Arizona Diamondbacks' best and worst-case scenarios for 2024

Corbin Carroll during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Feb. 21, 2024 in
Corbin Carroll during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Feb. 21, 2024 in / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Most realistic scenario

The D-Backs survived last season despite pretty routine team numbers. They were strikingly average both on offense (98 team OPS+) and defense (98 ERA+). They finished 84-78, a record that was good enough to qualify for the postseason only through the grace of the modified postseason format, which admitted six teams from each league rather than five, as in previous seasons. Arizona was No. 6 by virtue of their mastery over one team, the Cubs. The D-Backs beat the Cubs six of seven in September and still finished just one game ahead of Chicago.

Aside from Rodriguez, they haven’t added much during the winter. They did get Eugenio Suarez from Seattle to play third base, but considering that Suarez batted just .232 last season with a league-high 214 strikeouts, one can debate whether that’s an improvement.

The other pickup of possible note was Joc Pederson, who will be the primary DH. At this stage of his career, Pederson is a confirmed journeyman, although so was Tommy Pham when Arizona obtained him last year, and that worked out pretty well.

Best guess: Nobody’s picking anybody to overhaul the Dodgers in the NL West, but there’s enough here to dream. Maybe Carroll will produce that MVP season; maybe Moreno will become the NL version of Rutschman; maybe Gallen will win the Cy Young, Pfaadt will make every month seem like October, and Kelly will forestall the aging process.

If all that happens, then the Diamondbacks are a legit wild card contender. If not, well, it isn’t a long fall from 84-78 to below .500.

The Cubs' Cody Bellinger deal makes sense for both sides (