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Arizona Diamondbacks: Not re-signing J.D. Martinez
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers two weeks before the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline and got a massive jolt from the slugger, who posted a 1.107 OPS for the Snakes and helped them reach the playoffs.
Over the offseason, Martinez (like most free agents) languished on the market. Arizona, however, didn’t bring him back.
Instead, Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Red Sox in late February. In hindsight, that’s a bargain. Martinez leads MLB in homers (38), RBI (106) and slugging percentage (.662). Think those numbers would look good in a Diamondbacks lineup that ranks 18th in baseball with a .724 OPS?
If Arizona could build a time machine and outbid Boston, here’s betting it would.
Colorado Rockies: Extending Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon had an MVP-caliber season in 2017. He hit .331 with 37 home runs and finished with 6.5 WAR by FanGraphs’ measure. On the surface, the Colorado Rockies’ decision in April to extend him for six years and $108 million makes sense.
But Blackmon has tumbled to Earth in 2018 and sports a paltry 0.8 WAR. He’s 32 years old.
How will this deal look on the back end, when Blackmon is in his late 30s? In a word: yikes.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Not adding a bullpen ace
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the season with Kenley Jansen locked in as their closer. At the trade deadline, they grabbed Machado and Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, among others, but passed on stars such as the Padres’ Hand and Orioles’ Britton.
Jansen landed on the disabled list Aug. 10 with an irregular heartbeat and was roughed up in his return.
It’s hard to argue with the Dodgers’ glitzy, win-now deadline additions. But buttressing the bullpen would have been a good idea.
San Diego Padres: Signing Eric Hosmer
The Padres had no real hope of competing in 2018 but opted to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer to a franchise-record eight-year, $144 million contract anyway.
Less than a season in, the returns aren’t great.
That’s a lot of coin for a non-contender to pay a guy who’s been worse than a replacement-level scrub.
San Francisco Giants: Standing pat at the deadline
The San Francisco Giants have been treading water all season, hanging around .500 and trying for one more even-year run.
It would have been foolish of them to decimate a thin farm system at the trade deadline, but it was equally foolish to stand pat.
The Giants needed to mortgage the future, add some bats and arms and shoot for the moon or acknowledge the inevitable and trade bankable assets such as right fielder Andrew McCutchen and, yes, maybe even ace Madison Bumgarner.
Now, with the news that six-time All-Star catcher Buster Posey could be lost to season-ending hip surgery, San Francisco is limping toward mediocrity with nothing to show for it.