Diamondbacks add outfield depth with recent moves

Arizona Sports News online

The Diamondbacks have added some much needed outfield depth this week.

On Monday, Arizona signed free agent outfielder Jarrod Dyson to a two-year contract. Then, on Tuesday evening, the D-backs were a part of a three-team trade with the Yankees and the Rays.

In the three-team deal, the Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and pitching prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees. They sent Brandon Drury to the Bronx and Anthony Banda, as well as two players to be named later to Tampa.

General manager Mike Hazen has said all offseason that the Diamondbacks were staying fully engaged in the market. The recent moves show that engagement.

On bringing in Dyson, Hazen said that he feels the speedy outfielder compliments a lot of what the D-backs are trying to do.

“He’s got tremendous makeup,” Hazen said. “Everything as a guy, as teammate fits in culturally for us.”

Dyson had his first day of training at Salt River Fields on Tuesday. He said not having a home as a free agent as spring training got under way was tough, but he’s happy with how it all worked out.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Dyson said. “It’s a great ball club. It’s a great group of guys. I feel welcome already.”

Dyson is known for his speed on the bases and in the outfield. Since 2012, he is ranked second in MLB with an 84% stolen base percentage.

The skill on the bases isn’t just luck, however, Dyson said he does his due diligence before games.

“You gotta do your homework on pitchers,” Dyson said. “It’s not like I’m just going out there running. Learning tips on pitchers, that’s what makes it easier when you get out there.”

When asked what speed does, Dyson said that speed does “a lot.”

“Speed helps you win ballgames, I’ll tell you that,” Dyson said.

Tuesday afternoon, manager Torey Lovullo said that they could see Dyson in all three outfield positions. Dyson said he’ll play wherever he is needed.

“I don’t care where I play, as long as I’m out there and able to help the team, that’s all that matters to me,” Dyson said.

Souza had not arrived in Arizona as of Wednesday morning. On a conference call from the airport, he talked about the prospect of playing in a lineup that made the National League Division Series last year.

“It’s kind of a pass the baton approach,” Souza Jr. said. “The depth of the lineup, the power, the speed, it’s all over the place. I think it’s cool, I’ve been a part of lineups like this and it’s cool to look at the lineup and it takes the pressure off of everybody around you knowing that you don’t have to do too much. Just passing the baton and doing your job will be huge and instrumental to us winning a championship.”

He plans to report to camp on Thursday.