MLB: AZ Diamondbacks to be Sellers
We all know that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2014 season has been a major disappointment to everyone in the organization, as well as their fans. They have struggled through most of this season with poor starting pitching, un-predictable relief pitching and terrible situational hitting. Their defense has taken a step back from previous years as well. No one expected them to have the second worst record in baseball and the worst home record as June comes to an end and we reach the half-way point of the season.
Many issues have contributed to this poor showing. Starting with injuries; losing ace Patrick Corbin and reliever David Hernandez before the season started hurt this pitching staff. Injuries to everyday players to Mark Trumbo in April and then A.J Pollock at the start of June doomed this team even more. You can add Bronson Arroyo’s trip to the D.L, for the first time in his career, to that list. Arroyo was the most consistent pitcher this team had this season. But the rest of the starting rotation and bullpen have made no steps to help this team out. Their current 4.45 team ERA has shown improvement, but it is still the third worst in baseball. They have also committed 56 errors this season, which is tied for the second worst. Their hitting with runners in scoring position remains near the bottom as well.
Changes to this team’s roster have started to take place and we would expect more call-ups from the minors and trades going forward; as it appears the Diamondbacks will be sellers in the near future. It has also been rumored that Kevin Towers has drawn interest from the San Diego Padres as a possible GM replacement for them. Towers is still under contract, but that could change. Tony La Russa, who is now in charge of baseball operations, seems to be the person this team would turn to make the necessary trades/changes. La Russa has now familiarized himself with the whole Diamondbacks farm system, as well as the current big league roster. And, let’s be honest, has seen what everyone else has, an underperforming club, that though destroyed by injuries, is under-performing in many other ways.
This team was expected to be better than this, but maybe all hope is not lost if the team is able to make smart moves that could help them bounce back in 2015.
Everyone on this team could be available for trade, except Paul Goldschmidt and possibly Chis Owings and AJ Pollock. This team needs to start over and rebuild and acquire a few more young players to keep the talent pool in their minor league system. They do have some talented pitchers in the minors, along with some capable infielders that can help out, but they still need to fill a few outfield and catching spots.
Aaron Hill is probably the player with the most trade value at this time. To find a quality 2nd baseman with Hill’s style of play and leadership will be difficult for contending teams to pass up. The Diamondbacks will receive many calls (if they have not come already) regarding Hill and should be able to get a frontline minor league player who will be ready for the big leagues very soon.
Third baseman Martin Prado will be a name that attracts certain teams at the trade deadline also. He has spent most of the season playing third base, but can also handle a corner outfield position and has experience at second base as well. With the number of teams potentially looking to upgrade at one of the two infield positions, and with Prado’s versatility, he could appeal to several contending teams as an option.
Pitcher Bronson Arroyo would have been a nice addition for a contending playoff team, but we will see how much time he spends on the DL. He had discomfort in his right elbow and some reports say no one knows the extent of his injury. There is a chance that he will be out for the remainder of the season or will be back right around the All-Star break, so we will have to wait and see.
You can add relief pitchers Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher to the list of potential trades. Teams are always in need of a left-handed reliever and these seasoned veterans could bring in some potential top minor league players. Even Brad Ziegler will attract some attention. He is a crafty relief pitcher who gets batters to hit into groundball outs with his signature sinker.
Those are just a few of the names that will be or are have been mentioned as trade candidates. We still have five weeks to go before the July trade deadline, but trades could start happening at any time for the Diamondbacks.