Grichuk agrees to 1-year deal with D-backs

February 17th, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Less than 24 hours after saying he was still looking to add another bat, D-backs GM Mike Hazen did just that as the team agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder on a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2025.

Grichuk will earn $1.5 million as a base salary this year, and the option for 2025 is $6 million with a $500,000 buyout, a source told Grichuk could make an additional $3.5 million this year based on plate appearances.

“We're looking every way possible to continue to shore up our roster,” Hazen said. “We like him as a baseball player first and foremost overall and his ability to go out there in the outfield and his ability to hit lefties.”

The 32-year-old Grichuk split last season between the Rockies and Angels, slashing a combined .267/.321/.459 with 16 homers.

Grichuk can play all three outfield positions, and while he hit just .244 with a .694 OPS against righties in 2023, he hits lefties very well, compiling a .328 average and .995 OPS against them last year. Over his career, he has an .822 OPS against lefties.

The D-backs last month signed free agent Joc Pederson to a one-year deal, and they plan to have him serve as the designated hitter against right-handed pitching. Pederson has struggled against lefties, and Grichuk gives the D-backs a right-handed option to platoon with him.

Grichuk’s ability to play the outfield also would give manager Torey Lovullo the option to slide outfielders Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Alek Thomas or Corbin Carroll into the DH spot on a given day with Grichuk taking their place in the field.

Making sure that Lovullo has different lineup combinations and platoon advantages is something that Hazen focused on following Arizona’s surprising run to the World Series last year.

The D-backs added starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, third baseman Eugenio Suárez and Pederson while also re-signing Gurriel in an attempt to improve over their 84 wins from 2023.

“Mike and company have done a good job of filling the needs that this team has,” Lovullo said. "I've always been a big fan sitting across the field from [Grichuk]. And I know that he can come up and have a quality at-bat at the most critical time of the game. We gotta get him in here and just see where he's at. So how he slots in, I'm not exactly sure right now, but we'll figure that out.”

Right-hander Drey Jameson, who underwent Tommy John surgery last September and is expected to miss the entire season, was placed on the 60-day injured list to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Grichuk.

The D-backs may have to find additional spots on the 40-man at the end of the spring if non-roster players like shortstop Kevin Newman or catcher Tucker Barnhart make the team.

That could be tricky, which speaks well of the depth the D-backs have now outside of just their 26-man roster.

“We [have] what we believe are really good players at the bottom of our [40-man] roster, which is what the goal should be -- to get it to a spot where we're making very difficult decisions on that,” Hazen said.