Sure, the Arizona Diamondbacks would love to re-sign J.D. Martinez.
But with the free agent outfielder reportedly seeking a contract in the $200 million range, general manager Mike Hazen might have to get creative to replace Martinez’s production.
If the D-backs are unable to bring back Martinez here are some internal and external options Hazen could look at for outfield help.
Yasmany Tomas was the D-backs’ primary left fielder in 2016 and if it were not for an injury-plagued 2017, Arizona may not have traded for Martinez in the first place.
The D-backs committed $68.5 million over six years to the 27-year-old Tomas in December 2014, but unlike other Cuban sluggers, Tomas has yet to show much consistency at the plate and his below-average defense has cost the D-backs plenty of runs. Tomas’ -8 defensive runs saved in 2016 was the fifth-worst among left fielders who logged at least 450 innings.
Tomas did post an above league average Weighted Runs Created Plus (109) in 2016, with 100 being league average. The rate statistic is one of the best measures of a hitter’s true offensive value because it does not treat each hit the same. For example, a hitter should get more brownie points for a home run with the bases loaded in a close game and fewer for a lead off single in the first inning.
He hit 31 home runs and drove in 83 runs. But despite providing value with the bat, Tomas’ inferior defense made him a replacement level player at best (0.1 Wins Above Replacement).
If the D-backs trade Tomas, Socrates Brito could get a second chance to prove himself at the big-league level.
If Hazen is able to re-sign or reach an agreement during arbitration with David Peralta, Arizona could turn to the 25-year-old Brito to man the other corner outfield spot. Despite breaking his right hand in spring training, he hit .291 in 71 games at Triple-A Reno and his range would represent an upgrade on paper to Tomas.
D-backs have options in outfield if J.D. Martinez signs elsewhere
Arizona Sports | Dec 5