What the Diamondbacks Should Do

by Ross Friedman

One of my consistent themes in my articles is that whenever a team is making a decision, it should always be with the intent to give them the best possible chance to win a championship, as that should be the ultimate goal of every sports team. They are not easy to win, so each team needs to figure out what the best way for them to get one.

This brings me to an interesting decision the Arizona Diamondbacks should be making. They are a team that has a chance to make the playoffs, but probably not enough. It appears that it will be very hard for them to win the World Series without spending significantly more money for the betterment of the team.

At this point, the team that plays in Bank One Ballpark is bankrupt. They do not have the money to put them over the top. At best they will stay a team with a borderline chance to make the playoffs. In other words, they do not have enough to reach the goal of a professional sports team.

So this gives them two options to reach their goal. First, maintain the way they are now until they can find a way to get their financial situation in order and then add the players necessary to make a World Series run. Or second, trade off the big name talent they have now, to put together a young talented nucleus that can win down the road.

From the fan of the D-Backs perspective, you always hate to see your team rebuild, because that means a number of losing seasons. Arizona’s management is probably scared of attendance dropping off too much if they did trade off their big name stars and had a losing record so they will probably try the technique of maintain their current team.

This would be (and will be) a huge mistake.

Randy Johnson is 37 years old. Curt Schilling will be 35 next season. In May Todd Stottlemyre turns 36. Matt Williams and Jay Bell will both be 35 next season and Steve Finley 36. Do you see my point? If and when the Diamondbacks can afford a winner, their team will be too old to win, if they are not already.

However, players like Johnson and Schilling have a lot of trade value. So does Matt Williams. They can try to do a Herschal Walker move with these players and create a young nucleus that could win, and at a cheaper price, for years to come.

Basically, they should be trading off their six highest paid players; Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Matt Williams, Todd Stottlemyre, Jay Bell (although they would have to pay part of his salary), and Steve Finley.

Now, the following is part of the trades they should make, although they assuredly will not. Randy Johnson they should ship off to the Yankees in a package that would bring them D-Backs Alfanso Soriano, Nick Johnson, and Ted Lily. They should trade Curt Schilling to the Boston Red Sox in a trade that would include Tomo Ohka and Wilton Veras.

If the Mariners lose Alex Rodriguez, they will be seeking more offense and the D-Backs should try to trade them Matt Williams in a deal that would include Carlos Guillen and Jeff Heaverlo. The rest they should trade for whatever prospects they can get, with Todd Stottlemyre probably bringing in the most of the other three players.

That’s it. Trade off the big names and bring in young and talented ones.

Plan B

Cut down on operating expenses while finding a way to increase the attendance at the ballpark. Sign Manny Ramirez and make a run right now.

2001 Suggested 25-man Roster


LF-Tony Womack
2B-Alfonso Soriano
1B-Nick Johnson
CF-Luis Gonzalez
RF-Danny Bautista
3B-Wilton Veras
SS-Carlos Guillen
C- Damien Miller


C - Kelly Stinnett
1B - Erubiel Durazo
IN - Andy Fox
IN - Craig Counsell
OF - Dave Dellucci
PH - Greg Culbrunn


Brian Anderson
Tomo Ohka
Ted Lilly
Geraldo Guzman
Ben Norris


Matt Mantei
Byung-Hyun Kim
Mike Morgan
Greg Swindell
Russ Springer
Miguel Batista

Send Ross your opinions, comments or verbal abuse at ross@JBaseball.

© 2000 JBaseball

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Moneyball.