2016 Arizona Diamondbacks
2016 Arizona Diamondbacks / Franchise: Arizona Diamondbacks / BR Team Page
Managed by Chip Hale
History, Comments, Contributions
Coming off a last-place finish in 2014 and a sub-.500 season in 2015, the 2016 Arizona Diamondbacks came to spring training believing they would be contenders in the NL West. Following the hiring of Tony LaRussa as team President in May 2014, they had become aggressive in improving the product on the field, using a few pre-existing building blocks, namely 1B Paul Goldschmidt and CF A.J. Pollock. They made their biggest splash by signing free agent pitcher Zack Greinke to a contract worth over $200 million, outbidding the rival Los Angeles Dodgers and their seemingly bottomless pocket-book, and trading two key young players, OF Ender Inciarte and the top pick in the 2015 amateur draft, SS Dansby Swanson, to secure another front-line starting pitcher in Shelby Miller. That latter move was not entirely risk-free, given Miller was coming off a season in which, while making the All-Star team, his won/loss record was a dismal 6-17. Other moves included the acquisition of SS Jean Segura via trade and reliever Tyler Clippard as a free agent, getting rid of aging 2B Aaron Hill in the process.
Just before the season was about to start, however, the Diamondbacks got a cold shower as CF Pollock broke his right elbow sliding head-first into home plate in an exhibition game on April 1st. He underwent surgery and had to start the season on the disabled list. Things uravelled quickly as Pollock's absence turned out to be long term and the two pitching acquisitions brought in fewer returns than expected, Greinke because of various physical issues, and Miller because he simply pitched awfully. The Diamondbacks were quickly out of contention, and by mid-season questions were being raised about their whole plan to become competitive again, with LaRussa and GM Dave Stewart on the hot seat as the masterminds behind the plan.
Not helping things was the fact the Diamondbacks sported some of the ugliest uniforms this side of the 1970s in 2016. In particular, their road uniforms featuring a gradient of gray and dark red in some sort of geometric pattern and a line running only halfway up the pant leg was the target of large amounts of criticism.
One day after the disappointing season ended, both General Manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale were fired. In particular, Stewart took the fall for the disastrous Shelby Miller trade. There were still questions about the future role of team President Tony LaRussa, however.
Awards and Honors
- Bob Nightengale: "Arizona Diamondbacks ponder replacing La Russa, Stewart after just 2 years", USA Today Sports, August 21, 2016. 
- Jorge L. Ortiz: "Diamondbacks start camp with excitement – and expectations – ramped up", USA Today Sports, February 19, 2016. 
- Nick Piecoro: "Arizona Diamondbacks see bright hopes through '16 window", "AZCentral Sports", The Arizona Republic, March 26, 2016. 
- Nick Piecoro: "Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly weighing change at manager" "AZCentral Sports", The Arizona Republic, July 22, 2016. 
- Tracy Ringolsby: "Young D-backs have pieces to be special", mlb.com, March 28, 2016.