Tony La Russa “will be brokenhearted” if Diamondbacks don’t have winning record in 2015

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Arizona went 64-98 this season for the worst record in all of baseball, which is how manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers got fired and 70-year-old Hall of Famer Tony La Russa took over as the Diamondbacks’ czar.

And now La Russa is saying he thinks the Diamondbacks can be contenders in 2015.

In fact, he told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic: “I will be absolutely brokenhearted if we don’t have a winning record next year.”

Here’s more from La Russa:

I don’t think that you give in on the potential that sooner rather than later we could be contenders. Because if you’ve got a good talent pool and they play tough and they play well, you win extra games. We have a nice young, nucleus so there’s a lot to build on here. We’ve got some quality veterans.

I will be absolutely brokenhearted if we don’t have a winning record next year, which is 82-80. I mean, I really believe that that’s realistic, but 82 is not going to get you into October. I think the message that we’re careful to send to our fans is that we are not a patient bunch. We are not going to ask them to hang with us for four or five years.

It’s worth noting that the Diamondbacks technically haven’t had a winning record since 2011, although they did go 81-81 in both 2012 and 2013 before falling apart this year.

Perhaps not surprising that a 70-year-old with a long history of managing good teams plans to turn his current bad team into a good team very quickly rather than going through a lengthy rebuilding process, but … well, good luck Tony.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.