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Arizona Diamondbacks 2024 outlook: After an unlikely World Series run, what’s next for D-Backs?

Arizona Diamondbacks
Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

After making it to the World Series last season, the big question in Arizona has to be: what’s next? The Arizona Diamondbacks roster is filled with up-and-coming talent as well as proven veterans, but the franchise hasn’t had back-to-back postseason appearances since the 2001-2002 seasons. One of those ended in a championship.

With the Los Angeles Dodgers adding behemoths to an already stacked roster, an NL West title doesn’t look likely for Arizona. Still, they showed that they can hang with any team last October, so just making the dance may be enough.

For a franchise that hasn’t had a lot of exposure to the postseason in their existence, the Diamondbacks look primed for a run of competitive teams, led by NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll, an underrated Christian Walker, and a forgotten about Ketel Marte. They also have two top-six picks in Jordan Lawler and Druw Jones waiting in the wings. They may not have the payroll to truly spend like the Dodgers, but they could become the biggest roadblock for Los Angeles in the coming years.

Let’s take a look at some of the moves Arizona has made this winter, provide an outlook for 2024, and give you one player to keep an eye on for the upcoming season.

Arizona Diamondbacks additions and subtractions

arizona diamondbacks
Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

For a team coming off a World Series appearance, the Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t saying goodbye to too many players. The most notable subtraction from last year’s roster is Tommy Pham, who put up 1.8 WAR last season. Outside of him, there’s Zach Davies (0.8), and Dominic Fletcher (0.6), who was traded to the Chicago White Sox for starter Cristian Mena last month. Mena is entering his age 21 season and reached Triple-A last year, posting a 5.95 ERA with a 3.73 FIP in 192/3 innings. He’ll be a depth option for Arizona, but he throws in the mid-90’s and has mid-rotation potential.

The big addition this offseason has been Eduardo Rodríguez, who signed for four years and $80 million after posting a 3.30 ERA with the Tigers last season across 1522/3 innings. Adding a proven arm like Rodríguez to a rotation that touts Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Brandon Pfaadt gives Arizona the extra starter they were lacking in last year’s playoff run.

The team also added Joc Pederson (to a roster that already had Jace Peterson) and Randal Grichuk to platoon at DH with Joc taking on right-handers and Grichuk taking the lefties. Grichuk held a 155 wRC+ (100 is league average) against lefties last season, while Pederson had a 115 against righties. If the plan works, that’s a pretty sizable upgrade for a team that produced a 93 wRC+ from their designated hitters last season.

Speaking of upgrades, with the departure of veteran Evan Longoria, the D-Backs traded reliever Carlos Vargas and backup catcher Seby Zavala for third baseman Eugenio Suárez. Arizona ranked 27th in baseball in wRC+ from third base last season with a 75. This year Suárez is projected to be right about league average with the bat, which is still a big increase in production for the club. .

If you take a look at the WAR total that the D-Backs received last season from the players no longer on the roster, and you compare it with the projected WAR that they brought in, primarily from Rodríguez, Suárez, Pederson, and Grichuk, Arizona comes out ahead for 2024 with a +5.3.

Arizona Diamondbacks 2024 outlook

arizona diamondbacks
Credit: Rob Schumacher / USA TODAY NETWORK

The standings projections over at Baseball Prospectus have the Arizona Diamondbacks as the fourth-best team in the National League, slightly ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, and just a touch below the St. Louis Cardinals. Arizona is projected for 84.9 wins in 2024, while the Phillies are at 84.7 and the Cardinals at 85. The Atlanta Braves (100.8) and Dodgers (101.4) are the runaway favorites.

With all of this in mind, the Diamondbacks are in a great position. They over-performed their 80-82 Pythagorean record by four games last season, which, if you add the projected WAR totals we just mentioned, brings us to about 85 wins.

Last year’s team was a scrappy bunch that was actually tied with L.A. at the All Star break in the West with a 52-39 record. Out of the break they went 5-20 which took away their hopes of winning the division. If this year’s club can avoid the same type of slump, they could be in the discussion of the best teams in the NL. They may not finish with as many wins as Atlanta or L.A., but if and when they match up in October, they have the talent to take down either club.

Even though they made a run last season, they’re going to be slept on again in 2024. The roster is improved, and we could be looking at the beginning of a new era for the Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks player to keep an eye on in 2024

arizona diamondbacks
Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

In September of last year, the Diamondbacks released two-time Gold Glove winner Nick Ahmed, who had been with the club for a decade. Taking over at shortstop is Geraldo Perdomo, a 24-year-old switch hitter who was a league average bat last year with a solid glove.

Even though he can switch it righty or lefty, FanGraphs has him projected to be involved in a platoon at short, though there isn’t a clear platoon for him to be a part of. Last season Perdomo received most of his playing time against right-handers (345 ABs to 62), and while his batting average stayed fairly consistent on either side of the plate, his on-base percentage skyrocketed against right-handers, sitting at .362, compared to just .304. Because of that jump, Perdomo held a 105 wRC+ against righties and a 62 against southpaws.

This season he’ll need to hit against both in order to receive regular playing time. The Diamondbacks promoted Jordan Lawlar in September last year and the 21-year-old struggled mightily, going 4-for-31. Lawlar is expected to begin the season in Triple-A, but he’s going to get another chance with Arizona at some point this season. Arizona also brought in veteran Elvis Andrus on a minor-league deal as a depth option just in case.

Perdomo has the chance to become a staple of the roster or a platoon bat in the coming months.

Jason Burke covers MLB for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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