Arizona Diamondbacks Offseason Adds Depth Without Losing Key Players

Chris GreenCorrespondent IIIFebruary 20, 2012

Diamondbacks welcome reliever Takashi Saito
Diamondbacks welcome reliever Takashi SaitoChristian Petersen/Getty Images

By all accounts the Diamondbacks had a very successful offseason. The team will be returning largely in tact from last season and they were able to add several new pieces.

The pitching staff received the most help, both by way of trade and free agency. 

Arizona’s biggest offseason acquisition was Trevor Cahill, who was acquired via a trade involving Diamondbacks’ prospect Jarrod Parker. 

Parker likely would have contended for a spot in the rotation this spring, but the addition of Cahill gives them the certainty for a spot in the rotation rather than just hoping that Parker could fill the role.

While many project Parker to have a successful Major League career, the Diamondbacks’ pitching depth at the minor league level afforded them the luxury to take an established Major League pitcher for one who just has the potential to be.

The Diamondbacks were also able to acquire free agent reliever Takashi Saito and resign Joe Saunders, who was a free agent after the Diamondbacks declined to offer arbitration. 

Arizona also added depth to an outfield that was already ranked as one of the best in MLB by signing free agent Jason Kubel. 

The most unusual aspect of the Diamondbacks’ offseason is that they did not lose any player who was a key part of the team in 2011. 

Xavier Nady, Jason Marquis, Zach Duke, Sean Burroughs and Juan Gutierrez all left the team.  None of the departing players had any real significance in the Diamondbacks success last season, either due to injury, ineffectiveness or both.  

The Diamondbacks should be in the conversation as the favorite to win the National League West entering the season, compared to last year where they were picked to finish fourth or fifth. 

The bullpen is deeper than 2011, the starting rotation is deeper and the outfield is deeper.

For the first time in several seasons Spring Training is more about hope, and less about uncertainty. The Josh Byrnes era has finally been cleansed.