Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is spending a lot of time on the phone these days.
With the trade deadline looming Thursday afternoon (1 p.m. Arizona time), Towers is holding conversations with many other GMs around baseball about trades to make the D-backs a better baseball team in the future.
There has been speculation on many players on Arizona’s roster, including some who were picked up in big trades engineered by Towers himself in the not-so-distant past. Players like Martin Prado and Didi Gregorius, who were both acquired prior to the 2013 season, fit that description. Would the fact that Towers made deals for those players prevent him from trading them again?
“I think it’s about making your team better,” Towers told Doug and Wolf Wednesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Our depth in our system is in our bullpen, middle infielder and third base. Two of our better prospects are Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury, both third basemen. I think if you’re just looking at it from a perception standpoint and thinking ‘I can’t move this guy, he was a key piece in a deal’ — if you think it’s going to make your ball club better, you have to look at it.”
Reading into Towers’ comments, you’d think that would mean that Prado is on his way out of town. Not necessarily.
“We like Martin Prado a great deal and it would have to be a deal that we would feel very good about to move him,” he said. “We have to look at what we have in the system and what’s coming up behind him and how close they are.
“If you’re able to acquire a starting pitcher or an every day player, and you have a lot of trust in guys like Lamb and Drury, you look at it. I don’t really look at in a way that because (Prado was acquired) in a major trade, I think you have to separate those types of things. We like Martin a lot, but if a deal presents itself that makes us better in the near future and the future, I think you look at it. If not, you hold on to him.”
So, how close are Lamb and Drury to being big league-ready? Lamb, 23, is playing very well at Double-A Mobile, hitting .315 with 14 home runs and a Southern League-leading 79 RBI in 102 games. The former sixth-round pick out of the University of Washington was recently named the 98th-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com
Drury, who was one of five players acquired by the D-backs in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta in January of 2013, is in his fifth pro season, but is still just 21 years old. He’s hitting .299 with 19 homers and is second in the California League with 80 RBI for Class A Visalia.