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Inbox: Are D-backs in a rebuild year?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers questions from fans
January 31, 2019

Hi Steve, wondering if this is a rebuild year? -- Martie W., Phoenix Losing Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin obviously will make things challenging for the D-backs, and one option they had was to continue to trade away players and embrace a full rebuild. Instead, they want to

Hi Steve, wondering if this is a rebuild year?
-- Martie W., Phoenix

Losing Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin obviously will make things challenging for the D-backs, and one option they had was to continue to trade away players and embrace a full rebuild. Instead, they want to try and be competitive this year, while working to build the depth in the farm system. So general manager Mike Hazen is calling it more of a retooling as Arizona transitions to a younger core that it has coming through the Minors. If the D-backs get off to a really bad start, they could certainly look at doing more of a rebuild before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
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Do you think Ketel Marte is a good fit in the outfield, or do you think he should stay in the middle infield?  Also, do you think it's good to move him around from infield to outfield?
-- Vincent G., Phoenix

I thought the ideal scenario for the D-backs was to find a center fielder to replace Pollock and have Marte stay at second. There just wasn't a lot available on the free-agent or trade market when it came to center fielders. Given that, moving Marte to center was probably the best option Arizona had. As for shifting him around, you raise a valid concern there. It's one thing to move a guy around the outfield or around the infield, but splitting time between the outfield and the infield is a different story. Not a lot of players can handle something like that. Ben Zobrist could do it, and Daniel Descalso was able to play second, third, first and left field during his time in Arizona, but it can be a real challenge. I would prefer to see Marte stick in center rather than moving him back and forth during the season.
With Goldschmidt gone, a shot at the postseason seems less likely than the past two seasons. What do you see happening with Nick Ahmed, Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke and/or David Peralta come the non-waiver Trade Deadline this summer?
-- PJ, Goshen, Ind.

Hazen has been pretty open about the fact that the D-backs will re-evaluate their situation as the season goes on to see where things stand. He has not specifically mentioned which names might get traded should the team fall out of the race and it decides to embark on more of a rebuild than a retool, but those names you listed are guys that either have a big contract [Greinke] or are getting more expensive via arbitration but still could command a good return.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.