May 30, 2024

The Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates their win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 7 of the baseball NL Championship Series in Philadelphia Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“I am worthy to be traded” Arizona Diamondbacks key player insisting to leave the team due to…

Wins above replacement, or WAR, is the most useful statistic for estimating a player’s value. This analytical metric was not accessible until rather recently. I’ll explain the differences in the WAR formula between pitchers and position players in simple terms. WAR calculates how many wins a player may have above a league average player by taking into account position, stadium, and every facet of the game, including batting, baserunning, and fielding. Let’s examine the top 24 players in Arizona Diamondbacks history using WAR to assist us rate them.

ONE OF 24Randy Johnson 1999–2004; 2007–2008; 50.9 WAR
Randy Johnson 1999–2004; 2007–2008; 50.9 WAR
Jacobsohn, Jed/ALLSPORT
Before moving to Phoenix in 1999, Randy Johnson was already well-established as one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he reached a whole new level of success with the Diamondbacks. Throughout 233 consecutive outings, the ‘Big Unit’ recorded a stellar 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, going 118-62. He tossed 38 complete games, including 14 shutouts, struck out 2,077 batters in 1,630.1 innings, pitched a perfect game against the Braves in 2004, and played for the D’backs in five Midsummer Classics. While wearing an Arizona uniform, he led the league in innings pitched twice, complete games pitched three times, and strikeouts five times. He also won three ERA crowns. Amazingly, Johnson won four straight NL Cy Young trophies from 1999 to 2002—all of which came after he turned 35. The Diamondbacks retired his number 51 in 2015; he was a major factor in the team’s 2001 World Series victory. That same year, he was admitted to the Hall of Fame.

Out of 24Paul Goldschmidt, 41.9% WAR, 2011–2018
Paul Goldschmidt, 41.9% WAR, 2011–2018
Rebilas, Mark J.; USA TODAY Sports
Paul Goldschmidt, a first baseman out of Texas State University, was taken by the Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 2009 MLB draft. His quick rise to the top of the batting order is a credit to the club’s scouting and player development departments. Goldschmidt pounded.297/.398/.532 in 1,092 games with Arizona, including 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 267 doubles, and 124 stolen bases. From 2013 to 2018, he participated in six straight all-star games for the Diamondbacks, earned three Gold Glove Awards, and collected an astounding four Silver Slugger Awards. In his only second complete Major League season, the Wilmington, DE native drove in more than 100 runs three times while in the desert and led the National League in home runs, RBI, and SLG%. During the 2018 Winter Meetings, Arizona transferred its franchise player to St. Louis in a move that, looking back, appears like a complete fleece job.

Out of 24Webb, Brandon 31.1 WAR from 2003 to 2009
Webb, Brandon 31.1 WAR from 2003 to 2009
The USA TODAY Sports Kirby Lee
Unfortunately, a string of injuries cut short right-hander Brandon Webb’s career much too short, but when he was at his best, the National League had no better starting pitcher. The University of Kentucky product pitched to a 3.27 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP in his seven big league seasons, striking out 1,065 batters in 1,319.2 innings. He started twice, led the league in victories, and pitched 15 complete games, including eight shutouts, while representing Arizona in three all-star games. Although Webb was declared the winner of the NL Cy Young award in 2006, he actually placed second in the voting in the two years that followed. From 2004 to 2008, he pitched the Diamondbacks more than 208 innings five seasons in a row. Sadly, a shoulder injury largely curtailed his career after that.

Out of 24Gonzalez Luis 30.0 WAR from 1999 to 2006
Luis Gonzalez (30.0 WAR) from 1999 to 2006
Focus on Sport/Getty Images photo
Before the 1999 season, the Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Luis Gonzalez from Detroit, and they had no idea that he would quickly establish himself as the most notable offensive player in the team’s history. Gonzalez hit an incredible.298/.391/.529 with 224 home runs, 774 RBI, 310 doubles, 27 triples, and 32 stolen bases in his eight seasons in Phoenix. In five all-star games, he wore a D’backs cap, won the 2001 Home Run Derby, and was awarded a Silver Slugger. With 206 hits, he led the National League. Five times, he drove in over 100 runs for Arizona. For more than two years, he missed no games. The most memorable, of course, was the walk-off hit he gave Mariano Rivera of the Yankees to win the 2001 World Series; for that alone, he will always be remembered as a hero in Arizona. 2010 saw the Diamondbacks retire his number 20.

Out of 24Curt Schilling (25.3 WAR) 2000–2003
Curt Schilling (25.3 WAR) 2000–2003
Image by Ron Vesely/SPX Getty Images provided the photography.
Correct? Midway through the 2000 season, Curt Schilling was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and although he didn’t stay in Phoenix for very long, he did contribute to writing the most notable chapter in this team’s history. In 108 outings for the Diamondbacks, Schilling recorded a strong 3.14 ERA in 781.2 innings pitched, along with a 1.07 WHIP. Though he made two all-star teams and once led the league in innings pitched as well as victories, his true contribution to baseball was providing the Diamondbacks with the most potent 1-2 rotation tandem. Arizona won the World Series in 2001 in part because of Schilling and Randy Johnson’s combined efforts in making the desert a misery for other teams during a brief series. That October, Schilling made three outstanding starts against the Yankees, logging 21.1 innings and surrendering only four runs to win the MVP award of the Fall Classic.

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