We are three days away from the Trade Deadline and the Arizona Diamondbacks sit in third place in the NL West with a record of 47-51. With the deadline looming, there’s just one question to ask. Should the Diamondbacks be buyers or sellers? I say they should be neither.
We have already seen some big name players be traded so far, such as Troy Tulowitzki being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and Johnny Cueto being moved to the Kansas City Royals. There will definitely be more big moves to come as the San Diego Padres are trying to move many players, the Phillies want to move Cole Hamels and many other possible moves.
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The Diamondbacks are right now stuck in this area of their season where they are four games under .500 and in third place in their division. Right now, it would not make sense for the Diamondbacks to go after a player they would essentially be renting for the rest of this season.
Many of these teams who are selling their players are going to want top prospects in return. Arizona is not in a place where it can win the division this year and even a wild card spot might be out of reach. It would make no sense for the Diamondbacks to give up their future prospects when they don’t really have a realistic chance on winning this year.
In almost any trade scenario, the Diamondbacks would likely have to give up guys like Archie Bradley, Peter O’Brien, and possibly Aaron Blair. Losing those kinds of prospects is not worth a rental player who probably won’t re-sign after this season is over.
However, if the D-Backs could pull off a trade for a player who is under contract beyond this year, that would be something they should do. There is a report that the D-Backs are interested in the Phillies’ Cole Hamels:
Hamels would be worth it for the D-Backs as he is a legitimate ace and is under contract beyond this season. Hamels’ contract runs through 2018 with a club option for 2019. Hamels is coming off of his best start of the season where he threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. So expect the price for Hamels to be even higher than it already was. But if the Diamondbacks somehow can make an offer to the Phillies’ liking, then I think it may be worth giving up some prospects. There is another report that states the Diamondbacks are talking to the Cincinnati Reds about closer Aroldis Chapman:
This trade makes a lot of sense for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have had trouble with closers since 2011 when they had JJ Putz. They tried and failed with Addison Reed and now this year they have Brad Ziegler in that role. Ziegler has done very well as the closer, but I believe this role limits his value to the team.
If there is a situation where they need a double play in the seventh inning, Ziegler cannot come in because he is limited to being the closer in the ninth inning. Also by getting Chapman, the Diamondbacks would have a legitimate closer, which is something they haven’t had in a long time. Chapman is also under club control for the next couple years.
Unless the Diamondbacks can land a player like Hamels, Chapman or even a guy like James Shields who are under contract for the next few seasons, it just doesn’t seem like a logical move to trade those talented prospects for a rental player this year while they’re not in striking distance in their division or the wild card.
They should not risk their entire future to try, and probably fail, this season. The Diamondbacks have surprised many this season but this just isn’t the year to go for it.