USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

What’s usually a season finale has turned into a pilot episode for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Usually, the World Series is where a journey ends for any team. The 2023 Fall Classic has been a turning point for the Snakes even if they didn’t win. It was filled with miracles but it also gave them a taste of everything they could be. D-Backs wasted no time this offseason, and their recent move might make them a championship contender.

The NL West is turning out to be a warzone. No doubt the Los Angeles Dodgers $1 billion-plus extravaganza has caught everyone’s eyes but they weren’t the only ones having a blast. The Snakes were right behind them, hissing and discreetly conducting a business masterclass. So with the story set to take even bigger twists, there’s a chance for the Diamondbacks to embark on their own Rocky 2 story.

Arizona Diamondbacks first round of business – Reward the manager 


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Torey Lovullo’s story is nothing short of spectacular. In 2022, he was on the verge of getting fired. In fact, as Lovullo once put it, that was a dark time” in his career. With three consecutive losing seasons since 2020, there were calls of protest against the skipper. However, GM Mike Hazen stood by his colleague-cum-close friend and decided to give him one more chance at glory. 

Lovullo reciprocated by taking the team to the World Series in 2023. Obviously, the Diamondbacks were more than happy with the outcome. So just as the offseason began, they signed Lovullo to an extension that runs through 2026.

In the span of a season, the skipper went from being the favorite to lose his job to becoming the third-longest tenured skipper in the National League currently. But now that the team had safe-guarded Lovullo, it was time to build an army of winners around their commander-in-chief. 

The Diamondbacks take advantage of the league’s slumber 

2023’s November and December were quite unique in a lot of ways. Most executives got sick after the GM meetings, effectively slowing the market down. Later, Shohei Ohtani’s $700 million free agency and Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s entry into the Major Leagues caught everyone’s attention. That led to teams exclusively focusing on these two while almost ignoring everyone else. The Snakes saw this and it immediately rang a bell in their mind.

While others were running after shiny objects, the D-Backs had a clear blueprint to follow. Mike Hazen knew that despite reaching the World Series the team wasn’t a complete component yet. They had just 84 wins and were outscored by 15 runs! With pitching and slugging being their core shortcomings the team surprisingly went to the trade market within a few weeks. 

The first order of business was trading reliever Carlos Vargas and catcher Seby Zavala to the Seattle Mariners for third baseman Eugenio Suarez. The slugger had a below-average season in 2023 and led the AL in strikeouts for the second consecutive year. However, even with just 22 homers last season, Suarez outscored the Diamondbacks’ entire third basemen lineup’s combined total homers! And he did it in a pitcher-friendly ballpark like the Mariners’ T-Mobile Park. However, this was just the beginning, things were about to accelerate soon.

Read more: How Arizona Diamondbacks’ Playoff Shares Distribution Is “Life-Changing” After a Monumental World Series Run

Eduardo Rodriguez and the Snakes’ quickfire strategy 

In an offseason dominated by speculations for Blake Snell, Yamamoto, and Jordan Montgomery (more on that latter), Eduardo Rodriguez found himself a little out of the limelight. For a pitcher with a 3.30 ERA in 2023 with 143 strikeouts in 152.2 innings, that was an odd development. However, that proved to be a boon for the Diamondbacks. Their rotation was their biggest Achilles heel in 2023 and the team sought to fix that by the Winter Meetings. 

So while the league was busy stargazing, the D-backs signed Eduardo Rodriguez on a four-year, $80 million contract. That was the Snakes’ biggest deal since they signed Madison Bumgarner in 2019 (something they’d like to forget). In an offseason where most pitchers could barely get a 2-3-year deal, El Gualo’s quick-signing was a game-changing act. The deal reunited the pitcher with Lovullo and Hazen, with whom he had worked during his Boston Red Sox days.

While one did expect the team to focus even more on starting pitching, the Diamondbacks had different ideas. Instead of focusing on just one thing, the management decided to diversify and improve the overall lineup. The first thing they did in this regard was re-signing left field Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to a three-year, $42 million deal. In normal terms that would’ve been enough but the Snakes wanted more.

So that led to them signing Joc Pederson to a one-year $12.5 million deal. The Diamondbacks had gone throughout 2023 without a trustworthy designated hitter. While the former San Francisco Giants’ player didn’t have an impressive 2023, his hard contact rate remains high. Another encouraging fact was that Pederson’s strikeouts reduced while walks increased in 2023. 

Under normal circumstances, this would’ve culminated this offseason. In fact, Jim Bowden of The Athletic called the Diamondbacks “winners” of the 2023-24 offseason. So when the Spring Training started, the fans began creating their fantasy squads. The D-Backs’ shopping spree was over, or was it?

Jordan Montgomery’s surprise and Arizona Diamondbacks’ victory lap 

There had been rumblings about Jordan Montgomery’s links with the Diamondbacks. However, even the most ardent of supporters took those rumors lightly. After all, the team had already broken its payroll record – why would they go even higher? Despite being World Series winners they aren’t a traditionally big-market team and need to maintain a tight budget. On top of that, the New York Yankees and the Red Sox are other suitors – how can you win against these behemoths? 


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But then as the Diamondbacks proved in 2023, sometimes David can beat Goliath in real life too. Against all odds and expectations, the D-Backs signed Montgomery to a one-year $25 million deal. The pitcher who threw against them in the World Series was now a part of their squad. Suddenly their Achilles heel had turned into an indestructible unit. 

And that was the culmination of an extraordinary offseason. According to Roster Resource the Diamondbacks’ luxury tax payroll stands at $215 million – by far the highest in their history. That shows how serious the ownership is on funding a long-lasting success story that began in 2023. For fans, this is nothing short of spectacular and they’re ready as shown by the ticket sales rising by around 30% in 2024 according to their CEO Derrick Hall. 


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Clearly, 2023 was just a teaser for what’s to come. With the Diamondbacks ready to enter the brave new world in 2024, there’s a growing sense of positivity surrounding these Snakes.

Read more: Breaking Down Jordan Montgomery’s $25 Million Deal with Arizona Diamondbacks