As we approach August 1, we will preview what each team is projected to do in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. For a complete listing of our previews, click here.
Arizona Diamondbacks, 41-58, 5th in the NL West
Right, so, for starters, this is a last place team. They didn’t expect to be a last place team, and certainly thrilled their fans by slithering in and stealing Zack Greinke off the market this past winter, but nonetheless... here they are. There’s a lot of Diamondbacks nursing injuries, including Greinke, and more recently Jake Lamb, who is suffering from a bruised left hand.
But, despite these obstacles, the front office of this team that will in all likelihood miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year might be ready to make a big change regarding manager Chip Hale.
Sources: #DBacks considering managerial change. Nevin would replace Hale. Stewart: “I can’t comment on rumors.” h/t @TheMontyShow.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 22, 2016
What moves have they made so far?
Over the winter, Arizona acquired Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner from Milwaukee in exchange for RHP Chase Anderson, INF Aaron Hill, SS Isan Diaz and cash. They did not make another trade until May 17, when they sent Jason Bourgeois to Chicago for whatever cash they could get out of the White Sox.
Earlier this month, Arizona moved closer Brad Ziegler to Boston for RHP Jose Almonte and IF Luis Alejandro Basabe, catching the Red Sox bullpen while they were vulnerable due to prolonged health issues of Junichi Tazawa and Craig Kimbrel. Some executives have been skeptical of Arizona’s return for Ziegler, which is reportedly much less than what other teams were offering.
Are they buyers or sellers?
If a last place team starts grumbling about firing the manager, chances are they skew closer to the “seller” line. But there doesn’t appear to be a fire sale in the works, as Arizona clearly wants to keep hold of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, and A.J. Pollock. So general manager Dave Stewart and company would be accurately described as frugal sellers, having made their readily available assets known and putting a high price on other players they are less excited to deal.
Arizona is said to be listening on anyone other than Goldschmidt, though many players (like the ones listed above) are unlikely to be dealt. Still, the D-Backs could look to move some short-term assets by next week.
What moves could they make?
Stewart seems motivated to trade relievers Tyler Clippard and Daniel Hudson, having openly stated he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in re-signing them. He does not, however, want to deal starters Corbin and Ray, who won’t be free agents until 2018 and 2020, respectively (unlike Hudson, who is headed for free agency this winter, and Clippard, who will reach it in 2017).
The Diamondbacks are also still invested in Shelby Miller, apparently, but are willing to listen to offers. What about Greinke? Off the field with an oblique injury, the D-Backs ace is all but off limits as well, as according to Nick Cafardo, Arizona “wouldn’t pay a dime” of Greinke’s contract if he were to be dealt.
With everyone looking for bullpen help, and Aroldis Chapman going to the Cubs, the Diamondbacks have some leverage. Most contenders or fringe teams could find some use for a pair of quality relievers, with the Giants, Mets, and Nationals among them. And who knows, with the amount of fanfare surrounding the likes of starters such as Jeremy Hellickson and Andrew Cashner, maybe even Miller draws out a team willing to pay up. People go loco this time of year.
My guess is at least one of the Diamondbacks’ two advertised relievers is off the table this week; more likely it is Clippard, since, according to AZ Snake Pit, “Daniel Hudson is having among the worst months ever by a Diamondbacks pitcher.” Occasionally a trade chip will blossom right before the end of July, making them even more appealing to interested teams (Just take a look at Hellickson’s last two starts). In Hudson’s case... this is not one of those times.