Arizona Diamondbacks Might be Buyers…and Sellers

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Might Be Buyers…and Sellers

In this abbreviated season the Arizona Diamondbacks will look to be both buyers and sellers. They already know they need to add players to make a playoff push. As with last year’s trade deadline, this will be a busy one for them.

The trade deadline has been pushed back from the normal July 31 due the delayed start to the 2020 season. Even in a shortened and unique year, the MLB trade deadline is still an intriguing moment of the regular season.

Here are a few other things to know as the deadline quickly approaches.

The trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday, August 31. Waiver trades after that date are not allowed. In previous years, players could be traded after the July 31 deadline, subject to a somewhat complicated waiver process; not so for the 2020 season. The August 31 deadline is the last time players can be traded this season.

Average Team Needs Help

Once again, the Diamondbacks are an average team that will be around the .500 mark. However, even at .500 the team could get into the playoffs. General Manager Mike Hazen and his front office personnel must make assumptions about this club to help make moves — moves that have postseason implications.

Relief Pitching and Power Bat Needed

Just like past seasons, the team needs pitching. With the starters averaging fewer than six innings a start, the bullpen has once again been taxed. Héctor Rondón and Junior Guerra started off well but the past two weeks both have been hit hard. Even Kevin Ginkel has had trouble with control. With Andrew Chafin on the IL with a finger injury, Hazen will try to find established relievers.

A power bat is also needed but will be hard to find. Currently the Diamondbacks are ranked 26 out of 30 teams in home runs. Kole Calhoun is the leader with eight but no one else has more than three. Christian Walker and David Peralta, who were to provide the needed power, have decent averages but only a combined four home runs.

Arizona Diamondbacks Who Might be Moved

A couple of players that may likely be moved are Robbie Ray and Jake Lamb.

Ray is in the final year of arbitration. With teams needing pitching, especially a left-handed starter, Ray could be an upgrade on any contending team. However, he has his drawbacks. He can only go five innings and he allows too many walks. Ray has yet to get back to his 2017 form and the Diamondbacks could look to move him for prospects.

Lamb appears to have fallen out of favor with the front office. Eduardo Escobar has been taking the majority of reps at third base and Walker the reps at first base. Lamb’s inability to hit left-handed pitching has been problematic. However, his versatility might attract some attention and a contending team might give up a prospect for him.

The Challenges

Will the teams be willing to make trades? This year’s trade deadline will be uncommon. Not only do all teams have less time to assess their roster but more teams are in the race thanks to the expanded postseason.

Without question, 2020 has introduced a new set of challenges. Buyers will outnumber the sellers this year. Since there are 16 playoff spots instead of 10, more teams than usual are in the hunt. Teams that might have traded a big name for prospects may be hesitant to swing that big-time deal.

Outlook

There will be some players moved but how many remains to be seen. The question is “rental” players may be less desirable. No one wants to give up a prospect(s) for a “rental” player who will most likely leave after the season. And we know building through farm systems the last few years has made the trade deadline less powerful than it once was.

Also, how confident will a team be acquiring a prospect they haven’t seen play since spring training or even since last season? Will teams be willing to take leaps of faith with their trading partners to acquire what could be an unknown?

And, finally, yes, the money. It makes sense that teams would be less than willing to take on a lot of extra salary at this point, especially with revenues being down significantly this year. That is not going to be appealing for many teams.

The uncertainty of the 2020 season likely means Hazen will have pursue moderate upgrades like he did at the deadline in 2018, when he acquired a couple of relievers for the stretch run. Whether he can do that with any teams in 2020 remains to be seen.

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images