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The Ringer: D-backs could help shape MLB trade deadline

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, July 28, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

With the MLB trade deadline just days away, the Arizona Diamondbacks could be the team to watch come Wednesday.

Michael Baumann, who writes for The Ringer, put together a list of the four dominoes that could shape the MLB trade deadline.

On that list were Noah Syndergaard, Trevor Bauer, the San Francisco Giants and “everyone on the Arizona Diamondbacks.”

Baumann is referring to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi on Saturday which indicated that not only are the D-backs “focused” on being sellers but that they will sell many of the team’s big names.

What makes Arizona such an intriguing case is the number of talented players it could move: Given how much better Greinke is pitching right now than Syndergaard, the 2009 AL Cy Young winner could command a king’s ransom if the Diamondbacks were willing to subsidize some of the $70 million he’s owed in 2020 and 2021.

Greinke has a 2.87 ERA and a 0.943 WHIP with 128 strikeouts in 22 starts this season. He leads the National League in WHIP and is seventh in ERA.

The Philadelphia Phillies have shown interest in Greinke, but they are on Greinke’s 15-team no-trade list which could prove to be difficult to move him.

Notably, Greinke is expected to start against the New York Yankees on Wednesday three hours before the trade deadline ends.

Perhaps the most talked-about D-back getting interest from around the league is left-hander Robbie Ray.

They’re also shopping lefty Robbie Ray, who led the NL in K/9 ratio in 2017 and, like Bauer and Stroman, is under team control through 2020.

Teams that reportedly have interest in Ray include the Brewers, Yankees, Astros, Phillies and Twins.

Ray has a 3.91 ERA and is second in the NL in strikeouts with 173 in 129 innings pitched this season.

He pitched what could be his final game as a D-back on Sunday against the Marlins going six innings and allowing three runs on seven hits.

Relievers such as Greg Holland, Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin are potential pitchers that could help contending teams as well.

Outfielders David Peralta and Jarrod Dyson were the two-position players that the Chicago Cubs are reportedly interested in.

With all the interest from teams, Baumann writes that GM Mike Hazen could be unpredictable in what he’ll do on or before July 31.

This wealth of tradable players gives Arizona incredible flexibility, and the options available to GM Mike Hazen make it tough to predict what he’ll do.

Baumann also brings up the idea that the D-backs could package Ray and Greinke or even a couple of relievers to get a better prospect out of the trade, putting the control in Hazen’s hand.

As a result, Hazen probably has more control over how the trade deadline will shake out than any other GM, and everyone else’s actions will be informed by what Hazen does—when, how, and with whom.

Depending on what extent the D-backs sell, their farm system could make big improvements.

ESPN’s Kieth Law ranked the team’s farm system as eighth-best in MLB in February, up from 26th the year before.

Now, with the 2019 MLB Draft wrapped up and the trade deadline coming up, the D-backs have the potential to boost their best farm system even more and possibly have one of the best in baseball.

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