Diving into the depths: Arizona Diamondbacks

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Arizona Diamondbacks
Rotation
1. Dan Haren
2. Brandon Webb
3. Edwin Jackson
4. Ian Kennedy
5. Billy Buckner
6. Kevin Mulvey
7. Rodrigo Lopez
8. Bryan Augenstein
9. Barry Enright
10. Matt Torra
11. Cesar Valdez
The Diamondbacks should have the money to add one more pitcher, though whether it’ll be a fifth starter or another setup man remains to be seen. As is, I imagine Buckner would be the favorite in the competition with Mulvey and Lopez for the fifth spot. However, I’m not confident that any of the three would be adequate in that role. Considering that Webb and Kennedy are so far away from being sure things and there are no top prospects on the way — Jarrod Parker is out for the season following Tommy John surgery — adding a legitimate No. 5 should be a priority.
Bullpen
1. Chad Qualls
2. Juan Gutierrez
3. Bob Howry
4. Aaron Heilman
5. Clay Zavada
6. Blaine Boyer
7. Esmerling Vasquez
8. Billy Buckner
9. Zach Kroenke
10. Leo Rosales
11. Rodrigo Lopez
12. Daniel Stange
13. T.J. Beam
14. Roque Mercedes
15. Jose Marte
The bullpen lacks a true stud, but it contains four solid right-handers and plenty of potentially useful options after that. Bypassing Jose Valverde to sign Adam LaRoche and, hopefully, another rotation option was the sound strategy.


Catcher
1. Miguel Montero
2. Chris Snyder
3. John Hester
First base
1. Adam LaRoche
2. Mark Reynolds
3. Conor Jackson
4. Brandon Allen
5. Jeff Bailey
Second base
1. Kelly Johnson
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Tony Abreu
4. Rusty Ryal
Third base
1. Mark Reynolds
2. Ryan Roberts
3. Rusty Ryal
4. Tony Abreu
Shortstop
1. Stephen Drew
2. Augie Ojeda
3. Pedro Ciriaco
4. Tony Abreu
If Snyder gets traded this spring, then Hester figures to take over as Montero’s backup. It’s just too bad the Diamondbacks haven’t found a taker for his contract yet, since doing so would give them a lot more flexibility in adding a starting pitcher.
Left field
1. Conor Jackson
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
Center field
1. Chris Young
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Evan Frey
Right field
1. Justin Upton
2. Gerardo Parra
3. Ryan Roberts
4. Cole Gillespie
5. Drew Macias
The move to release Eric Byrnes would seem to clear the way for Parra to get 350-400 at-bats, even though he’ll open the season in a reserve role. It looks like Roberts and Ojeda will join Parra and the backup catcher on the bench. The Diamondbacks could still carry Abreu as their 25th man, since Roberts can serve as a fifth outfielder, but it’d make more sense to add another true outfielder and let Abreu play regularly in Triple-A.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.