With the Major League Baseball trade deadline less than a week away, the Arizona Diamondbacks certainly could use an upgrade or two.
Although the team sits just 0.5 games out of first place in the National League West, the D-backs are not without their issues.
Arizona’s bullpen has blown the second-most saves in all baseball (19), the starting rotation has a 3.99 ERA (6th-worst in the National League) and offensively the bats have gone quiet of late (scored two runs or less seven times in July).
It’s probably not realistic to think general manager Kevin Towers can pull off a move to address every need, but within the organization, the expectation is some transaction will take place in the coming days.
“I do [expect Kevin Towers to make a move],” D-backs president Derrick Hall said on Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Thursday. “That’s just his nature. I know he’s been very active, he’s on the phones all day every day.
“I expect him to be as busy as he usually is. He’ll take every phone call. He makes every phone call and talks with nearly every club. He’s always looking to make moves to improve the club.”
Although the team would like to pull the trigger on any move that better equips them to compete in the pennant race, Hall noted that the one caveat is the inclusion of their top pitching prospects in any proposed deal.
“As I talked about last week, we are being very careful that we don’t sacrifice the future,” said Hall. “We like the way this team is stacking up in the future and how the rotation looks in the future.
“Every team asks for Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs, and right away we say ‘absolutely not’. So you have to see what you can do beyond that. But I’m sure [Kevin Towers] will do something creative enough to improve this team.”
Asked what beleaguered unit could use the most help in the short-term, Hall focused his attention on the team’s relief pitching.
“I think bullpen-wise at times we’ve shown a weakness not having enough left-handed arms,” said Hall. “That may be an area where we need an upgrade. When it comes to the rest of the roster and the offense, they’re going to click. These are guys we know have been productive in the past, and we know they’re going to be.”
Left-handed relief wasn’t much of an issue until Matt Reynolds hit the disabled list June 10 with a strained left elbow. Before his injury, the 28-year-old was 0-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 30 appearances.
Currently, though, the only left-handed option in the D-backs bullpen is Tony Sipp, who sports a 4.08 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 44 games.