Thursday, January 29, 2015 Written by Brian Kreps @bk067 on twitter Recapping Arizona Diamondbacks off season moves The Arizona Diamondbacks have been active in the off season and even though they have not pulled off the sexy trade that fans like, they are building on the model that small moves made this year lead to bigger moves in the future. The Diamondbacks have new leadership and will ask fans for patience. The one major accomplishment so far is the ability to shred payroll and rebuild. With the moves they have made thus far have allowed that. With the surplus of middle infielders, making certain trades this would allow the Diamondbacks to acquire prospects and pitching. First, the Diamondbacks acquired right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson went from a 13-10 mark with a 2.95 ERA in 29 starts during his rookie season in 2011. This earned Hellickson rookie of the year. Then he went 12-10 and a 5.17 mark in 2013. Much of those struggles could be due to a right elbow problem that Hellickson corrected prior to this past season, when "loose bodies" were extracted. In 2014, Hellickson went on to post a 1-5 mark with a 4.52 ERA in 13 starts. The 27-year-old did not make his season debut until July 8, striking out 54 and walking 21 in 63 plus innings. This is the type of move that has a low risk, with high reward. No major league talent was given up in the trade, as two prospects Andrew Valazquez (infielder) and Justin Williams(outfielder) were the players going back to Tampa Bay Rays. The change of scenery can only help Hellickson and the Diamondbacks. Didi Gregorius, one of the surpluses of middle infielders that the Diamondbacks used in a trade to the New York Yankees. This was part of a three team trade that included the Detroit Tigers. The Diamondbacks received Robbie Ray (pitcher), and prospect Domingo Leyda (infielder) back in the deal. Next, Miguel Montero was trade to the Chicago Cubs. In return prospects Zack Godley(pitcher) and Jeffereson Mejia (pitcher) were received. Even though these two pitchers will not be major league ready now, they both will grow in the minor league system. The biggest part of this deal allowed the Diamondbacks to shred themselves of Montero's contract. This is a move that not only helps today, but in the future. The final trade was Wade Miley to Boston Redsox. Allen Webster (pitcher), Rubby De La Rosa (pitcher), and prospect Raymel Flores(infielder) were the players received back in this deal. For those not aware, Webster and De La Rosa were part of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Redsox trade in 2012. This is a move that may not be a fan favorite, but has the potential to be a big move as they are getting major league talent and a prospect back. These moves went hand in hand as the Diamondbacks able to sign Yasmany Tomas. There is a lot of hype with this player, and plenty to be excited about. Then there is the Rule 5 Selection. For those that are not aware of the Rule 5 selection, it’s for players who are not currently on a certain team's 40-man roster they are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft. If a said player (s) is chosen in the Rule 5 draft, that player chosen must be kept on the selecting team's 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or sent to their minor league affiliates. The Diamondbacks were also active in this by the selection of Oscar Hernandez (catcher) from the Rays and Tim Crabbe (pitcher) from the Cincinnati Reds. Even though there were injuries in the 2014 season, one of the most exciting moments was seeing pitcher David Hernandez return the the mound towards the end of the season and pitch in big league action. With all these moves, and the young talent the Diamondbacks have, they should be fun to watch in 2015. Yes they are not a team that can contend next season, but should definitely be an improvident from 2014.
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