Ranking the five worst moves of the Dave Stewart era with the Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks have fired general manager Dave Stewart. This list is a good reason why
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday that general manager Dave Stewart -- along with manager Chip Hale -- were shown the door. It was a move that needed to happen and I'm only really taken aback by the fact that baseball ops leader Tony La Russa didn't suffer the same fate. His fingerprints are all over this mess just as much as Stewart's.
Regardless, Stewart is done as GM and he surely will never get another crack at it.
Before we dive into the reasons for such a statement, let's give Stewart his due on one particular move.
So far, it looks like the deal to trade for Jean Segura was a good one. Sure, Class A infielder Isan Diaz could change that statement in a few years, but the D-Backs dumped Aaron Hill and Chase Anderson hasn't yet proven valuable at the big-league level (and he's turning 29 this offseason).
Segura, though, hit .319/.368/.499 with 41 doubles, seven triples, 20 home runs, 33 steals and 102 runs this year at age 26. He led the NL with 203 hits and led his team in WAR. A team with Paul Goldschmidt, mind you. Well done, Segura.
But good moves in Stewart's short tenure with Arizona were few and far between. Here are the five worst:
5. Will Harris lost on waivers
In 2014, Harris had a down year, but we saw good promise in 2013 and then 35 strikeouts in 29 innings in 2014 should have shown there was at least something worth holding onto there. Instead, the Stewart administration placed Harris on waivers and the Astros grabbed him. In the past two seasons for Houston, Harris has a 2.07 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 137 strikeouts in 135 innings. It's not as though the Diamondbacks have been teeming with great relievers, either.
4. Yasmany Tomas deal
Tomas is coming off a 31-homer season and that's good. His six-year, $68.5 million deal is still going to end up being pretty bad when all is said and done because he's mostly one-dimensional. His .309 career on-base percentage through 989 plate appearances is pretty terrible for that money and he's such a defensive liability that he posted a negative WAR this season.
4a. Thinking Tomas could play third base
Tomas is bad enough on the outfield corners to greatly harm his team on defense, but Stewart and company actually signed him to play third base. That experiment was panned from the get-go by scouting outlets and it was a complete flop. Basically, they are locked in with a DH in the NL who makes a lot of outs for the next four years.
3. The Trevor Cahill trade, due to the fallout
In 2015, the Diamondbacks dealt failing starter Cahill to the Braves with cash for a minor-leaguer. This wouldn't be too bad, except they attached a competitive balance pick to Cahill in the deal. As Keith Law of ESPN.com explained earlier this summer, the fallout to that was the Diamondbacks leaving $1.7 million in 2015 draft pool money unused, money that could have been used in the draft to secure more organizational talent.
2. Yoan Lopez deal
The Diamondbacks signed Cuban pitcher Yoan Lopez for roughly $8 million in early 2015. At the time, most scouting outlets noted that most teams didn't even believe Lopez was worth a million bucks. This season in 14 Double-A starts, Lopez posted a 5.52 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and only struck out 36 compared to 32 walks in 62 innings.
It's not just the deal, though. Again, it's what came with it. Lopez was only 21 years old at the time, so unlike older Cuban exports like Tomas, he was subject to international bonus pool rules and here's the fallout to that, via Baseball America:
The Lopez signing puts the Diamondbacks well beyond their allotted pool space for the current 2014-15 signing period, which means that, along with a 100 percent tax on their pool overage, they will not be able to sign anyone for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods, starting with the 2015-16 signing period that begins on July 2. That's a significant sacrifice for the Diamondbacks, who finished with the worst record in MLB last season and will have the biggest international bonus pool in 2015-16. Lopez's bonus is the biggest one ever for a player subject to the bonus pools since the pool era began on July 2, 2012.
In pairing the Cahill and Lopez deals, the Diamondbacks made two colossal errors here in building a strong organizational talent base. The draft and international signing period are the two best ways to stock the system with minor-league talent and make the franchise stronger, and they just punted twice.
Or three times.
1. The Shelby Miller trade
Miller was an All-Star in 2015 and seemed a very good mid-rotation arm heading into the winter. But the D-Backs paid like a contender getting a surefire ace.
Dansby Swanson -- the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft! -- was shipped to the Braves for Miller. So was 24-year-old, top 60 prospect pitcher Aaron Blair (who had a bad year in 2016 for the Braves, yes) and a good big-league outfielder in Ender Inciarte. Swanson has already made an impact, hitting .302/.361/.442 in 38 games for the big-league Braves this year at age 22.
Given that Miller was probably the worst starter in the majors in 2016, this looks even worse now than it did at the time.
Dishonorable mention: The weird Touki Toussaint trade, trading Miguel Montero, trading Didi Gregorius, trading Mark Trumbo (though they got Welington Castillo back and Trumbo shouldn't be playing outfield) and I guess it could be argued that the Zack Greinke $200M-plus deal looks pretty bad right now, though at the time I had no issue with it.
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