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Arizona Diamondbacks

ESPN insider Keith Law breaks down D-backs' tradeable assets

The clock is ticking for chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, general manager Kevin Towers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Major League Baseball trade deadline hits this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Phoenix time, and for a team like the Diamondbacks, there is potentially a lot of work to be done.

The D-backs have already made two trades in the last month, sending relief pitcher Joe Thatcher to the Los Angeles Angels for prospects and dealing starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees for lefty Vidal Nuño.

But for a team that has floundered in the NL West standings pretty much all season, there are other players that could be dealt before the deadline hits.

ESPN baseball insider Keith Law joined Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and went over the possibilities, starting with the team's most consistent pitcher in 2014.

"Would you trade Wade Miley? Because I would," Law said. "There are starting pitchers available, but they're either back end guys who aren't going to get much of a return or they're David Price, where the price -- no pun intended -- is enormous.

"So could you put Miley out there? And you can ask a lot for him because the acquiring team is getting him for the next three years. You could get more for him because there he's got more years of control and he's young and he's pitched really well in a tough environment. You'd get more because he's more attractive than some of these other guys on the market because he has the extra years of control."

Miley, a 2012 All-Star, is only 27 years of age and has been a steady member of the Arizona rotation for the last two-and-a-half years. This season, the lefty is 6-7 with a 4.34 ERA in 22 starts.

Law believes the D-backs couldn't hurt themselves by dangling Miley to potential suitors.

"You're not forced to trade him," he said. "If you don't get an offer you like, you just pull him back and maybe you discuss him again in the offseason. But it can't hurt to at least explore his market because I do think he's the most valuable trade asset they have."

There has also been plenty of discussion about right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler, who could certainly help the bullpen of any contending team. The 34-year-old is leading the National League in appearances for the second straight season and has a 4-1 record with a 2.68 ERA.

"I think there would be interest (in Ziegler), but the problem is there are just so many relievers out there. Could you trade him and get sort of one Grade-B prospect? Yes. But I don't think you're going to get a huge return for him," Law said.

And then there's veteran second baseman Aaron Hill, who has been out of the Arizona lineup for the last two games after being hit on the right hand with a pitch in last Saturday's win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite having what many perceive as a down season, Hill has the second-most RBI (49) of any second baseman in the National League.

Hill may also have inflated value because of the dearth of available second basemen on the market.

"It's him," Law said. "If there's another one out there who can play second base every day, I'm not sure who it is. The problem is, while he's hurt, I don't think anyone's going to want to pay much to acquire him because you're concerned he's going to have to go on the DL. And if there's any kind of lingering issue with hand or wrist, that can sap a guy's power going forward for quite some time. So I think any acquiring team would be looking at him saying 'we'll take him and we'll pay his salary -- we're not going to give a prospect in return though because there is some risk involved.'

"That would be an opportunity to clear some payroll for the Diamondbacks, but probably not a way to get a prospect."

After this season, Hill has two years and $24 million remaining on his contract.

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