With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the focus around Major League Baseball shifts to the upcoming trade deadline as teams gear up to make moves in order to get them over the postseason hump.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks, the question is what is the missing piece that will prove to be a difference-maker in October.
Entering the second half, the Diamondbacks sit in second place in the National League West — 9.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and two games up on the Colorado Rockies for the top Wild Card spot. The D-backs have a 9.5-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card standings — giving the team a 92 percent chance of reaching the playoffs according to baseballprospectus.com.
So what should the Diamondbacks do at the trade deadline?
Well, according to ESPN’s David Schoenfield, the team should look at upgrading the outfield. Schoenfield took a look at one goal that all 30 teams should have as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
For the the Diamondbacks, that goal should be the outfield and the possibility of trading for Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez. According to Schoenfield, Martinez will be a free agent at the end of the season which means he will for sure be traded.
D-backs could use an upgrade in the outfield, where they rank 24th in the majors in wOBA in left field. Yasmany Tomas isn’t good, and he’s on the DL, which means they’re faking left field with bench guys such as Daniel Descalso, Gregor Blanco, Chris Herrmann and Rey Fuentes (all of whom started in left field last week).
Although with a limited supply of prospects, the cost of achieving that goal by getting Martinez, who might end up being a rental, may be too high for a team looking have a sustain run at being competitive.