Today we look at the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2015 Finish: 79-83, 3rd place in the NL West
So Long: David Hernandez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jeremy Hellickson, Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill
Projected Lineup via Rotochamp.com:
1. AJ Pollock, CF
2. David Peralta, LF
3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
4. Yasmany Tomas, RF
5. Welington Castillo, C
6. Jake Lamb, 3B
7. Jean Segura, 2B
8. Nick Ahmed, SS
Starting Rotation: Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, Rubby de la Rosa
Setup: Daniel Hudson, Andrew Chafin, Randall Delgado, Matt Reynolds, Tyler Clippard, Josh Collmenter
Closer: Brad Zeigler
Eagles Lyric Because It's the Desert and I Don't Know Any Rap:
"Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona/And such a fine sight to see/It's a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford/Slowin' down to take a look at me."
- The Eagles, Take It Easy
The Diamondbacks, that team you forget exists from time to time, scored the biggest free agent prize of the winter in Zack Greinke. The fact that they stole him away from division rival LA makes it even sweeter for them. They also acquired Shelby Miller who once again showed us that pitcher W/L records mean nothing by going 6-17 in spite of posting a 3.02 ERA in Atlanta last year. By the way, the Dodgers were apparently interested in acquiring him too, so the Diamondbacks two biggest moves screwed over a division rival. Well done.
Greinke and Miller give Arizona one of the best one-two punches in the league and a lineup featuring MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and the surprisingly effective AJ Pollock should make them a legit contender for the NL pennant. I would just give them the division crown now, but the Giants still have their evil voodoo magic going. More on that coming up in our Giants preview.
Reason to Watch: Zack Greinke was 51–15 with a 2.30 ERA in three seasons with the Dodgers and got robbed of the Cy Young by a civil war reenactor who had a good month. That ERA will probably rise a bit in Arizona, but Greinke could regress considerably and still be one of the best pitchers in the NL. I hope he no hits the fucking Dodgers every time they play.
The Fans: I honestly have no clue. I've never met one. Arizona is one of those states where a lot of the population came from somewhere else and brought their sports allegiances with them. It took the Cardinals 20 years to develop a real fanbase and they had a 10 year head start on the Diamondbacks. Pro-tip: It would help if you didn't change your entire color scheme every other year.
Their Worst Contract: Even with Zack Greinke on the books for $27 million this year, Arizona has the lowest payroll in baseball. $8 million seems like an awful lot for Tyler Clippard, so let's go with that.
Fantasy Standout: Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke are your obvious choices, so to STIR THE POT, I'm picking Brad Zeigler. Zeigler was 30 of 31 in save opportunities last year and with a significantly improved team I would expect 40+ saves this year.
Fantasy Bust: Jean Segura, because he is an asshole.
The Pop Culture Equivalent Of This Team Is: Something cool, but relatively unknown that you feel special for liking. Basically the complete opposite of The Big Bang Theory which is shitty, widely watched, and something you should be ashamed of.
Arizona's new logo appears to be a snake coughing up a hairball.