Nightengale: D-backs will be sellers at MLB trade deadline
The MLB trade deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are still in the Wild Card race.
Despite being 1.5 games back from the second spot, the team is facing questions on if they should be sellers with several players becoming free agents at the end of 2019 and 2020.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf to discuss if the D-backs should sell and who they should trade come July 31.
“[They are] certainly not buyers, they’ve played all these ball games and they’re about a .500 ball club,” Nightengale said. “I think they’re a seller, it’s just how far you want to go.”
The D-backs’ current record is 49-48, and the team is in the mix with about eight other clubs.
But the San Francisco Giants are one of the teams that could actually help the D-backs out, according to Nightengale.
“The more the Giants win, it may be tougher for the Giants to trade (Madison) Bumgarner, which would be great for the Diamondbacks, that way a Robbie Ray’s stock goes up,” Nightengale said.
It’s not just Ray’s value that could go up, adds Nightengale. Zack Greinke, Adam Jones and David Peralta could see their stocks rise as well.
However, the D-backs might play the waiting game before they trade anybody.
“I think they’ll listen on everybody,” Nightengale said. “But I do think they’ll wait until the bitter end to see if they want to pull the plug or not.”
Two D-backs players who could receive interest from other teams are Greinke and Ray.
Greinke has been pitching great for the D-backs this year with a 10-4 record and an ERA of 2.95 in 20 games started. But he could be the most difficult to move by the deadline with over $80 million left on his contract.
NBC Sports Philadephia’s Jim Salisbury reported on Thursday that the Philadelphia Phillies have looked into the possibility of trading for Greinke.
“A team like the Phillies, they’ll take on the money and will want to give up prospects, would be a perfect fit,” according to Nightengale.
He also added that the Phillies are on Greinke’s 15-team no-trade clause and that could make moving him even harder.
On the other hand, Ray’s contract is club-friendly and a team would retain him through the 2020 season.
He could be the hottest commodity around the league with the likes of the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers all reportedly interested in the left-hander.
“Because they are so few starters available, I think his value keeps going up,” Nightengale said. “And you get him for next year as well, so he’s not just a pure rental like a Bumgarner.”
Ray is 8-6 with a 3.92 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 21 games started this season.