Report: Recent skid could alter D-backs’ trade deadline approach

Jul 25, 2023, 7:24 PM

Mike Hazen, Arizona Diamondbacks GM...

Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen during spring training workouts on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Scottsdale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen emphasized earlier in July how aggressive he wanted to be in the trade market ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline but his team’s poor form might change that thinking.

Arizona entered Tuesday night 13-22 in its last 35 games and having dropped 13 of its last 17 overall. The Diamondbacks still are one of five National League teams jammed tight into a wild card race that separates the group by just a full game but that won’t be the case for much longer if the rut continues.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported the latest on the D-backs’ mindset with trades.

They still figure to buy. But according to sources briefed on their thinking, they might not approach the deadline as aggressively, knowing their ceiling might no longer be as high.

The D-backs’ needs come with starting pitching and relief. The latter has really burned them in July. A handful of the candidates on the trade market are on expiring contracts, and that’s something not as appealing to the D-backs now, per Rosenthal.

Club officials are not as inclined as they were at the start of the month to trade young players for a rental Much depends on the prices in what still appears to be a seller’s market. If the supply of quality starting pitchers remains limited, upstart teams sitting on young talent — the Diamondbacks, Orioles and Reds — might simply determine that the acquisition costs are too high.

Arizona’s farm system is headlined by outfielder Druw Jones, shortstop Jordan Lawlar and starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt, who recently got called up for the third time this season. That trio, along with current contributors Corbin Carroll (22 years old), Zac Gallen (27), Ketel Marte (29), Alek Thomas (23), Jake McCarthy (25), Gabriel Moreno (23) and Geraldo Perdomo (23), Tommy Henry (25) and Ryne Nelson (25) all provide optimism that the D-backs can be in the playoff picture for the next several years.

The D-backs were initially exceeding all expectations before the recent six-week skid, leading the division over the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers, who have now regained control of that part of the standings.

But teams like the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals have been massive disappointments and suddenly left some spots in the NL bracket up for grabs, and it is anyone’s guess who has the best chance to contend alongside the mighty Atlanta Braves in October.

That surely was part of what previously motivated the D-backs to add another surefire starter alongside the terrific Gallen and Merrill Kelly, plus much-needed reinforcements in a bullpen that is absolutely reeling. But a brutal July, as Rosenthal reports, could wind up being the difference in it being a tame deadline for the D-backs.

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