Fruitful Meetings give D-backs revamped rotation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The D-backs were the talk of baseball as the Winter Meetings began for signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal, but general manager Dave Stewart didn't rest on that.
Instead, Stewart made another big splash by acquiring right-hander Shelby Miller and Minor Leaguer Gabe Speier from the Braves in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte and Minor Leaguers Aaron Blair and Dansby Swanson.
"Big both ways," Stewart said of the deal. "Atlanta was able to accomplish what they wanted to and we got done what we wanted to. I think we're a better team. Definitely a better starting rotation, so I'm happy."
The D-backs had discussions with Mike Leake's agent during the Meetings, and there appears to still be a possibility something could get worked out.
"He's a pretty amazing kid," Stewart said of Leake. "I had a conversation with him, and what he wants to try to accomplish and what he has accomplished to this point at a young age is pretty amazing. I think he would definitely be an asset to our team, for sure. He's got a real clue about what he wants to be doing. We're just going to have to see. I don't really know how it will turn out."
The D-backs are still in the hunt for some bullpen help, but it would be more in the front end rather than the back end as they seem to be confident in Brad Ziegler as their closer.
The D-backs officially announced the Greinke deal during the Meetings and acquired Miller. As it stands, the D-backs' top three starters will be Greinke, Miller and Patrick Corbin, followed by Rubby De La Rosa and Robbie Ray. A host of younger pitchers like Chase Anderson, Archie Bradley and Zack Godley could compete for backend spots.
Rule 5 activity
The D-backs did not select, nor did they lose, a player in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
In the Triple-A portion, the D-backs selected catcher Eduardo de Oleo from the Yankees, infielder Robelys Reyes from the Cardinals and outfielders Chad Oberacker from the A's and Devin Harris from the Giants.
The D-backs lost right-handers Ariel Hernandez, Blayne Weller, Yefrey Ramirez and John Brebbia, along with infielder Garrett Weber and outfielder Alex Glenn.
Once they spent the money on Greinke, the D-backs felt like they needed to continue to improve the rotation if they were going to compete in the National League West. In adding Miller, they've given themselves a chance to take advantage of at least a three-year window when key players like Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Greinke and Miller will be under contract.
If the D-backs can find a way to fit Leake into their budget, they will try and do that. In addition, the team would like to add a little depth to the bullpen, but it will focus more on middle relief rather than on backend help.
GM's bottom line
"We've got Goldy and we've got Pollock, our core group of guys who last year really put on a good display of baseball, and quite frankly, we think that it's time to try to take it to the next level." -- Stewart