I wasn't at all prepared today to write a big post on the Mitchell report, although I had a lot of ideas organized for it. Now comes the news that the Arizona Diamondbacks, defending NL West champions, have added Oakland starter Danny Haren for a package of prospects. That's something I have to address, too, since the D-Backs are the Rockies' primary competition in the division next year (sorry, Dodger fans).
Is Arizona in denial about how much of a fluke last season was for their team? The Diamondbacks put fewer runners on base than any other team in the National League, and yet they advanced all the way to the NLCS. You'd think for a team that bats a platoon outfielder #3, the acquisition of a threatening hitter would be the primary offseason goal. However, I think Arizona GM Josh Byrnes has made maybe the best move that was out there for his team this offseason. Arizona has both a raftful of exciting minor leaguers and an everyday lineup already packed with homegrown, arbitration-controlled talent. There's every reason to believe that their offense will be a lot better in 2008, and while their overall pitching was very strong last season, after Brandon Webb they were awful short in dominator types. Now they're much better built for the playoffs, assuming they're lucky enough to get back. Even if their offense didn't so heavily feature young players like Chris Young and Stephen Drew who are almost guaranteed to perform better in '08, the cost to the team of adding one excellent pitcher is way lower than it would be to rehaul an entire offense. If there's one thing they've learned about baseball in Phoenix (besides how to not sell out home playoff games), it's that two ace starters and average everything else is enough to win a World Series.