When the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday traded Chris Johnson and Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves for Brandon Drury (minors), Nick Ahmed (minors), Zeke Spruill (minors), Randall Delgado and Martin Prado, they have seemingly now completed their offseason makeover, however the meta-question is "Why?"
Arizona's Call to Action
The place to look would be the D-backs performance during the 2012 season which saw the team score the fewest runs in late and close game situations. Arizona's 76 runs were even less than Astros 84 and significantly less than the Reds 139 runs scored.
This is by no means a minor or esoteric stat. Late and close games represent plate appearances in the 7th inning or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck. The fact that Arizona's .199 BA in those settings was the only average under .200 in the NL was a true call to action for GM Kevin Towers.
Granted the numbers are bad, but you can't help but think that this trade weakens Arizona, but perhaps with manager Kirk Gibson saying he will rotate playing time in the outfield between Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton, Gerardo Parra and Cody Ross and with the other changes and additions to this team...well, we just have to see.