As we inch closer to the July 31st Trade Deadline, the Diamondbacks find themselves in quite a favorable situation. The team has an outstanding record, despite their recent play, and are still firmly in the driver’s seat for the NL Wild Card, with the Rockies nipping at their heels. The NL West, while not being completely out of reach, seems an unrealistic goal with the Dodgers playing with some sort of divine intervention working in their favor. Man I hate the Dodgers. But, the question that begs to be asked is whether or not the D-backs will be buying this deadline… or if they will stand pat and hope that no more major injuries occur.
Before we look into who the Diamondbacks may try to acquire, it would be good to see how they stand in terms of buying power. A quick glance at MLB.com’s top prospects for the D-backs does not paint a pretty picture. So we can essentially rule out any fun big time trades, though I am not too sure how helpful one would be anyway, as we have key contributors already working well on the team. However, the Diamondbacks have about $5 Million in available cash to spend, meaning that any veteran pieces or middle relievers should be within our budget, and be available for only a few middle tier prospects. Overall, our buying power is not strong, but with Mike Hazen’s demonstrated ability to pick out valuable role players in Jeremy Hazelbaker and Daniel Descalso, I think that he may be able to find cubic zirconium in the rough. Not too valuable, but will do the job.
Now looking towards actual players, there are very few substantial rumors going at the moment. Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted that the D-backs have expressed interest in J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers. Martinez is hitting .308 with 16 HRs with the not-so-great Tigers, despite a foot injury that limited his play early on. Martinez would be an upgrade over Yasmany Tomás out in the outfield, but would only be a rental, becoming a free agent this offseason. This also hurts on an appearance level, as it pushed Tomás to the bench, making him quite the overpaid bench piece. With the injury to Nick Ahmed, the Diamondbacks may seek out another middle infield piece, utilizing Chris Owings’ outfield experience, as well as upgrading the lineup with the addition. When looking at the available players though, I don’t see any moves coming about for a SS or 2B. They could pursue Zack Cozart, though it is not entirely clear what the Reds asking price may be for their All-Star shortstop. Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias are also names that have been thrown about, and Iglesias is the player we would have the best chance for, since he is on the Tigers. If a deal could be swung to acquire both him and Martinez, both areas of need would be addressed in one swift stroke.
The last idea I have may be a bullpen piece, though this took a big hit this weekend with the Nationals acquiring both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. However I still see the Diamondbacks looking to upgrade. Jorge De La Rosa has an ERA in the 4’s, and a FIP that is almost to 5. In addition, they have had to use Randall Delgado in an emergency reliever role, stretching him further from his long relief role. So, if the Snakes could seek out a decent reliever to eat innings, it would only improve the team.
At the end of the day, I don’t expect a lot of fireworks out of Chase Field’s front office as we approach July 31st. The most exciting addition would be rental J.D. Martinez, which would strengthen an already good offense, though ignore some of the pitching deficits that have plagued the D-backs. The best bet would be to add a bullpen piece, as it would be less cost, and would provide a better bridge to get from a starter to Andrew Chafin, Archie Bradley, and the ever inconsistent Fernando Rodney. For now, let’s hope the Diamondbacks turn things around, push into October, then slither past the Wild Card game and into the Divisional Round.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com.