Ain’t No Fang D-backs roundtable: Trade ideas at the deadline
Aug 30, 2020, 8:12 PM | Updated: 8:22 pm
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Are they buyers? Are they sellers?
Ain’t No Fang podcast hosts Steve Zinsmeister, Cody “Bear” Fincher and Derek Montilla sat down to think of what trades they would like to see the Arizona Diamondbacks make at the deadline.
It wasn’t easy due to this shortened season having an expanded playoff pool mixed with an inability to identify if this team can emerge as a contender.
So far, that identity has changed from week to week. That being said, here are a few moves they’d like to see them make at the MLB trade deadline:
STEVE: D-backs acquire OF Aristides Aquino from the Reds for RHP Archie Bradley
Archie Bradley was once the top pitching prospect in baseball. I’m not saying he’s a bust, but he never turned into the dominant starter he was supposed to be. He’s even struggled to retain the closer job at times. The Reds are ready to compete for the playoffs this year and the Diamondbacks look like they aren’t. The Reds can use Archie to help their struggling bullpen, while giving up Aquino, who is blocked by other quality outfielders in Cincy. The D-backs can give him a look as a fourth or fifth outfielder and possibly use him as a designated hitter if the National League keeps the DH beyond 2020. It’ll hurt to lose Archie, the heart of this franchise, but it might be time to capitalize on his value.
BEAR: D-backs acquire OF J.D. Martinez from the Boston Red Sox for RHP Jon Duplantier and prospects
The D-backs should go out and acquire J.D. Martinez again. If the designated hitter remains in the National League beyond this year, this would be a perfect fit yet again. Martinez is having a down year in Boston, hitting only .213 with three home runs. Martinez has the ability to opt out of his contract both after this season and 2021. It’s doubtful he would opt out after this year because his numbers are pretty poor and he’s due to make around $19 million next season. So this would be an investment for at least the rest of this year as well as 2021 and you may not have to give up much to get him. The question is whether or not the D-backs would want to pay him. Martinez is under contract through 2022.
DEREK: D-backs acquire minor league RHP Nick Nelson from the Yankees for LHP Robbie Ray
The D-backs need to get something for Robbie Ray before the end of the season. The free agent market is going to be very limited this offseason and a left-handed pitcher who can start is going to be a rarity. Even with having a down season, Ray will be courted away by another team who is willing to pay much more than Arizona will pay. Nick Nelson is a young, talented pitcher who is getting his first opportunity in the majors this season with the Yankees. New York is a win now type team and would most likely give up more than necessary to acquire a LHP with the experience Ray has. He could end up being a brilliant relief pitcher out of the bullpen as well as a guy who can step in and start when needed.
STEVE: D-backs acquire OF Clint Frazier, INF Miguel Andujar and RHP Deivi Garcia from the Yankees for OF Starling Marte and LHP Robbie Ray
Starling Marte has a club option for $12.5M next season. He’s been great for the D-backs, hitting above .300 and establishing himself as their best hitter this season. Why not take advantage of that and see if you can get some long-term pieces for him? It feels like Clint Frazier has been talked about for years. He would be an injection of youth into this Arizona outfield. Andujar is somewhat of a project. He hasn’t hit well since his rookie season in 2018, but he was very good that season. Since then he has struggled with injuries, a lack of a true position and has been blocked at third base and designated hitter in New York. In Arizona, he would have the chance to fill Jake Lamb’s role at the corners. But are the D-backs willing to trade for a guy who might just be a DH down the road? We don’t know that the DH will be a thing in the NL beyond 2020. In this trade, Ray gets a chance to be a reliever/spot-starter in NYC. But will the Yankees be willing to include one of their best pitching prospects (Garcia) in this deal? Probably not, but it’s fun to dream, right?
BEAR: D-backs acquire Mike Clevinger from the Indians for OF Starling Marte
To shore up their starting pitching, the D-backs could look to Cleveland and starter Mike Clevinger. Clevinger has been in the news recently when both he and teammate Zach Plesac decided to go out to a restaurant after a game, which of course isn’t allowed per COVID-19 protocols. It was a dumb decision that resulted in both Clevinger and Plesac being optioned to the team’s alternate training site for a time. Over the past four seasons, Clevinger has sported a 2.97 ERA. Last year he went 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA. Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen could take advantage of the situation, as it seems members of the organization we’re pretty upset about the incident that occurred with he and Plesac and may want to move on from him. If acquired, the D-backs would have club control of Clevinger through the 2022 season as he has two years of arbitration eligibility left. But his price tag may be a bit too steep.
DEREK: D-backs acquire prospect 1B Alec Bohm from the Phillies from Starling Marte
It feels like the D-backs have a talented core of young players that they can add to with the expectation that they can contend in two seasons. Since Starling Marte is on a one-year deal with a club option for next season, the D-backs could use this as an opportunity to add a top prospect from a team that has a desire to win now and is missing an outfielder as a key piece. The Phillies are in desperate need of a centerfielder to compliment the two all-stars they have in right and left. Marte is a two-time Gold Glover who is having a great season in the outfield and at the plate. Bohm could be the first basemen of the future for this team and has versatility to also play third.
STEVE: D-backs acquire RHP Zach Plesac from the Indians for OF David Peralta, LHP Robbie Ray and Cash Considerations
Arizona’s starting rotation has been decimated by inconsistency and injury. Zac Gallen is their only starter producing right now. Zach Plesac would be a controllable player through 2025 and he needs a change of scenery after angering his Cleveland teammates by breaking pandemic protocols. Every team could use an extra lefty in their bullpen. Could Terry Francona find a way to turn Ray into a long reliever like he did with Andrew Miller in 2016? Also, Peralta would be a perfect fit for an Indians team that has a desperate need in the outfield. As long as the D-backs are willing to help the Indians afford these players, this trade might work.
BEAR: D-backs acquire ANYBODY for LHP Robbie Ray
Since the D-backs are most likely to be sellers if anything during this year’s trade deadline, I think it is time to move on from Robbie Ray. If Mike Hazen can find a team that’s willing to give up a decent return for the left hander, he has to make that deal. Ray is set to be a free agent after this year and has struggled mightily. He is 1-4 with a 7.84 ERA in seven starts this season. He is not giving this team a chance to win when he takes the hill and it seems that every fifth day he pitches he’s changed something about his delivery to the plate. He looks lost. I feel like the D-backs have given Ray plenty of chances to regain his All-Star form that we saw in 2017 and it just hasn’t happened. Since he’s a free agent after this season, Mike Hazen should get whatever he can in return for him at the deadline.
DEREK: The D-backs trade the Ball Humidor to the Milwaukee Brewers for Bernie’s Slide
Now, hear me out. The Milwaukee Brewers all-star centerfielder Lorenzo Cain opted out for the season, leaving the team in a difficult position to fill his shoes both defensively and offensively. Milwaukee is a very humid, moist city with an average dew point of 63 degrees. If you combine that with the D-backs offense-stealing ball humidor, there is no way the balls are getting out of the infield. As far as adding Bernie’s slide to the pool in right field, that’s obviously a no brainer for Arizona. It’s a win-win for both teams.