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D-backs see MLB trade deadline deals as building for the future

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke waits to face a hitter during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The MLB trade deadline giveth, and the MLB trade deadline taketh away.

Despite the loss of pitcher Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said their overall vision for the trade deadline was building for the long term.

“Trading out the number one starting pitcher is not something that we took lightly,” Hazen said. “It’s very difficult to replace that player, but I felt that we needed to take an opportunity to strengthen the organization and ultimately the major league team.”

Hazen said they took the opportunity to build their organization with minor league players that they had liked and scouted for a long time.

In exchange for their ace, the team received first baseman/outfielder Seth Beer, right-handed pitcher J.B. Bukauskas, right-handed pitcher Corbin Martin and infielder/outfielder Joshua Rojas.

The prospects are all ranked in the top 20 of the Houston Astros’ system, according to Baseball America. Even though Martin recently had Tommy John and will be out for the rest of the season, the D-backs still saw him as the top player in the trade, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

“If we were going to get any sizable amount of talent in return, there was going to have to be some compromise financially,” Hazen said. “That talent return was extremely important to us, we would have never considered trading Zack Greinke without talent.”

Hazen noted that while the losses of Greinke, and previously first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, have an impact on the team, it’s nothing the club can’t overcome.

“In time, we will recover some of that and spread out in ways that will impact our 25 man roster more thoroughly than say one Zack Greinke,” Hazen said.

The D-backs also gained Miami Marlins pitcher Zac Gallen, the club’s No. 5 prospect. Hazen said they like Gallen’s strategy and believe he’s a durable player that could tentatively find himself in the rotation. Gallen’s had seven major league starts during his rookie campaign with a 2.72 ERA and is averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine. Even before he entered into the majors, Gallen owned a 1.77 ERA in Triple-A this year.

Amid the shuffling, Hazen noted that the organization didn’t move any of their positional players, which could have crafted a completely different story at the deadline.

“I’m sure there were deals that we could’ve done in other places, but I never really looked at going into today that it was tear it down to the studs,” Hazen said.

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