to begin in the desert.For the first time in nine years http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , the Arizona Diamondbacks will open a season without Paul Goldschmidt at first base. The fan favorite and perennial MVP candidate was traded during the offseason, leaving a huge hole in Arizona’s lineup.The Diamondbacks insist they’re not in rebuilding mode, though. Not just yet.With key players still on the roster and new players who should fill at least some of the void, the Diamondbacks are hoping to again compete for a playoff spot even with one of baseball’s best players on a new team.“We have some new parts and we know that,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “And as much as it hurt to let some of these guys go elsewhere, it’s the nature of the game. What it’ll mean is that we need to be a little bit better and a little bit sharper, and we love that challenge. Players are going to have to step up and the front office and myself are going to have to get a little sharper in every area. We like that type of challenge.”Arizona traded Goldschmidt to St. Louis for catcher Carson Kelly, right-hander Luke Weaver, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick. Despite Goldschmidt being one of the most popular players in franchise history, the Diamondbacks made the deal for fear of losing the six-time All-Star to free agency without getting anything in return.Goldschmidt wasn’t the only key player to leave.Outfielder A.J. Pollock signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and left-hander Patrick Corbin went to Washington. Right-hander Clay Buchholz Edwin Encarnacion Jersey , Arizona’s best pitcher that last half of the 2018 season, is now in Toronto.The Diamondbacks made a handful of moves during the offseason and in spring training to help fill some of those holes, adding infielder Wilmer Flores, outfielder Adam Jones and reliever Greg Holland — all veteran players that they hope can still be productive.A few more things to look for as the Diamondbacks enter the 2019 season:LAMB’S SWITCH: The Diamondbacks are hoping Jake Lamb can make a smooth transition across the diamond.The former third baseman is switching positions to take Goldschmidt’s place at first base. Lamb worked out with Goldschmidt during the offseason to learn the position and was even using his glove during spring training.Lamb is a powerful hitter against right-handed pitching but struggles against lefties and is coming off shoulder surgery.He hit 30 homers and had 105 RBIs his last full season in 2017.NEW FACES: The Diamondbacks signed Flores after he spent the first six seasons of his career with the New York Mets and will likely use him primarily at second base. He hit .267 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs last season while playing multiple infield positions.Jones signed a one-year, $3 million contract in early March after spending his first 13 big league seasons with Baltimore. The five-time All-Star hit .281 with 15 homers and 63 RBIs last year. He’s expected to be Arizona’s opening day centerfielder.Holland battled Archie Bradley to become Arizona’s closer through spring training, but both struggled in Cactus League games.Kelly gets his first shot at being a starting catcher after being stuck behind Yadier Molina and Weaver is looking for a bounce back season after struggling at times last season.ROOKIES TO WATCH: Arizona once had one of the weakest farm systems in baseball, but has vastly improved it the past few years. Shortstop Jazz Chisolm and pitchers Jon Duplantier and Taylor Widener are rated among the top 100 minor league players in the country, but will likely need more time in the minors before being ready for big league action.ON DECK: The Diamondbacks open on the road against the Dodgers and play their first seven games away from Chase Field before their home opener against Boston on April 5. NEW YORK (AP) — Jeurys Familia would rather be a setup man for the New York Mets than a closer for someone else.Familia had 123 saves for the Mets, who traded him to Oakland last July. He instructed agents Sam and Seth Levinson to pursue any possibility to return to the Mets.“Honestly, that was my goal http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , be back with the Mets,” Familia said during a conference call Monday, three days after his $30 million, three-year contract was finalized.New York recently acquired 2018 big league saves leader Edwin Diaz from Seattle along with All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano. Because of that, Familia will return in a different role.“I want to pitch whatever innings they want to put me in the game,” Familia said. “He’s one of the best relievers in the game, the best closer. It’s going to be fun.”New York also announced Monday that it had agreed to a minor league contract with 38-year-old outfielder Rajai Davis, who will report to major league spring training.The Mets also called a news conference for Tuesday to introduce catcher Wilson Ramos, who finalized a $19 million, two-year contract. He receives a $2 million signing bonus payable next July 1 http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , $6.25 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. The Mets have a $10 million option for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout. Ramos would earn a $500,000 bonus in each season he has 100 starts at catcher.Familia gets a $2 million signing bonus payable on equal installments on July 1 and Dec. 10 next year. He has salaries of $6 million in 2019 and $11 million in each of the final two seasons. The Mets will defer $1 million of his 2020 salary, payable on Jan. 15, 2022. They will defer the same amount of his 2021 pay, payable on July 1, 2022.He gets a $500,000 performance bonus in any season he has 50 games finished. He would get a $1 million assignment bonus if traded.A 29-year-old right-hander, Familia said returning to New York was a preference because his wife’s family lives in the area.He was 8-6 with 18 saves in 24 chances and a 3.13 ERA for the Mets and A’s last season. He signed with the Mets at age 17 and had 43 saves in 2015 when New Yorkreached the World Series. He led the majors with a franchise-record 51 saves the following year and was an All-Star, again helping New York reach the playoffs.Familia served a 15-game suspension at the start of 2017 for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Later that year, he had a blood clot that required surgery and finished 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA and six saves in 26 games.Last season http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , he was 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 17 saves in 21 chances with the Mets.Davis hit .224 with one home run, six RBIs and 21 steals in 101 games and 216 plate appearances for Cleveland. His two-run, eighth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman tied Game 7 of the 2016 World Series for Cleveland against the Chicago Cubs, a game the Indians lost in 10 innings.Davis has a .262 career average with 61 homers, 379 RBIs and 415 stolen bases in 13 major league seasons.