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MLB trade deadline grades: D-backs earn high praise after Greinke trade

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to a Washington Nationals batter during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


The MLB trade deadline ended with a bang on Wednesday after the Arizona Diamondbacks traded pitcher Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros.

In return the D-backs acquired first baseman/outfielder Seth Beer, right-hand pitchers J.P. Bukauskas and Corbin Martin, all top five prospects in the Astros farm system, according to MLB Pipeline.

They also received the team’s No. 22 prospect infielder Joshua Rojas and will pay $24 million of Greinke’s contract over the next three years, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

With the trade now finalized, the team is getting high grades from baseball writers around the country.

Here are the grades Arizona is receiving:

Sports Illustrated’s Matt Martell

Grade: B+

Martell didn’t give a specific reason for giving the D-backs a B grade, but said Arizona had to make this trade.

This is also good for the Diamondbacks. They had almost no choice but to shed Greinke’s remaining salary if they weren’t seriously in contention and the opportunity presented itself. The Astros are going to pay two-thirds of the remaining $77 million owed to him, and the Diamondbacks got four of Houston’s top-30 prospects in return.

Bleacher Report’s Zachary Rymer 

Grade: A

The D-backs acquiring some of Houston’s best prospects means the team didn’t just give Greinke away and that’s what led to Rymer’s high grade for the trade. He also said Arizona is getting a potential top-of-the-rotation pitcher in Martin, after he recovers from a recent Tommy John Surgery.

According to Baseball America, the D-backs are getting Houston’s No. 4 (Martin), 5 (Bukauskas), 8 (Beer) and 16 (Rojas) prospects. One catch is that Martin is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he’ll have top-of-the-rotation potential if he comes back strong.

Bukauskas, meanwhile, is at worst a long-term closer candidate. Beer could be a middle-of-the-order hitter. Rojas may be a usable utility man in the near future.

In short, let it not be said that Arizona gave Greinke away.

Rymer also gave the Astros the same grade for the deal.

Sporting News’ Joe Rivera 

Grade: A-

A winning trade for both sides, according to Rivera. For the D-backs, he believes the team acquired four prospects in a loaded farm system that could develop into quality MLB players.

They’re acquiring four prospects from a loaded farm system, three of them in the top five; this includes Beer (anyone thirsty?), who could develop into a legitimate power threat and Martin (out this season with Tommy John), who could develop into a quality starter.

With Arizona heading into a rebuild, Rivera said this move looks smart compared to other moves the franchise has made in the past.

The Diamondbacks should get a lot of flak for the amount of talent they’ve traded or let walk over the years, and there’s still some kind of murkiness surrounding their future direction (the Mike Leake trade is one, though that can be defended as needing a rotation arm with Leake gone), but restocking the farm system now is a good, smart franchise move.

The Diamondbacks rid themselves of the Greinke contract and pick up solid pieces in return. Even with the money they spent, potentially getting one solid rotation arm, one potential bullpen arm and a young, emerging slugger is a big enough win.

Greinke has been pitching well this season going 10-4 with a 2.90 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 23 starts.

In his last start with the D-backs, he went five innings and allowed two runs on two hits against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

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