Throughout this brief Masahiro Tanaka frenzy, which still has about three weeks left, we’ve heard the Arizona Diamondbacks mentioned as a potential landing spot for the Japanese star on more than one occasion. While they may not be considered a true favorite to land the pitcher, they continue to hover and present a threat to the larger markets that are out to sign him before the bidding process is over.
The Diamondbacks were right around the middle of the pack in team ERA, at 3.92 which was good for 17th in the league. Regardless of what statistic one examines, be it strikeouts, walks, WHIP, etc., the Diamondbacks were about as average as possible on the mound. As the team prepares for a serious run, after consecutive seasons of disappointment, it appears that they’re serious about adding another starting pitcher.
Which is why they find themselves rumored to be in the mix for the likes of Tanaka. It’s going to cost a pretty penny to sign a guy like that, and it’s a tremendous risk. However, the reward that could come along with signing Tanaka, who is by all accounts an arm that can immediately slot in as a no. 2 or 3 in any rotation, far outweighs whatever the price tag may be. In fact, Ken Rosenthal has pointed out that not only are the Diamondbacks in the mix for Tanaka, but they’re a very serious threat to reel him in.
Tanaka isn’t the only notable name that the Diamondbacks are rumored to be pursuing, though. Matt Garza is still out on the market, and while his demands are quite high, he comes with big upside and won’t cost a draft pick. Of the three or four teams that are constantly mentioned in connection with the veteran righty, the Diamondbacks are one of them. Don’t sleep on them in the running for Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez either.
Point is, the Diamondbacks are a team to be taken seriously in relation to all of this pitching that remains available this deep into the winter. They have an offense that is capable of getting them a championship if everything comes together. It’s a matter of the pitching coming together, and in order to do that, they may need to add another marquee arm. The front office is aware of that, which is why this team remains a large threat to grab a big fish before it’s all said and done this offseason.