The Arizona Diamondbacks are most certainly in a strong position as buyers this trade deadline. They currently sit in second place in the NL West and just 1.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, with the Dodgers surging and Arizona dealing with inconsistency, the need for some roster improvement has been clear.
One position of need for the team has been third base. Jake Lamb has had ample opportunity to seize the job in Arizona, but he has dealt with some injuries and, arguably more importantly, he hasn’t been very good. While he has been an above average hitter in previous years, he currently sports a 78 wRC+ in 2018 and his defensive value at third base can probably best be described as poor (-21 defensive runs saved in 2016-2017, although he is currently at 4 DRS in 2018).
The DBacks clearly want to get more out of the position as they made a deal with the Twins.
Source confirms Eduardo Escobar traded to the D-backs, with OF Gabriel Maciel, RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Ernie De La Trinidad going back to the Twins. @JeffPassan was first with the details of the deal.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 27, 2018
Eduardo Escobar hasn’t gotten the attention that a lot of other rental options have gotten this deadline season, but he has put together a strong season for the Minnesota Twins this season. He has slashed .274/.338/.514 with 15 home runs in 2018 while playing a solid if unspectacular defense at third. While one would be right to be suspicious of Escobar’s offensive performance in a contract year given his track record in the majors, he also provides a bunch of defensive versatility as he has played all three positions in the outfield (with a very limited sample size in his career) and all over the infield.
In exchange, the Twins received three prospects in the Diamondbacks #11 overall prospect OF Gabriel Maciel who has a good chance to stick in CF and can really run, their #19 overall prospect in RHP Jhoan who has a plus fastball, as well as OR prospect Ernie De La Trinidad.