After selling Touki Toussaint to the Braves in what has to be one of the weirdest deals in baseball history, general manager Dave Stewart told Ken Rosenthal that Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings are staying in Arizona.
"People have asked about our starting pitching. No one is asking about our infield depth yet. Needless to say, we're not moving (shortstop Nick) Ahmed. It's not very likely we would move Chris Owings. Those guys make up the core of our team. That would defeat the purpose of what we're trying to do moving forward"
There's a lot to digest in this quote from Stewart. The first is that teams are apparently calling about their starting pitching, which ranks 26th overall in terms of fWAR. Chase Anderson and Robbie Ray could be moved, but they're the only pitchers that seem worth targeting in any trade talks. The second part of the quote, which is by far the most interesting piece, is that Stewart thinks it's obvious that Ahmed is off the table. While he's been worth 1.3 fWAR over the course of 68 games this season, almost all of that value has come via his defense. He's produced a wRC+ of just 77, a wOBA of .290, an an awful RE24 (a statistic that values hitting based on context and the 24 base-out states) of -1.35.
But to Stewart, and the rest of his front office team, Ahmed, and fellow infielder Owings (a similarly terrible offensive player) make up the "core of our team". The market for second baseman and middle infielders is incredibly weak in the lead up to this year's trade deadline, and for the Diamondbacks to hold onto depth that they don't necessarily need seems irresponsible. If they could get anything of value in return, it would be wise to jump at that chance, and start building for 2016.
They're 35-36, and while that record doesn't force them out of a playoff hunt, the Diamondbacks aren't positioned particularly well for the stretch run and should try to restock in anyway that they can. The Dodgers and Giants are duking it out at the top of the NL West, and with the way the season has progressed, it appears as if both Wild Card teams will come out of the Central.
It remains to be seen how the Diamondbacks are going to approach the deadline, and it's anyone's guess at this point. Stewart's comments on Ahmed and Owings seems to be firm, but Mark Trumbo was moved 24 hours after he told Rosenthal that he was "my guy" and would need to be overwhelmed to deal him. The short tenure of the new front office has been rocky and unpredictable, and that doesn't seem like it's going to change anytime soon.