Team Strengths: The D-backs return most of the pitching staff that finished fourth in ERA last year. The reduction of Patrick Corbin in free agency strikes, however, the D-backs retained Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, get Taijuan Walker back from Tommy John surgery during the calendar year, additional Luke Weaver via trade and stand to benefit from the looming ascension of high pitching prospect Jon Duplantier.
Team Weaknesses: The D-backs finished 19th in runs scored last season, then traded business superstar Paul Goldschmidt and lost A.J. Pollock in free agency. It lasted a long, dispiriting run of creating impact homegrown position players just to lose them, following Justin Upton, Adam Eaton, Carlos Gonzalez, Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Mark Reynolds.
What They Did About It: The D-backs signed only two free agent position players–Wilmer Flores and Caleb Joseph–and will try to cover the reduction of Goldschmidt and Pollock with standing rotates. Seven of those D-backs’ top eight position prospects have yet to perform over Class A, therefore internal reinforcements won’t be coming to a large scale for at least another year.
Final outlook: The pitching staff may continue to keep the D-backs campaigning to get a bit, but a Treaty offense seems probably denying the golf club for its first losing season in three decades.