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ESPN lists D-backs as sellers come MLB trade deadline

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke takes a pause on the mound in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

The trade deadline is on July 31 and the Arizona Diamondbacks are still in the fight for a postseason berth.

Despite a slew of injuries and the loss of Paul Goldschmidt and others, the team finds itself only 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot.

But the biggest question for GM Mike Hazen is should the team be sellers or buyers?

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle believes the D-backs should be sellers and offers some possible candidates that the team should trade away.

To decide whether a team should be a buyer or seller, Doolittle used a system called the “aggressiveness rating.”

If a team is listed anywhere from 0-4, they will be a seller. 6-10 means a team will be a buyer, while five means the team is neutral and it could go either way.

The D-backs find themselves at a six on the aggressiveness scale, according to Doolittle. However, he says the team should be sellers.

Aggressiveness rating: 6

In some ways, it might almost be better if Arizona slumps the next couple of weeks, because if tomorrow were July 31, you could flip a coin as to whether the Snakes should buy or sell. If they sell, it would be a tough balancing act to determine how much cash they’d have to eat to move Greinke while getting some kind of future piece in return.

With a team record of 46-45, it makes sense for the D-backs to be at a crossroads on what to do at the deadline.

Last season, the team went for it and picked up pieces for their bullpen and offense.

But, they fell flat in September after leading their division for a majority of the season.

They were also buyers in 2017, but they did make it to the postseason and eventually were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division series.

Those years were different for the D-backs, they had a much better record and won more consistently.

This year has been a roller coaster ride with many winning and losing streaks, making for an inconsistent team.

However, with 10 teams in the Wild Card race, two playoff spots will be wide open.

With Doolittle ultimately believing the team will be sellers, he gives a list of players that are the team’s biggest assets to trade.

Big chips: SP Zack Greinke, OF David Peralta, C Alex Avila, SP Robbie Ray, RRP Greg Holland

What would they want back? Prospect depth, salary flexibility

Trading Greinke could prove to be the most challenging to move.

Greinke is owed around $80 million over the next two and a half years. A team would have to be willing to take on that contract or the D-backs would have to eat the money to trade him to possibly receive better prospects.

Either way, Greinke is having a stellar season with a 2.73 ERA, a WHIP of 0.918 and a career-low 1.1 walks per nine innings.

Holland and Avila are both entering free agency after this season and are the most likely candidates to be moved come the trade deadline.

Holland has converted 14 of his 18 save opportunities and has an ERA of 3.30.

Avila has been injured for part of the season but has an OPS of .909 and is batting .236 with five home runs in 93 plate appearances.

Peralta and Ray both have one more year left on their contracts as well.

They also could get some meaningful prospects back in return if they choose to trade them.

Peralta would make the most sense to trade due to his age and expiring deal.

The 31-year-old has been in and out of the lineup with shoulder issues this year. He is batting .289 with nine home runs and a .828 OPS.

Ray, 27, could be one player the D-backs decide to give an extension. But if they decide to deal him, Hazen will want to get a lot in return.

Although he isn’t having the same All-Star year he had in 2017, but he has been pitching better as of late. On the year his ERA sits at 3.96 and 137 strikeouts. He also leads the NL in walks with 54.

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