The problem with the Arizona Diamondbacks is that there is no easy fix. In many ways they are stuck with what they have: the team general manager Kevin Towers put together. Outside of top prospect Archie Bradley, there is not a lot of help coming from the minor leagues.
Towers has traded away six of the Diamondbacks’ top prospects since arriving in the desert, including pitchers Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer and David Holmberg. Outfielder Adam Eaton and third baseman Matt Davidson were also sent packing. And those six don’t include outfielder Justin Upton or pitcher Ian Kennedy.
The Diamondbacks traded Upton for Martin Prado, who was hitting .231 with nine strikeouts in his last 17 at-bats entering Wednesday’s game. Kennedy went to San Diego for minor league reliever Matt Stites and reliever Joe Thatcher. Parker, who is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, was dealt for Trevor Cahill, who is owed $20 million and can’t seem to get anyone out. Holmberg was traded to Tampa Bay just so Arizona could rid themselves of Heath Bell’s contract. Bauer was sent to Cleveland in a three-way deal for current minor leaguer Didi Gregorius. Davidson was sent to the White Sox for a closer (Addison Reed) who won’t get many opportunities on this team to actually close. Eaton and Skaggs were part of a three-team trade with the White Sox and Angels that brought in Mark Trumbo.
While the jury is still out on some of those deals, it’s safe to say none of those trades has made Arizona better. Just like the free agent signing of Brandon McCarthy, which has been a disaster.
The Diamondbacks look like one of the worst teams in baseball and have played like it. The starting pitching is so atrocious that two of its starters (Cahill and Randal Delgado) have already been demoted to the bullpen, and it’s only mid-April. A third (Brandon McCarthy) is likely to join them at some point or be released if he can’t get his act together. Newcomer Bronson Arroyo has an ERA of 9.95 after three starts.
The Diamondbacks will need to replenish the minor league system to rebuild and thus trade some veterans to contending teams to start over. Aaron Hill, Gerado Parra, Martin Prado and even Gregorius will have value.
The question the Diamondbacks’ brass will have to ask themselves is do they trust the GM who put this last place team together and traded away a lot of prospects to be the one to tear it apart and rebuild it?