postseason in 2008 -- they were passed by the Dodgers, who acquired Manny Ramirez at the Trade Deadline that year -- Haren pitched well for them for two-plus seasons and brought back Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs when he was dealt to the Angels in '10.

4) Big bat for too big a price
Dec. 10, 2013
D-backs acquire
, A.J. Schugel and Brandon Jacobs from the Angels in a three-team deal that included the White Sox. Arizona gave up (White Sox) and (Angels)

The D-backs felt they needed to add some power to their lineup after finishing with identical 81-81 records in both 2012 and '13, and Trumbo certainly qualified, having hit more than 30 homers during the previous two seasons. Trumbo, though, struggled with injuries in 2014, and his 14 homers couldn’t help the D-backs avoid a last-place finish that cost GM Kevin Towers his job.

The D-backs felt they could part with Eaton because they had A.J. Pollock in center, but Eaton would make them regret not shifting him to a corner spot as he put up big numbers for the White Sox over the next few seasons. Skaggs, too, would go on to pitch well for the Angels, making this a deal the D-backs would’ve liked to have had back.

5) Swapping salaries in San Diego
Dec. 9, 2014
D-backs officially announce the signing of
to a six-year, $68.5 million deal and deal to the Cubs for Zack Godley and Jefferson Mejia

The D-backs made a splash at the Meetings in San Diego by signing Tomás, a slugger out of Cuba, to a then-record contract for the franchise. In order to make the move work financially, the team dealt the popular Montero along with the three years and $40 million left on his contract.

Things never really worked out for Tomás in Arizona, and his contract became an albatross for the franchise while Montero went on to help the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.