Mike Hazen, Arizona Diamondbacks
Division rank: third
MLB rank: 14th
Hazen’s best trait was knowing which players to dump. He jettisoned 16 former Diamondbacks, either in deals with other front office executives or via free agency, and those departures improved Hazen’s rating by a collectively 7.0 WAA.
You did not want to touch a player with a Diamondback connection. Pittsburgh acquired Josh VanMeter at season’s start and the Pirates were rewarded with VanMeter’s -1.1 WAA contribution. The Rangers signed Kole Calhoun, who the D-Backs allowed to go to free agency, and Calhoun laid down a .196 average and -2.9 WAA for Texas. Hazen sent David Peralta to Tampa Bay in late July and Peralta produced a .652 OPS and -0.9 WAA down the stretch for the Rays.
When it came to actually procuring talent, Hazen’s record was less laudatory. He brought in eight players by trade at a net impact of -1.0 WAA. His nine free agent signings cost -5.3 WAA, and 17 rookies netted -2.4. Seth Beer got off to a great start, homering for an April win on National Beer Day, but did nothing the rest of the season and ended up at -1.3 WAA. Fellow rookie Luis Frias was -1.3.
All the bad players Hazen traded away allowed Arizona’s front office to finish sixth in net trade impact. But the D-Backs were a more ordinary 18th in both net free agent and farm system impact.
Hazen did a good job knowing who to unload, but a poor job of knowing who to bring in. Until that changes, Arizona isn’t going anywhere.