MLB: The AZ Diamondbacks trade Didi Gregorius
With plenty of infield depth and a need for young starting pitching help, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded fan favorite Didi Gregorius last week in a three team trade. The Detroit Tigers sent left-handed pitcher, Robbie Ray, and infielder, Domingo Leyba, to the Diamondbacks for Gregorius. The Yankees then traded pitcher, Shane Greene, to obtain Gregorius from the Tigers. It had been reported that the Diamondbacks initially rejected a Gregorius for Greene trade, so it appears the Yankees got the Tigers involved in the deal. Gregorius, known for his flashy defense and strong arm, was an average hitter for the Diamondbacks, but he was prone to long slumps during his two seasons with the Diamondbacks.
Even without Gregorius the Diamondbacks have several options to pencil in at shortstop, with Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed, being the top candidates. If the Diamondbacks move Owings to second base, look for Aaron Hill (pending a trade) and Cliff Pennington to be in the mix to play shortstop, as well. Brandon Drury, who plays mostly third base, could also get a look.
In looking at who the Diamondbacks got in return for Gregorius: Robbie Ray, 23, is coming off an erratic season in the Tigers organization. He struggled in the majors with a 1-4 record and an 8.16 ERA. He does throw his fastball in the low 90s and his slider has looked good at times, but he needs to improve his command. Ray was clocked up to 97 mph in the Arizona Fall League and posted a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings. He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter and will get a long look during 2015 Spring Training. Domingo Leyba is only 19, and split time between the Tigers short-season and Low-A ball last season. He had a combined .323 average as a switch-hitter and he can play both second base and shortstop.
This could be the start to a series of trades, signing and acquisitions the Diamondbacks will be looking at over the next few months as the get their roster set and get ready for Spring Training 2015, which is about 75 days away.
Follow me on Twitter: @Basebaldaz and listen to me on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 PHX for AZ Sports Talk Saturday from 10AM to 1PM AZ time.