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Diamondbacks make move with J.D. Martinez

The Arizona Diamondbacks were supposed to contend in the National League West last season. Everything was on track after the signing of Zach Greinke and the trade for Shelby Miller.

Instead, the Diamondbacks went completely into the tank from the start, finishing fourth in the West with a 69-93 record. This year, Arizona was thought of as a fringe playoff contender. It has been anything but. The Diamondbacks entered play on Tuesday with a record of 54-39, good for the top spot in the NL Wild Card standings.

On Tuesday night, general manager Mike Hazen decided to add another slugger with the trade of three prospects for outfielder J.D. Martinez, coming over from the Detroit Tigers. Martinez, who becomes a free agent after this season, is hitting .305 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI in 57 games. After the trade was announced, Martinez let his feelings be known about his previous club, per ESPN.

“You knew it was going to happen. You don’t really know how you’re going to feel. It doesn’t hit you until they tell you,” he said. “It’s definitely tough. I love this organization. I love the fans. I love everything in Detroit. That’s home for me. I’ve always said that.”

Arizona is making this move to both stave off any teams trying to catch it in the wild card race, but also to make a postseason push deep into October. With the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting 10 games ahead of the Diamondbacks, there is little hope of winning the division. Instead, Arizona is trying to stay in its current spot, host the Wild Card game and then get into the playoffs with an elite lineup.

Few teams have the firepower top to bottom that Arizona possesses. The Diamondbacks have a pair of mashers at the corners in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and third baseman Jake Lamb, with the duo combining to hit 41 homers with 141 RBI. Goldschmidt, a perennial MVP candidate, is hitting .317 with a .435 on-base percentage, leading the team in both categories.

In addition, shortstop Chris Owings is on pace for a 20-20 season in terms of home runs and stolen bases while hitting .291. Factor in outfielder David Peralta batting .317 and Brandon Drury being a nice, versatile piece, and Arizona has the feel of a team that could battle to the World Series.

With Martinez joining the fray, the Diamondbacks are making the declaration that they are going for it all. Whether or not they get there is to be determined, but the talent is there to make a championship run in the desert.

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