Arizona Diamondbacks Fail to Come to Terms with Two Key Players
The Arizona Diamondbacks went into today with six players eligible for arbitration. Of those six, the team was able to come to terms with four including starting pitcher Robbie Ray, third baseman Jake Lamb, and relievers Andrew Chafin and Matt Andriese.
The two players that the team failed to come to terms with were shortstop Nick Ahmed and closer Archie Bradley. Ahmed who is heading into his age 30 season has another year before becoming a free agent. Meanwhile, Bradley who has become a recognizable face of the franchise has two years of team control remaining.
Over the past few seasons, Nick Ahmed has become a fan favorite. When he is healthy, Ahmed is able to play gold glove defense at shortstop and has a very serviceable bat as well. Last year, Ahmed put up a: .254/.316/.437 slash line over 625 plate appearances with 19 home runs, 82 RBI, and 113 strikeouts.
When you put Ahmed’s offensive numbers together, it equals out to an offensive rating of 2.8, according to Baseball-Reference. Additionally, when it comes to total defense, Ahmed recorded 18 defensive runs saved which contributed to a defensive rating of 2.6 overall.
With the defense that Ahmed provides, it gives the Arizona Diamondbacks a very good defensive-savvy infield mix. The left side of the infield is especially talented with Eduardo Escobar and Jake Lamb at third base.
One storyline involving Nick Ahmed to watch this coming season is a potential contract extension. Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen has shown a willingness to extend players during his tenure. Ahmed is certainly an eligible candidate for one and could become a staple for the Diamondbacks.
Many fans first learned about Archie Bradley during the National League Wild Card Game two years ago. Bradley hit a triple during the seventh inning, Chase Field erupted, and “the beard” built his brand. At the time, Bradley was in his third season at the big league level and was only 24-years old.
Fast forward a few seasons and Bradley has become a very important part of the Diamondbacks bullpen makeup. Last season over 71 innings of work, Bradley recorded a 3.52 ERA with 18 saves, a 3.41 fielding independent percentage, and a 10.9 K/9 rate. Last season, Bradley proved on a number of different occasions that he could handle big moments and get important outs.
Heading into the coming 2020 season, Bradley will once again be counted on heavily and will give Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torrey Lovullo another late-inning option. Just this past week, the team came to terms with reliever Hector Rondon and Bradley could form a nice duo with Rondon to help the Diamondbacks this coming season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a very good offseason overall. The team was able to lure in free agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner aw well as Rondon. Additionally, the team came to terms earlier today with outfielder David Peralta on a three-year extension. Hazen has shown that he is focused on building a competitive win-now team. Hazen is also focused on keeping an eye on the future. The moves the team has made this offseason allow them to do just that. Now, the focus turns to signing both Nick Ahmed and Archie Bradley before an arbitration hearing becomes necessary.