How ‘bout those Diamondbacks!
Sitting atop the NL West for the first time in a long time, the Diamondbacks are looking every bit the contender, something few of us really thought possible as recently as one month ago.
So excited, is everyone, that the team’s management is looking for this team to be buyers, rather than sellers, as the trade deadline approaches.
And why shouldn’t they be? The NL West is there for the taking, and the right move could propel the team even further than just a division title. Seems great, right?
Well, let’s allow the 2008 Diamondbacks to serve as a cautionary tale for the 2011 version.
That team, fresh off a run to the 2007 NLCS, fancied itself a contender. A 20-8 start following an offseason trade for Dan Haren gave this team the look of a champion. Then the rest of the season happened.
Struggling to keep pace with the surging Los Angeles Dodgers, the D-backs pulled off a couple of trades, landing Adam Dunn and Jon Rauch in separate deals.
For Dunn’s 44 games, eight home runs and 26 RBI the D-backs surrendered Micah Owings and prospect Wilkin Castillo, while Rauch cost Arizona Emilio Bonifacio in exchange for an 0-6 record and 6.56 ERA in his first 26 appearances as a Diamondback.
The trades did not help Arizona – in fact, one could argue they hurt the team – and Arizona faded from playoff contention, finishing the season 82-80 and looking up at the Dodgers in the standings, proving it’s not about just making a deal, but making the right one.
The wrong one, we’ve seen, not only affects the current season, but future campaigns as well. That’s what Kevin Towers and the Diamondbacks need to keep in mind. I’m confident he’ll make the right decision.