Led by a youthful outfield and rotation ace Zac Gallen the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks have kept themselves in the wild-card hunt most of the season but may still lack the depth to challenge the National League’s top contenders.
Jorge Polanco, SS/2B, Minnesota Twins
Ketel Marte is signed long term and Jordan Lawlar arrived to begin the future. The D’backs likely won’t target a middle infielder with the top of their offseason to-do list but adding a veteran bat with some defensive versatility (especially one who could also potentially help at third base, where the infield’s real hole exists) would still be wise. Lawlar still has just 20 plate appearances under his belt and it may be premature to expect him to take the full-time reps beginning next April.
Polanco has spent his entire career with the Twins, debuting in 2014. The 30-year-old switch-hitter has a career line of .270/.336/.447, averaging 30+ doubles, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases a year. Barring a chance to start every day presenting itself on the free agent market, a chance to join a contender with regular playing time could intrigue Polanco.
Michael Fulmer, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Fulmer looked like a future ace stuck on a bad team early in his career with the Tigers before Tommy John surgery ultimately pushed him into the bullpen for good. To his credit, he has largely thrived in the role over the last few seasons with the Tigers, Twins, and now the Cubs — posting a 3.43 ERA with 9.7 K/9 across his career in relief.
Arizona’s bullpen ranks 21st in WAR on the season. Only the Texas Rangers rank lower among playoff-contending teams. It’s an area the D’backs will surely look to upgrade this offseason.
Julio Urías, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Urías is a huge wild card heading into the offseason. The left-hander’s status is unclear, as he’s presently on administrative leave while the league investigates allegations of domestic violence. It remains to be seen how the investigation concludes, whether and how long Urías is suspended, and ultimately how he is received by the baseball fanbase as a whole afterward. Teams will want to do their diligence before considering signing him this offseason.
Questions aside for a moment and assuming Urías is cleared to resume his career, there’s reason to like the fit in the Arizona rotation. The 27-year-old Mexican native had been one of the Dodgers’ top starters until seeing his performance step back this season, finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in both 2021 and 2022. Gallen is comfortably fronting the Diamondbacks rotation with veteran Merrill Kelly behind him. Adding Urías to the mix might help them challenge the Dodgers in the NL West.