Although the Arizona Diamondbacks have played better in May and June, the team still finds itself near the bottom of the National League while currently tied for last in their division — as of Thursday morning.
Being that the D-backs are a longshot to earn a playoff berth this season and the July 31 trade deadline is approaching, rumors are starting to swirl about which players the team may be looking to move.
On Thursday morning, Fox Sports writer Ken Rosenthal sent a tweet that might as well have suggested half the D-backs’ roster is on the trading block. Rosenthal mentioned Bronson Arroyo, Brandon McCarthy, Aaron Hill, Joe Thatcher, Gerardo Parra and “don’t forget the team’s surplus of young middle (infielders).”
Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall joined the Doug & Wolf show Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and cleared the air about the team’s trade-deadline intentions.
“I think it’s too soon to say what we’re going to do, obviously,” Hall said. “But I think those are names that would naturally come up. I’m a little surprised that he threw Parra in there.”
Hall said he thinks Rosenthal likely looked at three factors to come up with that list: Those who have an expensive contract, players near the end of their contracts and positions where the team has a deep talent pool.
He said teams that are struggling or that have a surplus at certain positions often get a longer look at the trade deadline from clubs that are in contention, adding that he thinks the Diamondbacks fit both profiles.
“So I think there’s going to be a lot of attention and a lot of speculation on what we’re going to do during the trade deadline,” the president said.
Even though the team is having a disappointing campaign, Hall said the front office isn’t in a hurry to start auctioning off players left and right.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to be complete sellers,” he said. “We’re not that type of a team. And if we are going to move pieces, it’s to bring guys in that are probably Major League-ready or to make room for other guys.
“That’s why there’s so much attention on an Aaron Hill. And I feel terrible for Aaron, because he’s a very important part of this team, and he’s been a great contributor and there’s no guarantee that he’s going anywhere.
In his fourth year with Arizona, Hill has played in 64 games and is third on the team with 31 RBI, but the veteran has a lot of young talent surrounding him at the middle infield positions.
“People that are covering this team say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. Didi’s playing well. Chris Owings is playing well. You’ve got Nick Ahmed down in Triple-A. You know, who’s the odd man out?'” Hall said. “That’s what’s happening here. But if you were to make a move like that — not saying we are — but if you do, that’s why.”
The president acknowledged that the D-backs, even though they have been playing better of late, are still a long ways off from contending for a Wild Card spot this season. Even if the team gets hot and starts making a playoff run, the front office’s trade tactics will remain the same, he said.
“Regardless of whether we get within reach (of the playoffs), we get into third place (or) we stay where we are right now in the cellar, it’s not going to change our approach come the deadline in certain areas where we need to make room.”